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12:00 PM   [21 Apr 2019 | Sunday]

The Cross and Success

 Did you make a decision for Christ? Okay, what does that mean to you? What does that decision entail? Paradigms and choices are connected to the decision. Half-hearted decisions do not make people disciples; although, that may entitle them to call themselves “Christian.” At least in their view. When a true blue decision is made, change takes place. The level of commitment goes up. As a believer, how committed are you? Are you willing to change your way of thinking to conform to His?

Improvements come with thinking differently, and one of those areas of thinking pertains to living well. In other words, some have yet to grant themselves permission to succeed in life. Even though Jesus gave them a new beginning, a fresh start, they don’t live like it. Why? Their thinking hasn’t changed. Granting yourself permission to succeed is connected to worthiness. Why did Jesus die on the Cross and resurrect from the dead? To make you worthy of a new life in which you are reconciled to God. He paid the Ultimate Price for you, making you worthy! That eliminates the “I’m not worthy” garbage. Of course, we all must allow Him to define abundance and success. One thing abundance is not is fear, discontentment and the like. Moreover, it does not embrace loneliness nor encourage neediness. It has no room for self-disdain. On the contrary, it not only calls for loving others, it calls you to love yourself as God loves you. Since, Jesus paid the price, He is worthy of your success in life.

   A number of people stay broke because of their choice to remain so. It’s called self-imposed poverty. Because of their thought process, they make decisions that lead them to lack. God is not keeping them down, nor is anyone else. It’s them! As long as they believe they cannot succeed, they will not succeed. What you believe to be true influences your thoughts and actions. Ask yourself this question: did Jesus die in order to keep me down? As ludicrous as that may sound, some actually believe God is punishing them; even though, Jesus came to save them from destruction and give them abundant life. John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. If I decide to slam my arm in a car door, I hurt myself. God didn’t do that to me, nor did He make me. It was my choice. If I act terribly toward others, and they avoid me as a result, I caused it. God’s not punishing me; I’m punishing myself.

   What narratives do you believe concerning yourself? Where did they come from? How do they stack up with the Word of God? Do they contradict what He says and how feels about you? While this is not about getting rich, there is something to consider in relation to wealth. Paul makes a very interesting statement in the book of Philippians.

   I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need (Philippians 4:12-13, NASB)

It seems by and large, many believers are prepared to suffer need, but how many are ready to be content with abundance and prosperity? Neither of these conditions are sinful; however, it is not a mandate to live in either one. The context is being content where ever you may find yourself. Again, the issue is not money itself. But having said that, can you do more with little money or having much of it? Another aspect of abundant living isn’t necessarily the amount of resources you have at your disposal; it’s how resourceful you are with what you do have. Generally speaking, those who self-sabotage are not very resourceful. They tend to lose or destroy what little they may have. God has given believers abilities beyond their natural capacity. There are reasons for this. How much more effective could they be for the Kingdom if they would stop holding themselves down. The Cross of Christ opened a door for you to make better decisions and choices. If you don’t believe that, answer this question: why would we be told to ask God for wisdom if we lacked it (see James 1:6). Why would He give people the ability to get wealth, if He didn’t want them to have it (see Deuteronomy 8:18)? Going further, what’s grace all about? Jesus is worthy of your success, whatever that looks like!

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