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Sunday Inspiration: If You Persist You Will Win

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!

“We never give up.” 2 Corinthians 4:8 CEV

Before you quit and walk away, read the story of how Nehemiah rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem in just fifty-two days: First, he sought God’s help. “We prayed to our God” (Ne 4:9 NIV).

Second, he protected his vision. “We…posted a guard day and night to meet this threat” (v. 9 NIV).

Third, he refused to quit. “Should a man like me run away?…I will not” (Ne 6:11 NIV).

Gandhi said, “You may never know what results come from your action, but if you do nothing there will be no results.”

In spite of the obstacles, the enemy, and the pressure—Nehemiah refused to give up. And God honors people with such a spirit.

Paul said, “Even when we don’t know what to do, we never give up. In times of trouble, God is with us” (2 Co 4:8-9 CEV).

Thomas Edison gave the world electric light, microphones, storage batteries, sound films, phonographs, and a thousand other inventions. Here are the principles he lived by:

(1) Work to obtain all the knowledge you can about what you want to achieve.

(2) Fix your mind on your purpose. Persist! Seek! The trouble with most people is they quit before they start.

(3) Keep searching, no matter how many times you meet with disappointment.

(4) Refuse to be influenced by the fact that someone else tried the same thing and failed.

(5) Stay “sold” on the idea that somewhere a solution to the problem exists, and you’ll find it. 

Source: https://jentezenfranklin.org/daily-devotions/if-you-persist-youll-win

Sunday Inspiration: Ask Why Before How

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!

“They speak a vision of their own heart, not from the mouth of the Lord.” Jer 23:16 NKJV

Eugene G. Grace, president of Bethlehem Steel Corporation from 1916 to 1945 said: “Thousands of engineers can design bridges, calculate strains and stresses, and draw up specifications for machines. But a great engineer is the man who can tell you whether the bridge or the machine should be built at all, where it should be built, and when.”

Asking why before how forces you to think about your core motivations and the source of your vision.

There is much talk these days about “purpose.” And that’s a good thing, because a life of purpose is more rewarding than a life of popularity or power. But your purpose must come from God.

“Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They make you worthless; they speak a vision of their own heart, not from the mouth of the Lord.’”

When God is the source of your vision, He will resource it. That’s why the most important question you can ask is not, “What’s the best way to do this?” but, “Why am I doing it at all?”

Ultimately God will make the final ruling on what you have given your life for.

“Each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work…endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss” (1Co 3:13-15 NKJV).

Poet C.T. Studd wrote: “Only one life, ‘twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.”

Source: https://jentezenfranklin.org/daily-devotions/ask-why-before-how

Sunday Inspiration: You Can Start Again

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!

“Don’t keep going over old history…be present.” Isa 43:18 TM

Although it’s true that we all fail, here’s something worth remembering: You can fail successfully. How? By learning from your failures and growing stronger and wiser through them.

Surrendering your future to your past just means you drown in remorse and hopelessness. But if you practice “failing forward,” you can experience future success. So acknowledge your failings, see yourself cleansed by the blood of Jesus, let go of your disappointment in yourself, and get up and try again.

At one point in Elijah’s life, he got so depressed that he prayed he might die: “‘I have had enough, Lord,’ he said. ‘Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors’” (1Ki 19:4 NIV).

Later when he was strengthened by God’s grace, he emerged from his depression a new man with a new mission in life (See vv. 15-16 NIV).

After he’d denied Christ openly, Peter was forgiven. Despite his weakness he was restored, and became the apostle who would “strengthen his fellow apostles” and build the New Testament Church (See Lk 22:31-32).

It’s not a matter of how badly or how often you’ve failed—it’s a matter of what God can make you when you accept His grace, get up again, and allow Him to empower you to do better.

Peter is proof that God takes us when we are weak, and speaks and acts through us in ways that bring glory to Him alone! (See 1Co 1:28).

Will God sometimes correct you? Yes, He’s a good parent, but He won’t discard you. So the word for you today is—you can start again.

Source: https://www.jentezenfranklin.org/daily-devotions/you-can-start-again-2

Sunday Inspiration: The Comparison Trap

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!

“Don’t compare yourself.” Gal 6:4 CEV

Nothing will destroy your peace of mind faster than comparing. It shows a lack of understanding and makes you “behave unwisely” (2Co 10:12 AMPC).

Cain measured himself against his brother Abel, and it ended in murder. When the disciples compared notes to see who among them would suffer and who would be spared, Jesus told them, “That is not your business” (Jn 21:23 NCV).

Observe: (1) Comparisons can make you feel superior, which leads to pride. Remember the Pharisee who made a great show of thanking God because he was better than everybody else? (See Lk 18:11). Pride was Satan’s downfall; that’s why he loves it when you struggle and fall into the same trap.

(2) Comparisons can make you feel inferior, which leads to low self-esteem and keeps you focused on yourself. You overlook the truth that “God doesn’t play favorites” (Ac 10:34 GWT) and start believing He’s withholding things that are rightfully yours. Society creates a sense of entitlement; then Satan reminds you of all the people who’ve already attained what you want, which propels you further down the road to discontentment. Anne Peterson says: “Satan’s lies have a little truth mixed in, which makes them harder to recognize. We need to refute them by saturating ourselves with the truth…it’s only by learning the Scriptures that we can sort them out.”

(3) We attempt to bring God down to our level by comparing how He’s working now with how He worked in the past. Stop trying to figure God out, and trust Him! “The way [God] work[s] surpasses the way you work, and the way [He] think[s] is beyond the way you think” (Isa 55:9 MSG).

Instead of comparing, start using and appreciating what God has blessed you with.

Source: https://www.jentezenfranklin.org/daily-devotions/the-comparison-trap-1

Sunday Inspiration: This Year Get Out of Your Rut!

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!

“The Lord spake unto me, saying, ‘Ye have compassed this mountain long enough: turn you northward.’” Dt 2:2-3

A biologist experimented with what he called “processional caterpillars.” He lined up caterpillars on the rim of a pot that held a plant so that the lead caterpillar was head-to-tail with the last caterpillar, with no break in the parade.

The tiny creatures walked around the rim of the pot for a full week before they died of exhaustion and starvation. Not once did any of them break out of line and venture over to the plant to eat. Food was only inches away, but their follow-the-crowd instinct was stronger than the drive to eat and survive.

The same thing happened to an entire generation of Israelites. They walked in circles in the wilderness for forty years, even though they were only eleven miles from the Promised Land.

If you’re in a rut today, ask yourself these three questions:

(1) Is this rut of my own making?

We choose a rut because it’s comfortable and requires no risk. And getting out of it requires courage and a willingness to make tough choices you follow through on.

(2) Who am I following?

We adopt certain patterns because someone has taught them to us directly, or by example. Instead of mindlessly following the crowd, seek God’s will for your life and commit yourself to doing it.

(3) Where am I going?

The Bible says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Pr 29:18). If you want to get out of the rut you’re in today, ask God to give you a vision for your life—He will! And when He does, pour yourself into it.

Source: https://jentezenfranklin.org/daily-devotions/this-year-get-out-of-your-rut