Day 21: God Always Finishes His Work! (Part 1)

There are many projects which human beings have started which were not finished. These projects were not finished for these main reasons:

  • The person who started it died
  • The person who started it did not have enough resources to finish it
  • The person who started it changed their mind and decided to stop working on it
  • The work was hindered or destroyed

God is not limited by any of the above reasons. God can not die:

Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. (Isaiah 40:28 NLT)

God has unlimited resources and power:

“O Sovereign LORD! You made the heavens and earth by your strong hand and powerful arm. Nothing is too hard for you! (Jeremiah 32:17 NLT)

God does not change His mind:

God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through? (Numbers 23:19 NLT)

God’s work can never be hindered or destroyed:

 “So my advice is, leave these men alone. Let them go. If they are planning and doing these things merely on their own, it will soon be overthrown. But if it is from God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You may even find yourselves fighting against God!” (Acts 5:38-39 NLT)

Before the world began, God started a great project:

The Plan of Salvation

God wanted to redeem His creation from sin. God ensured that every part of His plan was carried out. He called Abram (Abraham). He gave Abraham and his wife a son (Isaac) in their old age. He blessed Isaac’s son, Jacob with twelve sons. These twelve sons became the heads of the twelve tribes of Israel. These twelve tribes became a nation. God preserved the nation of Israel from destruction. God used a virgin, named Mary to give birth to His “only begotten Son” Jesus. This Jesus, who was without sin and found to be without fault before Pontius Pilate, was condemned to be crucified on a cross (the worst punishment a criminal could receive). Before Jesus died on the cross, He said these words:

It is finished! (John 19:30 NLT)

The redemption of mankind from sin was finished. It took a long time but God finished His work:

But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. (Galatians 4:4-5 NLT)

Has God promised to do something in your life? Are you waiting on God to work on your behalf? Don’t give up. Keep praying and trusting in God. At the right time you will see that promised fulfilled. At the right time you will see that situation turned around. In those moments when you feel like giving up, remember:

God Always Finishes His Work!

Day 20: God Does Not Take Vacations!

On several occasions I have entered a government department to conduct business and I was informed that the person who can help me is on vacation. When I enquired when that person will be back in office I was unable to obtain a definite answer. Sometimes life can make us feel as though God is on vacation. Sometimes, we pray and pray and pray to God for deliverance from our problems and nothing happens. In those moments we believe that God is ‘out of office’. However, the Bible gives us a different account of God’s work schedule. The Bible records that since the beginning of creation God only took one day off:

And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation. (Genesis 2:3 NLT)

God created the heavens and the earth and everything in them in six days and He rested on the seventh day. He rested because His work was finished. However, God was not finished working on behalf on His creation. God planted the Garden of Eden so Adam and Eve would have a nice place to live. After Adam and Eve sinned, God made clothes for them to wear. God continues to work on behalf of His creation:

Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! (Psalm 107:8 KJV)

There is no doubt that God does wonderful works on behalf of His creation. The Psalmist revealed that God delivered and saved His people when they were distressed and in trouble. However, there is something that occurred before God worked on their behalf:

Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses. (Psalm 107:6 KJV)

Those who were in trouble “cried unto the LORD” and the LORD “delivered them out of their distresses”. God works on behalf of those who put their trust in Him. God worked on behalf of David when he was running from King Saul. God worked on behalf of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego when they were thrown into the fiery furnace. God worked on behalf of Daniel when he was thrown into the den of lions. God worked on behalf of Jesus when He died and was buried in a tomb.

Are you in distress? Are you faced with trouble? There is Someone Who can help you and He does not go on vacation. God is not so far away that you can not reach Him. Call on Him now:

Seek the LORD while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near. (Isaiah 55:6 NLT)

Day 17: God’s Army Stands Ready (Part 2)

It is my desire to encourage you today. We all need encouragement at some point in time in our lives. The best boxers need their trainers to encourage them. The greatest athletes needs encouragement from their coaches. Children need encouragement from their parents. Christians need encouragement from their God and Father. Our Father in Heaven is the God of Encouragement. He encourages us through His Word. He encourages us through His presence. He encourages us through His servants.

Joshua was given the great responsibility of leading Israel to possess the Promised Land. God encouraged Joshua through His Word:

“Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. Be strong and very courageous.(Joshua 1:6-7 NLT)

God encouraged Joshua through His presence:

So Joshua told the Israelites, “Come and listen to what the LORD your God says. Today you will know that the living God is among you…Look, the Ark of the Covenant, which belongs to the Lord of the whole earth, will lead you across the Jordan River!…as soon as the feet of the priests who were carrying the Ark touched the water at the river’s edge, the water above that point began backing up a great distance away… And the water below that point flowed on to the Dead Sea until the riverbed was dry. Then all the people crossed over near the town of Jericho. (Joshua 3:9-16 NLT)

God encouraged Joshua through His servant:

When Joshua was near the town of Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and demanded, “Are you friend or foe?” “Neither one,” he replied. “I am the commander of the LORD’s army.” (Joshua 5:13-14 NLT)

God told Joshua to be strong and courageous. God showed Joshua that He was with Him by moving the waters of the river Jordan so Israel could pass over to the other side. When Joshua had to conquer the city of Jericho, God sent a man with a sword in his hand to meet Joshua. This man revealed himself to be:

The commander of the LORD’s army

This man did not reveal why he was there but I believe he was there to encourage Joshua. I believe His presence alone encouraged Joshua to continue doing the will of God. If the commander of the army is present, his army cannot be too far away. Joshua was faced with the great task of conquering the city of Jericho but God’s army stood ready. If you are faced with a great difficulty today, be encouraged by Joshua’s encounter with the commander of LORD’s army. God’s Army Stands Ready to help you!

 

Day 12: Follow God’s Kingdom Diet

A healthy lifestyle is one of the most important things that we can have as a human being. Without strong, healthy and energetic physical bodies, we cannot function effectively on this earth. Therefore, as human beings we need to follow a healthy lifestyle. One of the ways in which we can begin to follow a healthy lifestyle is by changing our diet (what we eat). There are many different programs developed by wise, educated men and women on this earth which can help us begin on our journey to health and wellness. However, do you know that the Kingdom of God has a dietary program for its citizens? I am not talking about physical food though. I am talking about spiritual food. Jesus Christ said:

People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4 NLT)

Many people are familiar with the circumstances in which Jesus said these words. Jesus had not eaten for forty days and forty nights and He was hungry. Then Satan tempted Jesus by telling Him:

“If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.” (Matthew 4:3 NLT)

I believe Jesus was able to turn those stones into bread. However, Jesus was full and satisfied with another kind of food:

Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work.” (John 4:34 NLT)

Jesus followed the diet of the Kingdom of God. He followed this diet wholeheartedly while He was on the earth. He followed this diet even though He was given the opportunity to follow the diet of the world. The diet of the world is disobedience to the will of God. Adam and Eve followed this diet when they ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. We inherited the desire to follow that diet from Adam and Eve. However, through Jesus Christ we can break free from the diet of the world and follow God’s Kingdom diet. Jesus overcame Satan’s temptation to disobey the will of God and turn those stones into bread. Through Jesus we can overcome temptations also. All we need to do is to decide that we will do what Jesus did:

FOLLOW GOD’S KINGDOM DIET

By Corey H.D. Beckles

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!

Day 6: Had Enough of Life? Get up and Eat! (Part 2)

Life is a journey. One philosopher said:

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. (Lao-tzu)

It is true that a journey, even the longest one, begins with a single step. That first step is important. Without it you will remain in a stationary position. However, there is something much more important than starting the journey:  Finishing the journey!

The wise King Solomon said:

“Finishing is better than starting…” (Ecclesiastes 7:8 New Living Translation)

When I decided to start my own business I had to to take the first step. I took that step. I began the journey. I am still on that journey and this is what I have learnt so far:

Starting the race is good. But if you want to finish the race you must have the strength, endurance and desire to keep running.

The Prophet Elijah wanted to stop running. He did not have the strength, endurance and desire to keep working for God. He “had enough” of life. However, in his weakness God gave him food to eat and water to drink. Elijah ate and drank what God provided and he received the strength he needed to continue his journey. In our moments of weakness; when we do not have the strength, endurance and desire to keep running the race of life let us eat what God had provided:

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)

God does not want to see us fail.  God does not want anything to hold us back in life, whether it be sin, guilt, shame, depression, hopelessness, sickness or all the other difficulties, obstacles and problems we face in this life. God wants us to finish the race. Therefore, He sent Jesus Christ to save us from sin and everything that wants to keep us defeated. God sent Jesus Christ to help us overcome.

Jesus Christ overcame every obstacle and difficulty he faced. He overcame Satan’s temptations in the wilderness. He overcame persecution and wrongful punishment. He overcame death. Jesus Christ is our only source of the strength and endurance we need to finish the race. Jesus Christ is the One who can fuel our desire to finish the race. God sent Jesus Christ, not only to save us from our sins by dying on the cross but to show show us the WAY to overcome.

When we have had enough of life let us get up and eat from God’s table. Let us look to Jesus Christ and experience through faith the eternal bread and water that God has provided for us:

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. (Hebrews 12:1-2 King James Version)

 

 

 

Day 5: Had Enough of Life? Get up and Eat! (Part 1)

Life can become very difficult. Sometimes we believe that being a Christian means that life will always be easy. That is far from the truth. A time will come when God will establish His Kingdom on the earth. A time will come when Jesus Christ will sit on the throne of David and rule God’s Kingdom with justice and righteousness. Until that time comes, life on this earth will be filled with difficulties and obstacles. Until that time comes, we have to live on an earth where evil occurs on a daily basis. Sometimes the difficulties, obstacles and the evils of this life can overwhelm us to the point where we cry out:

I HAVE HAD ENOUGH!

Have you ever had those moments where you feel like giving up? Those moments when you have had enough of the negative things life had to offer and you want to “call it a day” or “throw in the towel”. In those moments of discouragement and hopelessness there is “a way of escape” that God has provided for the believer in Jesus Christ:

GET UP AND EAT!

That may sound strange but lets look at our human body for a moment. When our bodies are in need of energy and strength we have to stop and fill them with something that can energize them. When are bodies become weak and feel like ‘giving up’ on us that is a SIGN that our bodies need something that can give them strength. That something is food. When our physical bodies have ‘had enough’ we have to: Get up and eat!

If we do not get up and eat, our bodies will fail us. It is the same for believers in Jesus Christ. No matter how strong we are, at some point in time our spiritual bodies will need energy and strength. In times of fear we need be strengthened with boldness. In times of discouragement we need to be energized by encouragement. Elijah was a mighty prophet of God but there was a time when he was overcome with fear. Elijah ran as far away from the source of fear (Jezebel) as he could. He was tired. He told God:

I HAVE HAD ENOUGH!

Elijah wanted to give up but God had other plans. God sent an Angel with food and this instruction:

GET UP AND EAT!

The Bible records that Elijah:

“looked around and there beside his head was some bread baked on hot stones and a jar of water! So he ate and drank and lay down again” (1 Kings 19:6 New Living Translation)

One day Jesus fed 5000 men with five loaves and two fish. The next day, some of those who were fed were looking for Jesus. They wanted more bread to eat and they wanted Jesus to feed them. Jesus told them:

“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty”. (John 6:35 New Living Translation)

And again:

The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. (John 6:63 New Living Translation)

Jesus wanted those ‘bread seekers’ to understand that His words were more beneficial to them than the physical bread they ate. When we feel like giving up we need to get up and eat the words of Jesus. When we feel as though we have “had enough” we need to get up and strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ. If there is one person who know what it feels like to be burdened and overwhelmed by life it is Jesus. Jesus was condemned by the very persons he preached to, taught and helped on a daily basis. These same people wanted Him to die a cruel and painful death on a cross. Jesus was surrounded by Roman soldiers. While on the cross He listened to them mock Him. He was an innocent man who suffered the punishment of the worst criminal. In all of these things Jesus did not give up.

Jesus is our bread of strength. Jesus is our bread of hope. Jesus is our bread of encouragement. He is the One Who will sustain us in the difficult times of life. He is the One Who will give us the energy on a daily basis to continue to follow God in spite of the obstacles and evil experiences we face. When we have had ‘enough of life’ let us remember that God has provided food to help us OVERCOME. There is only one thing left for us to do:

GET UP AND EAT!