Day 9: Motivated by Love

February is the month of love. On the 14th of February many people in the world celebrate love. Chocolates, roses and other gifts are given to those who are loved. Many take their loved ones out to dinner or to some special place. Valentine’s Day is the day where many take the time out to show their love to those who are special to them. Usually, couples are not thinking about the difficulties or the problems in their relationship. Valentine’s Day causes persons to ‘forget’ the problems and obstacles and focus on expressing love to others. However, what happens when Valentine’s Day is over? What happens when the month of February comes to an end? This is what happens:

WE STOP FOCUSING ON LOVE

When the day is over, some of us no longer express our love with the intensity we had on Valentine’s Day (I am talking from experience). When the day is over, the focus on love seems to fade away. It is similar to Christmas. When the season is over all of the excitement, joy and happiness goes with it. There is nothing wrong with a special day or a special season coming to an end. It is said that all good things must come to an end. However, there is, in my opinion, something wrong when love, joy, and peace comes to end in our lives. Love is a powerful force that has the ability to motivate us to overcome every difficulty we experience in our relationships with others. As human beings, we cannot afford to have love come to an end in our lives:

When we lose our focus on love we LOSE!

When we lose our focus on love we lose the battle. We cannot be victorious in this life if we do not have love in our hearts. This is even more serious in the life of a believer in Jesus Christ. The Bible records that love motivated God the Father to send His Son, Jesus Christ, to the earth to give eternal life to all believers in Christ. Jesus said:

For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 New Living Translation)

The Bible also records that love motivated Jesus to sacrifice Himself for the world:

I don’t have much more time to talk to you, because the ruler of this world approaches. He has no power over me, but I will do what the Father requires of me, so that the world will know that I love the Father… (John 14:30-31 New Living Translation)

God the Father was motivated by love. Jesus the Son was motivated by love. All believers in Jesus, the children of God, must be motivated by love also. Love is so powerful that when it is operation, there is no problem, no obstacle, no difficulty that can stop it. Love causes us to overcome in our relationships with others. Love causes families to overcome difficulties. Love causes married couples to overcome problems. Love causes the Church to overcome the world:

Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples. (John 13:35 New Living Translation)

MAY YOUR DAY BE FULL OF LOVE!

Day 8: Stay the Course of Obedience

checklist-2077019_1920 The Bible is full of people who stayed the course. One person who comes to mind is Noah. God told Noah to build a boat. The purpose of this boat was to preserve the lives of Noah and his family and every kind of animal on the earth. God told Noah:

Build a large boat from cypress wood and waterproof it with tar, inside and out. Then construct decks and stalls throughout its interior. Make the boat 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. Leave an 18-inch opening below the roof all the way around the boat. Put the door on the side, and build three decks inside the boat—lower, middle, and upper. (Genesis 6:15 New Living Translation)

Let us breakdown God’s instructions to Noah into a To Do List:

  1. Build a large boat from cypress wood;
  2. Waterproof it with tar, inside and out;
  3. Construct decks and stalls throughout its interior;
  4. Make the boat 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high;
  5. Leave an 18-inch opening below the roof all the way around the boat;
  6. Put the door on the side;
  7. Build three decks inside the boat-lower, middle, and upper.

Imagine Noah had a sheet of paper (or a stone tablet) with that To Do List. Before Noah could complete that boat he had to ensure that every task on his List was completed. Noah could not complete five of them and leave the other two undone. Noah had to work on that boat until the last nail or peg was driven into that wood and the last bucket of tar was plastered onto that wood.

Certainly Noah’s assignment was tough. The building of the ark was probably one of the toughest construction projects which was ever done by a human being. Imagine the hours that Noah spent building that boat. Imagine the sweat and the tears pouring down Noah’s face to build that boat. Furthermore, building the boat was not the end of the assignment. After the boat was finished Noah had to:

Bring a pair of every kind of animal—a male and a female—into the boat with you to keep them alive during the flood. Pairs of every kind of bird, and every kind of animal, and every kind of small animal that scurries along the ground, will come to you to be kept alive. And be sure to take on board enough food for your family and for all the animals.” (Genesis 6:19-21 New Living Translation)

God gave Noah a great responsibility. Without that boat every human being and creature would have been destroyed by the flood. Noah’s job was BIG! However, in spite of the magnitude of the assignment, Noah made a decision that would change the course of history:

…Noah did everything exactly as God had commanded him. (Genesis 6:22 New Living Translation)

What assignment has God given you to do? What tasks have He chosen you to complete? Noah had to spend many years building that boat. Noah had to sacrifice time to fulfill the will of God but he was willing to do it. Noah was willing to stay the course until his assignment was finished. Noah had an overcoming attitude. Noah did not look at the greatness of the command. Noah looked at the greatness of the Commander. Noah followed God’s command to the end. Let us adopt this same attitude as we continue through 2018.

God sent His Son Jesus Christ to save us from the flood of sin and give us eternal life. It was literally through the blood, sweat and tears of Jesus Christ that we are able to experience the joy of salvation. Everything that Jesus did was the result of His decision to stay the course through obedience to God.

While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God. Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered.(Hebrews 5:7-8 New Living Translation)

THE LIFE OF THE OVERCOMER IS A LIFE OF OBEDIENCE TO GOD!

STAY THE COURSE!

 

 

Day 7: Stay the Course! (Part 1)

At the beginning of January I started a journey of writing a 30 day motivational series. More than 30 days have gone since that time and I am only on day 7. There were many things which hindered me from moving forward on this journey. However, despite those many hindrances I have decided to stay the course. ‘Stay the course’ is an idiom which means:

  1. To persevere with as much determination, energy, or fortitude as one can until the end of a race, competition, or contest.
  2. To continue attempting or pursuing something difficult to its end or conclusion. (www.thefreedictionary.com)

The life of the overcomer is a life which is fuelled by the decision to ‘stay the course’. The Apostle Paul was called by Jesus Christ to be an Apostle. This would seem to be a glamorous ‘calling’ to some but in reality it was a life filled with dangers, tests, afflictions and obstacles. Everyone will not have the same experiences as the Apostle Paul. However, we will all have things in our lives which we have to overcome.

The Apostle Paul told the elders of the church in Ephesus:

And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. (Acts 20:22-23 King James Version)

The Apostle Paul was working for God. He was preaching the gospel and teaching the disciples of Jesus Christ. He was doing everything that God wanted him to do but the will of God was not comfortable. He knew that if he continued to fulfill the will of God he would suffer “bonds and afflictions”. Yet the Apostle Paul decided to ‘stay the course’. This is was his response to the difficulties that lay ahead:

But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. (Acts 20:24 King James Version)

The Apostle Paul desired to finish his course with joy and there was nothing that could prevent him from fulfilling his desire. He knew the will of God and he was willing to stay in the will of God until the end. To live the overcoming life we must have that same attitude.

Stay the Course!