Your Success Comes in Installments!
“Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned…Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous (Romans 5:12, 18-19)”.
Your Success Comes in Installments!
Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ, and welcome as we look at the beauty of things that God has created. As I look out of my window, I could see the coloring of different plants, letting me know that spring is here. I love to look at the different coloration and the uniqueness of God’s creation. An apple tree flowers and brings the different colors of its beauty; the Asian pear trees show the white and bluish colors before the leaves open up to meet the sunshine – Sometimes we neglect these beautiful parts of the different seasons, but God made everything according to its seasons. Those things bring forth beauty and then fruits according to their timing.
I thank God daily for the life and the opportunity to share with you this week. What an awesome God!
How are you doing? I pray that you will never forget the awesomeness of God’s creation, and how the living plants can tell the whole story of how He made, created, and gave life to all things. Well, are you ready for another day of studying and being encouraged in His Word? Okay, let’s get down to business.
We see in the Bible that rebellion against God is called sin. This is exactly what Adam and Eve were guilty of in the Garden of Eden. Their deliberate defiance of God’s prohibition against eating the fruit of the tree in the center of the Garden was an act of open rebellion. In doing so, they were exercising their free will - the freedom to choose that God gave to each of us.
Now, before free will can truly exist, there must also be a component of choice, because free will is only possible where there is an alternative. Therefore, the tree in the center of the Garden - and God’s prohibition against eating its fruit - provided Adam and Eve with the capacity to use a gift that God had given them.
Unfortunately, they used it in the wrong way. They could have freely chosen to obey God rather than disobey. What Adam and Eve did was declare rebellion against the government of Heaven. The Bible calls it sin.
The Bible speaks in some instances of sin, singular, and in others, of sins, plural, and there is a difference. Sin is the singular act of rebellion, while sins are the manifestations of that one act. We know that rebelling against the Kingdom is sin, and sins are the day to-day actions that constitute rebel-like behaviors.
Moreover, the declaration of independence of the Adamic race from the Kingdom of God was an act of rebellion that has caused all of us, like Adam, to go our own way. Personal independence is the number one tenet of capitalism and democratic republics. Now the thing God hates, is the very thing that we magnify. The thing that God says is our condemnation is the very thing we regard as our highest achievement. Let me explain.
As independent individuals, we can do whatever we like and pursue our own happiness and our own joy at our own expense. We take great pride in doing our own thing while God is saying, this is the world’s very problem. It’s a paradox. This is why it is very difficult to live in the Kingdom of God and live at the same time in a democracy under a capitalistic system – our perspective has to change.
In essence, it is very hard to strike a balance between the two because the principles that operate them are diametrically opposed to each other. To explain it further, it is for this reason that many believers do not manifest Kingdom culture and values in their lives the way they should. In their struggle between the Kingdom and the world, the world usually wins. Jesus Christ came to Earth to put an end to our sin of rebellion, and, through His blood, to cleanse us of our sins - the rebellious behavior that was the inevitable consequence of our sin. So, Christ came as a “second Adam”, the main reason being to reverse the consequences of the first Adam’s failure.
Christ came to announce the return of the Kingdom of Heaven and to give us access through the sin-cleansing power of His blood. He also, through His Spirit, placed in us the capacity to manifest Kingdom culture and values in our everyday life, so that as we go about our daily affairs, we can transform our corners of the world into thriving gardens of His Kingdom.
Let’s take a look back at what we have learned these past months, and move on to what more we need to discover in our walk with Christ, and the visions He has given to us. Let’s look at what obstacles are in the way to fulfilling vision and preventing us from recognizing the cost of accomplishing it.
I think many people believe that successful people are born successful. In reality, success comes in installments, similar to a payment plan. It is a process… I’ll talk more about that process when time arises during our sharing.
I believe that one of the costs of vision is diligence. All human beings dream, yet only the few who wake up, getting out of their comfortable beds, and willing to work hard, will experience the fulfillment of their dreams. So often, what causes us to not recognize and pay the cost of vision, is the feeling that our lives are out of our own control and that there’s nothing we can do to change that.
Take for example, if you think you have had a string of bad luck in life or that you are an unlucky person, you will probably not make the effort necessary to make your vision succeed. Your primary thought may be, “So why should I bother?” This type of reasoning can undermine your entire life, destroying your desire to achieve your goals. Remember that you must realize that you are not defined by your past or confined by external factors.
Did you know that some people believe that others are responsible for causing their visions to fail? Imagine a person’s parents couldn’t afford to send them to college, and now they are bitter and resentful because they didn’t get to pursue the careers they wanted to. Maybe an individual had children sooner than they expected, and that has caused them to feel that they had to give up their dreams. But we must understand that life will present us with challenges, but this fact doesn’t have to derail our visions. Let me remind you that if you really want something badly enough, you will be patient in acquiring it, even if the timetable isn’t what you would have wanted. Please do not allow yourself to feel that you are a victim of the actions or needs of others.
Then there are people who think that their past experiences, to include educational, social, spiritual experiences, or their past failures exclude them from having a vision for their lives. Hear me please - you must realize that God is not against you; He is for you. Just believe that in your heart.
As from the beginning, He still has a definite plan and purpose for your life in spite of your background or your mistakes. And no matter what you’ve done, God is not finished until He has completed what He created you to be and to do.
Many of us often imagine that our pasts loom larger than our futures. We think that what we have done is so bad that it is greater than Jesus’ sacrifice for us on the cross. But that is not so! Nothing is so bad that it can compete with the forgiveness of Jesus. Now if you have had a baby out of wedlock, or if you have been on drugs, even if you have been to prison, or betrayed others: God still loves you and wants to redeem you. He wants to give you back your purpose. Remember, the Bible says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17). That is a very important statement about our God! What it says is that God gives gifts, and when He gives a gift, He doesn’t change His mind regarding it. Whatever God has invested in you, He wants to see it used. I remind you that He is a good God who gives good gifts to all people, and He doesn’t vary or change in this expectation.
In closing, go this week and don’t ever believe that your failures are greater than what God created you to do! The God that I serve is a God who is a restorer, and a reclaimer. This means that He will put back in you what life took out. My friends, let me urge you not to allow circumstances to destroy your passion for living. Do not allow life to blow you from one side of the lake to the other. Understand that the winds of adversity can be very strong, but your God-given vision will be your anchor in life! Have a good week and I am looking forward to the next time we share His Word again and encourage one another. Stop living life struggling - be an overcomer. You can do it! Do not let the enemy take your joy from you.
My prayer for you: Father, we just want to take this time to say thank You for being a loving God! I pray a special prayer for us out of Psalms 3-5, 9, 16, and 18 this week. You, oh Lord, are all around us. You are our glory, and the One who holds our heads high. We cry out to You, Lord, and You answer us from Your Holy mountain. We lay down and sleep, yet we wake up in safety. For You, oh Lord, watch over us. Oh, please answer us when we call to You, oh God, You who declare us innocent. Please free us from our troubles. Have mercy on us and hear our prayer. Let Your face smile on us, Lord. You have given us greater joy than those who have an abundant harvest of grain and new wine. In Your peace we will lay down and sleep, for You alone, oh Lord, will keep us safe. Let all who take refuge in You rejoice. We will sing joyful praises forever. Spread Your protection over us, that all who love Your name, may be filled with joy. For You bless the godly, oh Lord. You surround us with Your shield of love. We will praise You, Lord, with all our hearts. We will tell of all the marvelous things that You have done. We will forever be filled with joy, because of You. We will sing praises to Your name, oh Most High. Lord, You alone are our inheritance, our cup of blessings. You guard all that is ours. The house and the land You have given us is a pleasant land. What a wonderful inheritance! We will bless You, Lord, who guides us. Even at night, our hearts instruct us. We know You are always with us. We will not be shaken, for You are right beside us! No wonder our hearts are glad and rejoice. Our bodies rest in safety. We love You, Lord. You are our strength. You are our rock, our fortress and our Savior. Our God is our rock, in whom we find protection. You are our shield, the power that saves us, and our place of safety. Your ways are perfect, and all Your promises are proved true! We love You! In Jesus’ wonderful Name, Amen and Amen.
Thought: Your purpose is greater than your failures!
Living Large to Dream