Christians have so much to be thankful for and at the very top of the list is the gift of salvation. This week, known as Passion Week, commemorates the last week of Jesus’ ministry on earth. It began as a celebration with the people not understanding that this King of kings did not come to set up a political kingdom on earth, but He came to establish the spiritual kingdom of God which is powerful and eternal.
Jesus experienced many things during the last week of his life, such as the Passover he shared with his disciples; washing His disciple’s feet and being betrayed by Judas. He also spent time accepting the will of His Father in the Garden of Gethsemane. He was later arrested and horribly beaten, and on Friday, He was crucified and laid in a tomb. All of this came as no surprise to Jesus, yet it was the most difficult thing He was called upon to do – give His life for the salvation of mankind. Jesus had one purpose and that was to save the lost and He fulfilled that purpose after living just 33 years.
The life of Jesus is an example of how every child of God is to pattern their own life. The kingdom of God is the exact opposite of worldly principles. When we are living in the flesh we want to be served, but Jesus came as a servant to all and expects His followers to show their greatness by their service to others. It is the nature of man to want to be first, to seek recognition for their accomplishments, but Jesus taught us that the first will be last and the last will become first. Jesus showed us what it means to be humble. He showed us how we must fulfill the will of God for our lives and how to be totally submitted to our heavenly Father.
This week is a time to reflect upon all that Jesus Christ did for the children of God. He paid the ultimately price to reconcile man back to God which only He could do. Take time to thank Him. Show God how grateful you are for His grace and His mercy. Finally, examine yourself to be sure that you have laid down everything that could keep you from fulfilling your destiny. Make sure that you are fully persuaded that the Word of God is true. Be confident that you are giving God the honor due Him by putting Him first in your life, loving and forgiving as Jesus did, and most of all make sure that you are telling those who do not yet know Jesus as their Lord and Savior that He is extending His arms out to them today and whosoever calls upon His name shall be saved.
People in general do not like to wait, yet it’s safe to say that we spend a lot of our time waiting. Probably all of us are waiting for something at this very moment. You might be waiting for a new job or a new contract. You might be waiting to see if you get a loan to buy a car or house. You might even be waiting for the right girl or guy to marry. We all have to wait whether we like it or not and one of the hardest things we will have to do on this earth is to wait on God. If you are seeking God about anything, there are 3 things you should commit to do.
The first thing you should do is to be faithful. The things you do every day, especially the little things that make up the routine of life, those are the seeds of your future that you sow every day. Ecclesiastes 9:10, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.” This verse challenges us to take seriously the ordinary responsibilities of life and make sure we do them right. Many of us spend a lot of time day wishing that we were someone else and in some other place and get tired on our daily tasks. But we should do everything unto the Lord whether it is washing dishes, being a school teacher or being a surgeon – do it right. Martin Luther King, Jr. put it this way: “Whatever your life’s work is, do it well. If you are a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, like Beethoven composed music; do it so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say, “Here lived a great street sweeper, who swept his job well.”
The second thing you must do is to always be ready. You don’t know when God will move on your behalf. God didn’t invent the clock – man did. God sees you, He has heard your prayer and you must believe that He is working things out for your good behind the scenes. Keep the faith and show God that you are committed to Him and you trust Him. Keep your eyes upon Jesus and be ready at all times. Your dream could be just one prayer away.
The third thing is to be bold and courageous. Go boldly before the throne of grace and lay your petitions at the Lord’s feet. Do a little self talk and remind yourself that God loves you and He has great plans for you. God’s delays are not denials. Don’t allow your present circumstances to hold you captive. Speak out boldly declare that nothing is impossible with God and stand firm on His promises.
Isaiah 40:31 “They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” If you are waiting on God be faithful, be ready, and last but not least, be bold and courageous and your reward will be great.
All of us are, or have been, or will be at a cross road at some time in our life. Standing at the crossroad, we begin to wonder how and when will we hear God’s word to us on what He wants us to do next. The goal of every Believer should be to make their life count for something; to make sure that at the end of their life, the legacy they leave behind has made a difference and has left a mark on this world to make it a better place. It’s not fun being at a crossroad because you don’t know where or what to do; but you are sure of one thing – that something is changing within you.
You begin to ask yourself the inevitable questions: What will I do when God makes His will known? What if I don’t want to do it? Do I have the time? Do I have the gifts and talents, the skill set for this task? Am I a “good enough” person to fill this role? But God’s Word is proof that the one who calls is also the one who quips. Therefore, if the call is of God, the answer to all the above questions is yes.
Do you feel like you are being challenged for something bigger, something unfamiliar? If so, it’s important to learn to wait on God and not get ahead of Him. You don’t want to go off on your own, doing your own thing without the blessing and favor of God on your life. There are four things you should do when at a crossroad and that is to stand, look, ask, and walk. We are to stand on the promises in the Word of God. We are to look or keep our eyes upon Jesus who is the author of our faith. Next, we are to ask God for wisdom and guidance on what He would have us to do, and last we are to walk in the ways of the Lord. If we follow this formula, we will please God and be successful in all we do.
I would like to paraphrase a couple of lines from Robert Frost. My version goes this way: “Two roads diverged in the woods, and I took the one Christ traveled by, And that has made all the difference!”
The Bible tells us that in this life we are going to face troubles and all of us have found that to be true. The goal is stay calm and maintain our confidence when we are encountering storms in our life no matter how fierce they may be. The longer a storm drags on in our lives our hopes begin to sink but we must make the decision to keep moving forward because giving up is not an option.
The challenges we face in life are to drive us closer to God and the safest place to be in this world is right in the middle of God’s will for your life. It’s the safest place but it does not mean that it is the easiest, but God has promised never to leave or forsake us and we have the promises in His Word to stand upon. Storms are not meant to scare us but to save us, perhaps even save us from ourselves. It’s been said that when you don’t see God’s plan, just trust His hand! The key is you must go through your storm and learn from it and not look for a way to get around it. Only in the storm will we see the power of God. Isaiah 43:2 says “when you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.”
You are going to make it through the difficulties you face; it’s just a matter of time and it’s a matter of trust. There is much God wants to do through you, so it’s important that you trust God, stand on HIs Word and never give up.