2020 is here! Can you believe it? Time…where does it go? Last week’s blog addressed the importance of focusing on our faith. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I find myself looking back over the past month and wondering what I accomplished. At times I fear I am just going through the motions—lacking focus. I want this year, this month, this week, this day to be different.
As we all prepare to head back to the job of schooling this week, our minds are laser focused on our to-do lists (as they should be). Most of us will fall back into the daily grind with a vengeance. The question we will all face is this: Will there be room in our daily grind for Jesus? Will God’s call on our life be first and foremost in our minds as we carry out the work He has set before us, or will our faith be relegated to simple afterthoughts?
God has so much in store for you and for me. I truly believe this. He desires for all of us to live victorious lives. Otherwise, why would Jesus say all of these things?
Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness because you will have the light that leads to life.” John 8:12
The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. John 10:10
Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. John 14:1
I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it! John 14:12-14
I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! John 15:9-11
I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. John 5:15-16
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. John 16:33
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11: 28-29
These are the words of Jesus, and Jesus plainly said in John 10:30, “I and the Father are One.” God is speaking these powerful, life-giving words to us! Let that soak in for a moment.
Most educators I know are not content with satisfactory. We are always pushing and encouraging our students and colleagues to excel. The same is true for us as Christians. We must never become complacent. Our hearts should yearn to know Jesus more, to love Him more, and to share the Gospel with others.
Paul expresses it so passionately in Philippians 3:13-14.
No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
Paul knew there was so much more maturing to do. In the previous verses he expresses a deep desire to truly know Christ, to experience His power as well as share in His sufferings. If we truly desire to grow in our walk as Paul did, it requires purposefully pressing on—grabbing hold of what God is calling us to do and letting go of the past.
Forgetting isn’t easy. Sometimes our failures loom over us like a dark cloud. We feel discouraged and defeated. It is okay to remember the past, but we can’t let the past control our future. Meditate on the words of Jesus and never forget He came to give us abundant life.
Life is precious. We are only here for a short time. In order to grow, we must let go of 2019, press on toward 2020, and keep our focus on the author and perfecter of our faith—Jesus!
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2
Challenge: I have used a lot of scripture in this blog. I would encourage to go to the website (www.victoriouseducator.com) and print this out. Carry it with you this week. Focus on the verses and speak them out loud. Let God's word be your encouragement as you press on!