Remember to Start Strong and Finish Well!
“[We pray] that you may be invigorated and strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory, [to exercise] every kind of endurance and patience (perseverance and forbearance with joy).” (Colossians 1:11).
Remember To Start Strong, And Finish Well!
Let patience do its work in all that you do. Happy New Years Eve! May the Lord lead and guide you to the fulfillment of what He has planned for you in the coming year. Let His name be magnified and be praised forever and ever, amen!
Well, good morning and welcome. I thank you for your faithfulness throughout all of this year. Now we are going to the new year singing “Hallelujah!” to Jehovah. He has been good to us in all things. His blessings upon blessings upon blessings are continually shown in our lives. He is a faithful God, isn’t He!
To believe that, we only need to think back to where we came from and see where He is taking us to. Everything we undertake in life has a beginning and an end. Typically, we are excited at the beginning of an opportunity, a relationship, or a venture. We’re also happy when we can celebrate our achievement and have the satisfaction of a fulfilled desire.
But you know, in between the beginning and the end, every situation has a “middle”. The middle is where we often face our greatest challenges. Between our beginning and our ending, we must develop the determination necessary to overcome the difficult circumstances we encounter in the middle.
Think of this: we can be the people who finish what we begin. Moreover, we can be thankful that we don’t have to do it alone. It is true that God will help us if we just let Him. My friends, this morning, and this week as we prepare to crossover to the New Year, we can trust God for everything and let Him help us. We cannot do it alone. We have the Holy Spirit that will help us as our Counselor!
Now, you may be in the middle of something right now. Whatever you find yourself in the middle of, you can ask God for His strength and wisdom, discipline yourself a little while longer, and determine to see it all the way through to the finish.
Paul knew this when he was going through his own life journey that landed him in a difficult task. In the end, he said, “I have run my course and I have finished my race.” The challenge for us this coming year is, will you finish your race in 2019?
A new year gives us the opportunity to redefine our priorities. Take a review of your life. Are the things you are doing important, or just urgent? Do not confuse urgent things with important things.
Let me present to you that a new year redefines our purpose. A new year gives us the opportunity to redefine our life’s vision. Here are the questions to ask yourself: Are you still on course? Do you know exactly what you want to do in the next couple of years? Do you still have a clear vision for your life? Is your vision on paper still? Has it been refined?
You see, this is the time that you can re-establish your life’s goal. How? By writing your personal vision plan! In Proverbs 16:3, it says: Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.
Stop procrastinating and thinking that you are not going to amount to anything. You are somebody! But you have to find the vision and redefine the goals for your life.
You see, God will direct your path when you make a concrete plan to move toward what you are desiring. He will give you the desire of your heart. Didn’t He say that in His Word? Of course He did. So why are you still trying to settle for less? This coming year, learn to stay on track. If you have been running in the wrong direction of your course in 2018, then learn to write down your vision this year and redefine who you are and what you have for the kingdom.
Most of us are trying to construct our lives without any real thought or planning. In the end, we are like a contractor who is trying to construct a building without a blueprint. As a result, our lives are out of balance and unreliable. Then comes the moment of truth. What we end up with is, we never fulfill the reason for our existence and end up unsatisfied and even more frustrated.
My friends, today, the key to having a rewarding and productive life is developing a specific plan to fulfill your personal life vision. We should learn that discovering and implementing our personal vision is a process of learning about ourselves and growing in our relationship and knowledge of the Lord. Each day, we learn and continually fine-tune our understanding of the vision God has given to you and me.
So therefore, when we write our vision down, we must realize that it won’t be a finished product. We keep refining it as God makes our purpose clearer, as the months and the years go right by, and then as we experience spiritual and personal growth. I encourage each one of us that it would be a good idea to continue to review our personal vision on a regular basis.
Now, at least every three months to even six months or maybe a year, set aside a block of time to pray and reevaluate where you are in relation to your own vision. As a result, you know exactly what you will add or take away from certain elements of your own plan, as God refines your understanding of His purpose for your life.
As you go on each day, you will eventually begin to see that this vision is happening right before your own very eyes! Let me tell you, however - and this is a very big however - if you never write out a life blueprint, then God will have nothing to direct you concerning this coming year, 2019!
Moreover, my prayer is that you will stop the construction of your life right where it is and go back and draw solid blueprints that will lead you where you want to go in life through the vision God has put in your heart. So, let me help you with giving you some guidelines for discovering and developing your personal vision plan. Through this, you can start taking action, and use action steps that will bring your own vision into reality.
The first step in constructing your vision is: Eliminating Distractions.
Now what does that mean? It means sit down somewhere by your own lonesome self, away from all the distractions and responsibilities, and allow yourself some uninterrupted time to think. And you do it as often as you need to as you develop your own plan. Do not wait - tomorrow is going to be next year!
The second step is: Find your true self!
Again, what does that mean? It means that until you know who you are, why God created you, and why you’re here, life will simply be a confusing experiment. When you answer the following questions, it will help give you clarity and confidence in regard to your personal identity:
Who am I?
Who am I in relation to God?
Where do I come from as a person? Who created me, and how have I been created like my Source (If you need help here, you can find the answer in Genesis 1:26-28)
What is the reason why I am here?
Now you are ready to write out your personal purpose statement.
The third step is: Find your true vision.
Answer again the following questions, and you will be amazed at the way God will begin to open your mind to His purpose and vision for you. Also, you will begin to see things that you’ve never seen before. Now that you are putting them down on paper, read them over and over again, and think about them. Then pray about them and begin to formulate ideas of what you want out of life.
You can ask yourself these questions:
v What do I want to do in life?
v In my own life, what am I inspired to do?
v Through my journey, what would I want to do more than anything else, even if I was never paid for it?
v What are things that I love to do? What do I love to do so much that I forget to eat or sleep?
You can allow yourself to think freely. Do not put any limitations of time or money, on your vision. Why? It is because many of us are influenced by others’ opinions of us and by our own false expectations for ourselves. It may take you a little time to discover what you really want. Persevere through the process and dig down deep to find your true desires. Here are some more suggestions to help you do this:
Write down your activities, your current day to day involvements. Also, write down your own legacy. What do you want your eulogy to say about you? What would you like to be known for? Even others like your family, colleagues, teachers, and employers - what would you want them to say about you.
I think we have enough for this week, but I will continue listing the rest of the steps next week as we are going forward. Happy New Year! Continue to ask God for what you want Him to give you to fulfill His vision for your life.
Stay focused, and do not let other things distract you from your passion. Be in love with Jesus this year and you will see the beauty in His love right in your life. You will have favor like you have never seen before, if you are truly staying the course. God bless you and grant you a wonderful journey this coming year. Be a blessing to someone else that is in need of your vision. Share it with them! Again, thank you for your faithfulness for the year 2018. Looking forward to better things next year.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I thank You that I am not alone in the middle of this situation. I know that You are right here with me, and You are giving me the strength that I need. So with Your help, I am determined not to quit right in the beginning of this year as we start. I am going to see it through and give You all the glory with a successful finish for 2019. So right now, I claim by faith that I am going to have a wonderful and a prosperous year. That all that is written for my vision will be fulfilled. Each day as I refine my vision, with Your help, all is going to fall in place. I am going to have a good year in 2019, and it is well with my soul. No weapons that will come against me shall prevail, but they will be destroyed by the power of Your might. I will sit down and write a plan for my life. We will refine it together with the help of the Holy Spirit. Guide me as I write down my vision plan. I will commit my plan to You. Help me to continue to fine-tune them as I seek Your direction in prayer. I am trusting You for Your clear guidance in developing my vision plan. Please, reveal my true self to me, as You have designed me. Open my heart and my mind to Your purpose and vision for my life. Give me a heart to uplift others in all that I do.
My prayer for you: We love You, Lord, today. Bless Your people and give them Your favor. In Jesus’ wonderful Name. AMEN!
Thought: When you write your vision, realize that it won’t be a finished product, but it will be refined as God makes your purpose clearer!
Living Large to Dream