It was early morning when the Lord began this rapid fire succession of the seven things we should do if we want to finish 2017 strong.
As He was revealing these seven things. . .it was clear that our success for the remainder of 2017 depended on not growing weary or give up doing certain things ...if we wanted to finish this year strong.
# 1 Don’t Stop … believing
Sometimes you can get weary in the battle...but we must keep believing and we must keep walking it out in faith
There is an old saying. . .if you don’t believe in something you’ll fall for anything.
More properly said, if you don’t continue to believe that the Word of God is true for you… then you’re more likely fall for the tricks, traps, lies, deceptions and wiles the enemy throws your way.
The word believe is found in 131 verses in the King James Bible. However, I feel led to share with you seven things you must believe.
First, You must believe He is a miracle working savior.
Matthew 9:28 says:
“And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord.”
Second, He wants you and your family saved.
Acts 16:31 says:
“And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”
Romans 10:9 says:
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
Third, don’t be afraid. . .just believe.
Mark 5:36 says:
“As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.”
Fourth, you must believe all things are possible for you.
Mark 9:23 says:
“Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”
Fifth, you must believe and not doubt.
Mark 11:23 says:
“For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.”
Sixth, you will receive what you believe.
Mark 11:24 in the New Living Translation says:
“I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.”
Seventh, when you believe. . .you will receive power.
John 1:12 in the Amplified Bible says:
“But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the authority (power, privilege, right) to become the children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name.”
# 2 Don’t Stop … doing
Do you know what impresses God. . .what makes a difference with Him?
Romans 2:13 in the Message Bible says:
“Merely hearing God's law is a waste of your time if you don't do what he commands. Doing, not hearing, is what makes the difference with God.”
God is impressed by what we actually do. . .not what we intend to do.
Do you want God’s approval?
James 2:24 in God’s WORD Translation says:
“You see that a person receives God’s approval because of what he does, not only because of what he believes.”
We receive God’s approval by doing what He says in His Word.
Do you want to move from the prison of mediocrity to the freedom success can bring? Then do something instead of talking about it.
Genesis 39:22 says:
“And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it.”
According to Strong’s Concordance the Hebrew word for doer is (ah saw) `asah (H6213) which means:
“to do, accomplish, produce.”
Joseph was a dreamer. . .but his destiny manifested because of what he did.
If you become known as the go-to person in the workplace. . .you will find doors of opportunity opening for you. . .beyond your expectation.
Joseph was a doer in the house of his master but even when he was thrown into prison, he continued to be a doer and it opened the doors. . .for him to escape to his destiny.
When you listen, obey and act on His Word. . .God will bless and reward you.
James 1:25 in the New Living Translation says:
“But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.”
Be a doer of the Word.
# 3 Don’t Stop … confessing
There is a powerful reason why “Confession is good for the soul” is more than just an old saying. . .it’s a spiritual truth, a scriptural directive when you're walking with God.
If we do not confess our sins. . .and ask for God’s forgiveness, then we’re in deep trouble. . .now and for eternity.
1 John 1:9 says:
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
If we confess our sins He will forgive us of all our unrighteousness. In order to be unrighteous you must have first been righteous . . . so all that is necessary for God to forgive us is the confession of our sins.
The Amplified Bible translation of 1 John 1:9 says:
“If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].”
When it comes to confessing our sins…sometimes we might want to be like Fonzie from the TV show “Happy Days.” Fonzie could never admit he made a mistake or even say the word “sorry.” He just couldn’t seem to get the word out of his mouth.
Sadly, some Christians have difficulty confessing their sins because they refuse to take responsibility for their actions. If you blame someone else for your problems then you’ll never become what God intends.
# 4 Don’t Stop … expecting
From the moment you open your eyes in the morning. . .you need to begin expecting a supernatural move of God in your life during the day.
Psalm 5:3 in the New International Version says:
“In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation."
Psalm 62:5 says:
“My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.”
I begin each day filled with supernatural expectation about the manifestation of God’s presence, peace, protection, promises, power, promotion and provision.
Child of God, if you begin your day with supernatural expectations . . . you’ll never be disappointed.
Jeremiah 29:13 in the Message Bible says:
"When you come looking for me, you'll find me. "Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I'll make sure you won't be disappointed." God's Decree. "I'll turn things around for you. . .You can count on it.’”
# 5 Don’t Stop … loving
There are three people you need to love.
First is God.
If I were to ask you if you love God. . .your immediate answer would probably be “Absolutely. . .with my whole heart.”
The real question is whether or not God would say that you love Him with your whole heart.
God uses a very simple test to determine the extent to which we love Him.
John 14:15 in the Amplified Bible says:
“If you [really] love Me, you will keep (obey) My commands.”
John 14:23 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Jesus answered, If a person [really] loves Me, he will keep My word [obey My teaching]; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home (abode, special dwelling place) with him.”
God’s criteria for whether or not we love Him with our whole hearts. . .is based on whether or not we obey His instructions.
Second, love yourself.
It’s been said…by someone. . .that if you don’t love yourself no one else will. While I could debate the spiritual implications of such a statement. . .I do think it’s important to love yourself.
Specifically, who you are in Him. . .glorifying in why you were created in His image and after His likeness.
Now I can give you seven reasons why you should love yourself and they’re all tied to the third person you should love.
Third, everybody else.
I frequently ask people how often God should have to tell us something in order for us to get it and live it. The answer is “once.” So if God tells us something at lease six times. . .He definitely wants us to get it and live it.
Matthew 19:19 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Honor your father and your mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself.”
Matthew 22:39 in the Amplified Bible says:
“And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself.”
Mark 12:31in the Amplified Bible says:
“The second is like it and is this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Romans 13:9 in the Amplified Bible says:
“The commandments, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet (have an evil desire), and any other commandment, are summed up in the single command, You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself.”
Galatians 5:14 in the Amplified Bible says:
“For the whole Law [concerning human relationships] is complied with in the one precept, You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself.”
“James 2:8 in the Amplified Bible says:
“If indeed you [really] fulfill the royal Law in accordance with the Scripture, You shall love your neighbor as [you love] yourself, you do well.”
Bottom line. . .if you’re to love your neighbor as yourself. . .then I’d say it’s important for you to love yourself.
# 6 Don’t Stop … giving
On this particular point, I could simply ask you to look at the bottom of every page in the Bible that deals with seedtime and harvest or tithes and offerings. . .to see if there is an asterisk to the verse that excludes you from giving just because you think you’re broke.
Truthfully, that should settle once and for all, the excuses of those who say they can’t afford to give.
You have to plant seed before you can ever expect to see a harvest … or anything other than weeds (or tares as they are called and explained in Matthew 13 of the gospels.
Ecclesiastes 11:4 in the Living Bible Translation says:
“If you wait for perfect conditions, you’ll never get anything done.”
I’ve heard the comments. . .well meaning. . .good intentioned. . .words of those who say they’re going to do great things for the Kingdom of God when they receive their financial windfall. It’s not going to happen.
How can I be so sure these good folks will never pay off the church mortgage or give a hundred dollars say nothing of the millions they say they will surely give to their favorite ministry?
It’s simple. . .it’s not going to happen because of what the Word of God says in Luke 16:10:
“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.”
The New Living Translation of Luke 16:10 says:
“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.”
If you don’t sow what you got right now. . .you will never sow later on.
# 7 Don’t Stop … moving out of your comfort zone
Your comfort zone is an enemy of your future. . .a hindrance to your success. . .a stumbling block to your destiny.
If you stay in your comfort zone. . .you will never leave or surpass your current reality.
Here are seven ways to get out of your comfort zone.
1. Realize Why You Are. . .Where You Are
If you’re working the same job. . .in the same position you were ten years ago. . .if you’re still paying off the same debts. . .it’s time for some self-examination on your part.
“We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are.” Max DePree
You’ve got to know why you are. . .where you are.
Is it fear? Is it a desire to be comfortable in your surroundings and in the things you do on a daily basis?
2. Let Go Of What’s Holding You Back
If you don’t face your fears. . .they will keep growing.
If you don’t face what you perceive to be your inadequacies . . .they’ll be magnified.
If you’re wondering what people will think if you fail in your new endeavor . . .you’re worried about the wrong person. You need to be more concerned about what God thinks than anybody else in your circle of friends.
3. Try Something New. . .
It’s time to forget the way things used to be done. . .or have never been done. If you limit your future because of your past. . .you’ll always be blue. In fact, I could make that into a country and western song.
Isaiah 43:19 in the New Living Translation says:
“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”
God can’t do something new. . .as long as you’re staying where you are.
“A ship in a harbor is safe, but that’s not what a ship is built for.” Anonymous
4. Good Habits Will Move You Up and Out...Bad Habits Will Bring You Down
What is a habit? It is simply something you do so often that it becomes easy. In other words, it’s a behavior that you keep repeating.
Negative habits breed negative consequences….successful habits create positive rewards.
I want you to ponder this question. . .think about it before you answer. Maybe even write down several possibilities and then rank them in importance as they relate to helping you fulfill your vision and achieve your goals. Here’s the question:
What one habit would you like to have more than anything else?
Job 22:26 in the Amplified Bible says:
“You shall also decide and decree a thing, and it shall be established for you; and the light [of God's favor] shall shine upon your ways.”
5. Maybe You Need Somebody Different In Your Foxhole
If you want to break free from your comfort zone. . .you may need to break free from some of the people you’ve been hanging around with.
Make no mistake. . .your attitude, speech and behavior are directly affected by your friends. If they’re comfortable in the their comfort zone. . .they’re not going to do anything to move.
Do your friends encourage, discourage and/or ignore your dreams, hopes and plans for the future?
Job 12:4 in the New Living Translation says:
“Yet my friends laugh at me, for I call on God and expect an answer. I am a just and blameless man, yet they laugh at me.”
Make no mistake … if your friends are laughing at those who want more out of life or they’re happy where they are. . .you can be certain they’ll never do anything to help you break free from your comfort zone.
6. Travel From Stupidity….Bypass Ignorance….Arrive at Wisdom
If you’re living in a comfort zone. . .it’s because you don’t know something or you’re not willing to do something with what you know.
Romans 1:13 says:
“Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.”
According to Strong’s Concordance the word ignorance means: “not knowing.”
Simply said, ignorance is not knowing the facts. Now, stupid is knowing the facts but choosing not to do anything with or about that information and insight.
There is a cure for ignorance . . .get knowledge.
If you lack knowledge, seek it … knowledge is available.
Psalm 119:66 in the New Living Translation says:
“I believe in your commands; now teach me good judgment and knowledge.”
7. Keep Yourself Motivated During The Exodus From Your Comfort Zone.
What will it take to keep you motivated on your move from mediocrity to success. . .from just getting by to more than enough. . .from average to excellence. . .from your comfort zone to sitting on the throne of your kingdom?
A successful person is always blessed and motivated by the successful testimony of others knowing it won’t be long before they’ll be joining them.
Romans 12:15 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Rejoice with those who rejoice [sharing others' joy], and weep with those who weep [sharing others' grief].”
When we get as excited about somebody else’s success as we are our own. . .we can watch out because success is about to overtake us.
As previously stated in this teaching, Jesus is our standard of behavior and excellence.
John 13:15 in the New Living Translation says:
“I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.”
One of the other keys. . .is to turn your off all electronic entertainment and turn your imagination on.
Forget talk radio. . .I know you may love politics. . .but it’s time you put money toward your bills instead of somebody else’s.
Forget sports radio. . .I know your team played last night but it’s time for you to be more concerned with your latest victory than some sports team. Catch the highlights instead.
Forget hip hop, country and western or whatever kind of music. . .I know you like it. . .I realize it makes you sing. . .but the only music you need to hear is what takes you toward the sound of your success. . .as you say good bye to your comfort zone.
Focus on where you’re going to spend tonight and tomorrow rather than where you stayed last night.
Your future is in front of you. . .but you’ll never discover it living in your comfort zone.
Believe. . .do. .. confess. . .expect. . .love. . .give and get out of your comfort zone. . . these are the seven best things you can do.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS