Today is the 100th day of 2016. (April 9, 2016)
Consider this rhetorical question.
Have we given the first 100 days of this year. . .100% of our best efforts?
2 Timothy 2:15 in the Message Bible says:
“Concentrate on doing your best for God, work you won’t be ashamed of, laying out the truth plain and simple.”
It’s time for an honest assessment of our efforts.
Your doorbell rings. . .you open the door to find Jesus standing there. . .He looks straight into your soul and says:
“We need to talk.”
Would your spirit soar or would your heart sink?
If He sat down at your kitchen table. . .took out His iPad and began you show you a video of the events in the first 100 days of this year. . .would you be proud of what you saw?
Or are there things or moments you wish He would fast forward through? Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.
Fortunately … Jesus didn’t come to condemn you for what you’ve done or didn’t do. But rather, He’s sitting at your kitchen table wanting to talk about what you’re going to do in the next 100 days.
I suspect there may be a few who are so glad Jesus is not sitting at your kitchen table asking those questions because you haven’t done your best.
While Jesus will not ring your doorbell. . .the Holy Spirit is with you every time you sit at your kitchen table or anywhere else.
And yes, everything, we’ve done for the first 100 days has been recorded, reviewed, played and replayed in Heaven.
Just as you want your children and grandchildren to do their best. . .your Heavenly Father wants nothing less from you.
Colossians 3:23-24 in the Message Bible says:
“. . . don’t just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you’ll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance.”
The first 100 days of this year are in the rear view mirror. . .you can’t change the past BUT you can change what happens in the next 100 days.
Here are seven things I encourage you to do during the next 100 days.
First, make God your partner.
I grew up watching the Lone Ranger, television show. I vividly remember the announcer saying the Lone Ranger with his faithful Indian companion, Tonto, led the fight for law and order in the early West.
Forget political correctness . . . the Lone Ranger and Tonto were partners through many a battle. . .where the good guys won and the bad guys lost.
While Tonto was always a loyal partner. . .you have a friend who will stick with you closer than a brother.
Proverbs 18:24 in The Living Bible says:
“There are “friends” who pretend to be friends, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
Not only do you have a friend that’s closer to you than any family could ever be. . . He always answers when you call. . .no busy signals. . .no answering machine. . . no voice mail. . .no pager number. . .no ‘Can I call you back I’m on another call?’ response. . .just His private line. . .and He’s ready to listen and help.
John 15:15 in the Classic Amplified Bible says:
“I do not call you servants (slaves) any longer, for the servant does not know what his master is doing (working out). But I have called you My friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from My Father. [I have revealed to you everything that I have learned from Him.]”
It’s important that you have a partner. . .a best friend. . .one closer than a brother. . .to travel with you through the next 100 days.
Second, purpose in your heart to be happy no matter what.
“But Brother Harold, you wouldn’t be happy either if you were going through what I’ve been going through.”
First off, you said you’re going through your adversity. . .which means you’re leaving it behind and that ought to make you happy.
Proverbs 15:13, 15 in The Living Bible says:
“13 A happy face means a glad heart; a sad face means a breaking heart.
15 When a man is gloomy, everything seems to go wrong; when he is cheerful, everything seems right!”
When we focus on the problem. . .the adversity. . .the attack. . .the storm … then we will always be sad.
However, when we’re happy. . .cheerful in the middle of an attack. . .it seems like everything is going just right.
Proverbs 15:13 in the Message Bible says:
“A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face; a sad heart makes it hard to get through the day.”
Being happy is good for your health.
Proverbs 17:22 in the Message Bible says:
“A cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bone-tired.”
There is a children’s song entitled: “When you’re happy and you know it.”
“If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands (clap clap)
If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands (clap clap)
If you're happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it …”
Psalm 126:2 says:
“Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them."
Laughter cuts through the sorrow. . .the fear and apprehension of the unknown.
Being happy. . .no matter what’s going on around you. . .is a decision. And yes, a decision to gain the victory during the next 100 days.
Third, make a decision to never settle for less than the best.
I felt promoted to look up best at dictionary.com where it is defined as:
“Of the highest quality, excellence, or standing; something or someone that is best.”
Without question, our Heavenly Father, in His compassion for us. . .gave someone of the “highest quality, excellence and standing”. . .He gave His best. . .His only begotten Son so that you and I might have life and might have it more abundantly (John 10:10).
Since God gave His best for us. . .should we give any less to Him?
Do we give God our best moments in prayer and meditation on His Word or do we give Him the residue . . . the remains of our day?
Do we give our best effort on the job or do we do just enough to get by and receive a paycheck?
Do we give our best offerings to God or just tip Him?
As I was thinking about this, I was led very specifically to Proverbs 3:9 in the New Living Translation which says:
“Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce.”
The Message Bible says:
“Honor God with everything you own; give him the first and the best.”
The scripture says that we HONOR the Lord. . .when we give Him our best.
Fourth, make a personal commitment to be a finisher.
The strength of a person’s character and drive to success is determined by whether or not they can finish what they started.
Employees who complete the task are more highly valued than those who, though they make a valiant effort, nevertheless, fail to complete the project.
The One by whom our every effort, thought and action should be measured. . .was a finisher.
John 4:34 in the New Living Translation says:
“Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work.”
Not only was Jesus a finisher but He made us that way as well.
Philippians 1:6 in the New Living Translation says:
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”
One more verse.
Isaiah 55:11 in the Message Bible:
“So will the words that come out of my mouth not come back empty-handed. They’ll do the work I sent them to do, they’ll complete the assignment I gave them.”
Be a finisher. . .complete the assignment God gave you. . .and do it with excellence.
Fifth, plan your days and organize your life.
Psalm 19:2 in the Contemporary English Version says:
“Each day informs the following day; each night announces to the next.”
At the 100 day mark of 2016. . .this would be a good time to review the 7 things you need to do before you go to sleep each night.
I realize that over the past 1,195 Rich Thoughts For Breakfast calls. . .I have encouraged you on numerous occasions to read and implement these seven things. As I was meditating on whether to list them again. . .I was reminded of Philippians 3:1 in The Living Bible which says:
“Whatever happens, dear friends, be glad in the Lord. I never get tired of telling you this, and it is good for you to hear it again and again.”
First, create a to-do list of the things you plan to accomplish tomorrow.
Second, journal the great things that happened to you during the day.
Third, create a nightly confession about tomorrow being the best day of your life. Something like this.
"Heavenly Father, I thank you <<date>> will be the greatest <<day>> of my life...a day filled with previously unknown opportunities, thinking beyond my imagination and expectation. A day filled with revelatory insight and divine connections. My desire is for you to be glorified in everything I do on <<day, date>>. In the mighty name of Jesus. Amen."
Fourth, never go to bed mad or frustrated with your spouse or children. If it’s something that can’t be resolved instantly, write out the problem briefly on a sheet of paper. Pray over it. . .lay it on your night stand. . .and ask God to deal with it while He’s giving you sweet sleep.
Fifth, clean up. . .pick up. . .so you’ll be ready to get up. Do the dishes and clean up your living area before going to bed. Believe it or not, you’ll be glad you did in the morning.
Sixth, lay out what you plan to wear tomorrow. This will save you time in the morning, eliminate indecision and ultimately save you some frustration.
Seventh, plan how you will dress your mind tomorrow. Lay out what CDs or teachings you will listen to on your smart phone or in the car.
Sixth, eliminate fear from your life.
Each day. . .ask yourself. . .what’s the biggest fear you faced today.
If you mastered your fear. . .write down what you did to accomplish that worthwhile task.
Just think what you could accomplish if you didn’t deal with fear.
Fear of failure holds people back…and keeps them from maximizing their potential for success.
2 Timothy 1:17 says:
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.”
Here are seven quick truths found in this verse.
First, fear doesn’t come from God.
Second, God doesn’t want you timid. . .He doesn’t want you to be a coward when it comes to expressing your godly opinions and doing what’s right. . .and, He doesn’t want you cringing about the things you think could go wrong.
Third, God has given you a special gift. . .a dispensation.
Fourth, God has given you a spirit of power. . .the strength to overcome any and everything.
Fifth, God always wants you acting in love.
Sixth, God wants your life to be calm. . .not living in the tyranny of the urgent but with a well-balanced mind.
Seventh, God wants you living a life disciplined by the Word. . .exercising self-control over the temptations of the enemy.
As you can see. . .there’s much more to the verse. . .than just overcoming fear.
Seventh, visualize what your life will be like in 100 days.
When you wake up tomorrow. . .will it be just another day or will you have a sense of accomplishment?
Before the sun comes up tomorrow morning. . .list seven things you would like to accomplish in the next 100 days.
Don’t just make a 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 list. Ask God to reveal to you what steps you can take to make your goals for the next 100 days. . .a reality.
Colossians 4:5 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Behave yourselves wisely [living prudently and with discretion] in your relations with those of the outside world (the non-Christians), making the very most of the time and seizing (buying up) the opportunity.”
In order to make the very most of every opportunity. . .you must establish proper timelines in the pursuit of your goals for the next 100 days. Here are seven keys.
First, develop a plan with reasonable and flexible timelines.
Second, implement your timeline now. . .no delays.
Third, review your timeline to determine if you’ve selected the easiest way to accomplish your objective.
Fourth, “announce your timeline publicly.”
Fifth, use your timelines as incentives.
Sixth, achieve or refocus your timelines.
Seventh, recognize how stress is reduced with each timeline accomplished.
Create a timeline for all of your goals.
1 Timothy 4:15 in the New International Version says:
“Give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress.”
Ask God to stir a passion. . .a creativity. . .a commitment to make things happen. . .to see opportunities as you’ve never seen them before.
If you make a commitment to the next 100 days. . .if you follow His instructions. . .then on July 18, 2016. . .the 200th day of 2016 … you will be able to say. “Wow, look what the Lord has done.”
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