Archive for May 13th, 2013

from JO’s sermon tonight:

the moment God put a dream in your heart, the moment the promise took root, God not only started it, but He set a completion date.  God is called the author and finisher of our faith.  God wouldn’t have given you the dream, the promise wouldn’t have come alive, if God didn’t already have a plan to bring it to pass.  doesn’t matter how long it’s been, or how impossible it looks;  your mind may tell you, “it’s too late, you missed too many opportunities, it’s never going to happen.”  no, God is saying, “it’s not over, I have the final say, I’ve already set the completion date.”  if you will stay in faith, and not talk yourself out of it, it’s just a matter of time before it comes to pass. but some of you tonight, you’ve lost your fire;  at one time, you believed you could do something great, you had a big dream.  maybe you believed you could start that business, get healthy again, fall in love and get married, but it’s been so long, you tried and it didn’t work out, the loan didn’t go through, the medical report wasn’t good, now, the “never lies” are playing in your mind;  “I’ll never get well, get married, accomplish my dreams.” no, you have to have a new perspective;  the Creator of the universe has already set that completion date.  just because it hasn’t happened yet, it doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen.  God has already lined up the right people, breaks, answers;  everything you need is already in your future.  now, you’ve gotta shake off the doubt, discouragement;  whether it’s been a year, 5 years, or 50 years, what God promised you, He still has every intention of bringing it to pass.  some promises, you’re not supposed to tell your friends and all your family members. they may not be happy for you.  they may tell you how it’s not gonna happen, and you’re too old and you really think you can do that?  keep it to yourself;  that’s between you and God.  the scripture calls it:

Psalm 37:4 (AMP)

Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.

the enemy has no new tricks; he uses the same type of lies on us today:  doubt, discouragement, “do you really think you’re gonna get well?  you saw the medical report.”  “do you really think you could accomplish those dreams?  you don’t have the funds, connections.”  no, let those thoughts go in one ear and out the other. God is saying to you tonight, “you can’t die yet, there are too many promises that have not come to pass in your life.”  what God started, He will finish.  people, bad breaks, sickness can’t stop it;  death can’t even stop it.  you need to get ready;   God is going to complete your incompletions, you will not go to your grave without seeing those dreams come to pass, even the secret petitions of your heart.  it may seem impossible, but remember, our God is all-powerful, He spoke the worlds into existence, and He has you in the palm of his hand.  God never created you to do something average, drag through life, unfulfilled, unrewarded, no, He created you to do something amazing.  He’s put seeds of greatness on the inside, whispered things to you in the middle of the night that seem too big, far out, impossible.  but God is saying, “that was My voice.  that’s My dream for your life;  it’s bigger, more rewarding.”

you may not see how it can happen, it may look like it’s been too long, but if you’ll stay in faith, God can still bring that to pass, He will finish what He started.  friends, you’ve gotta stir up what God’s put on the inside; life will try to push you down, steal your dreams, talk you into settling for mediocrity.  but I want you to have this new attitude;  what God started in your life, He is going to finish it.  will you keep believing even though it looks impossible?  will you stay in faith even though every voice tells you that it’s not going to happen?  God has put a promise in every one of you, but maybe right now you’re in the wilderness, you don’t see anything happening, you think, “I’ve been praying, believing for a year, 5, 10 years, it’s never going to work out.”  no, stay the course, keep believing.  you may be tired, discouraged, tempted to be frustrated, but don’t give up on your future.  stay on the high road.  our God is a faithful God;  it may be taking a long time, but what He started He will finish in your life.  how many times as we’re believing for what God promised us do we hear these voices:  “if you were going to get well, you’d feel better by now,” “if you were gonna get married, you would have met somebody by now”?

there will always be voices trying to convince us it’s too late, you’re going the wrong way, it’s never going to happen.  sometimes in life, the fog will set in;  you don’t know which way is the right direction, you know God’s put a promise in your heart, but every voice tells you it’s not gong to happen, you’re too old, you missed too many opportunities, you don’t have the connections.  in the foggy times, when you don’t see anything happening, that’s when you have to dig your heels in, and say, “God, I’m going to believe what You promised me in spite of how I feel, what people are telling me, how it looks.  God, I’m gonna keep acting like what You said is true, keep believing You’re on the throne.  I know you’re a faithful God;  what You’ve promised You will bring  to pass.”  it’s good to be happy for others, rejoice with them, but God doesn’t want you to just celebrate everybody else, God wants to bring your dreams to pass.  God wants to give you the desires of your heart.  He wants you to be celebrated.  Rachel wanted to have a baby so badly;  years went by and she couldn’t conceive.  she got discouraged, but just because we give up on a dream, it doesn’t mean that God gives up on the dream.

Genesis 30:22 (NIV)

22 Then God remembered Rachel; he listened to her and enabled her to conceive.

it doesn’t say that Rachel remembered God;  this is how much God wants you to fulfill your destiny.  God remembered Rachel, answered her prayer, and gave her a baby.

(I found a similar story in my Daily Bible Reading newsletter:

1 Samuel 1:19-20 (NIV)

19 Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the Lord and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her.20 So in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked the Lord for him.”)

God is so loving, merciful, even when we become too discouraged to believe, God does not forget what He promised you.  you may feel like Rachel, your life hasn’t turned out the way you had hoped.  you prayed, believed, worked hard, put forth the effort, but it didn’t work out.  now, you’re kinda thinkin, “hey, I’m never gonna be happy again, I’ll never be married, never accomplish my dreams.”  no, God not only remembers you, He remembers the promise He put in you.  He knows what He’s destined you to do.  you may have already said, “forget it, it’s never gonna happen”;  the good news is, you don’t have the final say, God has the final say, and He says, “what I started in your life, I’m going to finish.”   that dream you gave up on, God didn’t give up on.  God doesn’t forget what He promised you as a child, God remembers the dreams, goals, things that you always wanted to do.  what God starts, He will finish.  you may not see how it can happen, it may look like you’re too old, you missed too many opportunities, it’s impossible.  no, God has it all figured out;  God knows how to connect the dots.  God is not ok with you fulfilling half of your destiny, God is going make sure you complete what He put you here to do.  God knows how to bring your dreams to pass.  “this all sounds good, very encouraging, but you don’t know my situation, I think it’s too late for me.”  have you ever felt like God showed up too late?  if He’d just got there a little sooner, maybe things would have worked out.  Mary and Martha wanted Jesus to come heal Lazarus, but Jesus wasn’t thinking about a healing, he was thinking about a resurrection.  a healing would have been good, but Jesus had something better in mind.

when the promise doesn’t turn out the way you thought, doesn’t happen on your timetable, it’s easy to get discouraged, and to feel like God let you down.  but the truth is, that means God has something better in store.  you prayed, worked hard, believed, but you didn’t get the promotion, the door closed;  don’t get discouraged;  that would have been a healing, God has a resurrection.  dare to trust Him;  He’s promised what He started in your life He will finish.  if you’ll let God do it His way, it’ll always turn out better than you ever imagined.  when we think, “it’s too late, it could never happen, I’ve missed too many opportunities,” God still has a way to bring your dreams to pass.  God never starts something that He can’t finish.  God is saying, “begin again, get your dreams back, hopes up.”  God has put some kind of promise in your heart.  maybe it’s been years;  you tried, it didn’t work out, you had some setbacks.  God is saying, “it’s time to start dreaming, believing, praying, expecting again.”  some of you wanted to buy that new house, you didn’t qualify for it, it didn’t work out;  that was 10 years ago, God says, “begin again.”  you knew you could break that addiction, but it didn’t happen, now you’ve gotten comfortable;  God is saying, “begin again.”  some of you had a big dream for your life,  you were gonna break out of the mold and set a new standard for your family;  but you had some disappointments, nobody believed in you, encouraged you, now you think it’s over.  but God is saying, “it’s not over, I have the final say, begin again.” you have seeds of greatness on the inside;  God wouldn’t have put the promise in your heart unless He already intended to bring it to pass.

Philippians 1:6 (NIV)

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

God is saying to each one of you tonight, “I’m going to complete your incompletions, finish what I started.  I remember the dreams I placed in your heart.  I’ve lined up the right people, opportunities;  it’s not too late, you haven’t missed too many opportunities, made too many mistakes.  begin again.”  get your fire, passion back.  and remember, if it doesn’t happen your way, keep the right perspective;  that would have been a healing, God has a resurrection. He has something better coming your way.  if you’ll stir your faith up, God is going to complete your incompletions, shift things in your favor, release a flood of His goodness, mercy, ideas.  you will overcome every obstacle, defeat every enemy, and become everything God’s created you to be.

Edit 5-15:  Today, I got the 1st-ever hit to the post “It is finished” from 4-5-10, in which I said:

“Tonight, for only the 3rd or 4th time since my conversion over 4 months ago, I noticed the listing for a famous TV pastor and watched his sermon. The topic? God doesn’t start anything that He can’t finish, that He won’t complete for you when the time is right.


Once again with this program, the specific addressing of my foremost current issue, the TIMING…  amazing.”

That’s either talking about THIS sermon, which as I write this is still under construction, or a conceptually identical one.  It’s beyond the bounds of coincidence that I got my 1st-ever hit to that 3-year-old post referencing this sermon NOW.  It’s a sign from God that the issues that I’m stuck halfway through WILL be finished, by Him, in the optimal way and time.

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