This morning we continue our journey into this year, focusing on making “Intentional Progress.” I shared six steps to intentional progress with you, and I will continue to walk through them over the next few months. Here are the six steps.
Here are the steps again:
3. Wait/Discern God’s Timing
4. Execute/Measure Progress
5. Wait/Faith & Patience
6. Receive When Harvest Time Comes
In this series, we have sought to glean life lessons from Jesus. We looked at John 5, 6, 8, 12, and 14-18. We are now in chapter 19. Let’s pick it up where we left off.
(John 19:23-27 TPT)
23 Now when the soldiers crucified Jesus, they divided up his clothes into four shares, one for each of them. But his tunic was seamless, woven from the top to the bottom as a single garment.
24 So the soldiers said to each other, “Don’t tear it—let’s throw dice to see who gets it!” The soldiers did all of this not knowing they fulfilled the Scripture that says, “They divided my garments among them and gambled for my clothing.”
25 Mary, Jesus’ mother, was standing next to his cross, along with Mary’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.
26 So when Jesus looked down and saw the disciple he loved standing with her, he said, “Mother, look—John will be a son to you.”
27 Then he said, “John, look—she will be a mother to you!” From that day on, John accepted Mary into his home as one of his own family.
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. Even while Jesus was nailed to the cross, we see the hand of God in operation.
Last week I gave you a list of 33 prophesies Jesus fulfilled. Two of them are in today’s text:
1. He would be nailed to a tree.
(Deuteronomy 21:22-23; Psalm 22:16; John 19:18; 20:25)
2. People would cast lots for his clothes.
(Psalm 22:18; Matthew 27:35)
The Bible says, “Now when the soldiers crucified Jesus, they divided up his clothes into four shares, one for each of them. But his tunic was seamless, woven from the top to the bottom as a single garment. So the soldiers said to each other, “Don’t tear it—let’s throw dice to see who gets it!” The soldiers did all of this not knowing they fulfilled the Scripture that says, “They divided my garments among them and gambled for my clothing.” (John 19:23,24).
Later I will describe the pain Jesus felt on the cross. But I am sure you can imagine it. While He is hanging there, in pain, He looks down to see soldiers throwing dice to see who would get His seamless tunic. Jesus knew this was a prophesy that was being fulfilled. Jesus knew this was “supposed to happen.” Therefore, even while on the cross, He was finding peace in the fact that His Sovereign Father was still moving pieces around on the chessboard of His life.
This is how it is with us. Sometimes, in the middle of the most challenging times, we get a glimpse of something that reminds us of the sovereignty of God. It can be something seemingly random. But when we see it, the Holy Spirit uses it to remind us that God is still God, that His plan is still in operation, and that God is still moving pieces around the chessboard of our lives.
Since God is playing chess and not checkers, sometimes it’s hard to figure out what He is doing. But over the process of time, the Holy Spirit will reveal it to you, and you will understand it better looking back. The things of God are not always understood in the moment. But looking back, we get it. God does not have to explain Himself, but He will reveal Himself, over time, as we walk with Him!
— Never feel like God has left you. He never has and He never will. Even in the midst of tremendous pain, God is still there with you, every step of the way!
— God was with Jesus on the cross and He will be with you for the challenges you are destined to face!
— God is ON you, IN you, WITH you, and FOR you!
— With God on your side, He is more than the entire world against you. You just have to learn to trust and rest in His sovereignty!
2. Even while on the cross, Jesus was more focused on others than Himself.
Have you ever gone to the hospital to minister to someone, but only to find that they minister to you? You were there for their pain, but they were so at peace with God that they were not focused on their pain. They were focused on your heart.
That’s what happened when Mary, the mother of Jesus, went to see her Son of the cross. While Jesus was born supernaturally, He still came through her womb. She gave birth to this boy. In our text, He was a grown man. Her Son was nailed to a cross. She came to see Him as any mother would. But while Jesus was nailed to the cross, He was more concerned with His mother and Himself.
John was standing by Mary, the mother of Jesus. So Jesus said, “Mother, look—John will be a son to you.” Then He said, “John, look—she will be a mother to you!” The Bible says, “From that day on, John accepted Mary into his home as one of his own family.”
— Even in His dying moments, Jesus took the time to take care of His mother.
— While Jesus was in pain, the pain did not blind Him from His purpose.
— God can empower you with so much grace that the pain you endure pales in comparison to the purpose you are called to.
— You will never maximize your purpose and potential without building up the resolve to endure and overcome pain. Pain is a part of life. God has given you the grace to overcome, but you must have to focus required to tap into God’s grace when painful times come. Without the right focus, you will shift your attention to the pain and lose sight of your purpose.
— Jesus maintained His focus, even in the midst of excruciating pain, and as a result, He was able to embrace the grace to overcome everything He faced. If you ever get to the point where you feel overwhelmed, where you feel like your world is falling apart, and you want to give up, it is NOT becuase you don’t have the grace for it. Because God will never allow you to face something He has not GRACED you to face. God has done His part. He has given you grace. So if you ever get to the point that I described, it is because you lost your focus.
— Losing your focus is dangerous. Jesus was on the cross, and He never lost His focus. If you lose your focus, the grace of God will be there, but you will fail to use it. And that point, you will feel like your life is going out of control, while God will be looking at you, saying, “Son/daugther, I have given you my grace. My grace is sufficient. My power is made perfect in weakness. Why are you trying to handle this on your own? Your humanity is not enough. But my grace is always enough!”
— Please don’t lose your focus. Because if you lose your focus, you may lose your way!
— Pain does not have to cause you to lose your focus, becuase you have GRACE FOR IT! Rest in God’s grace. This is #TheGraceLife.
God can empower you with so much grace that the pain pales in comparison to your purpose.
** The last point I was going to bring out today has to do with John and not Jesus. But I am led to leave this for tomorrow. So I will stop here for today.
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I learn to trust You with my whole heart. I thank You for the example You have given me in Jesus. Jesus endured the pain of the cross, and even while He was hanging there, for three hours, He maintained His focus. He knew that You were still ruling and reigning. He knew that You were still moving pieces around the chessboard. I learn from Him and I maintain my focus as well. I will never allow pain to blind me of my divine purpose. No matter what I go through, I will keep my eyes fixed and focused on You. As I do, I am able to endure and overcome anything, because I know You are with me every step of the way. 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.