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Sunday Inspiration: Take Action!

Welcome to “Sunday Inspiration,” a bi-weekly devotional for those seeking spiritual encouragement in the pursuit of their passions. Each post comes from an outside resource (as referenced). I hope these posts will inspire and motivate you in your life and career in addition to our weekly original blog posts. Enjoy!

You cannot keep doing what you’ve always done. Not if you want to get into shape, or get out of debt. Not if you want to recapture the romance, or reach the goal. Not if you want to leave a legacy worth living up to.

And the good news is this: you are only one decision away from a totally different life.

But you’ve got to go for it. Cut up that credit card. Apply for the graduate program. Take the mission trip. Set up the career coaching appointment.

William A. Lawrence wrote, “On the plains of hesitation bleach the bones of countless millions who, at the dawn of victory, sat down to wait, and waiting—died!”

Stop being a procrastinator. Stop being a perfectionist. Spiritual growth is about progress, not perfection.

When it comes to going after your goals, your greatest adversary is inertia. We have a tendency to keep doing what we’ve always done, hoping that somehow things will change. They won’t, so take action!

Source: https://www.jentezenfranklin.org/daily-devotions/be-a-shamgar-2

Sunday Inspiration: A Balanced Approach to Setting Goals

Welcome to “Sunday Inspiration,” a bi-weekly devotional for those seeking spiritual encouragement in the pursuit of their passions. Each post comes from an outside resource (as referenced). I hope these posts will inspire and motivate you in your life and career in addition to our weekly original blog posts. Enjoy!

Question: “What does the Bible say about setting goals?”

Answer: The Bible offers a balanced approach to setting goals that includes making plans yet doing so with wisdom and humility. Jesus’ illustration of building a tower implies that it is a good thing to have set goals (Luke 14:28).

To live with no motivation or planning is not God’s desire. Proverbs 6:6-11 says,

“Go to the ant, O sluggard;
    consider her ways, and be wise.
Without having any chief,
    officer, or ruler,
she prepares her bread in summer
    and gathers her food in harvest.
How long will you lie there, O sluggard?
    When will you arise from your sleep?
A little sleep, a little slumber,
    a little folding of the hands to rest,
and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
    and want like an armed man.”

Laziness causes a person to neglect work and fail to exploit the window of opportunity. Summer is the preparation time for winter, and we dare not wile it away. Failure to plan ahead will result in “poverty” and “want.”

Wisely setting goals leads to better results: “The plans of the diligent lead to profit” (Proverbs 21:5).

However, just because we’ve done our planning doesn’t guarantee our goals will be met. The process of setting goals must be infused with humility. James teaches,

“Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:13-14).

The Bible teaches against two extremes: never setting goals and setting goals with no thought of God. The balanced alternative is found in James 4:15: “Instead you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’” It is good to make plans, as long as we leave room for God to change our plans. His goals take precedence over ours.

Proverbs 16:9 says, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” In other words, we have our ideas and make our plans, but God will ultimately accomplish His sovereign desires. Do our goals make room for the unexpected? Do we love God’s will more than our own?

Finally, we can take comfort in the words of Jesus: “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself” (Matthew 6:33-34). Our goal-setting need not be accompanied by fear. If our plans focus on Christ and honor Him, He will see to it that the best results—the eternal results—are ours.

Source: https://www.gotquestions.org/setting-goals.html

Sunday Inspiration: Personal Growth

Welcome to “Sunday Inspiration,” a bi-weekly devotional for those seeking spiritual encouragement in the pursuit of their passions. Each post comes from an outside resource (as referenced). I hope these posts will inspire and motivate you in your life and career in addition to our weekly original blog posts. Enjoy!

One indicator of your need for personal growth is—losing interest in your career.

Many people think this comes from staying in one job too long, or experiencing a midlife crisis. The truth is, most of us lose interest in our job because we lose interest in growing.

Consider those who experience the highest levels of intensity and creativity. Generally speaking, they’re passionate about their job and they’re not nearly as concerned about specifics as they are about “the big picture.”

While those around them get bogged down in the minutiae of daily routine, growth-oriented people are busy swinging the bat and trying to hit the ball out of the park. These are people who are growing, learning, and expanding their experience—people who never lose interest in their work—or in life.

Growing peanuts sounds pretty boring, right? Not to George Washington Carver! He studied them, developed them, discovered hundreds of different uses for them, and became so famous he was invited to Washington, D.C. to explain the secret of his success to a congressional committee.

Here’s what he told them: “God created the peanut. So I just asked Him to tell me what could be done with it, and He showed me!” It’s that simple.

Spend as much time expanding your knowledge and experience as you spend on the mundane, and see if your interest levels and excitement don’t change for the better. The Bible says, “A wise man has great power, and a man of knowledge increases strength.”

Source: https://www.jentezenfranklin.org/daily-devotions/personal-growth-2-2

Sunday Inspiration: 5 Steps to Fulfilling God’s Plan for Your Life

Welcome to “Sunday Inspiration,” a bi-weekly devotional for those seeking spiritual encouragement in the pursuit of their passions. Each post comes from an outside resource (as referenced). I hope these posts will inspire and motivate you in your life and career in addition to our weekly original blog posts. Enjoy!

By Neil Kennedy

It’s simple: We don’t chase after things we have no desire to obtain. Therefore, our pursuit of anything is ample proof of valid desire. But desire alone doesn’t bring success. We must have a clearly defined strategy.

Defining a successful strategy is one of the most challenging exercises a man faces. Even Jesus warned of this process in Luke 14:28-30 (NIV):

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’”

God leads us in steps, not by leaps. Most men want to jump into their success, yet a “leap of faith” is not a biblical concept. If we’re going to fulfill our purpose, we must take steps to do it.

Here are five important steps you can take now to fulfill your purpose.

Step 1

You must decide for yourself what is worthy of your pursuit. No one else should decide for you. You may receive counsel from others, but you should make the decision; otherwise you will be unfulfilled in your pursuit. There are countless stories of men who achieved great success yet remained unfulfilled because they were living another person’s dream.

Step 2

Go to your Source to understand your potential. God spoke to the land and said, “Produce!” He spoke to the seas and said, “Teem with creatures!” He spoke to Himself and said, “Let Us create man!” Only God has a complete understanding of why you were created and what your potential is. You may have a hint or a glimpse of this understanding, but you will never know complete fulfillment until you fully know the Source of your potential.

Step 3

Write down on paper or develop a vision board of every dream, goal or desire that is important to you. Write down anything you want to become, do or possess. This is extremely important. I’ve learned that what I have received from God requires me to write it down so I can repeat it often and closely guard the accuracy of the goal He has given me.

Step 4

Narrow your focus to the top three pursuits. After you’ve written down what you want to become, do or possess, develop actions steps you can take now to create momentum toward those things. The big vision will come from a series of small decisions.

Step 5

Be aware that God will network you with others to help you get where you are going. People are God’s hands on this earth. You may find two different types of people will come into your life—one a person you have the ability to help, the other a person who has the ability to help you. Recognizing and discerning these people is vital.

You will never achieve your purpose in life unless you become strategically motivated to pursue it. Make plans right now to get alone with God, pursue Him and listen for His affirming voice to clearly define your purpose, write it down, develop action steps and get moving.

Source: https://www.charismamag.com/life/men/17497-5-important-steps-to-fulfill-your-purpose

Sunday Inspiration: Overcoming Failure

Welcome to “Sunday Inspiration,” a bi-weekly devotional for those seeking spiritual encouragement in the pursuit of their passions. Each post comes from an outside resource (as referenced). I hope these posts will inspire and motivate you in your life and career in addition to our weekly original blog posts. Enjoy!

“My flesh…may fail, but God is the strength of my heart.” Ps 73:26 NIV

As you drive toward your destiny, you’re sure to hit potholes along the way, or take some wrong turns, or forget to check your gas gauge and run out of fuel. The truth is, the only way to avoid failure is to not leave your driveway!

In the words of author William Saroyan:

“Good people are good because they’ve come to wisdom through failure.”

The real issue in life isn’t whether or not you’re going to fail, but whether you’re going to learn from your experience and turn it into the wisdom needed to succeed.

In a survey of successful people, not one of them viewed their mistakes as failures. They considered them “learning experiences,” or “tuition paid,” or “opportunities for growth.” That’s the winning attitude!

Henry Ward Beecher said:

“It’s defeat that turns bone to flint…gristle into muscle…and makes men invincible. Do not then be afraid of defeat. You are never so near victory as when you’re defeated in a good cause.”

So the next time you fail at something, stop and ask yourself:

  • What have I learned?
  • Am I grateful for this experience?
  • How can I turn it into success?
  • Where do I go from here?
  • Who else has failed like this, and how can they help me?
  • How can my experience help others?
  • Did I actually fail, or just fall short of an unrealistically high goal?
  • Where did I succeed as well as fail?

Then go one step further, and ask God for greater insight. If you do, you’ll grow stronger and wiser because of what you’ve been through (See James 1:5).

Source: https://www.jentezenfranklin.org/daily-devotions/overcoming-failure