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Perseverance?

As it is the start of the new year I think this is something that we should talk about. Forgetting what is, in the past and looking forward to what is in the future, and getting through whatever season we are currently in.

Philippians 3:13-14

Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind, and reaching forward to what is ahead. I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.

I can assure you that if you focus on the past and on what has already happened, and your past mistakes and misfortunes, then your future will be like your past. Now we all have messed up pasts no matter how severe I know that we don’t want to relive some of the mistakes that we have made. So instead of looking back on what you did wrong. Look forward to the prize that God is calling us to, through His son Jesus Christ. This verse is really awesome and I hope that you make this verse your New Year Verse. read it everyday and then pray that God prepares your mind to look forward to what God has for you.

I am going to use the race metaphor, however you may notice that this is a little bit different than the “Running the Race” metaphor that you are used to.

Ok, so we are running the race that God has called every Christian to run, the race involves a lot of obstacles and it becomes extremely difficult at times. Lets say we fell a while ago, but we were able to get up and keep going. But now we can’t get that fall out of our heads and soon it begins to become overwhelming just the thought of that I could fall and hurt myself. Soon it is absolutely all we can think about until guess what happens…. We fall again, WHOA now we have two falls under our belts and now it is even harder to get them out of your head because the amount of falling and hurting has doubled. What do you think will happen now, we will feast on the two falls and what’s going to happen, we will fall for a third time. Do you get the pattern? This is why it is so important to forgive yourself after you mess up or make mistakes because if you don’t you are more likely to fall into the same trap you fell into before.

  1. When you Forgive yourself, you are in Gods will.

You’re in Gods will when you forgive yourself, because I can guarantee you that Gods will for your life in no ways entails you throwing pity parties for yourself feasting on what you have done wrong. Gods will is for when you do mess up, He wants you to ask for forgiveness, and then forgive yourself so that you can move on and go out to make disciples of all nations.

This feeling is dangerous, because it will not only begin to cause you to make more mistakes you will begin to attack yourself the way the devil attacks you. The way I have heard this referenced is that, you are doing the devils job for him. Why would you want to do that?

You begin to doubt things such as;

How your marriage is.

Your friendships, especially your close friends.

And worse of all, Your Salvation.

 

Doubting is a deadly weapon of the devil and he loves to use it when you start feeling down on yourself or you are feasting on some old sin. It can lead down a path that is not rewarding, lets see what the Bible says about doubting.

James 1 : 5-8

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. 

Mark 11:23

Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him

Romans 14:23

But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.

 

Matthew 17:16-20

16 I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.”

17 “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” 18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment.

19 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”

20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

 

In all of these verses where did doubting God get the doubters? IT TOOK THEM NOW WHERE! This really comes down to faith re read Matthew 17, you see that the disciples had little faith and when you have little faith, you have a lot of doubt. You have to fill the gap with something and in this instance its doubt. I mean when you really sit down and think about it, why would anyone doubt God? Lets take a look, If we have full confidence in the power of god the bible says that we have the power TO MOVE MOUNTAINS. Why would we give that up? What ever does not come from faith is sin… Have you ever thought about that? Meditate on that truth for a few moments. There is no middle ground for sin even though we think that a lot. Well there is a homeless man on the side of the street, it’s not a sin to ignore him because I am not doing anything morally wrong. So we ignore the poor man on the side of the road, and we didn’t sin. Well if we are being called to act through faith to hand the man a gift card or some cash then it would in fact be a sin just to ignore him. We are called to be a light to this world, how we can we do that if we don’t show the light to anyone.

(Quick Tangent, I hear constantly that we shouldn’t hand homeless people money, CASH, because they will go spend it on beer or drugs. Since when is it ok to judge people? I actually thought we as Christians were not supposed to judge people. Not helping someone because of their social status is so judgmental and it is a direct act of defiance to God. Have you thought of that one? Because you are saying to God that He doesn’t have the power to change that person’s life through your 10$. So be careful how you treat people and make sure you check your heart before you go out indirectly judging people. I am not saying go out and give every homeless dude 100$ or anything, but act out of faith and let God determine the outcome.)

We have a job as Christians to let our light shine, but we Christians tend to fall into two different categories,

  1. We doubt God so much that our light is just barely lit.
  2. We keep our light to ourselves because we don’t want to share.

Both of these are super selfish and we tend to slide into one of these without even knowing sometimes. that is why it is important to make sure that we are in Gods will and making sure we are doing a good job staying in it.

 

We are all going to go through season of doubt, and if you have not gone through one yet, prepare yourself because it is on its way, not to scare you but it’s just a truth about living on a sin filled earth. Some seasons of life ROCK and others are painful, but we are more than conquerors and if we persevere through the ones that may b painful, we will only come out of the season stronger than when we entered it.

A few words of encouragement:

When you go through doubtful seasons make sure to remember these:

  1. Get around your friends and by friends I mean good Christians friends, be accountable and they will be their for you.
  2. Make sure you are in group worship and fellowship at a church.
  3. Stay in constant prayer
  4. Lastly but most important, keep the Holy Spirit at the center of your life at ALL TIMES.
2nd Corinthians 12:9-10
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
This verse is so encouraging, one of my favorites for sure, because whenever we fell weak, we are strong, and we are not only strong, but we should boast in our weakness because we are strong! I plan to actually write something on this verse sometime this month just because it is so encouraging.
I hope you are encouraged and blessed.
-Amen
I know I covered a lot of topics and thing in this sermon and I hope I didn’t move to fast! Please make sure to pray about supporting the ministry and I will see ya guys next time!
-Victor Gancedo

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