Tag Archives: Persistence

life-long pursuit

The star appeared, and the journey started. It was not a quick trip to find Jesus. The 900 miles of terrain which separated the Magi from Jesus took some time to cross. In spite of this, the wise men continued. They didn’t give up or turn around until they found Jesus. They knew finding him was worth the pursuit.

Our Pursuit

No one needs to remind us we are not perfect. We already know, but each day we seek the Lord, we become a little more like him. Each day takes us a little closer to the prize, and each day means we can forget the things Christ has already forgiven from yesterday.

Philippians 3:12-14 says, “I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection, but I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing:  forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the Heavenly prize for which God through Christ Jesus is calling us.”

Seeking Christ is a life-long pursuit. We are always in need of the Lord’s grace. We’re always in need of his leading. There is never a point in life when we stop needing Christ. It has been said life is like a cycle. The rough times lead to an easy season only to be disrupted by the rough times again. The Lord is with us every step of the way, and the prize at the end of the race is Heaven.

Philippians 3:20-21 encourage, “But we are citizens of Heaven where the Lord Jesus Christ lives, and we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. He will take our weak, mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.”

Are you on a life-long pursuit of the Lord? Don’t give up seeking him. He doesn’t give up on seeking us. “Come to me,” Jesus invites. “Seek me,” he encourages, “bring the burdens of life and the worries of today, and exchange them for the rest I offer.” Follow the example of the Magi. Make seeking the Lord a life-long pursuit.

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His Friends Didn’t Quit

Overwhelming circumstances and situations are hard, and they can be a barrier to accomplishing goals and fulfilling dreams. We become overwhelmed, so our natural response is to quit. Mark and Luke introduce us to four friends who encourage us not to quit. The Gospel writers introduce these four men through a fifth friend who is unable to walk.

Totally reliant on other people, the man spent his days on a mat. He was unable to move, and his friends cared about him. They made sure his needs were met. They wanted to help the man as much as they could, but there was only so much they could do.

The friends heard how Jesus was performing miracles and helping all kinds of people. “if they could only get their friend to Jesus,” they thought, “what could he do?”

Jesus came to their town one day, so the friends carried the man to see him. They arrived at the house only to see the crowd was large. They had to get their friend to Jesus, but it seemed there was no way to get any closer.

It would have been easy for the friends to quit at this point. They could have given each other a high five for trying and went about their day. What would have happened if the friends quit? There are times in life when it would be easy for you and me to quit. What happens if we do?

Thankfully, the man’s friends decided not to quit. Their persistence helps us understand what it looks like not to quit.

Not Quitting May Be Unconventional

The four friends faced what seemed to be an impossible task. They had to carry a man through a large crowd to get Jesus’ attention. They devised a plan to bypass the crowd and go through the roof. Their plan was unconventional and risky. They could fall; the man could fall, and deroofing might upset the homeowner. To spite the risks, the men proceed.

The friends practiced what John Maxwell calls the Law of Victory. They did not give up when obstacles were standing in their way. They were determined to get their friend to Jesus. “Fulfilling a dream often does not come easy or within the realm of the conventional,” Maxwell says. In this case, the men had to proceed with a plan built on faith. Realizing their goal of placing their friend before Jesus meant stepping out on faith.

We, too, must build our plans on faith and step out on faith to see our dreams fulfilled. Obstacles may stand in our way, so we must be determined to allow the Lord to help us step around them. While it may be risky and unconventional, not quitting may require us to step out in faith.

Not Quitting May Exercise Our Faith

In He Still Moves Stones, Max Lucado says, “Faith does these things. Faith does the unexpected, and faith gets God’s attention.” It certainly did in this moment. Jesus was so moved by the men’s faith that he healed the man lying before him on a mat. The man who couldn’t walk into the house was able to walk out of the house. And, it is safe to say the crowd stepped aside so he could walk through the door.

Though facing overwhelming odds, the four friends were determined to get the man to Jesus, so he was able to walk out of the house. They stepped out on faith rather than quitting.

You may be facing overwhelming odds today. Life may be in a horrible place right now, but please don’t quit. Rather than quitting, devise a plan built on faith

Stop and think about your plan for a moment. Ask yourself these questions.

  • What’s the next step in accomplishing my goal?
  • What’s the next move in fulfilling my dream?
  • What can I do to start going around the overwhelming obstacles? Perhaps it is getting more information, enrolling in a class, asking for help with my resume, or taking the first step to reconcile a relationship.
  • What action step can I take today to start the plan in motion?

Follow the example of the four friends and put your plan in motion. I can’t promise the outcome, but I can relay a promise the Lord gives. That is, he will always be with you. He will not ignore your faith.

Acting

Identify the obstacles standing in your way and enact a plan to overcome them. Ask the Lord to help you each step of the way.

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