Intentional Progress in 2022: Life Lessons From Jesus (Part 5)

by Rick

This morning we continue our journey into this new year with a focus on making “Intentional Progress.”  I shared with you six steps to intentional progress and I will walk through them over the next few weeks.  As a reminder, here are the six steps.

Here are the steps again:

1.  Pray/Discern

2.  Plan/Prepare

3.  Wait/Discern God’s Timing

4.  Execute/Measure Progress

5.  Wait/Faith & Patience

6.  Receive When Harvest Time Comes

We are looking at the first step right now: praying and discerning the will of God.  Last week we looked at John chapter 5.  Yesterday we crossed over into John chapter 6.  Today we will look at another passage in John chapter 6.  

(John 6:35-44 ERV)  

35 Then Jesus said, “I am the bread that gives life. No one who comes to me will ever be hungry. No one who believes in me will ever be thirsty. 

36 I told you before that you have seen me, and still you don’t believe. 

37 The Father gives me my people. Every one of them will come to me. I will always accept them. 

38 I came down from heaven to do what God wants, not what I want. 

39 I must not lose anyone God has given me. But I must raise them up on the last day. This is what the one who sent me wants me to do. 

40 Everyone who sees the Son and believes in him has eternal life. I will raise them up on the last day. This is what my Father wants.”

41 Some Jews began to complain about Jesus because he said, “I am the bread that comes down from heaven.” 

42 They said, “This is Jesus. We know his father and mother. He is only Joseph’s son. How can he say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”

43 But Jesus said, “Stop complaining to each other. 

44 The Father is the one who sent me, and he is the one who brings people to me. I will raise them up on the last day. Anyone the Father does not bring to me cannot come to me. 

So what does this mean for you today?  A few things.

1.  Accepting your God-given assignment and the grace to fulfill it will help build your confidence.  

Jesus said, “I am the bread that gives life. No one who comes to me will ever be hungry. No one who believes in me will ever be thirsty.” 

— Jesus knew what the Father sent Him to this planet to accomplish, He was at peace with it, He did not fight against it, and He fully embraced it.  If we ever get to this point, we will walk with a level of confidence that will not be shaken because, at that point, our confidence will be in God and not in us.

— The reason why Step #1 of 6 in making intentional progress in 2022 is praying and discerning the will of God is because knowing God’s will must come first.  Once you know what God is leading you to do, you can embrace the grace to do it, with full confidence that ALL OF HEAVEN will have your back!

— Jesus was humble, but He was also extremely confident.  When you walk with God and you know you are empowered by God’s grace, you can be humble and bold at the same time.

— Jesus was like, “I know who I am.  I am the bread of life.  I am assigned by my heavenly Father to provide life to this world.  This life FLOWS from my life.  Anyone who comes to me will never be hungry or thirsty because the LIFE that FLOWS from my life will never run out!” (Rick Piña Version).

— Jesus’ confidence was rooted in the Father and not His own human abilities.  Since Jesus is our example, we can live the same way.  Once we know our God-given assignment and tap into God’s grace to fulfill it, we can speak about it with divinely inspired confidence. 

— When you know WHO you are in Christ, you know WHAT God has called you to do, and you have embraced the GRACE to get it done, you will live your life with uncommon confidence.  This does not mean you will be arrogant because you know your power is coming from God and not you.  So you will be humble and confident at the same time.  This is how Jesus lived.  This is how I live.  I pray you get to this point as well!

2.  Remaining reliant on God’s grace will keep you humble and focused on God.

— When God starts using you for His glory, you don’t ever want to get “the big head” because you are not the one doing it.  You have to remind yourself that it is the Father, who is living in You.  He is giving you the words, and He is performing the work.  Therefore, you have nothing to boast about.

— Remain “little in your own eyes.”  When King Saul disobeyed God, the prophet told him that he would have never done it when he was “little in his own eyes.”  Always remain humble before God.  The quickest way UP in God is keeping yourself DOWN, in humility.  And the quickest way DOWN in God is raising yourself UP in pride.

— If you remain humble, God will EXALT YOU!  But if you exalt yourself, God will HUMBLE YOU!  I have experienced both.  Take it from me; allowing God to exalt you is much better!

— Jesus said, “I came down from heaven to do what God wants, not what I want.”  Reminding yourself of this truth will keep you humble, focused, and confident.  Because when you know you are doing God’s will and NOT your own, your confidence will come from God! 

— Jesus constantly reminded Himself and His followers that He was not on the earth on a self-seeking mission, but rather on a divine assignment from the Father.  Likewise, you and I are not here, on the earth, to perform our own will.  We are here to perform the will of the Father who sent us.  

— We are not just here to suck in and blow out air and to seek every sort of human pleasure.  Some people save up a little bit of money, and they then head to the beach.  They say they want to spend the rest of their lives on a pseudo vacation.  I am not opposed to getting rest.  Isabella and I schedule our rest with intentionality.  Rest is spiritual.  But God did not send us to this planet to party.  He sent us to this planet with a purpose.  Our job is to FIND it, FOLLOW it, and FINISH it BEFORE we die!  To DISCOVER it, DEVELOP in it, and the DEPLOY into our purpose, while we are in the land of the living.

— The Holy Spirit will lead you to choose purpose over pleasure, calling over comfort, and destiny over selfish desires.  But we must have the sensitivity to hear what the Holy Spirit is saying and then have the discipline to respond to the call when our CALLING IS CALLING US!    

3.  Knowing your God-given purpose and walking in the grace to fulfill it takes the pressure off of you.  

Jesus said, “I must not lose anyone God has given me. But I must raise them up on the last day. This is what the one who sent me wants me to do.”  He also said, “The Father is the one who sent me, and he is the one who brings people to me.”  Another translation reads, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me.”  

— Jesus did not accept any pressure to make people follow Him.  He just focused on doing His part, and He knew the Father would do what He could not do, and that was to move on the hearts of others to follow Him.  

— We can learn so much from the life of Jesus.  I trust you are enjoying this series.  The point I am making now is a very important one.  While we must embrace the grace to do what God has called us to do, we must also know that there will be portions of our divine assignment that we CANNOT do.  We must simply rely on God to do what we cannot.  Understanding this keeps us humble and reliant on God and His grace.

— Your part is to do what God has graced you to do and then believe God for the rest.  

— Do what you can, and trust Him for what you can’t!  When you live this way, you will live in a stress-free zone, not accepting pressure to perform and certainly no pressure to do things that are beyond your control.  

*** Part of living by faith is also learning to TRUST God!

That’s enough for today.

Declaration of Faith

Father, I thank You for taking the time to teach me about Your amazing grace.  The more I learn about Your grace, the more I embrace Your grace for my assignment.  I am now able to speak about my assignment with confidence because my confidence is not in me or my abilities.  My confidence is rooted and grounded in You and Your grace.  I decrease daily that You may increase through me.  I die, so You may live through me.  I surrender, so You can reign through me on this planet.  I live my life focused on my divine purpose.  I am not here on a self-seeking or self-pleasing mission.  I am here to perform Your will, and by faith, I declare that I will.  I will FIND, FOLLOW and FINISH my purpose before I die.  I will do all You have graced me to do, and I will trust You for the rest.  I do what I can, by Your grace, and I believe You to do what I can’t.  I refuse to take on any pressure to do things I am not graced to do.  You open doors for me that I cannot open, and when You do, they become doors no man can close.  I live stress-free because I only do what I am graced to do, and I totally rely on You to do the rest.  This is how I know GREATER IS COMING FOR ME!  I declare this by faith!  In Jesus’ name, Amen!

This is Today’s Word.  Apply it and prosper!

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