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Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No-one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs-he wants to please his commanding officer. Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules. 2 Timothy 2:3-5

hardship.  not a fun word.  not conjuring up pleasant thoughts.

yet this is what we are called to.

Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did. ~Newt Gingrich

the motivation for enduring hardship comes from having an eternal perspective, knowing there is a reward, a victors crown, for getting to the finish line

the motivation comes from knowing you’re not living just for yourself but living to know and make known an amazing awesome mighty God and that He has a plan and a purpose for our lives

perspective gives us courage to press in and press on, to get past the burn

sometimes it takes getting out of our comfort zone

sometimes it takes a CHOICE to get past and get through, to CHOOSE what is right instead of to give in to own wrong desires

its just like olypmic athletes.  the difference between an olympic marathon runner and a runner is that the olympic contender has done the hard yards and disciplined himself or herself to go the distance and to increase in strength and stamina no matter what the cost and the pain.  they are disciplined, dedicated and devoted.  an ordinary runner becomes extraordinary.

i believe that God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things.  but the characteristic or the heartbeat often overlooked in those people is the desire to be poured out, the surrender to Jesus, the laying down their own lives and living wholeheartedly for their Lord.  its not status quo living.  its not blending in.  its not a life of compromise.   its devotion.  love.   response.  if you want to be mightily used by God to change your world or THE world then develop an attitude of surrender.  develop a lifestyle of devotion.   this is i believe what makes the difference between ordinary and extraordinary.

 

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

my life is not my own

i am brought with a price

i am now serving the King of Kings and surrender to His ways and His will

i want to please my commanding officer

i live in response to His great love

how do i find out what pleases God? 

  • read the Word,
  • do the Word,
  • pray,
  • seek God,
  • listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit
  • humble ourselves
  • allow God to transform us
  • conform to what the Word says

God’s eyes are continually searching the earth for those rare individuals of ‘whom the world was not worthy’. Men like Moses and John the Baptist; Luther and Calvin; Whitefield and Wesley; Studd and Moody. Men who live in a different atmosphere than other mortals; men who have annihilated self with the Cross and whose lives are broken alabaster boxes from which fragrances arise to the heavens from the broken pieces of selflessness, self-sacrifice, and self-crucifixion. God is always on the ‘look out’ for such men. ~ E. A . Johnston

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