Posted on Monday, Apr 11, 2022 by K-LOVE Pastors
When I was in high school, I loved winter vacation at Christmas. But there was one major issue that got in my way each year. Finals were the last week BEFORE Christmas. So, one year, instead of studying for my finals, I imagined all the fun that I would soon be experiencing once I got past these stupid tests. I couldn’t stop thinking about sledding, snow angels, and endless fun with friends during Christmas vacation.
Dreaming about winter break was so fun until reality hit me like a ton of iced-over snowballs to the face as I received my grades in the mail. Not Surprisingly, my report card had given me a real wake-up call of two F’s, two Ds, and a C. I was appalled and embarrassed by the sting of failure and shame that had come upon me, but I had now learned my lesson to do my best in school. As an adult, looking back on those times motivated me to succeed and has served as a reminder to me for years. So here are some incentives that can help us spring into the spring season with wisdom and purpose.
1. Forget the past. All of us have things we wish we could forget. A failed job. A wrecked relationship. Laziness. Whatever it is, forget the past. Paul writes in Phil. 3;14, “Forget what lies behind, and reach forward to what lies ahead.” LEARN from our past, but do not live there.
2. Live in the present. I love what Paul says in Philippians 4:6, where he writes, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true …think about such things.” Paul wants us to focus on whatever is true…whatever is real in our lives, not what is imagined or ‘might be.’ (NIV) IN other words, we need to live in the present and be present.
3. Train yourself to be godly. We can mow the lawn, work harder, clean the garage, empty that old trash in the backyard, trim the trees, and fertilize the grass. These are all excellent things, and we should continue to do them with excellence. But let’s discipline ourselves for the purpose of godliness so that others can be blessed by our lives. Paul told Timothy to instead train himself to be godly. (1 Tim. 4:7)
4. Remember God is FOR you. Life is just hard, and throwing in the towel is a temptation for each of us. Recalling that God is FOR you (Romans 8:31), Jesus forgave you, and the Holy Spirit continues to pray for you are three reminders of rich encouragement to us. God is ready to empower us as we forget our past failures, live in the present, and train ourselves to be godly. God’s got us so we can genuinely spring into spring and have a great year.
Springtime follows the dark cold of winter. The days grow longer, and the sun’s light becomes more intense. It is a celebratory time of year when we remember the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, the Light of the world. Because of faith in Him, we have a new life inside us, and we get the privilege of sharing that life with the world.
A LIGHT WILL SHINE
“The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine.”
- Isaiah 9:2 (NLT)
JESUS IS THE LIGHT
“I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark.”
- John 12:46 (NLT)
TURN FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT
“Open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to Light and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God’s people, who are set apart by faith in me.'”
- Acts 26:18 (NLT)
KNOW THE LIGHT
“For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this Light shines in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.”
- 2 Corinthians 4:6 (NLT)
FOLLOW THE LIGHT
“Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, ‘I am the Light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the Light that leads to life.'”
- John 8:12 (NLT)
LIVE IN THE LIGHT
“For once you were full of darkness, but you have Light from the Lord. So live as people of Light.”
- Ephesians 5:8 (NLT)
SHOW THE LIGHT
“But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful Light.”
- 1 Peter 2:9 (NLT)
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.”
- John 1:5 (NLT)
SEEK Jesus first. Running to our ‘to-do’ list, becoming overwhelmed with anxiety, disappointed at our past failures can squash our affections. May I encourage you to seek Jesus first. (Matthew 6:25-34) When you build your relationship with Jesus vertically, things tend to fall into place horizontally.
PURSUE growth in grace. One of my biggest flaws is that I can be abrasive and ‘run over people.’ But God wants us to model and embrace grace. Peter writes, “…grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” We can grow in grace and have His smile on our face. Commitment to growing through the good, bad, and crummy will reward us in the present and future.
RUN from apathy. Apathy is like floating down a stream. It takes little effort and we go nowhere. But the opposite is the prized trait of Self-control. Though difficult, this choice quality is part of the fruit of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:23) Let’s make our self-control eat apathy for lunch.
INDULGE in God’s faithfulness. God is full of compassion and His faithfulness is great. As we Spring into Spring, knowing we have an unending supply of faithfulness, empowers us as we indulge in his magnanimous grace for us. Great is God’s faithfulness and His mercies are new every morning. (Lam 3:23)
NEVER give up. British Prime minister Winston Churchill, is one of the most known war leaders in modern-history whose leadership and communication were in an inspiring speech at his old Harrow School. He began his speech by saying “Never ever, ever, ever, ever give up”…he took his seat… he returned to the podium and said “Never Give Up”…he took his seat again…returned to the podium and said Never Give Up”. Amidst all of our temptation to quit, don’t give up …. It is worth it. Because we will NEVER ‘be separated from God’s love’, never give up. (Romans 8:39)
GO for it. Let’s get after it friends. Spring is here. Summer will be ready. Don’t wait. ‘Waiting’ should be a temptation to be avoided. Nothing ever worth something comes easy. We love you and are on your team. More importantly, God is for you and wants to catapult you into Spring for His glory. (Isaiah 43:7) We are on your team!
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