Jesus only needed three years to launch the church. Everything He needed to do was done, and the momentum carried the work worldwide now for two millennia. You and I may need a bit more time to get things going.
Just because you make a New Year’s resolution doesn’t revolutionize your life. You need to act daily, consistently, upon the thought. You can totally turn your life around, but you need to build momentum.
Prayer sets thing in motion. Once the wave gets sent, it has incredible power. But power doesn’t come overnight. But once it gets started, it becomes unstoppable.
I planted a church in Guatemala for almost 16 years, and it’s still running today. What’s my next project?
Abel Magwitch is a hardened criminal, a repeat offender who has no qualms over terrifying a small boy and threatening his life if he doesn’t steal food and a file for him.
But one act of kindness radically changes his life. Pip brings the stolen food to the escaped convict, who also grabbing the file furiously frees himself from his leg iron in Victorian England.
Apparently, no one ever had done a turn of good for Magwitch, who is so grateful for the food and file that he turns his life around and becomes a hard-working businessman. Magwitch donates anonymously huge sums of money to Pip, a blacksmith’s apprentice, so he can raise his station in life.
Charles Dickens is rightly a classical author, because he makes us meditate about our own lives. Who can I transform with a simple act of kindness? Pip performed it under duress. Even so, it’s impact was revolutionary. How much more so if we give motivated by the love of Christ?
I have a student who failed. That was not his plan.
The trouble is that he never got far beyond planning. He didn’t get to work.
Daily work towards a goal is what is needed.
If you want to go to Heaven, you’ll need to walk with Christ daily. If you want an answer to prayer, don’t just think about it. Don’t just pray once. Don’t just make plans to pray, actually do it, regularly.
Think about Job’s friends. They wanted to console Job. But their theology was too black-and-white. Through some 20 chapters, they degenerated from help to hurt, from wanting to encourage to discouraging. Eventually, they just argued.
Don’t be like Job’s friends. They started on the right foot. The Bible says that when calamity slammed Job, they sat with him in silence for seven days, grieving with him. They showed strong moral support.
But then they searched for words. They sought reasons to explain the unexplainable. They spoke eloquently and gradually became enamored with their fine speeches and forgot about the purpose of uplifting the victim. Instead of infusing solace, they spiked Job. Dogmatism doomed them.
Their lack of words spoke more powerfully than the florid poetry they poured out trying to convince Job he was wrong. In the end, they did more harm than good. Eventually, the dragged Job into the fray and provoked him to some unwise statements. At the end, God rebuked them.
If only they would have finished like they started, friends showing mute affirmation.
The Bible says to take captive every thought. It seems like we modern people struggle with self esteem and internal negativity. The worst rant is the accusing finger inside your heart.
As a Christian, I believe the chief work is done by Christ. But we Christians must do the work of focusing our thought life on positives. Maybe you’re surrounded by hounds who criticize. Maybe you need to cancel your EnvyBook account. It’s astonishing what a little Bible-reading and prayer can do to lift your spirits.
When he was serving God, Pastor Harold Warner suffered a car accident that left him in a wheelchair. Recently, he needed an amputation for a nasty festering infection. So naturally it hit like a tidal wave at Bible conference when he declared: Through all the trials, I never doubted the goodness of God.