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A Deep and Clear Knowledge of God’s Will

The only thing on earth comparable to uncovering a deep and clear knowledge of God’s will is preparing your body for a triathlon. As a former runner and swimmer, I spent two winters in high school pushing my body to it’s limits. Since my practice schedule rotated with the girl’s team, every other day I would run before swimming. As it got colder, my hair would freeze when I ran after my two hour swim practice. Meanwhile, each summer I would take my boys on long bike trip, somewhere between 10-15 miles. Trying to walk after getting off your bike is hard enough, but finishing a triathlon with a long run takes everything you have just to finish.

I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you], Romans 12:1-2.

In a letter to the Church at Rome, the apostle Paul suggests that discovering God’s will for your life is attainable. However, you must develop the right mindset to make this a reality. Whenever I get lost in the world, filled with countless temporary pleasures, God’s will is put on hold. As a prodigal returns back home to the Lord, rededicating your life back to the Lord isn’t easy, especially when temptations begin to bombard you. Paul compares this with rigid daily disciplines as individuals offer their bodies as a living sacrifice to God. Yet, this is just the initially step before God’s will becomes clear and visible.

For this reason we also, from the day we heard of it, have not ceased to pray and make [special] request for you, [asking] that you may be filled with the full (deep and clear) knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom [in comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God] and in understanding and discernment of spiritual things—Colossians 1:9.

While writing to the members of the Church at Colosse, Paul shares a brief outline of his prayers. Paul doesn’t want this church to wonder in the wilderness for 40 years like Israel waiting to enter God’s Promised Land. Rather, Paul wants these leaders to begin to ascertain their spiritual gifts, 1 Corinthians 12:1-11, so that these talents can be put into action, 2 Timothy 1:6. As these God given abilities are brought to light, a glimpse of God’s will for your life comes into focus. Yet, this process often takes years, decades and a lifetime to uncover. If you want to adopt Paul’s prayer for your own life, start this journey today so that a deep and clear knowledge of God’s will is unveiled to you soon.

by Jay Mankus

It’s Never Too Late for a Failure

A failure reaches this status when one does not attain success, failing to meet their goal or objective.  Once expectations go unfilled, disappointment consumes individuals, often leaving souls in a state of depression.  Effort is good, but sooner or later a team has to win, proving they have what it takes.  If not achieved, coaches and individuals will begin to doubt their God given abilities.  Like a lowly carp, bottom dwellers are left to feed on the scraps, the leftovers other fish don’t find appealing.

 
In Luke 23:32-43, Jesus finds himself stuck between 2 failures.  Placed in the middle of 2 criminals, subject to a cross due to evil deeds such as being a murderer or robber, Jesus couldn’t leave, nailed to a cross listening to their insults, Matthew 27:38-40.  However, one of these wicked man had a change of heart after Jesus’ words of forgiveness, Luke 23:34.  While one failure continued to hurl hurtful comments Jesus’ way, the other began to contemplate his life, Luke 23:40.  The more this man thinks about his life, God begins to work a miracle in his life, Luke 23:41.  With time ticking away on his life, this humble failure throws up one final request to Jesus, Luke 23:42, hoping for the best, with nothing to lose.

The words of Luke 23:43 should give hope to any failure who still has time on their side.  “Today you will be with me in paradise” is proof that someone about to die can receive Jesus into their heart, obtaining eternal life despite living a life full of sin.  Hebrews 10:26-27 indirectly suggests someone who fears the judgment of God can be swayed from hell to heaven like the criminal mentioned in Luke.  Therefore, if you’ve been deceived by the devil to believe that you’re damned, remember the promise of Luke 23:40-43.  In Jesus’ eyes, it’s never too late for a failure to receive eternal life, John 3:16-17.

by Jay Mankus

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