It is finished: Personal Application

Jesus cross

The Easter Bible study at my local assembly last evening was extremely enlightening. Each presenter shared messages on these five topics: The Upper Room, The Garden, The Trials, The Crucifixion and The Grave. Each one of them was outstanding and biblically sound. However, the one that shifted me and my perspective on Kingdom assignment was The Crucifixion. Elder Anthony Eagleton focused on Jesus’ three words on the Cross.
You probably guessed them…

“It is finished!”

Elder Anthony shared with the audience, in essence, that Jesus made a public declaration that everything His Father had assigned to Him was completed. Every task on Jesus’ “To-do” list was checked, “Completed.” IT IS FINISHED!

This morning, those words were still in my spirit. During my meditation and devotion, I pondered Jesus’ words more deeply— “It is finished.” My perception was challenged as I thought and prayed about my Kingdom assignment. As I sat in the presence of the Lord, I asked: Will I be able to say, “It is finished?” I had to refocus and continue assessing my life in regard to God’s purpose, basically why I was born.

Am I doing what has been assigned to me?

What am I doing that has nothing to do with what God has purposed for my life in this season?

If I lose focus on my specific assignment, I risk incomplete tasks assigned to me because I am doing something that is not on my “to-do-list” from God. When we are graced with natural skills, talents (gifts) and abilities, it is easy to get distracted by just doing good works, even church activities. But is it what God has assigned? Does it have eternal purpose? Yes, every good and perfect gift, our talents and abilities are from the Father of lights. However, they are given to use in collaboration with our perpetual call and Kingdom purpose. For example, Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John were skilled fishermen by trade. However, their assignment was to become fishers of men for the eternal purposes of God—leaders and builders of Christ’s church.

Elder Eagleton’s message about Jesus’ three words on the Cross before He gave up the ghost reminded me of the importance of being focused and committed to my Kingdom assignment and the perpetual call of God on my life. When we are chosen by God, sometimes we are so focused on our inadequacy, weaknesses and imperfections that we become so fearful that we settle for the busyness of church activities. Truth is Kingdom assignment is not about our weaknesses and imperfections. Kingdom assignment is what we are supernaturally anointed (empowered, enabled, equipped and qualified) by God to do. Kingdom assignment is about God’s power, faithfulness, grace, and our obedience.We just have to say, “Yes, Lord” and trust Him to work through us.

If those of us who know our specific calling and assigned area of ministry are not careful to discern Kingdom assignment from church activities, we can become comfortable with  doing good works and activities instead of being focused, consistent and driven by God’s purpose and specific assignment. For example, the 1st Century church was doing a good work—serving food to the poor in Acts 6:1-4. A complaint of discrimination arose by one group against another. Although it was a good work, the apostles discerned it should be administered by others, so they could focus on their specific assignment. They assigned serving tables to others qualified to handle that responsibility. They understood that it was not appropriate for them to neglect their specific assignment—teaching the word of God. In verse 4, they said, “…we will devote ourselves [steadfastly] to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” (Amplified). Please do not misunderstand what I am saying. I am not demeaning church activities.  They are necessary in the life of the church and must be done. However, busyness in church activities should not become a comfort zone or a substitute for our Kingdom assignment.

While I sat meditating and listening, the Holy Spirit reminded me of how I was directed to Acts 6:1-4 years ago when I was working a 9-5. After six years, here I am a retiree refocusing and redirecting my attention to my specific assignment—prayer and the ministry of God’s Word. Everything else is now secondary.

To complete my assignment, I must also say what Jesus said:

I must work the works of Him who sent me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work” (John 9:4).

I must work diligently to declare as Jesus did, “It is finished,” I completed the tasks that the Father assigned to me.

 

 

Copyright 2018, Queen E. Phillips, Majestic Worldwide Ministries, Inc.

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The Presence of the Present

nativityscene

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

As the day approaches—the day set aside as a holiday to celebrate the birth of Jesus—Christmas Day, my attention now , more than ever, is the truth that He was, is and will always be Father’s Gift to the world, that is our Savior, our Rescuer, our Redeemer, our Deliverer.

The presents we give and receive are good. Keep giving during this season. It is in part what the holiday is all about—giving to express love. Blessing others. Enjoying family and friends—laughter because of the joy of the season. That is ALL good; however, the present GIFT (the right now GIFT) is so much better. To have Immanuel with us is the most valuable gift anyone can have or desire. The Lord’s Presence is the air that we breathe, and His Holy Spirit, a precious treasure that dwells in these frail, broken earthen vessels we call our body.

As I mature naturally and spiritually, I focus more on the Presence of the Present—being alive, embracing life, breathing, having peace with God through faith in Jesus the Christ, and thus, peace of mind in a world’s system that is unstable and a society that mad and dominated by the evil one.

The prophetic word spoken by Isaiah 7:14 was fulfilled, and Immanuel is still with us! The sign that God promised appeared. To debate the date, or when doesn’t matter to me. What matters is the He came and after His humanity assigned time on earth was completed, He gave His life and after three days was resurrected; after 40 days He ascended on a cloud back to glory, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father, with all power over heaven and earth in His hands. AND, what also matters is He is coming back again to reign forever!

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Spiritual Olympians

The world is watching the 2012 World Olympics! What an opportune time to motivate and inspire millions to become spiritual Olympians and athletes in the “game” many call life.  The Olympics is a great analogy. Apostle Paul uses the analogy of physical training in his letter to Timothy, urging him to train himself for godliness the same way disciplined athletes train for competition. 

Keywords: Train and discipline. 

Can you imagine the sacrifice that all the athletes made just to be part of the Olympics? Let’s consider one

in particular— Gabrielle Christina Victoria Douglas, aka, Gabby.  Her story is one of sacrifice and discipline not only for her, but for her family as well.  I was moved to tears watching the video about the sacrifice Gabby made to move away from her mom and loving family into the home of a host family some 3,000 miles away to train in pursuit of a life-changing dream. That dream is now reality, no doubt, beyond her expectation. What an awesome achievement as the world witnesses—16 year-old; U.S.A. all around gold medalist in the 2012 Olympics. All of their investments, hard work, discipline and sacrifices paid off.

I pondered the question: Why would someone make such sacrifices and devote so much of their time and energy into training? And then the answer was clear: Because of passion and purpose. It is a passion for something that compels…an innate gift and an undeniable ability that produce perseverance. The heart’s desire to achieve your dream is stronger than the physical pain you will bear, or the emotional pain you will suffer living with regrets if you fail to pursue the dream. And like, Gabby, sometimes the emotional pain can seem more unbearable than the physical pain.  But when purpose is calling someone— a mom, a host family,  a coach— tap into your potential and see the possibilities of a life-changing experience; therefore, they won’t let you quit, but will help you to fight for your dream. Why is that important? Because when the dream becomes reality, others are inspired…you are a witness; you are a model.  I’d even go so far as to say it is a ‘calling’, part of a Divine plan to reveal a greater purpose. In Gabby’s instance, a message of faith, hope, love and unity.  

Herein is the inspiration and motivation for us Christians.  We must answer the question: What is it that I am so passionate about; that I want so badly in my Christian walk of faith that I am willing to make sacrifices, and discipline myself by training untiringly to achieve it?  “Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4).

I know it’s easy to become fainthearted, weary and discouraged when it seems life has dealt you a “bad” hand (Galatians 6:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:13). More often, it’s not a bad hand, but rather, our holding on to the hand of people, memory of places, and danger of  things that keep us from achieving the best that God has planned for us, and wants to give us. It may mean you have to separate yourself from those you love dearly.  

As Christians our lives are on display; we are the billboards along life’s highway. We are called to be witnesses to the world for Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8). Of course, it’s uncomfortable. Yes, there will always be ridicule, naysayers, opposition, and negative opinions.  Nevertheless, we must stand firm and not be persuaded to give up when the going gets tough, especially when people focus more on the minor rather than appreciate you for the accomplishments that make all of us proud. 

In America, athletes are often considered models; being in the public eye has its challenges especially when one is not ashamed to be a witness for Christ. We all need models— an example of how we should live; and how we should pursue our dreams in a godly manner, and then give glory to God when He blesses us to achieve those desires, which He placed in our hearts. 

In 1 Timothy Paul urges his loyal friend to become that model by accepting the discipline and hard work required to be a model— a spiritual Olympians—committed to pursuing a real relationship with Jesus Christ worth more than gold.  Paul admonished Timothy, “Train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come”  (1 Timothy 4:7-8). In essence, it takes hard work and discipline to live a godly lifestyle.  However, what’s more important is that we have the Holy Spirit to help us.  If we let Him, he will lead and guide us. He will teach us how to compete in the race of life and seal our victory as spiritual Olympians—winners of the crown of life in glory.

The world is watching the 2012 World Olympics! What an opportune time to motivate and inspire someone to become spiritual Olympians and athletes in the race of life by being a disciplined Christian.