Intentional Progress in 2022: Life Lessons From Jesus (Part 50) – God Is Still God

by Rick

NOTE: Before I get into the message, I need you to know that Isabella and are going to the Dominican Republic tomorrow morning.  We will be there to visit the school, see the kids, and check on the construction project.  I want my focus to be on the project there, and I asked the Lord for a “release” from Today’s Word for the rest of the week.  He gave it to me.  So this will be the last message you receive until next Monday.  I have over 2,500 messages on the podcast ( and YouTube channel (  Please check those out while I am gone.  Thank you for your prayers!  As always, if you would like to donate to what we are doing there, please go to:

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:

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

In this series, we have sought to glean life lessons from Jesus. We looked at John 5, 6, 8, 12, and 14-18. We have been in chapter 19 for a while.  We looked at John 19:30 already in this series.  I will go back to it again today and also look at Luke 23:46.

(John 19:30 KJV)

When Jesus had therefore received the vinegar, He said, it is finished: and He bowed His head, and gave up the ghost.

(Luke 23:46 KJV)  

And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, He said, Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, He gave up the ghost.

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

1.  Jesus’ death was preplanned/preordained.

Jesus made seven statements from the cross, and several of them fulfilled prophecy. This serves as another reminder that Jesus’ death was preplanned, intentional, and completely purposeful. Our God is Sovereign. He knows all things, and He calls the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10). Jesus went to the cross on purpose.  Even while Jesus was dying, our God was still reigning!

By the time we get to our text for this morning, Jesus had already spoken five statements from the cross. The sixth was, “It is finished.” God is so much a God of order that there was even order in Jesus’ death. God created the earth, and He “finished” His work of creation with man on the sixth day. On the seventh day, God rested. Jesus’ sixth cry was, “It is finished.” With the seventh, Jesus would be translated from the cross into God’s rest. With that, Jesus said, “Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit,” and just like that, Jesus gave up the ghost.  

I will go back to Isaiah 46:10 for a minute. That verse tells us that God “declares the end from the beginning.” If that is true, we should be able to find something about the cross in the beginning. We can. In Genesis 3, after Adam sinned, God sentenced the man, the woman, and the serpent. He made the following statement to the serpent, satan.

(Gen 3:15 NKJV)

And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”

The “seed” mentioned in Genesis 3 is Jesus. He is the seed of the woman. It is true that on the cross, Jesus was bruised for us. But Jesus’ bruise came to his “heel.” Satan’s bruise would come to his head! The cross was a minor blow for Jesus within the context of eternity. But it was a major blow for satan once he realized that the blood of Jesus sealed his fate forever.

The major point I am making here is that John 19 and Luke 23 were in the heart of the Father way back in Genesis 3. This death was preplanned, preordained, and divinely orchestrated. And just like God was moving pieces around the chessboard of Jesus’ life, He is doing the same for you today. Your life was preplanned, and if you follow the divine impulses of the Holy Spirit like Jesus did, you will live out what God placed INSIDE OF YOU before the world began. You are not a mistake, and GREATER IS COMING FOR YOU!

2.  No one took Jesus’ life.  

a)  No one took Jesus’ life because no one had the power to do so.  He willingly gave up His life for you.

b)  Until the very end,’ till the final cry, Jesus had the power to destroy all those who were attempting to destroy Him.  But He restrained Himself and endured this horrible death because of our sin.

c)  Jesus faced death on the cross, and through the entire process, God was still God, He was still on the throne, and He still had ALL POWER.  Remember that the next time you are facing a challenge.

d)  The fact that you will face tribulation in this world does not lessen the power of God in any way.  It should actually motivate you to tap into it with your faith.  God’s grace is available to you, and if you use your faith to access His grace, you will be empowered to overcome everything you face on the road to your destiny.

e)  No one could have done anything to Jesus that the Father did not allow.  The same can be said for you.  No one took Jesus’ life because the Hand of God was on Him.  As you think about yourself and how, like Jesus, you are called by God to your specific purpose, you are loved by God with an unconditional love, and you are protected by God for your divine assignment.  Therefore, what is seemingly happening TO you, may be happening FOR you!  In the end, the cross worked out for Jesus’ good (and our good too).  Guess what?  In the end, the attacks against you will turn out for your good as well.  God has a way of turning things around.  God is with you, and He will never allow the enemy to triumph over you!  Keep your eyes on Jesus.  God is still God, He still loves you, and He still has His hand on you.  Rest in that!

3.  The devil lost the day Jesus gave up the ghost.  

a)  The foolish devil thought he was destroying Jesus, but he actually helped give Jesus the ultimate victory.  When the first drop of Jesus’ blood hit the ground, it sealed satan’s fate forever.

b)  The Bible explains that if the princes of this world had known what they were doing, they would have NEVER crucified the Lord Jesus (1 Cor 2:8).  When they thought they were winning, they were actually losing.  And that dirty devil makes the same mistake in your life all the time.  The more he attacks you, the stronger you get!

c)  Jesus went down into hell during those three nights and three days, and He took the keys to hell and the grave with Him as He ascended for the Resurrection.  Jesus, like Joseph, could say that the devil meant it for evil, but the Father turned it around for good.  Guess what?  You can say the same.  If satan were smarter, he would leave you alone.  So no matter what you are facing this morning, you have to remember that God is still God.  He is still on the throne.  He still has all power.  He still loves you unconditionally.  Knowing this, you know that you will overcome because Jesus already overcame for you!

d)  Many Christians succumb to the power of negative stress and distressing anxiety, and often it is becuase they feel like God is not there.  When they are facing a major challenge, they feel like God has somehow left them or that He no longer cares about them.  These thoughts come from satan and not from God.  If you can get ahold of yourself long enough to think about the goodness of God, you will realize that God has never left you, and He never will.  Now, you may have to endure things like Jesus did.  But you will endure the challenges knowing that God is ON you, IN you, WITH you, and FOR you.  Jesus calmly “gave up the ghost” becuase He knew that surrendering to God would not be the end of his story.  

You must graduate to that level of trust.  If you can (and I pray that you do), then even when the devil attacks you with the best he has, you will enter into God’s rest, you will embrace God’s grace to overcome, and you will frustrate the hell out of satan!  And it is at this level of rest that God can do His best work.  While you are resting, God will be working, and He will turn it around for your good.  But if you are stressing, then God will rest, and He will wait for you to get to the point where you willingly yield to Him!

e)  The devil lost the day he messed with Jesus, and He will lose when he messes with you, just as long as you rest in God’s finished work while you are facing challenges, obstacles, and attacks.  If you try to face these things on your own, in your own power, you will lose becuase your humanity is not enough.  But if you learn to rest in God and His grace (like Jesus did), you will win becuase God’s grace is always enough!

Declaration of Faith:  

Declaration of Faith:  

Father, I thank You for Jesus this morning and every morning!  I will never cease to give You the praise for what Jesus did for me.  He willingly endured the pain of the cross for me.  Jesus took my place on Calvary.  I now I take His place in the earth.  Jesus never stopped, and I never will either.  No matter what I face, I know that You are still God, and I still have a purpose.  So I become the Jesus people can see, hear, and touch in the earth.  I pray for the sick, I encourage the discouraged, I uplift the downtrodden, and I bind the powers of darkness.  I honor Jesus’ sacrifice today and every day by becoming a conduit of His light and His love in the earth.  As Jesus is, so am I, in this world!  Nothing can stop me because nothing can stop YOU!  I will never allow a challenge, obstacle, or roadblock to cause me to quit, and I will never buckle under the power of distressing anxiety.  I continually enter into Your rest, and I embrace Your grace.  Jesus kept going until the very end.  He only died when He was DONE!  I live my life the same 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.

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