Summary: What we can do to realize the plan that God has for our lives.
“Living the Abundant Life”
August 21, 2011
Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
My cousin, David Grossman, sent me a book a couple of weeks ago called, “Secrets of Mental Marksmanship” by Linda Miller and Keith Cunningham. The little informative bullet on the front says, “How to fire the perfect shot.” Dave knows I like to shoot when I can, although I’m not into competitive shooting, like my friend Brad is. So I approached this book a little skeptically. But as I read it I quickly saw that this was one of the best “how to” books I have ever read – and I have read a lot of them. Chapter two is on the power of your mind, Chapter three is the Power in your world (having to do with positive reinforcements and focus and so forth). Some other chapters have to do with increasing your subconscious powers and increasing the power of self-image, the power of preparation and the power of perseverance. The point is that excellence doesn’t ‘just’ happen. Intelligence, natural ability, and the gifts God gave you will only take you so far. You have to exercise your free will to make changes in your life that will improve your life and yourself. God has given us tremendous power in our will. We are about what we have chosen to be. Our parents and our education has a part in it – but our choices have pretty much made us who we are today. If we can learn to fire the perfect shot – do you think maybe we can learn to become the man or woman God wants us to be? Here’s a couple of things I know:
1. God has a plan for your life.
2. There is a battle being fought for your life.
3. Too many of God’s people are losing the battle
How about you? Do you feel harassed and helpless? Is your life aimless, pointless, and purposeless? Do you feel vulnerable – like that sheep without a shepherd? I have certainly felt that way more than once in my life. I can remember feeling that my life was like a ping pong ball. It just bounced which ever way it is directed by the circumstances of life. Hit a pebble – bounces off this way; skips off the wall – it goes another way; gust of wind hits it and it goes which ever way the wind blows. Aimless, directionless, pointless, purposeless – without control. Been there –done that! Don’t like it! That kind of living is without much joy; not much reward and certainly no peace. The Bible says, “I will show you the most excellent way.” And it does! That is why it is so important to me. That is why I go to it for answers in life.
One of the most important principles that you can discover in life is:
1. God has a plan for your life.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Do you think you were an accident? Do you think you are a product of chance? Do you really think you weren’t planned? How foolish that is! David said,
“My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:15-16
“The word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:4-5
Rick Warren says, “You were made by God and for God – and until you understand that, life will never make any sense.” In Chapter two of his book, “The Purpose Driven Life” he says,
“You are not an accident. Your birth was no mistake or mishap, and your life is no fluke of nature. Your parents may not have planned you, but God did. He was not at all surprised by your birth. In fact, he expected it! Long before you were conceived by your parents, you were conceived in the mind of God. He thought of you first. It is not fate, chance, or luck, or coincidence that you are breathing at this very moment. You are alive because God wanted to create you!”