Follow by Email

Monday, December 10, 2018

You Have To Leave Circumstantial & Conditional Faith & Finally Attain Concrete Faith! Don't Let Pressure Stop Your Press. Jonah Worshiped, Daniel Trusted,The Three Hebrew Boys Maintained & We Do What?

“I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience His resurrection power, be a partner in His suffering, and go all the way with Him to death itself. If there was any way to get in on the resurrection from the dead, I wanted to do it.” (Philippians 3:10-11 MSG)

While John was a prisoner on the Isle of Patmos, far from his loved ones and surrounded by the cries of abused captives, he had a vision of Jesus. He writes, “When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as if dead…” (Revelation 1:17 AMP). He received an incredible revelation in the midst of confinement, chaos and pain – and isn’t that often how revelation works? God certainly has an amazing way of showing Himself mighty in the midst of our misery. The problem is however, we don’t respond like John. Despite what John was facing and surrounded by, when “…he saw Him…[he]…fell at His feet as if dead…” Let’s be honest, how many of us actually fall into worship mode when in the midst of struggles? Truth is, far more often, we become snappy, our attitudes get out of control, our emotions are doom and gloom, our faith falters, our countenance falls, our hope becomes helplessness, we invite family, friends and even foes to our self-proclaimed pity party. It’s sad but true. Rarely do we immediately fall into worship when life hits us with its worst!

But even Jonah learned to worship in the worst of it! “Jonah 2:2-6, Describes Jonah’s Fish Temple of Worship: The Bible says, “In trouble, deep trouble, I prayed to God. He answered me. From the belly of the grave I cried, ’Help!’ You heard my cry. You threw me into ocean’s depths, into a watery grave, with ocean waves, ocean breakers crashing over me. I said, ’I’ve been thrown away, thrown out, out of your sight. I’ll never again lay eyes on your Holy Temple.’ Ocean gripped me by the throat. The ancient Abyss grabbed me and held tight. My head was all tangled in seaweed at the bottom of the sea where the mountains take root. I was as far down as a body can go, and the gates were slamming shut behind me forever…” (MSG). And you think you’ve got problems??!!  

Jonah worshiped in the midst of fish guts and seaweed and you mean to tell me you can’t worship God in the midst of what you’re going through? Look at what Jonah worshiped in the midst of! But yet in still, you cancel your worship due to rolling eyes and attitudes; over what someone said or didn’t say; because they didn’t sing your song or preach you happy; because it’s raining outside; because they sat in your seat; because of what the doctors said. Tell yourself from this day forward, the devil is a liar! I’ll let nothing and no one cancel my worship again! Not their words, facial expressions, opinions, criticisms, discouragement, or bitterness! If Jonah could worship with his head tangled in seaweed at the bottom of the sea; surely you can continue to worship God as He keeps your head above the waters that He promised you would not drown you! Isaiah 43:1-4, “…Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name. You’re mine. When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down. When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end—because I am God, your personal God, The Holy of Israel, your Savior. I paid a huge price for you: all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in! That’s how much you mean to Me! That’s how much I love you! I’d sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you.” (MSG) And yet, you would allow worries to steal your worship, problems to steal your praise, fear to steal your faith, hurt to steal your hope and circumstances to steal your commitment?!

When in the midst of what John was surrounded by, he still fell at the Lord’s feet. In the midst of what Jonah faced, he still worshiped. So what’s your excuse? Do you really believe that trials, troubles, struggles and tribulation are all bigger than the God you say you serve? Well, if that’s your belief, then I’m here to tell you your broken belief system needs repairs!

Please understand that the difficult circumstances you’re going through right now can actually clear your perceptions, cause you to seek God as never before, and find answers for your life, to questions that have been bombarding your sanity! John’s predicament proves that negative experiences don’t hide the Lord – they reveal Him!The Bible reads: “I saw this and fainted dead at his feet. His right hand pulled me upright, His voice reassured me: “Don’t fear: I am First, I am Last, I’m Alive. I died, but I came to life, and My life is now forever. See these keys in My hand? They open and lock Death’s doors; they open and lock Hell’s gates. Now write down everything you see: things that are, things about to be…” (Revelation 1:17-19 MSG). As bad as it was, John saw the Lord, bowed before Him in reverential fear and had the Lord Himself to encourage him: “…His voice reassured me: “Don’t fear…” That’s the beauty of being a child of the King, even when all of the Kingdom of Darkness is against you! He Always Reveals Himself to the Righteous, Regardless of How Bleak Their Circumstances May Appear.  After all, the One Whom we serve is still the first and the last, which encourages us to know that no matter what transpires in the middle, God got it covered from beginning to end! And He’s so awesome that He admits Himself that He died and came back to life and now lives forever. He’s reassuring John (and us) of just how powerful He really is! All He desires is that we trust Him and believe Him! And then, if that weren’t enough to increase our faith, lift up our heads, square off our shoulders and straighten up our back, He goes on to say in His hand are keys, and He alone has the access to open and lock death’s doors and Hell’s gates, so you’re afraid of what? Right! Absolutely Nothing! Because this is the God you serve!

I think sometimes we unfortunately forget the Lord’s promise to us: “…for He  [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! 

[Assuredly not!]” (Hebrews 13:5 AMP) How do you read a promise like that and fear anything or anyone? The Lord Himself DELIBERATELY REFUSES to fail you; give you up; leave you without support and will under no circumstances leave you helpless; nor will He forsake you; let you down or relax His hold on you! You are so loved, cherished, treasured and protected by God that He Initiated This Promise To You! You didn’t have to ask Him to do it, you didn’t have to ask Him for it, He Chose To Give it to You Himself! So regardless to what you’re in, what you’re surrounded by, what you’re going through, who you’re up against or what you’re facing, you have full CONFIDENCE that God’s Got You COVERED!

No Matter Your Circumstances, Never Cast Away Your Confidence in the God That Has You Covered!

I love the way Joseph words it: “…Don’t you see, you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good…” (Genesis 50:20 MSG). Not even the Best attack of the enemy against you can stop all the Good God is going to make happen towards you because of it! And He’s so awesome as God that He only needs ONE plan for your life, and No Back-Up! Why? Because the ONE plan He has for your life is more than sufficient! “…I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I HAVE IT ALL PLANNED OUT – PLANS TO TAKE CARE OF YOU, NOT ABANDON YOU, PLANS TO GIVE YOU THE FUTURE YOU HOPE FOR.” (Jeremiah 29:11 MSG). Who needs a back-up plan to that?! God will in fact shame your enemies so that He will even use THEIR PLANS FOR YOUR DESTRUCTION AS THE BRICKS TO BUILD YOU UP IN THE END! Joseph’s brothers had some Bad plans for him, but God used them to Bless Joseph Real Good! And He will do the very same for YOU! So lift your bowed down head, square your shoulders, straighten your back and put a smile on your face, God is not done blessing you yet!

It always amazes me how God’s saints of old could worship Him in the midst of absolutely anything and we can’t seem to worship in anything. They pursued God on just promises, and even the ones that weren’t fulfilled in their lifetime, they never lost their appetite for God. They continued to hunger and thirst after Him. Maybe that’s why they were so Full and we’re so Empty. The depth of their faith propelled them to continue in their deeds for Him, despite what was being done to and against them. They maintained such a Faith Under Fire That No Fierce Attack Could Put it to Ashes! They mastered how to Press In and Press On…Anyhow!

Think about it: Where did God prove His faithfulness to Daniel? In the Lion’s Den! “The king caved in and ordered Daniel brought and thrown into the lions’ den. But he said to Daniel, “Your God, to whom you are so loyal, is going to get you out of this.” A stone slab was placed over the opening of the den. The king sealed the cover with his signet ring and the signet rings of all his nobles, fixing Daniel’s fate. The king then went back to his palace. He refused supper. He couldn’t sleep. He spent the night fasting. At daybreak the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. As he approached the den, he called out anxiously, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve so loyally, saved you from the lions?” “O king, live forever!” said Daniel. “My God sent his angel, who closed the mouths of the lions so that they would not hurt me. I’ve been found innocent before God and also before you, O king. I’ve done nothing to harm you.” When the king heard these words, he was happy. He ordered Daniel taken up out of the den. When he was hauled up, there wasn’t a scratch on him. He had trusted his God.” (Daniel 6:16-23 MSG). My favorite part? “…HE ORDERED DANIEL TAKEN UP OUT OF THE DEN. WHEN HE WAS HAULED UP, THERE WASN’T A SCRATCH ON HIM. HE HAD TRUSTED HIS GOD.” Daniel was able to trust God in the midst of his attack, why can’t you do the same? After all, He is still the SAME GOD! We need to learn like Daniel to pursue God, to trust Him, rely on Him, rest in Him no matter what, because He’s Got Us…No Matter What or Who is Trying to Get at Us!

Let’s Recall Paul's Words: “I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience His resurrection power, be a partner in His suffering, AND GO ALL THE WAY WITH HIM...” (Philippians 3:10-11 MSG) He’ll clearly go all the way to life, death, and life for you, won’t you even go to prayer, praise and worship for Him? Won’t you follow and obey His commandments? Won’t you read and apply His Word? Won’t you go to His house of worship and celebrate and serve Him and His people? Won’t you give up anything for Him since He’s given up everything for you?

Likewise, think about this: Where did the Lord reveal Himself to the three Hebrew boys? In a fire that was heated seven times over! “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar, “Your threat means nothing to us. If you throw us in the fire, the God we serve can rescue us from your roaring furnace and anything else you might cook up, O king. BUT EVEN IF HE DOESN’T, IT WOULDN’T MAKE A BIT OF DIFFERENCE, O KING. WE STILL WOULDN’T SERVE YOUR GODS OR WORSHIP THE GOLD STATUTE YOU SET UP.” Nebuchadnezzar, his face purple with anger, cut off Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace fired up seven times hotter than usual. He ordered some strong men from the army to tie them up, hands and feet, and throw them into the roaring furnace. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, bound hand and foot, fully dressed from head to toe, were pitched into the roaring fire. Because the king was in such a hurry and the furnace was so hot, flames from the furnace killed the men who carried Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to it, while the fire raged around Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Suddenly King Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in alarm and said, “Didn’t we throw three men, bound hand and foot, into the fire?” “That’s right, O king,” they said. “But look!” he said. “I see four men, walking around freely in the fire, completely unharmed! And the fourth man looks like a son of the gods!” Nebuchadnezzar went to the door of the roaring furnace and called in, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the High God, come out here!” Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego walked out of the fire. All the important people, the government leaders and king’s counselors, gathered around to examine them and discovered that the fire hadn’t so much as touched the three men—not a hair singed, not a scorch mark on their clothes, not even the smell of fire on them! Nebuchadnezzar said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego! He sent his angel and rescued his servants WHO TRUSTED HIM! They ignored the king’s orders and laid their bodies on the line rather than serve or worship any god but their own. “Therefore I issue this decree: Anyone anywhere, of any race, color, or creed, who says anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego will be ripped to pieces, limb from limb, and their houses torn down. There has never been a god who can pull off a rescue like this.” Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon.”  (Daniel 3:16-30 MSG).

Why don’t you trust God like that? John bowed, Jonah worshiped, Daniel trusted, the three Hebrew Boys maintained their resolve, and yet you do none of the above when the circumstances of life attack you? But I Reiterate, HE IS STILL THE SAME GOD…YOUR GOD! So, whether He takes you out, or leaves you in, you ought serve Him with gladness anyhow, because He’s already promised to never leave you or forsake you, so why do you keep leaving and forsaking Him? He’s proven time and time again that He will do anything for you, when will you start to at least do something for Him?

You have to leave Circumstantial and Conditional Faith, and Finally Attain Concrete Faith!

Paul desired to know God intimately. No matter the circumstances, no matter the obstacles, no matter the pain, suffering or tragedy of death. It was all worth it, just to know Him! Paul would do anything for HIM! Will you? And just in case you think Paul had a cake-walk to getting to know God, listen at his testimony: 2 Corinthians 11:21-29, “… I’ve worked much harder, been jailed more often, beaten up more times than I can count, and at death’s door time after time. I’ve been flogged five times with the Jews’ thirty-nine lashes, beaten by Roman rods three times, pummeled with rocks once. I’ve been shipwrecked three times, and immersed in the open sea for a night and a day. In hard traveling year in and year out, I’ve had to ford rivers, fend off robbers, struggle with friends, struggle with foes. I’ve been at risk in the city, at risk in the country, endangered by desert sun and sea storm, and betrayed by those I thought were my brothers. I’ve known drudgery and hard labor, many a long and lonely night without sleep, many a missed meal, blasted by the cold, naked to the weather. And that’s not the half of it, when you throw in the daily pressures and anxieties of all the churches. When someone gets to the end of his rope, I feel the desperation in my bones…” (MSG) AND YET, PAUL WOULD ENDURE ALL OF THIS AS LONG AS HE GOT TO KNOW GOD! SO, WHAT’S YOUR EXCUSE AGAIN FOR WHY YOU “CAN’T” MAKE THE SAME SACRIFICE?! WHY CAN’T YOU ENDURE? WHY CAN’T YOU PRESS AND PRAISE THROUGH? WHY CAN’T YOU WORSHIP STILL? WHY DON’T YOU TRUST REGARDLESS OF WHAT YOU SEE?

Listen, I know struggles and attacks can make it hard sometimes to press in, but you’ve got to press anyhow! No matter how bad it may become, remember your God is always good and will always bring about good on your behalf: “AND WE KNOW THAT ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD TO THEM THAT LOVE GOD, TO THEM WHO ARE THE CALLED ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE.” (Romans 8:28) YES, THAT DOES SAY ALL THINGS (GOOD, BAD, UGLY, BEAUTIFUL, ETC…) WORK TOGETHER FOR YOUR GOOD! So continue to trust God no matter what you’re in, He’s a proven provider and protector of His people! “The Lord is my light and my salvation; He protects me from danger—whom shall I fear?  When evil men come to destroy me, they will stumble and fall!  Yes, though a mighty army marches against me, my heart shall know no fear! I am confident that God will save me. 

Remember This: Fiery Trials Work For You, Not Against You!

J.P. Olson

Monday, December 3, 2018

If You Don’t Like What You See, Change It! God Can Change What You Can’t – And Make the Change Last!

The Bible’s story is one of Change from Genesis, the book of “
Beginnings,” to Revelation, where God Himself says: “…Behold, I make all things New…” Therefore, whatever your situation is today, Change Is Possible Through Him! 
It doesn’t matter where you are; you are nowhere compared to where you can go.” (Bob Proctor). 
However often you’ve repented, confessed and tried changing, God Can Change What You Can’t – And Make the Change Last! The Scripture is Still True: “Now Unto HIM That Is ABLE…” (Jude 24). The word “Able” means “Having the Power, Skill, or Means To Do Something; or to be Skillful and Competent”. Its Latin Origin “Habilis” literally means “Handy”. Therefore, Regardless to How Long You’ve Been Like This, or “Its” Been Like This, Your God Is Able to Change You and “It” For the Better, For Good! How? Because He Has the Power To Do It, He Has the Skill To Do It, He Has the Means To Do It, And He Is Competent Enough To Do It! So, Put It In His Hands, Because He Is ‘Handy’ Enough to Handle It! It’s Time For You to Change, No More Excuses! I love Bikram Choudhury’s point of view on Change, he said: “Never too old, never too bad, never too late, never too sick to start from scratch once again” So I Reiterate, No More Excuse! It’s Time For You to Change!

However, Change Requires Understanding Certain Principles. Let’s see what they are:
1. YOU DON’T NEED TO CHANGE OTHERS IN ORDER TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE: “I’d be happier if only he’d stop…”; “Things won’t improve for me until she starts…” Such beliefs make you focus on the Problem and Not the Solution, Ignore Realistic Options and Feed Depression! Therefore, follow the admonition of the Word of God: “Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best YOU CAN WITH YOUR OWN LIFE” (Galatians 6:4-5 MSG). Instead of trying to change others, which only produces Resistance and Resentment, Let God Show YOU What YOU Need To Do Differently To Improve YOUR Handling Of The Problem! You See, When You Stop Doing What Doesn’t Work and Change Your Reactions to the Problem, Others Often Change Spontaneously! “In a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks” (Warren Buffett). You’re Getting Nowhere Trying to Patch Up the Leaks In Other People’s Lives/Boats! Instead Reserve That Energy and Be More Productive By Changing Your Own Boat and Saving Your Own Life! Sometimes, you have to step back even from those whom you love and let them handle their own life, as you get a handle on yours. Galatians says to carefully explore who you are and the work you have been given and sink yourself into that, not into them! Work on becoming the person God has intended you to be and the works that He has entrusted to your hands to fulfill. That alone will keep you busy for a lifetime! Instead of concentrating on them, concentrate on you and make improvements on your own building. Does your attitude need adjusting, your faith need increasing, your hope need refreshing, your trust need deepening? Does your habits and addictions need to be addressed? Does your marriage or family or children have issues that you’ve unsubscribed from because you keep renewing the issues from everyone else lives and crisis? Can you become a better believer, leader, spouse, coworker or boss? Does your prayer life need improving and your consecration need more consistency? Do you need to add more time to your Word study? Are you flowing or stagnant in your anointing? Are your gifts stirred up and set on fire and just dashed in ashes? In other words, we are all a work in progress, but you’ll get stuck in your progress if you keep comparing yours to theirs, or trying to fix theirs instead of your own. You’ve been given this one life, make it the best it can be, which will never happen if you’re constantly working overtime to change them and theirs, but taking vacation, sick, personal and comp days when it’s time to change you and yours! REMEMBER: YOU DON’T NEED TO CHANGE OTHERS IN ORDER TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE!

2. TRUE CHANGE BEGINS BY ADDRESSING YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD: Bitterness and Frustration over problems just result in distancing from God, leaving you to handle the issue in your own strength. Surrendering to Him Changes You Fundamentally, Challenging Pride, Envy, Resentment, Fear, Dishonesty, and the like…Which Are All Characteristics of Poor Life Management! “Let’s take a good look at the way we’re living and reorder our lives under God…” (Lamentations 3:40 MSG). With “…our lives under God…,” we’re more Honest, Self-Aware, Able to Perceive Realistically; We’re Respectful, and Prepared to Become A Better Person! But This Requires You To Tighten Your Relationship With The Lord! You Need Him Near For The Change To Take Place But You Have To Keep In Mind:  “Come Near To God, And God Will Come Near To You…” (James 4:8 NCV). Did you recognize the order of Nearness? The Responsibility Falls On YOUR Shoulders FIRST! “Come Near To God…” and AFTER you do “…God Will Come Near To You…” You See, The Only Thing Holding Up Your Process of Change, Is Your Procrastination to Come Near To God FIRST!  If you want Him to Come Near and Change You, You’ve FIRST got to Come Near Him In Communion!  So, Renew Your Relationship With Him, FIRST, and He Will Do The Rest! So many have made their relationship with God out to be a 911 distress call only! That’s the basis of their communication. They get in a jam, and cry out to God. Is that wrong? Of course not. But it is if it’s the only time in which you do! Imagine being married, but the only time you speak to your spouse is when you’re in a jam! The only time you spend time with your spouse is so they can get you out of the trouble you got yourself into. What if the only intimacy you have with your spouse is when there’s a crisis? Exactly how long do you think this marriage is going to survive such a one-sided damaged relationship? Well, God is the very same way! He values relationship. After all, He gave us the life, death and life again of His only begotten Son for no other reason than so He could develop a relationship with us as His children also. Therefore, don’t you think that a relationship with Him is going to require more than a ‘help me God’ conversation? A relationship with God is talking to Him; listening to Him; complimenting, praising and worshiping Him. It’s trusting Him, and having faith in Him. It’s leaning on Him when you know there’s no other way for you to remain on your feet. It’s loving on Him, consistently. It’s faithfulness and unconditional love. It’s lovingly mentioning His name, and letting everyone know that you belong to Him alone. When is the last time you romanced God that way? If you had to stop and think about it, your relationship with God needs some immediate repair work done! God doesn’t want to change you from a distance, He desires an up close and personal relationship, so, how near (or far) have you allowed yourself to become? Selah...REMEMBER: TRUE CHANGE BEGINS BY ADDRESSING YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD!

3. YOU MUST BE WILLING TO CHANGE UNCONDITIONALLY: In the early stage of therapy, counselors bump into the “Change-If syndrome. The client sees change as a strategy of give-to-get: “I’ll change if they are willing to do…If not, I won’t” With God, your reward for changing is intrinsic. You get the joy of His approval, plus all the benefits that follow from being a Changed Person! This includes God’s Gift of “…salve to put on your eyes, so you can see” (Revelation 3:18 NIV). The ability to see things clearly will enable you to understand the problem and deal with it effectively, Regardless of What Someone Else Does, or Doesn’t Do! You Have to Want Change For Yourself, And Not Based On Anyone Else’s Actions, or Lack Thereof! So, Just In Case They Don’t Get Any Better Keep in mind: “Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together” (Marilyn Monroe). Whether the Friendship or Relationship Stays Intact Or Not, You Need to Make the Decision to Change Yourself, For Yourself, Unconditionally! Think about it, what if they decide they are very comfortable with their dysfunction and see no need nor reason to change, does that mean you’re supposed to stay the same too? Absolutely Not! If your friendSHIP or relationSHIP or leaderSHIP has been damaged, and water is leaking everywhere and it’s about to sink, do you stay in the boat with them because you’ve both been in this same boat with each for such a long time? Or, do you make the executive decision that something needs to change, and quickly?! When a lifeboat comes alongside you and they say, ‘you can go ahead if you want to, I’ll stay right here, nice and comfortable where I’ve always been’, do you sit back down and remain in a dysfunctional dingy or do you leave them to their craziness and get out into that available lifeboat, even if it means the saving of your own life and the loss of theirs, at their own hands? It may sound harsh, but you can’t live your life boxed into the decisions of how others have decided to live theirs. Love you unconditionally enough to change you, even if they remain the same. REMEMBER: YOU MUST BE WILLING TO CHANGE UNCONDITIONALLY!

4. YOU MUST ACCEPT THE TRUTH THAT CHANGE MEANS LETTING GO OF THE PAST:Whatever You Cling To Ultimately Controls You! If the offense resulted from your actions, or the loss from your poor judgment, Confess It To God, Receive Forgiveness and Leave It At the Cross! If it was the other person’s fault, but you’ve held onto it because you think you’re the innocent party and “deserve your pound of flesh,” Remember: the Freedom and the Options You Miss Are Too High a Price For the False Comfort of Being Right! “Be kind and compassionate to one another, Forgiving each other, just as in Christ God Forgave You” (Ephesians 4:32 NIVOr better yet, another translation says it like this:Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive One Another As Quickly And Thoroughly As God In Christ Forgave You” (MSG). This will Release You From the Chains of Resentment and Give You Back Your Future! If You’re Bound by Chains of Regret Over “coulda, shoulda, woulda,” God Stands Ready to Make Your Future Better Than Your Past Could Ever Have Been (Joel 2:25, “I’ll Make Up For The Years…” MSG). Dr. Maya Angelou clearly agreed because she said: “Someone was hurt before you, wronged before you, hungry before you, frightened before you, beaten before you, humiliated before you, raped before you…YET, Someone Survived…You Can Do Anything You Choose To Do And you can choose to ask God to help you change so He can make up for the years! Please, Choose to Change Your Cold, Unforgiving Heart, and Enjoy a Better Life! Keeping in mind: “Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward” (C.S. Lewis). Far too many waste years of their lives pointing fingers, laying blame, making excuses and justifications, giving reasons, but never changing. Today is the day where you break this bad habit! Whether it happened 30 seconds, minutes, weeks, months, or years ago, let it go! The forgiveness is for you not for them! It’s so you can finally be free from your emotional prison that’s causing you to go mentally insane! Do your part of asking for forgiveness, and extending forgiveness, then leave the rest in God’s hands as you change what He’s strengthened your hands to handle! REMEMBER: YOU MUST ACCEPT THE TRUTH THAT CHANGE MEANS LETTING GO OF THE PAST

5. CHANGE MEANS ACCEPTING RISK: Your anxiety will kick in and say, “What if I don’t get the job? What if the economy fails? What if I make the effort to change but they don’t?” We like ironclad guarantees. The predictable always feels less threatening than sticking our necks out! But the Price of Our Security Often Means Remaining Stuck With the Status Quo! Sometimes Your Greatest Risk Is Taking No Risk At All! God Often Requires You to Leave the Path That Feels and Looks Safe, For the One That Feels and Looks Risky! Why? Because: “NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses” (Hebrews 11:1 AMP). Your Faith Is Full-Proof Assurance, God’s Confirmation, the Title Deed Guaranteeing That the Change You Want Will Take Place If You Act On It! “Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action” (Walter Anderson). “Change in its simplest definition means “To Make Or Become Different” That’s all God is looking for you to do! Take a Risk and Do Something Different! After all, all that you have been doing up til now hasn’t worked, so What Have You Got To Lose? Ask yourself, “If I Dare to Change, What Could I Finally Gain?” Because: “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten” (Tony RobbinsBreak out of that neat little box with the bow that you’ve trapped yourself in all these years. For once, don’t follow the crowd! Don’t do what everyone is telling you, you ought to do. Seek God, hear what He has to tell you, then follow His lead! Let 2019 be the year you take a risk on YOU! You’ve spent enough of your years taking risks on everybody else and their lives, families, businesses, education, ministries, churches, vision, goals, and dreams. This time is your time to take a risk on you! REMEMBER: CHANGE MEANS ACCEPTING RISK!

6. CHANGE WILL HAPPEN IF FAILURE IS NOT ALLOWED TO STOP YOU: Fear of Failing Often Stops Us From Trying, Yet Many of God’s Best People Experienced Failure On Their Way to Success! Consider Abraham, Moses, Elijah, David, etc…All of Them Succeeded Only AFTER Dealing With Personal Failure! Indeed, the Richest, Most Profound Change Often Happens AFTER We’ve Tasted Failure! Until then we tend to be cocky and of not much use to God! Peter failed the Lord miserably, and at the most crucial moment (Matthew 26:50, 72, “…some men came forward, took hold of Jesus, and arrested him…Again Peter denied it and swore with an oath, “I don’t know the man!”  GWT). But even after that, Peter grew, becoming Christ’s Choice to Lead His Newly Empowered Church On the Day of Pentecost, Winning Three Thousand Souls (See Acts 2)! So Don’t Let Failure Stop You! You Can Change! Even the Apostle Paul went from beating Christians to becoming one and leading many! “Here is the test to find whether your mission on earth is finished. If you’re alive, IT ISN’T!” (Richard BachYes, Even After All Your Failures, You Too Can Still Change! You’re not too old; it’s not too late; and you haven’t messed up too bad! God can bring recovery out of your ruins if only you’d trust Him! REMEMBER: CHANGE WILL HAPPEN IF FAILURE IS NOT ALLOWED TO STOP YOU!

In a Nutshell: You’ve been this way long enough! Therefore, no more excuses, reasons or justifications! Today simply determine to Change Your Life For the Better! REMEMBER: IF YOU DON'T LIKE WHAT YOU SEE, CHANGE IT!

J.P. Olson