Sun, 2018-01-21 12:01
1. Plan towards your God-given Potential
It’s the beginning of a new year. Many people make New Year’s resolutions towards a better life and a brighter future. In our planning for our future, we should always be mindful of the potential that God has placed within us.
The word “Potential” means:
- Unrealised possibilities
- Dormant qualities or abilities that could be developed to lead to future success and fruitfulness
- Capable of being or becoming but not yet in existence
Matthew 4:18–22 (NKJV) And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 19 Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 They immediately left their nets and followed Him. 21 Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them, 22 and immediatelythey left the boat and their father, and followed Him.
Jesus chose His initial 12 disciples not for who they were at the time, but for who they could become. He saw their God-given potential within them.
He called them to Himself to unlock their potential and help them fulfil their destiny.
John 1: 41 tells us that Andrew brought his brother Simon to Jesus. Jesus changed the name of Simon (hear) to Peter (rock) to indicate that he would turn him from a volatile & fearful person into a courageous & rock-solid leader.
Later, one of the other disciples called Philip brought Nathaniel to Jesus.
Jesus knew that Nathaniel was a good man in whom there was no deceit, yet it wasn’t until Nathaniel began to follow Jesus that his full potential began to be unlocked.
Before we talk about fulfilling our full potential, let’s ask the question: Who can we bring to Jesus this year to see them changed so they can fulfil God’s potential in their lives.
Ephesians 2:10 (AMPC)
For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].
There is a certain sequence to fulfilling our God-given potential:
- Begin to follow Jesus and become born again (or born anew)
- Begin to do those good works which God has planned beforehand
- Begin to take the paths which He has prepared ahead of time
- Live the good life which He has prearranged and made ready for us
How good is God’s Plan and his Potential for our lives?
Ephesians 3:20 (AMPC)
Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of God’s] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams].
When we connect with God through Jesus Christ, and let Him lead us by His Spirit, He is able to carry out His purpose in and through us, and do superabundantly beyond our highest dreams and expectations.
An unconventional but non-the-less scriptural prayer would be:
Lord, I have an expectation that You will exceed my expectation.
Don’t limit yourself with small thinking – let God expand your vision and your dream.
Quote by Pope John XXIII
“Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.”
The wrong example of the Israelites should be a lesson for us today:
Psalm 78:41–43 (NKJV) Yes, again and again they tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel. 42 They did not remember His power: The day when He redeemed them from the enemy, 43 When He worked His signs in Egypt, and His wonders in the field of Zoan;
We can limit God in our lives in a number of ways:
- Small thinking
- Negative confessions
- No or low expectations
- Fear of failure
Sometimes people are concerned about their perceived lack of intelligence:
Quote by Winston Churchill:
“Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential”.
Quote by Lynn Davies
“It's perseverance that's the key. It's persevering for long enough to achieve your potential.”
Quote by Winston Churchill:
“Never, never, never give up.’
Quote by Joel Osteen
“I want to challenge you today to get out of your comfort zone. You have so much incredible potential on the inside. God has put gifts and talents in you that you probably don't know anything about.”
Some potential Action Points for this year:
- Sow a new seed, there is a great potential for a harvest
- Strive towards an excellent attitude at all times
- Develop your gifts and talents, there is great potential for promotion
- Learn a new skill, there is great potential for a better job
- Get some more education, there is a potential for a new career
- Sign up for Bible College this year, there is great potential for further spiritual growth
- Eat healthier food, there is great potential for a healthier life
- Begin a new exercise regime, there is great potential for a new fitness
Think only positive thoughts, there is great potential for a happier life