Ingredients for Success in 2020

I think everyone wants to be successful. No one sets out in life to be a failure. The quest for success begins with an important question: “What is it? What is success?”

I remember years ago having an emotional conversation with someone who told me he felt he could no longer be successful. He had become ill and he felt he could no longer accomplish his career goals. I remember saying a little prayer to Jesus as I was listening to him speak. My prayer was “Jesus what do I say to console him?”

These are the words Jesus gave me: I said, “Imagine that you are at the end of your life. You are on your deathbed thinking about what meant the most to you in life. What will you be thinking about?”

He said, “Well, I will be thinking about my relationships with my family and friends.” So I said “Is there anything preventing you from building up those relationships now?” He said, “No”. I said, “It sounds like success in life for you is all about building relationships with the people you love. And my friend smiled and said, “yes that’s right.” He could be successful!

Society tends to condition us into believing that success is all about money and status, climbing a career ladder, accumulating wealth while pursuing fun-filled, self-gratifying experiences. Sometimes the relationships that are truly most important to us take an unfortunate back seat to the pursuit of a self-indulgent, material definition of success.

Let’s take a moment to stop and think about what does success look like in the coming year. What will we be focused on and what will the ingredients of our success be?

There are three key ingredients successful people have: 1. Passion; 2. Discipline and 3. Perseverance.

You probably have a good idea of what discipline and perseverance look like but do you know the true meaning of the word “passion”.

The word “passion” comes from the Latin word “pati” meaning to suffer.

Consider the passionate athlete who aspires to compete in a world-class race. They will be ready to suffer through the necessary training. They will be disciplined about the training protocol and the dietary restrictions and they will persevere day after day working to become a better athlete.

Jesus is calling us all to be better Christians. He wants us to be passionate and be ready and willing to suffer for the privilege of being called His disciples. The race we are called to run will require discipline as we turn away from the things that defile the soul and we persevere day after day to prove our love to Him.

Over seventeen years ago I had a life altering conversation with God.

I was at a very low point in my life when I heard God speaking to my heart. I heard God’s voice in my heart and He asked me an important question.

God asked me:

‘What is love?’

As a sensual creature with virtually no spiritual formation I answered, as I am sure many would answer. I said, “Love is a feeling.” To this, God said, ‘wrong’. So I stopped and wondered ‘what is it then?’

God said: “Love is a choice”.

The rest of my conversation with God took place through the inner workings of the Holy Spirit. I realized that God wanted me to begin making choices that proved my love to Him.   This would require that I begin making choices based on God’s will rather than how I felt.  My ‘feelings’ would have to take a back seat and God’s holy will would have to take a front seat. God was calling a ‘sensuous’ woman to become a ‘spiritual’ woman.

Slowly but surely God began to change my life.  He began by challenging all of the things I thought were important, like making a lot of money, rising up the career ladder, becoming a corporate executive with a lot of power and influence.   I decided I had better buy a Bible quickly and I also enrolled in a ‘Learn the Bible’ course with some very kind Christians who were happy to share their Saturday mornings with me and others contemplating God’s Holy Word.

God slowly and methodically taught me His Word and brought me daily to Calvary so I could meditate on His Passion. I have been contemplating the Passion of Christ and praying at the time Jesus died for us (3pm) for over a decade now.

A few years ago I moved into the wilderness (so to speak), to a place of green pastures and walking trails through forests (complete with coyotes, deer and  the occasional bear – I hope to not meet up close) where I felt I could be closer to God, to pray and evangelize. My house is a wooden house (Timber frame construction) featuring a big wood church-like cathedral ceiling held up by giant wooden crosses. As I sit in the family room I am perpetually sitting at the foot of the Cross…I see Our Holy Lord on these Crosses everyday, all the time and I am so aware of His Holy Presence.

So can you imagine what has happened that is so very important?

I fell in love!

I fell deeply, totally, eternally in love with the Holy One, Jesus Christ!

Temptation lost its grip on me. I stopped worrying about what to wear and what to eat and how much money I had and I began dreaming about a different kind of world.

The closer I get to God, the more I long for Him and the more I want to transcend this life into the eternal life He has promised us.

During the last decade I began dreaming of helping people that were at risk of never entering the peace and joy of paradise. I began worrying about the salvation of souls.

I am especially, especially worried about terrorists who are taking the lives of innocent people in the name of God.

I am promoting A Peaceful Revolution in the Name of Jesus Christ and here’s why I believe this peace movement is IMPORTANT!

There are so many problems in our world and one of the biggest problems is VIOLENCE motivated by HATRED and VENGEANCE.

Only God can restore peace, create justice and end violence by changing the hearts and minds of human beings. Only God can end the injustice of poverty by equalizing wealth. Only God can turn people from lives of sin to lives defined by faith, hope and charity.

Over 2,000 years ago, God started a peaceful revolution by giving us His Son Jesus Christ.  Jesus became a martyr for our salvation. Jesus stretched out His arms and was nailed to a Cross for our redemption. A Cross, an instrument of torture, became for us the sign of our salvation.

The tragedy today is that too many people are still being persecuted and killed for their faith in Jesus Christ.

So what does Jesus call us to do?

These are God’s instructions: “Love your enemies and pray for those that persecute you.” Matthew 5:44

A Peaceful Revolution in the Name of Jesus Christ challenges everyone to consider:

Who is God and what does He want?

Does He want peace or does He want war?

The answer is: “God is Jesus Christ and Our Lord Jesus wants us to love one another!”

“Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.” Colossians 1:15-16

Jesus said,”A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27

What is love?

“God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” 1 John 4:16

“Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.” 1 John 4:20

Satan has deceived and possessed many people with his diabolical forces of darkness. As Christians we are called to fight the forces of evil by praying for God’s intervention.

Satan “was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44

If you are reading this know it is for a reason.

God is calling you to be a peaceful revolutionary for Jesus Christ, True God and True Man!

God’s Mission is PEACE! God’s Law is LOVE!

God’s instructions on how to fight are clear: “Love your enemies and pray for those that persecute you!” Matthew 5:44

Please imagine the power of a Christian world, united in prayer daily at the time Our Lord Jesus died for us, 3pm (in our local time zones)!

Some people fight with swords and guns and weapons of mass destruction, but Jesus is calling us to fight with prayer and good works. Let us invoke the power of God as we call upon His Holy Spirit to cause a revolution of peace, yielding the fruits of love and reconciliation where all people can coexist respecting the dignity of human life.

“May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23

None of us know the day or time when we will be called to appear before the judgement seat of God so let us not delay getting ready. There will be consequences to our actions, so let’s remember that love is a choice and let us make choices that honour God. Let us confess our sins and be reconciled to God and let us never stop believing in God’s power to change the hearts and minds of His people.

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:10

“In your unfailing love, silence my enemies; destroy all my foes, for I am your servant.” Psalm 143:12

Jesus we trust in You!  Send us Your Holy Spirit Almighty God to silence the power of the evil one and bring forth the fruits of peace and love!

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