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‘Fulfilled’ Your Mission?

31 May 18

Have you ‘FULFILLED’ any of your life’s goals yet? If not, are you still working on some of them? Question: Are they coordinated with your life’s ‘mission’?

A mission is defined as any important task or aim that is assigned, allotted, or self-imposed. Personally, it is usually a reason or philosophy for what one would like to become, and describes the contribution or ‘legacy’ one would like to make or leave in the world. Many believe it is the key to finding personal ‘satisfaction’ in life.

Since a mission isn’t something an outside ‘force’ assigns us—but is rather something we assign ourselves—it serves as the reason we engage in various ‘meaning-making’ strategies we can employ throughout our lives. Some people create a ‘statement’ for themselves.

An effective mission statement doesn’t require that we pursue any single career, hobby, or activity, but rather it can be conceptually broad enough such that any number of strategies would enable one to accomplish it (as you go from life stage to life stage, and as you learn more, it might change). Yet it also needs to be narrow enough that it has a singularity of focus—the most important thing one could spend their lives doing.

If one embraces a mission that dedicates themselves to the happiness of others, they will not only enjoy greater satisfaction in life, but also gain something that fleeting pleasures cannot provide—something that most people fail to associate with a strong sense of purpose but that’s nevertheless one of its principal benefits: indescribable joy!

An effective approach to articulate a value-creating statement is to look to what you are already most excited about—something to which you’re already committed.

So, begin with the right question. Don’t ask yourself, “What do I want to do with my life?” That is, don’t focus on a ‘strategy’, like a career. Instead, ask yourself, “What is the most important ‘value’ I could create?” (that would be a ‘mission’).

You’re after ‘meaningfulness’ not passion. Though the two are by no means mutually exclusive, they are distinct. Passion is usually more associated with the strategies you use to ‘fulfill’ your mission, by “sculpting” figures, for example, rather than having a mission to “fill the world with beauty.” Strategy is “HOW” you do something, (the ‘roadmap’), and mission is “WHAT” you do (the ‘purpose’). [ Vision is the “WHY”—the ‘North Star’/Aspiration ].

 

After one determines their mission, you have to craft methods to fulfill it—to achieve the mission.

Communications expert, Katrina Razavi developed the “Pyramid to Fulfillment” (similar to Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs”). However, Katrina is focusing on “fulfillment.”

At the bottom—or the foundation—is “Safety and Security” (food and shelter). Then the next ‘level’ up, on top of the foundation, is “Mental Strength” (inner voice). Building upon that is then “Human Connection” (part of the ‘in-group’); then “Growth” (“if you’re not growing, you’re dying); then “Confidence” (comfortable with who you are); and then, finishing at the top, there is “Self Extension” (extending beyond yourself).

Pyramid To Fulfillment - Katrina Razavi

 

[ Click on this link to download a detailed explanation of the “Pyramid of Fulfillment:
https://www.communicationfornerds.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/6-Action-Steps-Towards-a-Fulfilling-Life.pdf ].

 

It’s been said that life is short, so make the most of it. Live your life in a way that gives you meaning and fulfillment. What do you want you ‘legacy’ to be?

So, how does one go about this? Well, the following are five habits of highly fulfilled people:

– Do what you love and what makes you happy
– Do things you’re good at
– Do things that challenge you
– Do things to help others. Be of service
– Do things that fill your sense of purpose

Katrina pretty much says to just ‘take action’ and develop a thorough, grand ‘vision’ of who you were truly meant to become, and leave your limiting beliefs behind. After that, you’ll soon be charting your course to a MORE ‘FULFILLING’ life!

[ If you are interested in how to ‘take action’, click on this link for a previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post on habits:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/poignant-reminders-v206/ ].

 

While there are a number of factors that come into play in developing a mission, often the reason why they fail is because it wasn’t based on a S.M.A.R.T. goal [ An acronym coined in the journal “Management Review” by George T. Doran, in his article “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management’s goals and objectives” ]:

Specific: Target a specific area for improvement
Measurable: Quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress
Achievable/Assignable: Specify who will do it
Relevant/Realistic: State what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources
Time-bound: Specify when the result(s) can be achieved

Notice that these criteria don’t say that all objectives must be quantified on all levels. In certain situations, it is not realistic to attempt quantification. You can lose the benefit of a more abstract objective in order to gain quantification. It is the combination of the objective and its action plan that is really important. Therefore, one should focus on these ‘twins’ and not just the objective. S.M.A.R.T. goals, greatly increase the likelihood of achieving your goals and enabling you to live a fulfilled life on purpose.

 

Last month I discussed how Jesus ‘fulfilled’ an event that had been predicted by the Old Testament prophets (Psalm 16:10; Psalm 22:16; Isaiah 53:10; Hosea 6:1-2), by God the Father (Genesis 3:15; Job 19:25-26), and by Jesus Himself (Matthew 12:40; Matthew 16:21; John 2:19-22; John 10:17)—Jesus resurrected from the dead! But, even though His resurrection was REALLY IMPORTANT, Jesus had not yet ‘COMPLETELY’ FULFILLED His mission.

The Resurrection was not the ‘final’ event in the life of Jesus—it was the “penultimate” event. The ASCENSION was THE ‘ULTIMATE’ event in the life of Christ!

 

One should never think about the Cross without the Resurrection, and never think of the Resurrection without the Ascension. The Ascension is God kind of saying, “I validate and approve everything that Jesus did in His life, in His death, and through His resurrection—and I have exalted Him to My right hand on high, ‘bestowed on Him the name which is above every name’ (Philippians 2:9), and elevated Him above every person in the universe, everlastingly.”

The Ascension ‘FULFILLS’ the Resurrection. Without the Resurrection Jesus’ death would be meaningless as far as the great issues of life are concerned. Without the Ascension, the Resurrection would also be incomplete and meaningless. We would have a resurrected person, but not one Who was now at God’s right hand in the place of authority.

 

In some ways Jesus’ leaving was more important than His coming. His coming was filled with promise and anticipation. His leaving was filled with completion and accomplishment.

In fact, one of the greatest things that Jesus ever did for His DISCIPLES was to leave—and one of the greatest things He ever did for US was to leave. It was, in many ways, His most magnanimous act—His greatest ‘gift’ was leaving. What?!

 

Just before Jesus left this earth, He told His disciples one of the most significant things that he had ever said to them: “I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away.” Wow! What a statement! What could be better than living in the presence of the incarnate God every day? What could be better than waking up in the morning in the company of a ‘physical’ Jesus?

Physically, Jesus could only be in one place at a time. But after He ascended, ’arriving’ in Heaven, He said He would be back in the ‘form’ of the “Holy Spirit”—another “Comforter” the same essence as Jesus, Who then takes up ‘residency’ in the life of every believer, available all the time, so there would no longer be the physical limitation of Jesus’ human body.

 

Well, you see, the Ascension is the culminating, monumental, consummate conclusion to everything Jesus had planned, and something absolutely and utterly unique to Him. Other people have ‘ascended’ into Heaven (Enoch and Elijah) and many will during the coming “Rapture,” but there is only One in all of the history, Who by His own power, left earth and went directly to Heaven under His own power. In addition to that, Jesus is also the only One who came down from Heaven, by His own power.

Only One has been “received” by His Father to be seated at His ‘right hand’—THE ‘special place’ of honor in Heaven—a ‘place’ that gives Jesus all things, and makes Him ‘head’ over everything in the universe!

This is the final divine affirmation, ‘stamp of approval’, on Jesus’ ministry by God the Father.

 

So then, what ‘OUTCOMES’ did Jesus’ Ascension provide? Well, the following are the major ones:

COMPLETION OF JESUS’ EARTHLY WORK
Jesus said that “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work” [ John 4:34 ]. Jesus came to ‘fulfill’ what God the Father planned—substitutionary atonement on behalf of sinners; to shatter the kingdom of darkness; to ‘crush’ Satan; to break the bonds of sin; and to free believing souls to be able to experience the glories of an eternal Heaven!

The once ‘MISSION IMPOSSIBLE’ of humanity being reconciled to God (Genesis 6:5-8; Ecclesiastes 4:103; Habakkuk 1:2-4) became ‘MISSION ACCOMPLISHED’ with Jesus’ substitutionary atonement for the sins of those who believe in Him (Romans 5:1-2; Romans 5:10-11; Ephesians 2:1-6; Ephesians 2:8-10; 1 Timothy 2:5), and God the Father has accepted Jesus’ ‘payment’ to reconcile us to Him. Jesus TOTALLY ‘FULFILLED’ HIS MISSION!!!

[ For more information about being reconciled to God, click on this link for a previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post on peace:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/know-peace-v201/ ].

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbg99ykA2bk

 

IT ENDED JESUS’ LIMITATIONS
When Jesus came to earth, He self-imposed restrictions and limitations on Himself, denunciating His Divine nature. He gave up, some say, His prerogatives and submitted Himself to the will of the Father and to the work of the Spirit in complete humility, submission and obedience. He gave up the independent exercise of His deity. He took the form of a ‘slave’.

As Jesus limited Himself to a physical human body, He experienced all of the pain, suffering, hunger, thirst, and everything else that goes with being a physical human being.

Just before His Ascension, Jesus had “finished the work,” and that He would now have “the glory I had with You before the world began” [ John 17:5 ]. In other words, Jesus is saying that if I am taken back to glory, it would signal that the work was done, the Father was pleased, and I would be restored to the limitless intimacy with God the Father as the perfect God/Man—which He will remain forever and ever.

 

WAS BESTOWED A NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES
The Ascension marked not just restoration to intimacy or fellowship with the Father, but His exultation—by bestowing on Him “the name which is above every names.” Now, everything in the universe ‘bows’ to Him as King, Lord and Ruler.

 

PREPARE AN ETERNAL HOME FOR BELIEVERS
During the Last Supper, Jesus said to His disciples: “Let not your heart be troubled, believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places. If it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you” [ John 14:1-2 ].

Since life is a vapor that appears for a little time, that vanishes and is gone—just a short ‘breath’ compared to eternity, which is, well, a very, very long time—I’m thinking it’s far better that Jesus should go back and get our eternal home ready.

Jesus hasn’t gone into ‘retirement’. He’s not resting on His ‘laurels’. He’s in Heaven now preparing a ‘home’ for us, and the description of Heaven is breathtaking! (If you want a glimpse of it, read Revelation 21 and 22).

 

MARKED JESUS’ HEADSHIP OVER THE CHURCH
When Jesus was exalted to the right hand of God, He was established as the ‘Head’ of the church, Who directs the work of the believers related to the revealed Word (Bible) and the work of the Spirit.

The church literally embodies the very life of Jesus—and He is pouring His life, His power, His energy, and His truth through us, His “body” into the world—to do His will on earth.

 

PASSING THE EVANGELISM ‘TORCH’ TO CHRISTIANS
The Ascension marked the passing of the ‘baton’ of evangelism to Jesus’ followers by giving them the “Great Commission” to them. “Go and make followers of all the nations…Teach them to do all the things I have told you.” [ Matthew 28:19-20 ].

He began the work and now He gives orders to all believers to carry on with the ‘work’—until He comes back.

 

THE DEFEAT OF SATAN
Jesus came into the world to defeat the one who has the “power of death,” and is the “prince of the power of the air” (Satan). He successfully ‘defeated’ Satan, and death with His Resurrection—which also showed all believers how they will, in turn, one day defeat death, too!

So then, why is Satan still an ‘issue’ in the world today? Well, it’s like a chicken with its head cut off. Satan and his demons are still ‘flailing around’ on earth.

But the die is cast, the sentence is made, and we only await the final ‘execution’ when Jesus comes back, captures Satan, and ‘throws’ him into the “Lake of Fire” where he perishes in eternal pain.

 

GUARANTEES JESUS’ RETURN TO TAKE CHRISTIANS TO HEAVEN
Jesus said, “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself that where I am there you may be also” [ John 14:3 ]. So, Him being in Heaven is the guarantee we’re going to be there someday. It’s also the guarantee that He’s going to come back to get us.

After Jesus ascended, the Angels said: “This same Jesus who was taken up from you shall so come in like manner as you’ve seen Him go.” So, don’t worry, Jesus is coming back to take all believers back to Heaven to be with Him!

He went up physically and bodily and that’s exactly the way He’ll come back. He went up from the Mount of Olives, and He’s going to come back to the Mount of Olives. “And when He comes back, every eye will see Him” [ Revelation 1:7 ].

It really can be appreciated in the structure of the original Greek: “Why are you looking longingly? Why are you looking as if you’re losing someone? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into Heaven will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into Heaven.”

The Ascension is a preview of the Rapture when believers are taken up and transformed on the way. This is a preview of the believer’s resurrection from the dead: “who will transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body” [ Philippians 3:21a ].

 

JESUS IS INTERCEDING FOR BELIEVERS BEFORE GOD THE FATHER
“Poreuomai” is the Greek work for “departing.” This was a very common word in the first century that meant to “go on a journey.” So, it suggests that the Ascension was not merely a disappearance, but a journey. The Son of Man who was the Son of God was passing through the heavens into the Heaven of heavens, into the very presence of God to appear there for us (Hebrews 4:14; 7:20; 9:24).

This marked the start of Jesus’ “high priestly” work. You may say, “What does that mean?” Well, it is telling us that He’s ‘interceding’ for us. He is going before the Father to defend us against every satanic accusation. It means that He is going before the Father guarantying the forgiveness of every sin we will ever commit, no matter how serious, and praying for us for our every need. “He always lives to make intercession for them” [ Hebrews 7:25 ]. Though Satan might accuse us, no accusation will ever stand.

So whenever you ‘go before the throne’ (in prayer), that’s what you’re going to receive…mercy and grace. Jesus is a sympathetic, understanding, compassionate, tender High Priest. This is what He lives for right now—to make intercession for us, to make sure our sins are continually washed away, to make sure our burdens are continually borne and carried, and to make sure that we are continually advocated—and even has the Holy Spirit in us interceding for us with “groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26).

“He is not a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all things as we are and yet without sin” [ Hebrews 4:15 ]. We have One who understands all our trials, all our temptation, all our failure, so “We can draw near with confidence to the throne of grace that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” [ Hebrews 4:16 ]. He is an unending source of mercy and grace.

 

THE SENDING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
This would probably be the most important ‘result’ that the Ascension provided—the sending of the Holy Spirit to ‘indwell’ every believer.

Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away” [ John 16:7a ]. Why? Well, “If I do not go away the Helper shall not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you” [ John 16:7b ].

“I will ask the Father and He will give you another Helper that He may be with you forever, that is the Spirit of truth whom the world cannot receive because it doesn’t behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you” [ John 14:16 ].

The Holy Spirit will empower the believer, enable them, bear witness of Jesus, and guide the believer to all truth.

In that same portion of Scripture Jesus promised them joy in the Spirit and peace (Pretty much what the Apostle Paul tells us in Galatians 5:22-23, the “fruit of the Spirit”: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control).

It is the Holy Spirit who sanctifies us, equips us with gifts, enables us to minister to others, who ‘fills us’ in order that we might walk in obedience to the will of God, and who redirects our prayers even when we know not how to prayer such that our prayers may be answered.

Senior pastor and adjunct professor, Steve Mathewson, explains this well: “The incarnate Jesus was limited by space and time. He couldn’t be with each one of his followers at once. If he had stayed on earth, he couldn’t have been there simultaneously for Peter in Rome and John on the island of Patmos. But the Holy Spirit can. His empowering presence is available to all Jesus’s followers everywhere at the same time.”

Without the Holy Spirit, we would be a ‘helpless’ people! The Holy Spirit is our Advocate here on earth whose presence is limitless!

 

So, as a result of the Ascension of Jesus, Christians have a number of benefits for a ‘fulfilled’ life and ‘profitable’ service.

The story of Jesus began when He left Heaven and came to earth. It ends when He leaves earth to return to Heaven. The story began with condescension and ended with Ascension. It began with incarnation and ended with exaltation. It began with expectation and ended with consummation. It began with the Son of God being born of a virgin, descending to earth and it ends with the Son of God being born from the dead, ascending to heaven. The story began with hope unrealized and ends with hopefully realized. It began with a promise and ends with a ‘FULFILLMENT’—and a new promise!

The Ascension is the culminating end of one ‘history’ and it is the inaugural beginning of another.

The Ascension marked the success of Jesus’ earthly mission. He completed all the Father had designed for Him to accomplish, and fulfilled all the Old Testament prophecies about Him.

What an ‘event’! It indicates that Jesus is exalted to THE role of sovereignty.

He is exalted by His Ascension, crowned as our Lord. He sends the Holy Spirit to be His ‘agent’ to all believers on earth. He begins to prepare an eternal home for believers. He takes the headship of the church. He defeats Satan. He passes evangelism and ministry onto His followers. He intercedes on behalf of His people and stands ready to return in God’s perfect time.

When Jesus ascended into heaven, he was not entering ‘retirement’. [ https://markbesh.wordpress.com/a-place-to-retire-v221/ ]

 

You cannot look at the Cross in all its fullness without understanding what happened afterward. You cannot even look at the Resurrection in its fullness without understanding what happened afterward—namely the Ascension. It’s not enough to look at the cross and talk about wounds, pain, suffering and sin bearing. The final word on the cross is not Jesus’ word, “It is finished,” (“teteleosti”, just one word in the Greek). The final word on the Cross is the Father’s exaltation of the Son by which God affirms the perfection of His redemptive work.

He is constantly interceding on our behalf, so that grace is always flowing to us, which will bring us to eternal glory—and He stands ready in the Father’s time to come back and take us with Him to Heaven, and then to establish His kingdom on earth—the new heaven and the new earth—and forever to be the King of glory. That’s the Father’s view of the Cross, the Resurrection, and the Ascension.

The Ascension testifies to the ‘FULFILLMENT’ and perfection of Jesus’ work here on earth.

 

Your life is the most precious thing you have. Nothing is more important than using your time and energy to do what God put you on this earth to do.

[ For more information about our “Most Precious Resource,” click on this link for a previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post on time: https://markbesh.wordpress.com/our-most-precious-resource-v135/ ]

 

So then, in response, if you have not yet developed a personal mission statement, to do so, to show your ‘gratitude’ for what Jesus has done for you!

As was mentioned above, it can take a bit of time and effort in getting a mission statement that is ‘fine-tuned’ for you. But, I have a suggestion that might get you started—maybe try to develop a “S.M.A.R.T.” one. Here’s a couple of terms to get you going:

 

S
Sacrifice; Salvation; Sanctify; Satisfy; Save; Savior; Scripture-based; Seek; Seize; Shalom; Shepherd; Shine; Sift; Sinner; Slave; Soberness; Sojourner; Solace; Sorrowful; Soteriology; Souls; Sparkling; Spirit; Steadfast; Steward; Stranger; Stray; Strengthen; Stretch; Strive; Struggle; Submissive; Submit; Suffer; Sufficient; Supplant; Surrogate

M
Magnify; Maintain; Make; Mark; Marry; Martyr; Marvel; Masterbuilder; Meaning; Measured; Mediate; Meditate; Meekness; Merciful; Merryhearted; Message; Mindful; Minister; Moderate; Moral; Motivate; Mournful; Multiply;

A
Abound; Abstain; Abundantly; Accepting; Accomplish; Acknowledge; Acquaint; Act; Action-oriented; Adjure; Administer; Admire; Admonish; Advance; Advise; Advocate; Affect; Agreement; Aim; Alarm; Alight; Allegorize; Allow; Almighty; Amend; Anchor; Anoint; Answer; Apostles; Appetite; Apply; Approve; Arguments; Arm; Armor; Ascribe; Assemble; Assuage; Assure; Astonish; Atone; Attend; Author; Avenge; Awake; Aware;

R
Raise; Ransom; Reach; Readiness; Reap; Reasoned; Rebuke; Receive; Reckon; Recompense; Reconcile; Recover; Rectify; Redeem; Refine; Reform; Refresh; Refuge; Regenerate; Reign; Reject; Rejoice; Release; Relieve; Remain; Remedy; Remember; Remission; Remnant; Remove; Render; Renew; Renounce; Repair; Repay; Repent; Reprobation; Reprove; Reputation; Repute; Require; Reward; Rescue; Resemble; Reserve; Resist; Resolute; Resolve; Resourceful; Respect; Respite; Restore; Restrain; Resurrection; Retain; Retire; Retribution; Return; Reveal; Revelation; Reverence; Revile; Revolt; Reward; Richly; Right; Righteouness; Risen

T
Tabernacle; Target; Task; Taste; Teach; Tears; Tell; Temperance; Temple; Tenderhearted; Test; Testimony; Thankful; Theology; Think; Thoughtfulness; Till; Timely; Time-sensitive; Toil; Touch; Train; Tranquil; Transfigure; Transform; Transgress; Translate; Transparent; Travail; Traverse; Tread; Treasure; Treatise; Tremble; Trespass; Trial; Tribulation; Tribute; Trinity; Triumph; Trod; Trouble; Truce; Trust; Tumult;

 

I’d be very interested in what you come up with—so, send it to me when you get it ‘crafted’!

Since being “born again” back in 1998, my personal “mission statement” for my life has been “Take as many people to Heaven with me as I can.

 

Life is MUCH DIFFERENT when you have a ‘MISSION’ and know what you were meant to do and be. Surprising stores of energy will emerge, and remarkable resources will manifest in your life.

 

I pray that you will first be “born again” such that you will be ‘indwell’ by the Holy Spirit, Whom will be your ever-present advocate in ‘FULFILLING’ YOUR MISSION here on earth—so when you ‘arrive’ in Heaven, God the Father will say: “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.”

 

 

[ Excerpts from: Katrina Razavi; Antonio Centeno; George T. Doran, Jayme Barrett; Dr. Alex Lickerman, M.D; John MacArthur; Steve Mathewson ]

 

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FYI: Other Related “Life’s Deep Thoughts” Posts:

The Greatest Gift”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/the-greatest-gift-v226/

Greatest ‘Comeback’ Ever”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/greatest-comeback-ever-v217/

Mayday!-Mayday!-Mayday!”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/mayday-mayday-mayday-v218/

Are You ‘Thirsty’?”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/are-you-thirsty-v229/

April ‘Fools’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/april-fools-v230/

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[ P.S.: If you would like to investigate further about the after-death appearances of Jesus, visit the following link:
http://www.thesearchformeaning.net/sfm_pres/sp_q2_d4_1of10.html

 

‘PRAYER’ OF REPENTANCE
In the Bible, there is a parable that Jesus told about a Pharisee and a tax collector praying in the Temple. He notes that the tax collector didn’t even dare to lift his eyes toward Heaven as he prayed. Instead he “beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner’”—and Jesus said that the tax collector “went home justified,” he had been “born again” and ‘reconciled’ by God. (Luke 18:9-14).

If you are ‘sensing’ something like that right now, let me strongly encourage you to HUMBLE YOURSELF, CRY OUT to God, and PLEAD for Him to mercifully ‘SAVE’ YOU! None of us have a ‘claim’ on our salvation, nor do we have any ‘works’ that would cause us to deserve it or earn it—it is purely a gift of Divine grace—and all any of us can do is ask. So, CONFESS YOUR SINS and acknowledge to God that you have no hope for Heaven apart from what He provides through Jesus.

There is no ‘formula’ or certain words for this. So just talk to God, in your own words—He knows your ‘heart’. If you are genuinely sincere, and God does respond to your plea, one will usually have a sense of joy and peace.

Jesus said, “He that comes to Me, I will not cast out” [ John 6:37 ].

[ NOTE: If you have ‘tasted the kindness of the Lord’, please e-mail me—I would love to CELEBRATE with you, and help you get started on your ‘journey’ with Jesus! ].

 

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RESOURCES:

—————-
How to Find Your Mission in Life
By: Richard N. Bolles

In this intimate treasury of wit and wisdom, Richard Bolles, author of the job-hunting bible: WHAT COLOR IS YOUR PARACHUTE?, explores the spiritual aspects of finding one’s place in the work world. For anyone who has ever wondered how to make the most of their unique natural gifts, or how to find a vocation that is both socially responsible and personally fulfilling, this enlightening and empowering little volume provides immeasurable guidance. Originally appearing as an appendix in PARACHUTE, this book has led countless people through life’s most difficult passages and is sure to inspire anyone who is either new to the job market or reconsidering their place in it.

—————-
The Path: Creating Your Mission Statement for Work and for Life
By: Laurie Beth Jones

Individuals and companies have been learning what history has demonstrated all along–that people or groups with carefully defined missions have always led and surpassed those who have none. Yet the process of outlining that mission statement has been, up to now, an arduous one that all too few have committed the time, energy, and resources to undertake.

In The Path, best-selling author Laurie Beth Jones provides inspiring and practical advice to lead readers through every step of both defining and fulfilling a mission. With more than ten years’ experience in assisting groups and individuals, Jones offers clear, step-by-step guidance that can make writing a mission statement take a matter of hours rather than months or years.

Rich with humor, exercises, mediations, and case histories, The Path is essential reading for anyone seeking a lighter, clearer way in the world.

—————-
Mission Possible
By: Ken Blanchard

The eagerly awaited paperback of the BusinessWeek bestseller that has sold 100,000+ copies and been translated into 20 languages. With combined sales of more than 14 million copies, the books of Ken Blanchard are a phenomenal source of business wisdom. In this international bestseller – Blanchard’s first big-picture management book – he and business strategist Terry Waghorn show how to lead any organization by simultaneously focusing on the present and the future. Written in Blanchard’s signature style – concise, inspiring, emotionally gripping, and always down to earth – Mission Possible reveals how to make any organizational change program a success.

https://www.amazon.com/Mission-Possible-Ken-Blanchard/dp/0071348271/

—————-
Mission Possible: How to Step into Your True Calling
By: Carolann Fernandes M.A.

A comprehensive, groundbreaking guide, Mission: Possible leads you on a journey of self-exploration, encouraging you to unleash your greater, hidden potential, actualize your life’s true calling, and express your fullest-possibilities as a thriving creator.

Within the pages of this book, you will find a step-by-step process that will serve as a guide to uncover the true mission, possibilities, and calling of your life.

Bring into clarity the puzzle pieces of life experiences that have been guiding you to and along the path of your mission all along.

– Discover the seven steps to actualize your mission.
– Read case study examples and be inspired by people who reflect their own mission possible.
– Ignite new inspiration to reflect on your life and identify powerful opportunities life is presenting to you.
– Find the motivation to move from where you are to where you want to be.
– Embrace a sense of connection with your life that gives you the assurance and imbues you with a powerful sense of passion for what is possible in your life and for the world!

https://www.amazon.com/Mission-Possible-Step-into-Calling/dp/0997812516/

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Mission Possible: YOU!
By: April Maguire

Mission Possible – YOU! is a collection of 28 tasks to help anyone dig out of his or her rut and jumpstart their journey once more. With everyday living come everyday choices of what makes us happy and what makes us feel successful. This book is here to help with those decisions and help make that change. Each task is designed to stretch our minds and help think outside the proverbial box. Each reading is a quest to challenge the way we look, hear, smell, taste, or do something. It’s up to you if you want to accept the mission. Each message self destructs in 15 seconds (not really, but it has to be said for entertainment purposes). The results, however, could last you a lifetime.

https://www.amazon.com/Mission-Possible-YOU-April-Maguire/dp/1532921586/

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Halftime: Changing Your Game Plan from Success to Significance
By: Bob P. Buford

Are you ready to move into the second half of your life? Bob Buford believes the second half of your life can be better than the first. Much better. But first, you need time to figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life.

In Halftime, Buford focuses on this important time of transition—the time when, as he says, a person moves beyond the first half of the game of life. It’s halftime, a time of revitalization and for catching a new vision for living the second half, the half where life can be lived at its most rewarding. As Buford explains, “My passion is to multiply all that God has given me, and in the process, give it back.”

Features of this newly updated and expanded 20th Anniversary edition include a foreword by Jim Collins, the bestselling author of Good to Great; new questions for reflection or discussion at the end of each chapter; brand new “halftime” stories of men and women enjoying a second half of significance; specific halftime assignments to guide readers into their second-half mission; an essay by Bob on “The Wisdom of Peter Drucker”; a special update from the author on how the halftime movement is growing nationally, and links to outstanding resources.

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Mission Possible: A Missionary Doctor’s Journey Of Healing
By: Dawn Obrecht

Life is a process of learning…both book knowledge and experiential knowledge. Through medical missions and other volunteer work, Dr. Dawn Obrecht shares part of her life story and the lessons she learned while giving to others. Whether in the devastation of a tsunami, the aftermath of Katrina or in the jungles of Brazil, the very people Dr. Obrecht went to help in turn taught her so much about life, about living, about the value of relationship. Journey with the Doctor as she shares the insights from these wonderful people and gives a perspective on life that few have known. Experience the drama, the humor, the tears and the joy of traveling around the world to help others through medical missions. And in the process…you will discover more about yourself, your purpose and maybe even embark on your own volunteer trip to serve the poor of the world.

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Real Success: Feel Accomplished and Find Fulfillment in the Modern World
By: Michelle Zawaski

You’re doing everything you are supposed to do, so why don’t you feel like a success?

Are you working hard every day doing everything you know you should – yet still feel there has to be a better way? Are you successful on paper but still don’t feel fulfilled? Have you followed the path you were supposed to but still struggle to feel the accomplishment you expected?
There is a better way! If you are serious about finally finding your real success, this book is for you. In Real Success, author Michelle Zawaski will show you:

How to create fulfillment with what you already have, without adding additional time to your schedule.

How to find ways to accomplish more and find more time in your already hectic schedule.

How to discover ways to energize yourself and rekindle your passions.

How to create a strategy to finally find your real success, on your terms.

If you truly feel life is meant to be lived and are ready to make that your reality, this is the book for you!

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99 Keys to a Creative Life: Spiritual, Intuitive, and Awareness Practices for Personal Fulfillment
By: Melissa Harris

Creativity is not just painting or writing―it’s stepping outside the way you normally think to achieve greater happiness and personal fulfillment. With mindful, heart-based practices, 99 Keys to a Creative Life helps you make the most of your creative opportunities, transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Nurture and strengthen your imaginative expression, as well as your link to what inspires you, by applying the 33 keys found in each of the three sections: awareness, intuition, and connection to spirit. These keys provide practical methods for daily inspiration and action, making every day more creative and successful. Presenting innovative ways to raise your focus and express yourself, author Melissa Harris shows you how to unlock the gate to a more creative life.

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Mindful Aging: Embracing Your Life After 50 to Find Fulfillment, Purpose, and Joy
By: Andrea Brandt

Don’t let the ominous perception of “aging” – a lack of purpose, feeling irrelevant and under-used, having nothing to do – take control of you and your life.

You have the power to change how you grow older. This book will show you how.

Renowned psychotherapist and aging expert Andrea Brandt, PhD, MFT, helps you throw out the old stereotypes about getting older and move toward the welcoming new evidence that your future is alive with possibility, providing steps to thrive today and into your golden years.

The acclaimed Mindful Aging is full of exercises and tools to help you embrace a new mindset and blaze a new trail in your life fueled by passion, purpose, and creativity. Through research, inspiring stories of real people, and Dr. Brandt’s psychological insight, you’ll be able to claim the immense joy and love that are yours to have, the deep wisdom that is yours to share, and the exciting self-discoveries and contributions that are uniquely yours to make.

Join the millions who are becoming mindful about aging, and discover the secrets to creating a life that doesn’t wane as the years go by. Mindful Aging will forever change how you view – and embrace – your life as you age.

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The Power of Purpose: Find Meaning, Live Longer, Better
By: Richard J. Leider

To get a life, get a purpose!

Purpose is fundamental and gives life meaning. It gives us the will not just to live but to live long and well. In this new edition of his bestselling classic, legendary personal coach Richard Leider offers brand-new tools and techniques for unlocking it.

The third edition has been completely revised and updated. In addition to new stories, examples, and resources, it features four new chapters. “Purpose across the Ages” looks at how purpose can evolve during our lives. “The 24-Hour Purpose Retreat” includes seven mind-opening questions to help you unlock your purpose. “The Purpose Checkup” offers a new tool for periodically evaluating the health of your purpose. And in “Can Science Explain Purpose?” we learn what researchers are discovering about how an increased sense of purpose can improve our health, healing, happiness, longevity, and productivity.

Purpose is an active expression of our values and our compassion for others—it makes us want to get up in the morning and add value to the world. Leider details a graceful, practical, and ultimately spiritual process for making it central to your life. This revitalized guide will help you integrate it into everything you do.

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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
By: Steven Covey

In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, author Stephen R. Covey presents a holistic, integrated, principle-centered approach for solving personal and professional problems. With penetrating insights and pointed anecdotes, Covey reveals a step-by-step pathway for living with fairness, integrity, service, and human dignity–principles that give us the security to adapt to change and the wisdom and power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates.

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The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness
By: Stephen R. Covey

From Stephen R. Covey comes a profound, compelling, and groundbreaking book of next-level thinking that gives a clear way to finally tap the limitless value-creation promise of the “Knowledge Worker Age.”

In the more than twenty-five years since its publication, the classic The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has become an international phenomenon with more than twenty-five million copies sold. Tens of millions of people in business, government, schools, and families, and, most importantly, as individuals, have dramatically improved their lives and organizations by applying the principles of Stephen R. Covey’s classic book. The world, however, is a vastly changed place. Being effective as individuals and organizations is no longer merely an option—survival in today’s world requires it. But in order to thrive, innovate, excel, and lead in what Covey calls the “New Knowledge Worker Age,” we must build on and move beyond effectiveness. The call of this new era in human history is for greatness; it’s for fulfillment, passionate execution, and significant contribution.

Accessing the higher levels of human genius and motivation in today’s new reality requires a change in thinking: a new mindset, a new skill-set, a new tool-set—in short, a whole new habit. The crucial challenge of our world today is this: to find our voice and inspire others to find theirs. It is what Covey calls the 8th Habit. So many people feel frustrated, discouraged, unappreciated, and undervalued—with little or no sense of voice or unique contribution. The 8th Habit is the answer to the soul’s yearning for greatness, the organization’s imperative for significance and superior results, and humanity’s search for its “voice.”

Covey’s new book will transform the way we think about ourselves, our purpose in life, our organizations, and about humankind. Just as The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People helped us focus on effectiveness, The 8th Habit shows us the way to greatness.

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Mission Possible: Finding and Fulfilling Your Life’s Assignment
By: Gregory Lan Ijiwola

You were not born to be confused, unfulfilled, directionless or irrelevant on the earth. God made you for a unique purpose and sent you here with an assignment you should fulfill. You are a person on a mission, and despite all the odds that may be against you, your mission is definitely possible!

In this book, Gregory Lan Ijiwola, shows you how to discover, commence and progressively pursue your unique assignment in life. He unveils the biblical precepts of becoming an active participant in the exciting things God is doing on the earth today through his kingdom army of purposeful children, and shows you how to locate your place in this army.

Gregory shows you,
– What it means to be called of God
– How to discover God’s assignment for your life
– The right foundations for success in the fulfillment of your mission
– The steps to take as you launch out to pursue your divine assignment
– The laws that govern the fulfillment of your life’s mission
– How to fight for and fund your mission, and much more.

Mission Possible will motivate you to turn from being an onlooker into a relevant actor in God’s program on the earth. You will be empowered to throw off hindrances that may have held you down so far. If you are tired of days of drudgery and boredom and want to find what lights you up and how to live for what you were created for, then Mission Possible is the book you need to read.

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Life on Mission: Joining the Everyday Mission of God
By: Dustin Willis and Aaron Coe (Foreword by David Platt)

Unfortunately, the mission practices of most churches stand on weak foundations. Life on Mission gives gospel-centered, biblical, practical foundations for how missions was meant to be: an everyone-together effort.

Life on Mission is a thorough yet simple guide for everyday missionaries—electricians, lawyers, church planters, students, etc.—that equips them with truths and practices for living out the gospel within their own community. Adaptable to any context, Life on Mission functions great as both an individual and small-group study.

Threaded with engaging stories and probing reflection questions, Life on Mission will help you and your community take bold steps to living life on mission.

https://www.amazon.com/Life-Mission-Simple-Gospel-Leader/dp/1430039477/

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Life on Mission: God’s People Finding God’s Heart for the World
By: Tim Harlow

Most of us who know and follow Jesus want to tell others about him, to share our faith. We want to live life on mission, obeying Jesus final command to us: Go into all the world and make disciples.

But when it comes to actually engaging in evangelism, we hesitate. We get intimidated, uncertain, or even confused. Sharing our faith should be natural, easy but it isn t always.

Until now.

Life on Mission offers clear Bible teaching designed to empower you to share your faith with people right in your own neighborhood. Pastor Tim Harlow walks you through topics like how to connect with unbelievers, how serving others can open their hearts to the gospel, and how paying attention to your own spiritual growth can strengthen your witness.

People who really matter to God are all around you, and God has given you the incredible assignment of inviting them to come home. Life on Mission will inspire and equip you to do that.

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Achieving Your Life Mission
By: Randal A. Wright

Before you were born, you made covenants with the Lord to accomplish specific tasks while on earth. But how do you know what those tasks are? In Achieving Your Life Mission, Randal Wright guides you through the process of finding and fulfilling those unique tasks by asking the Lord specific questions, learning to recognize your gifts, teaching yourself to turn weaknesses into strengths, and much more. Using insightful stories from the lives of both ancient and modern prophets, Randal shows how even the most perfect men have their weaknesses. Become the person you promised you would be and begin achieving your life mission today.

https://www.amazon.com/Achieving-Your-Mission-Randal-Wright/dp/1599553481/

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Live Your Calling: A Practical Guide to Finding and Fulfilling Your Mission in Life
By: Kevin Brennfleck and Kay Marie Brennfleck

An action-plan for self-fulfillment that helps people find their true calling in life
This practical and inspirational guide helps Christian men and women of all ages identify and use their God-given gifts to find purpose, direction, and joy in their life and work. Based on their years of counseling and experience, Kevin and Kay Marie Brennfleck offer action-oriented tools and a proven methodology to help readers develop the decision-making skills they need to discover and live the life that God intended, maximizing the synergies between ministry, work, and spiritual gifts.

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How to Discover Your Personal Life Mission
By: John Morgan and Steve Johnson

Morgan and Johnson’s Personal Life Mission SystemT or “PLM” has been used to help thousands of people find clarity and direction for their careers and lives. They have used this system in personal consulting and group training for over fifteen years and have had the joy of watching many clients, associates, and friends find their passions and live their dreams. You will discover nine major areas of your personal design and life-story that make you a unique person with a unique purpose. You will discover your best kind of work and the group of people whom you want to help the most. Finally, you will use all of this insight of how God has made you to write your own Personal Life Mission Statement. Your PLM Statement will become the guiding light for the best things you will accomplish in life for the rest of your life. John Morgan holds a Ph.D. in organizational leadership from Regent University. He has an M.Div. from Denver Seminary and is an alumnus of Dallas Theological Seminary. John is the Lead Pastor of Pinon Hills Community Church in New Mexico (PinonHillsChurch.Com) and is the founder of a leadership consulting practice called TheJohnMorganCompany.Com. John and his wife, Greg Lanee,’ have been married twenty-three years and they have three daughters and two sons. Steve Johnson is the president of Strategic People Development, a coaching firm that develops “Best Place to Work” cultures. His client list is a “Who’s who” of corporations and non-profit organizations. Steve is the author of numerous personal and corporate assessment tools that are used internationally. He is also the author of several books. Steve resides in Denver with his wife, Linda. Steve can be reached at StrategicPeople.Net.

https://www.amazon.com/Discover-Your-Personal-Life-Mission/dp/1602664749/

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How To Discover, Design and Apply Your God-given Life Mission: God’s Will For You Is To Live Your Life for His Purpose
By Brad Wyrick

HOW TO DISCOVER, DESIGN & APPLY YOUR GOD GIVEN LIFE MISSION will help you answer the critical questions needed to discover God’s Purpose (Will) and the unique Life Mission He has prepared beforehand for you to walk in. A Life Mission Statement Is Designed and Directed by God’s will through understanding and developing key areas in your Life:

DREAM: What has God allowed us to envision
PURPOSE: What has God created us to fulfill
VISION: What we’re going to do in our future desired state
MISSION: What we’re going to do on our way to our vision
SHAPE: How has God designed us
VALUES: What do we believe in
ROLES: Where we’re going to win
MENTORS: Who will help us win
GOALS: How we’re going to win
DECISIONS: What would God have us do
TIME: How will we manage our time

A Life Mission Statement is a description of what you believe God wants you to do with your life. It will focus on developing your (character) and identifying your (contributions and achievements) and on the values and principles upon which God would have you live.

HOW TO DISCOVER, DESIGN & APPLY YOUR GOD GIVEN LIFE MISSION will help you discover God’s Will, increase your Decision-Making abilities, direct your Goal-Setting and define a Time-Management System.

Our goal is to measure up to God’s plan and He wants to be part of our decision process. To leave Him out by ignoring prayer and the truths of Scripture denies us the privilege of God’s perspective, which He is always willing to share. Deliberate prayer and conformity to the principles of Scripture. brings the matter before God’s Throne. His Word will provide the guidelines within which we can make a right decision.

Effectively translating your goals into an action plan requires creating a framework for effective decision making throughout your life. Time is a space in eternity. In fact, the way we spend our time will determine how we will live in Eternity. Our present space in time is our preparation for eternity.

Today Is A Day Closer to Eternity. Are You LIVING YOUR LIFE ON PURPOSE or JUST LIVING?

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My Life, His Mission: A Six Week Challenge to Change the World
By: Kim Davis and the International Mission Board

This six-week study with real stories from students, inspires students to look beyond themselves and see a world that desperately needs Christ. Great preparation for a mission trip.

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Aging: The Fulfillment of Life
By: Henri J.M. Nouwen and Walter J. Gaffney

We are all aging. We are each a spoke on the great wheel of life, part of the ongoing cycle of growth. In Aging, Henri J.M. Nouwen and Walter J. Gaffney share some moving and inspirational thoughts on what aging means (and can mean) to all of us, whether we’re in our youth, middle age, or later years.

Enhanced by some eighty-five photographs depicting various scenes from life and nature, this book shows how to make the later years a source of hope rather than a time of loneliness — a way out of darkness into the light. “Aging,” the authors write, “is not a reason for despair, but a basis of hope, not a slow decaying, but a gradual maturing, not a fate to be undergone but a chance to be embraced.” And they remind us of our responsibility to incorporate the aged into the fabric of our own lives — helping them become teachers again so they may help us repair the fragmented connections between generations.

Aging shows us all how to start fulfilling our lives by giving to others, “so that when we leave this world, we can be what we have given.” It is a warm, beautiful, and caring book: a simple reaffirmation of the promise of Him, who by His aging and death brought new life to this world.

https://www.amazon.com/Aging-Fulfillment-Henri-J-M-Nouwen/dp/0385009186/

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The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life
By: Os Guinness

The Call continues to stand as a classic, reflective work on life’s purpose. Best-selling author Os Guinness goes beyond our surface understanding of God’s call and addresses the fact that God has a specific calling for our individual lives.

Why am I here? What is God’s call in my life? How do I fit God’s call with my own individuality? How should God’s calling affect my career, my plans for the future, my concepts of success? Guinness now helps the reader discover answers to these questions, and more, through a corresponding workbook – perfect for individual or group study.

According to Guinness, “No idea short of God’s call can ground and fulfill the truest human desire for purpose and fulfillment.” With tens of thousands of readers to date, The Call is for all who desire a purposeful, intentional life of faith.

Also available in audio format, narrated by Os Guinness.

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Fulfilled: The Refreshing Alternative to the Half-Empty Life
By: Joey Lankford

Joey Lankford had what a lot of people want in life: the nice house, the nice family, and the nice salary (not to mention the nice stuff that goes along with it). But a nice life also comes with a big hunger for more. And at about the time he realized it, he discovered how drained, empty, and frustrated he felt from trying to keep up. Who knew the American dream could cost so much?

Joey exchanged a comfortable life, running the family business in the Nashville suburbs, to engage in mission halfway around the world. The Lankford’s left behind family, friends, and the familiar in search of a unique calling–economic development among South Africa’s poorest communities.

Fulfilled is one family’s daring plunge into freedom, not by running away from it all, but by running directly into total surrender to God. Joey Lankford and his family found that in order gain it all, you have to be willing to lose it all; in order to really live, first you have to die.

There’s still a life that’s both full and fulfilling, a life spent in wild pursuit of God.

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Fulfilled: Learning to Live the Life God Promised
By: Danise Jurado

Freedom, Restoration, Hope, Courage… Are YOU living the fulfilled life God promised?

God’s definition of a full life is so much more substantial than our limited perspectives would allow us to see. With God’s help, we can reach unknown realms of possibility in life. Thankfully, we don’t have to try and figure it all out on our own. God faithfully teaches us to live the fulfilled life He promised. Author, Danise Jurado has served as a pastoral counselor since 2001 and is passionate about encouraging and equipping people to reach their most fulfilled life in Christ. Danise gives practical steps to forgiveness, freedom, hope and lasting change. In addition, she shares personal stories about restoration in her marriage, overcoming food addiction and dealing with loss and betrayal. God can turn our most painful moments into restoration, healing and joy.

Journey through the pages of Fulfilled and:

– Embrace the power of forgiveness
– Apply God’s truth to find freedom
– Break patterns of failure to make lasting changes
– Release fear to live with courage
– Awaken to your complete God-given potential

“One by one we come to God, young and old, wealthy and homeless, we are diverse: not one of us is alike. Yet similar, we’re all learning to live the life God promised, and longing to be fulfilled.”

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Mission Possible: The Wonderful Story of God and a Wycliffe Translator in the Jungles of Papua New Guinea
By: Marilyn Laszlo (Foreword by Franklin Graham)

The dynamic true story of Bible translator Marilyn Laszlo. Journey through the jungles of Papua New Guinea as she shares her adventures bringing the Word of God to the Sepik Iwam tribe.

https://www.amazon.com/Mission-Possible-Wonderful-Wycliffe-Translator/dp/0842338810/

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Don’t Waste Your Life
By: John Piper

John Piper writes, “I will tell you what a tragedy is. I will show you how to waste your life. Consider this story from the February 1998 Reader’s Digest: A couple ‘took early retirement from their jobs in the Northeast five years ago when he was 59 and she was 51. Now they live in Punta Gorda, Florida, where they cruise on their 30-foot trawler, play softball and collect shells. . . .’ Picture them before Christ at the great day of judgment: ‘Look, Lord. See my shells.’ That is a tragedy.

“God created us to live with a single passion to joyfully display his supreme excellence in all the spheres of life. The wasted life is the life without this passion. God calls us to pray and think and dream and plan and work not to be made much of, but to make much of him in every part of our lives.”

Most people slip by in life without a passion for God, spending their lives on trivial diversions, living for comfort and pleasure, and perhaps trying to avoid sin. This book will warn you not to get caught up in a life that counts for nothing. It will challenge you to live and die boasting in the cross of Christ and making the glory of God your singular passion. If you believe that to live is Christ and to die is gain, read this book, learn to live for Christ, and don’t waste your life!

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100 Prophecies Fulfilled By Jesus: Messianic Prophecies Made Before the Birth of Christ
By: Rose Publishing

100 Prophecies Fulfilled By Jesus features a list of more than 100 prophecies Jesus Christ fulfilled during his time on earth.

This Christian pamphlet speaks to the very heart of the hope we have in Christ, and explains Jesus prophecy and its fulfillment. It’s amazing to discover that Jesus fulfilled more than 100 prophecies foretold 400 1500 years before his birth. This bestselling pamphlet shows you the Old Testament prophecies that relate to Jesus’ birth, Jesus’ life, Jesus’ death, and his resurrection and includes the New Testament fulfillments for every Jesus prophecy predicted.

100 Prophecies Fulfilled By Jesus contains a helpful chart that presents Old Testament prophecies that are divided into those regarding “Jesus’ Birth,” “Jesus’ Life and Ministry,” and “Jesus’ Death and Resurrection” and the New Testament fulfillments of each prophecy. Also included are the “Jesus’ Titles and Attributes” mentioned in both Old and New Testaments. 100 Prophecies Fulfilled By Jesus makes an excellent Bible study or reference tool and will help you share the amazing story of the Old Testament’s promise of the Messiah’s coming and the New Testament’s glorious fulfillment of those promises.

Here are some prophesies found in the 100 Prophecies Fulfilled By Jesus pamphlet:

Prophecies about JESUS’ BIRTH
Prophecy: Be of the tribe of Judah
Old Testament References: Genesis 49:8 10, “Judah, your brothers will praise you…The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his.”
New Testament Fulfillment: Matthew 1:13, “A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham…Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, Judah the father of Perez and Zerah…

Prophecies about JESUS’ LIFE AND MINISTRY
Prophecy: The King comes to Jerusalem riding on a donkey
Old Testament References: Zechariah 9:9, “See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
New Testament Fulfillment: Mark l1:1 10, “When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it….”

Prophecies about JESUS’ DEATH AND RESURRECTION
Prophecy: Be hung upon a tree as a curse for us
Old Testament References Deuteronomy 21:23, “Be sure to bury him that same day, because anyone who is hung on a tree is under God’s curse. You must not desecrate that land the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance.”

New Testament Fulfillment Galatians 3:13, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written; “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”
100 Prophecies Fulfilled By Jesus “color codes” the different Old Testament prophecies so you can see the number of years they were made before the birth of Christ.

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The Fulfilled Family: God’s Design for Your Home
By: John F. MacArthur

In a world of divorce, casual sex, and homosexual unions, “family”?once the bedrock of our culture?is becoming a matter of uncertainty and argument. From some quarters, traditional roles for men and women are ridiculed. And standing firm in a healthy, well-functioning family is harder than ever.

So how can you have a happy home? How can you pass on strong morals to your children in a world going awry? By following God’s divine plan for family life,” writes Bible teacher, pastor, father, and grandfather John MacArthur in this book.

There’s no magic formula. There’s no gimmick. It’s not about how many times you do something, or who is in charge of this or that, or what kind of processes or methods you use. It comes down to answering these questions: “Am I committed to obedience to the Spirit of God? Am I committed to the controlling influences of the Word of God? Am I going to live out a Christian life?” If you can answer yes to all of those questions, then you are bound to have a successful, fulfilled, God-honoring family life.

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THE SEARCH FOR MEANINGWEBSITE

This site presents discussions on the 12 most commonly asked questions about the Christian faith.

The 12 discussions are accessed by the “tabs” at the bottom of the page. The tabs are numbered 1-12. Roll your mouse over them and you will see the question displayed at the right. Click on the number to select that question.

Within each question (i.e. tabs 1-12), there are subtopics (or dialogues) to select that appear as smaller tabs underneath the numbered tabs. Roll your mouse over them and the title of these topics is also displayed to the right. Click on the open rectangle to select that dialogue.

For each question (1-12), a link to related resources and an optional flowchart is provided. To access this material, click on the respective words, “Related Resources” or “Options Flowchart.”

To play a more detailed discussion of the subject, between two people, select the desired dialogue and click on “Play Audio Dialogue.”

In the upper right-hand corner of the page, there is an icon that looks like binoculars looking at a question mark. Click on this icon to return to the homepage.

In the upper right-hand corner of a “Related Resources” page, there is an icon that looks like some books. Click on this icon to get to an “overview” page that has links to all of the resources for all of the questions. There also are additional “appendices” for most of the questions.

In the upper right-hand corner of a “Flowchart” page, there is an icon that looks like an Org chart. Click on this icon to get to an “overview” page that has links to all of the flowcharts.

http://www.thesearchformeaning.net/sfm_pres/sp_q1_d1_1of10.html

[ Content by: Bill Kraftson and Lamar Smith; Website by Mark Besh ]

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FRUITS OF THE BEATITUDES WEB SITE
(The ATTITUDES of Jesus that produce the CHARACTER of Jesus)

CLICK ON THE LINK to view:
http://fruitsofthebeatitudes.org/

FACEBOOK PAGE:
https://www.facebook.com/FruitsOfTheBeatitudes/

[ Mark Besh ]

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ARTICLES:

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Finding Your Mission

Missions are things we tend to associate with astronauts. If someone at a party
asked what you did and you said you were involved on a mission of some kind
people would look at you sort of strangely. But, in truth, we’d all benefit from focusing in on the purpose of our lives so that we can refer to them as
missions of one kind or another…

… How then can we learn to adopt the mission mindset. Here are some ideas. Firstly, what matters is to adopt a certain seriousness about one’s life the working bit will only be at best fifty years. So, the challenge is around focus. How can one reduce the range of one’s enthusiasms and see that having so many interests is half the problem. Talk of a mission forces us to reduce what we care about down to just a few very big things. It privileges precision over breadth. You give yourself a specific target aware of how much energy it will take to reach it.

Secondly, a mission is about having a plan, and reducing the amount of times that because one has no clear goal one gets swept along by the plans of others. Then again, a mission is different from an ambition. An ambition starts with what you want. A mission centers around what others need.

People with missions may well end up making money and having status, but that isn’t what led them to the mission in the first place. Missions are about the intrinsic worth of tasks—they are about helping other people.

The search for a mission requires you to ask among all the problems facing humanity, what are the ones that properly interest me. Be alive to a small scale but authentic concerns you may have.

Having focused on a problem of humanity that feels right for you you then need to take an honest look at your own aptitudes. What truly are your talents. What can you contribute. That may require a lot of introspection, career counseling, and experimentation. Then where your skills and aptitudes intersect with the needs of the world that is your distinctive zone. That is where your mission lies.

A mission isn’t a mission because its grand, but because its precise. Examples of modest but crucial missions might be: a mission to improve the care that the elderly receive at the end of their lives; or a mission to teach children music in an engaging way; or a mission to get the best pizzas out to the customers of north Liverpool or downtown San Diego.

Conceiving of a mission requires us to throw off an attitude of inner selfdom—where we imagine that only other people have the right to plan their lives—and everyone else must just surrender to accidents and the random whims of employers. We can and should all have missions.

With a mission in hand, the next time you’re at a party you won’t need to keep the conversation at the level of where you’re employed. You can answer with reference to the underlying logic of what you’re up to. You can, with no space helmet to your name, legitimately announce that you’re on this earth with a mission to carry out.

[ The School of Life ]

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How Your Life’s Mission Statement Will Guide You To Greater Work-Life Balance

A personal mission statement can act as your “north star” throughout the twists and turns of life . Too often, people focus on responding to the responsibilities and demands placed on them by others, such as a boss, teacher, or family member; that they ultimately forget to focus on what they are seeking in life. Often times people ignore the signs that they are struggling and end up feeling burnt out or unfulfilled with where they are at.

Few people want to watch their life pass them by, as they float from task to task. People crave purpose and fulfillment. In fact, Widen, a technology company, recently asked their employees if they would be willing to go through a three month “Discover Your Purpose Program” and found that roughly 80% of the participants said yes. “People are starving for this and want help navigating [finding their purpose],” says CEO, Matthew Gonnering.

The Widen Discover Your Purpose Program is in conjunction with WorldBlu, a company that assists organizations in establishing organizational democracy. Each month a cohort group of five employees deploys on their three-month journey. During this time they “learn together and independently to figure out what their reason for existence is – not as it relates to business, but as it relates to life,” says Gonnering. The purpose of the program is to help employees articulate their purpose statement by the end.

Gonnering proclaimed himself the Chief Eudaimonia Officer. He explains that eudaimonia is a greek term meaning happiness, health, and prosperity. He believes everyone brings these things into the work environment today and it’s the employer’s role to help people develop to their fullest potential. Which in turn creates more efficient, balanced, and fulfilled employees, and a more sustainable business.

An employee left and returned to the company twice because he believed these other companies would allow him to do more good in the world and contribute more to society. Afterward, Gonnering realized the importance of helping others figure out their life’s mission statement in order to cultivate happier, healthier, more prosperous employees who lived a life with greater work-life integration.

By going through these questions and exercises, Gonnering believes people can begin to create boundaries and a rough outline for their life. This outline can then be used to create work-life balance that supports a person’s overarching missions statement.

Once you have figured out your life’s mission statement, what happens if your purpose is misaligned with your career ?

Gonnering says “applaud that.” If you can re-work your life to support your mission statement then that is great. However, many people run into the obstacle of whether or not they can fund their purpose. Gonnering says it’s not uncommon for people to have their professional skills often witnessed in the workplace, as well as under the radar unique skills which often are more aligned with their purpose.

Gonnering recommends being transparent with others about those unique skills. He shares that one employee has a cupcake business on the side which he did not share about openly. Until Gonnering learned about it, now whenever Gonnering needs cupcakes, he knows who to call. By sharing your unique skills, even if they do not align perfectly with your nine to five, you can create more doorways and paths to create a balanced and purpose driven life.

[ Rachel Dresdale ]

https://www.forbes.com/sites/rachelritlop/2016/12/16/how-your-lifes-mission-statement-will-guide-you-to-greater-work-life-balance/2/#611b401711d1

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5 Reasons To Fulfill Your Life’s Mission

Do you like this story?

Dr Albert Schweitzer was born in 1875 and was brought up at Gunsbach, in Alsace, where the cultures of France and Germany meet, and the influences of the Catholic and Protestant faiths mingle in unusual tolerance. His father was the local Protestant pastor. The family was deeply musical: both Albert’s grandfathers were well-known organists.

Discipline and concentration, added to his natural gifts, earned him a brilliant academic career. Everything he touched he did supremely well. At Strasbourg, he took his doctorate with a thesis on the religious philosophy of Kant. In Paris, he studied organ music under Charles Marie Widor, one of the great musicians of his time, and eventually surpassed his master in the interpretation of Bach. But in his flood of early success, Schweitzer remained pre-occupied with the suffering of others.

At the age of twenty-one, he made his famous decision – that he would live for science and art until he was thirty, and thereafter would devote his life to serving humanity. He renounced his academic future in Europe to qualify as a doctor, and spent his life at the edge of the damp disease-ridden Equatorial forest of the Belgian Congo serving his fellow humanity.

Here was a man who knew his mission and fulfilled it.

Now here are five reasons why you and I need to fulfill our life’s mission…

1. Permission
You do not have to wait for anyone else’s permission to fulfill the mission you have been given to fulfill in your lifetime. Probably some of the first questions you need to ask yourself are, ‘What is my mission? What are my peculiar gifts? What can I bring to this world to make it a better place?’

2. Commission
Know for a fact that you have been placed on this planet for a purpose. In fact, you have been commissioned by the creator to use what you have to the best of your ability. You were never given your gifts as a human being to shut them up in a box or bury them in the ground. They were deposited into your life for one reason and one reason only – to be developed and used to be a blessing to you, to those around you while at the same time pleasing your creator.

3. Admission
Whenever I go to the movies I have to pay an admission price. To fulfill your life’s mission there will always be a price that needs to be paid. If music is your mission then hours of practice must be your price. Some pay with finance. Some pay with time, while others pay the ultimate price with their lives in order to fulfill their mission. But in all cases, for a mission to be completed, there must be a price paid.

4. Submission
Stop fighting against your mission. You must identify it, submit to it and like with any submission – you need then to submit it to the world. In a sense – first you must give in to your mission and once that is completed your mission is then to give.

5. Omission
In order for you to find your mission there are many things that you must discard. The distraction of generality is one of the enemies of a mission led life. Too many choices or in fact, the inability to choose can threaten your life’s mission. At some point in your life you must choose to let go in order to embrace the true mission of your life.

Fear stops many from doing this. But faith will allow you to choose, pursue, grasp, and discard simultaneously so that the ‘one clearly defined purpose’ for your life is achieved.

[ Peter G. James Sinclair ]

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5 Habits to a Fulfilled Life

How would you answer, “What was the happiest moment of your life?”

My friends answer this question with events like the birth of a child, a wedding day, or graduation. These moments of joy last surprisingly short. Life goes back to normal the next day. What if these moments of fulfillment were a part of everyday life, rather than one moment?

Fulfilled is defined, “satisfied or happy because of fully developing one’s abilities or character.” Being fulfilled is a process through failures and victories, rather than focused on one specific moment. A fulfilling life comes from building habits that lead to joy.

Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.” Similarly, a fulfilled life is not defined by a moment of accomplishment; rather it is defined by healthy habits. Creating a fulfilling life means daily acts that over time create a satisfaction.

The University College of London found that it takes 66 days to make a habit permanent. I want to share with you habits to implement for 66 days to create a fulfilling life. Try at least one of habits below for 66 days.

1. Experiment with Failure
A part of human nature is to fail, especially when it comes to starting a new habit. I once believed whenever I failed that I lacked the talent to accomplish the task, or I wasn’t “destined” to be a success. I saw failure as permanent. My failures defined me. My belief halted any pursuit of new ways to accomplish goals. A life goal I had, but never seemed to accomplish, was to exercise daily.

Exercise daily for 66 days would be my greatest struggle. However, I didn’t let failure stop me from starting. Rather than letting my past failures define me, I saw failure (missing a day of exercise) as a learning opportunity. When I didn’t exercise, I analyzed why I failed, then created plans to overcome future “failures.” When you experiment with your failures, you can understand what obstacles will come your way and how to overcome them. There is no such thing as a failed experiment. There is only feedback.

2. Surround Yourself with Competition
My wife and I recently discovered we have a plum tree in our backyard. The tree never produced fruit before this year. After some research, I discovered that plum trees do not thrive solo. They require different kinds of plum trees for cross-pollination, and thus further growth. I searched our yard for another tree and sure enough I found the 2nd plum tree only 10 feet away from the first.

I used to think nature was a dog-eat-dog world. Only the strongest survive. But my plum tree needed a friend in order to thrive. In the same way, you need friends to help accomplish your goals.

3. Never stop learning
Children never stopped wondering about the world. Somewhere between childhood and adulthood, my curiosity about life withered. I remember kids harassing me in junior high because I was curious about science. I craved the approval of others, so I steered away from science and killed my curiosity.

The easiest way to revitalize your curiosity is to breath life into it again. Try things you did as a child. Fly a kite. Play a board game. Research a topic you know little about. Watch TED videos. Keep a journal and write down ideas to research later. In this way, you will never stop learning about our ever-curious world.

4. Whatever you focus on, increases.
You will find more of life’s blessings if you focus on building gratitude. If you focus on life’s problems, then you will only find more problems. A shift in focus requires mental effort. I once defined myself by my failures. I focused on them when I tried new scary things (like a 66-day experiment). It shouldn’t surprise you that I had a history of failure when I approached life this way. Now, I focus on how I can overcome potential failures when trying new things to become the best version of myself.

5. Adopt daily gratitude
Research demonstrates that grateful people have fulfilling lives. Gratitude shifts your focus from your problems (no matter how big or concerning) to what you’ve been given. Practicing daily gratitude helped me conquer my inner negative Nancy.

Ever since I was a child, I seemed bent to focus on the glass half empty, but that changed after implementing a new habit. What catalyzed my metamorphosis into a positive Polly was my wife. I was blessed to marry the most encouraging and positive woman on the planet. Her positive outlook forced me to realize how I consistently focus on the negative. One day, I became sick with myself and searched Google, “How to become a more positive person.” That is when I discovered the daily gratitude habit.

Rather than focusing on my problems, I focused on my blessings. I kept a daily gratitude journal. I would write things like (these are copied from my gratitude journal)

My wife is the most beautiful woman I know on planet earth, and she married me! Hot dog. I’m super happy to pay off nearly $24,000 of debt at the end of the month of August. [My daughter] is awesome. She is adorable, even during her grumpy mornings. I love the drive time in between work and home because I get to learn about business uninterrupted.

Healthy habits lead to a life of satisfaction. This path isn’t easy. If it were easy, then everyone would have a six-pack abs, millions of dollars, and happy relationships. The road to change is paved with blood, sweat, and tears. Your habits define the life you live. Start today.

Which of your habits create a fulfilling life?

[ Alex Barker ]

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Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo” (Movie)

At the heart of the Apollo space program was the team in Mission Control. They came from the farms and smokestack towns of 20th-century America, but from these humble beginnings came the extraordinary team who helped put a man on the moon. They made the impossible, possible.

Full movie:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwwwRR9LS3Y

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Finding Your Life’s Mission

Few people report having one, singular life purpose. That’s a myth that grew out of the time in which we were trapped in the jobs of the tribe or village; you had to choose to be a baker or a blacksmith, and because you died young, in your 20s or 30s, you had to choose quickly.

Today, there’s more opportunity, no borders, and longer life-spans. So you’ll have multiple purposes and missions throughout life. Here’s how to narrow them down to what matters:

Live the best quality of life that you can. This should be one of the main missions for us all, don’t you think? Make it a priority to grow and excel in your health, relationships, career, finances, spirituality, hobbies. Improve each of these areas and you’ll start to feel on purpose.

Follow your interests. Whatever you are deeply curious about is worth exploring. So, whether it’s design, photography, fashion, food, or coding, go down the wormhole. Explore your passions with enough verve and you will find what is right for you.

Allow yourself to transition from one thing to another. To find your most meaningful mission, you’ll have to try a few out. Give yourself permission to move between jobs, careers, companies, and passionate pursuits. The only boundaries are boundaries of belief.

Serve! You can travel the world looking for some magnificent purpose, but after all the belly gazing the truth that always emerges is this: by serving others we feel more purposeful. So just look around you and ask, “How can I help?” In the spirit of service we will soar to our full potential.

Be bold, bounce around, try new things, discover what is important to you, and suddenly you’ll start to feel what we call The Charged Life!

[ Brendon Burchard ]

https://brendon.com/blog/finding-your-lifes-mission/

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6 Steps To Living A More Fulfilled Life

You’re on your deathbed…taking your last sips of air.

How was life? Are you going to die filled with regret or fulfillment? Are there loved ones around you? Is your bank account full or empty? Does it even matter?

How can we live life so that when we’re on our deathbed, we know we lived it to the absolute fullest?

I don’t have all the answers, but I do have 30 years of experience.

Through this, I’ve come up with a new hierarchy of how to live a fulfilling life. You start at the bottom of the pyramid and work your way up.

Here’s a quick illustration, but we’ll go through each section layer by layer and talk about why it matters and how you can actually do something about it.

– Take care of your safety and security
– Work on your mental strength
– Focus on the human connection
– Always be learning
– Work on your confidence
– Give to others

[ Real Men Real Style ]

https://www.realmenrealstyle.com/how-to-be-fulfilled/

The “Pyramid to Fulfillment”:

– Safety & Security
– Mental Strength
– Human Connection
– Growth
– Confidence
– Self-Extension

[ Katrina Razavi ]

https://www.communicationfornerds.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/6-Action-Steps-Towards-a-Fulfilling-Life.pdf

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What is PERSONAL FULFILLMENT? What does PERSONAL FULFILLMENT mean?

Personal fulfilment is achievement of life goals which are important to an individual, in contrast to the goals of society, family and other collective obligations.

Key components then of personal fulfilment are:

1 . Consciousness – of oneself and the environment
2 . Consciousness – of people around oneself
3 . Exploration – of something new that one may be capable of
4 . Initial failure – as one’s initial attempts at exploration leads to stumbles and falls
5 . Trying – again and again till such time that one does not stumble and fall
6 . Experiencing joy – of having tried and achieved something new
7 . Commendation and applause – of those around, especially of the ones that the individual values
8 . Boredom – as one performs the ‘not so new anymore’ task as a matter of habit
9 . Then back to step three for something new to explore
10. The cycle continuing throughout one’s life as the individual grows and expands into newer and unexplored dimensions of personal fulfillment [ more… ]

[ Wikipedia ]

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What is SELF-FULFILLMENT? What does SELF-FULFILLMENT mean? SELF-FULFILLMENT

In philosophy and psychology, self-fulfillment is the realizing of one’s deepest desires and capacities. The history of this concept can be traced to Ancient Greek philosophers,

Philosopher Alan Gewirth in his book Self-Fulfillment defined self-fulfillment as “carrying to fruition one’s deepest desires or one’s worthiest capacities.”

[ Wikipedia ]

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What Defines Personal Fulfillment? What, We Ask, is Most Important in a Person’s Life?

– Family/loving relationships
– Career Accomplishment
– Widening Opportunities
– Life Balanced Between Career and Family
– Comfort
– Satisfaction and Lack of Regrets
– Service for the Good of Others
– Love
– Happiness
– Building Character

Many of us would view a combination of several of these objectives as the measure of fulfillment in our lives.

http://transitions.atwork-network.com/2007/05/08/what-defines-personal-fulfillment/

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Six Stages of Personal Fulfillment

Researchers have suggested that our path to personal fulfillment (or self-actualization) can be traced through several clear stages. Each stage illustrates a core feeling that is essential to our personal fulfillment.

The six stages of personal fulfillment can be thought of as a pyramid where each stage builds on the foundation created by the previous stage.

Stage #1 – “I am alive”
clean drinking water, nourishing food, and basic shelter. Unless this basic human need is met, it is nearly impossible to progress to the next level of personal fulfillment.

Stage #2 – “I am safe”
the feeling of security. To know that our way of life is protected gives us the freedom to reach outside of ourselves and think of others.

Stage #3 – “I belong”
Brene Brown said it best, “A deep sense of love and belonging is an irreducible need of all people. We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong. When those needs are not met, we don’t function as we were meant to. We break. We fall apart. We numb. We ache. We hurt others. We get sick.”

Stage #4 – “I am valued”
you are ultimately responsible for your own sense of value, not anyone else.

Stage #5 – “I am fulfilled”
You feel alive, confident that you have everything you need to maintain your quality of life. a feeling of personal accomplishment and purpose.

Stage #6 – “I am”
as a way of being means that you live a life free of judgment (of yourself and others) and full of joy. Joy, unlike happiness, comes from within. You are the source of your own value — a beacon of light and passion.

You take ultimate responsibility for what you think, say, do, and feel.

[ Michael Keeler ]

https://uprisingnyc.org/six-stages-of-personal-fulfillment/

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5 Steps to Fulfill Your Purpose

Define and achieve your life’s goals when you follow this simple plan.

One of the key elements of a flourishing, fulfilling life is a sense of purpose that allows us to find our passions, pursue important goals and ultimately live lives of authentic happiness. Most of us go about our lives without actively thinking about what purpose we are trying to accomplish. However, there are steps we can take to develop a more deliberate awareness of our goals and achieve lives of meaning.

[ Stacy Kaiser ]

https://www.livehappy.com/self/5-steps-fulfill-your-purpose

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Do You Have a Personal Mission Statement?

Change the WorldI’ve been reading and discussing Matt Perman’s excellent What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms The Way You Get Things Done with a few friends in a faith and work book club. Recently, we’ve been reading about how to create our own personal mission statements.

Perman writes that mission statements are biblical, and that we can find them throughout the Bible. He states that there are three main components to a good mission statement. He looks at each component using Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount as the foundation. He states that the entire sermon is about the purpose of life and as such is our mission statement. The three components of our personal mission statement are:

Core purpose. Our core purpose states our overall reason for existence. Perman indicates this is where we state the biblical purpose of life in our own words, and in a way that reflects our uniqueness and that applies to us. How would you state your core purpose?

Core principles. This section of our mission statement contains our answers to the question “What main principles am I going to use to guide my life?” Perman tells us that something passes muster as a core principle in our lives if it is something we would hold to even if we were punished for it. To state it another way, these are the principles we would hold to even if it was to our disadvantage. Perman suggests listing our top twenty guiding principles based on what God has revealed about our purpose and what glorifies Him. What principles would be on your list?

Core beliefs. Perman tells us that our core beliefs lay a gospel foundation underneath our mission. They answer the below two questions:

Our identity. Who are we?

Our ultimate destination. Where are we going to end up at the end of all of this?

Perman offers the following as sample core beliefs:

“I am a child of God who has been forgiven and redeemed by Christ alone, through faith alone, to the glory of God alone.”

If you were to write your core beliefs, what would they look like?

Perman writes that the ultimate foundation of our mission statement is not our character or our principles, but what God has done for us in Christ, and the fact that if we believe in Christ, God is our Father.

I’m in the process of writing my personal mission statement. Why not try drafting up yours? If you do, I’d love for you to share it with me.

Also, I’d recommend you read Matt’s book What’s Best Next. This is already the second time I’ve read it.

[ Bill Pence ]

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How to Set Life Goals That Ensure Fulfillment and Happiness?

For many of us, the ultimate goals in life are to be fulfilled and happy. But what goals do we need to set in order to achieve these overriding goals?

If you ask anyone who is always smiling and seems content with their life – including with who they are and where they are – they’ll probably tell you that the reason for their sense of fulfillment is that they first set out a series of goals to aim for.

Without goals, you have no target, no direction in life. And without a direction, it can be very hard to ensure happiness. To be content, you need to be sure of what you want.

Setting life goals is exciting. It creates pictures in your head of your dream life. If one of your goals is to live in an apartment by the ocean, just imagine how excited that will make you feel!

https://www.beautyandtips.com/motivation/how-to-set-life-goals-that-ensure-fulfillment-and-happiness/

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6 Ways to Set Goals that Actually Make You Succeed

Goals are essential for success. But not all goals are created equal. Entrepreneurs and members of The Oracles share their top tips for setting goals that fast-track success in business and life. [ more… ]

[ The Oracles ]

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/26/6-ways-to-set-goals-that-actually-make-you-succeed.html

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Setting Goals to Fulfill Your God-Given Purpose

Part of the Discovering Your God-Given Purpose Series

– Discovering Your God-Given Purpose
– Setting Goals to Fulfill Your God-Given Purpose
– Overcoming Fear of Criticism to Fulfill Your Purpose
– Two Truths About Your God-Given Purpose
– Your Purpose Matters for Eternity
– Communicating About Your Purpose Effectively
– The Power of God-Given Imagination

[ Shana Schutte ]

https://www.focusonthefamily.com/faith/faith-in-life/discovering-your-god-given-purpose/setting-goals-to-fulfill-your-god-given-purpose

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How Are Women Fulfilled?

Do we really need to “have it all” to be fulfilled?

In this short video, Mary Kassian reminds us that we were created to be in relationship with God and it’s that relationship which affects everything else. Our ultimate fulfillment cannot be found “out there” in what we do, but in who we are in Christ.

[ Andrea Salik ]

https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/how-are-women-fulfilled

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Mission Possible

Mission Possible is a Christian Missions and Aid organization that has been operating in Eastern Europe for 40 years. Subscribe to the bimonthly newsletter for regular updates from the field and to learn about ways to become involved in the work of Mission Possible.

http://mp.org/

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Mission Possible with Eric Legrand

Former Rutgers football player, who had a freak accident, sustained a spinal cord injury during a game in 2010. Since then, he has been reaching out to tell his story—on a mission to walk again and trying to inspire as many people as possible along that journey to live life everyday.

https://www.foxsports.com/watch/mission-possible/video

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VeggieTales – “Mission Possible” Book Series

Let the special child in your life be the star in this exciting Personalized VeggieTales “Mission Possible” book series with Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber! Your child is the hero in every book! Search for your child’s name and let the adventure begin!

– “The Island of the Care-a-Beans”
– “Jellyfish Jam
– “Astro Nuts”
– “Jurassic Playground
– “Snow Clones
– “The Trojan Rocking Horse

https://www.veggiebookclub.com/wp/

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Don’t Waste Your Life

God was really very kind to me when I was 17. Something came alive and something became wonderful. Something became way he that until that time wasn’t way he wasn’t wonderful and it wasn’t the gospel per se. I had been a believer since I was six as far as I can tell. What was wonderful and way he was the thought that I had one life and only one to live—and that all of eternity would be shaped and determined by it. My destiny would be determined by what I did with this life and and the way I spent eternity. That seemed simply breathtaking to me just utterly out of proportion that this one small life, and then followed by forever, that forever would be shaped and determined by this life. That became very, very heavy.

[ John Piper ]

Book Study:
https://www.rightnowmedia.org/Content/Series/200

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Don’t Waste Your Life

[ David Platt ]

Part 1:

Part 2:

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You Are Here To Change The Culture

Life has not been given to you as an experiment in self-indulgence the pursuit of bigger houses and faster cars and more shapely bodies and more exotic vacations and more exhilarating sex. you are here for the accomplishment of a mission—as binding upon you as it was for those original 11 men. So that while we do not seek to perpetuate the Apostolic office in its foundational prominence, we do seek to perpetuate the Apostolic mission in its enduring significance…

We have been given a clear directive to go and to make disciples and to engage our culture. Is it possible—just asking—is it possible that you have fallen into one
of two cultural ditches one cultural ditch is cultural anorexia the other ditch however gulp is cultural gluttony. You say cultural gluttony what’s that gorging on the world binging on the world glutton icing on the world often cloaked in the guise of wanting to win the world and legitimized by the use of terms like contextualization these are Christians and congregations who seek to
become just like the world to the end conversion occurs in reverse…

We are called to be the salt of the earth, not its sugar…

[ Todd Friel – Wretched Radio ]

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The Ascension Of Jesus Christ

We account for that radical change in their disposition towards his departure how could anyone be happy about Jesus leaving the reason for their joy is simple they came to understand why he left where he was going and what he would be doing now remember remember the men who walked on the road to Emmaus and they talked to Jesus did not know they were speaking to Jesus and Jesus asked them what things and these men said that we had hoped that this Jesus would be the Messiah we hoped that he would redeem us we hoped that he would be our King but he let us down now if you had an invitation to the coronation of Jesus Christ as the king of kings and as the Lord of lords would you want to see it would you want to go to it if you couldn’t go to it you’d certainly want to see it on television or in the newsreel but you wouldn’t want to miss it now what happens here is this that throughout his teaching ministry Jesus kept referring not to first of all to his ascension but to his dissension where he said not everyone ascends into heaven but only those are only of the one who has descended from heaven in our language the word ascend means simply to go up and our tendency is to think of the rising up into the sky of Jesus from the Mount of Olives that we’ve just read about here that his ascension merely refers to his going up in the air up in the sky to go back home to be with God in heaven no the concept of ascension from the earliest period in biblical literature in the Old Testament it’s not just going up a hill or ascending to a city or ascending into heaven but ascending to a particular place for a particular purpose and that particular purpose is to be enthroned in heaven as the king of kings and so when Jesus leaves this earth he leaves for his coronation he leaves for his investiture as the king and we act as if the kingdom of God were something completely in the distant future and we forget the fundamental announcement of the New Testament is that our King reigns right now now that rain is invisible but the last question the disciples asked him before he leaves us are you now when you restore the kingdom to Israel and he says it’s many forbiddeth what I’m gonna do that your job is what to be my witnesses in Jerusalem Judea Samaria the uttermost parts of the earth as Calvin put it he says the task of the church is to make the invisible reign of Jesus Christ visible by our fidelity and by our celebration and our joy about his going into heaven to become the king of the Kings to be enter into the heavenly sanctuary as our great High Priest and when he goes there to send the spirit to act as his presence in his absence from us to empower the church for its mission he said I won’t leave you comfortless and I have to go away that the Holy Spirit may come upon you for you shall receive power and I stood and watched the glory of the Shekinah cloud transporting Jesus to his throne and the angels came and said men of Galilee why are you standing here gazing into heaven who wouldn’t be standing there gazing into the same Jesus who has departed from your midst isn’t finished yet this is the inauguration of his kingship but he will come to clean consummate it in the same glory I think the Ascension of Jesus is one of the most important moments in all of biblical history to which the psalmist look forward in the Ascension Psalms and the throne ‘men psalms of the Old Testament where our king is given his grow

[ R.C. Sproul ]

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The Significance of Jesus’ Ascension

Jesus is alive today and reigning at the right hand of God the Father in heaven right now, as the Bible teaches. Pastor Kyle explains what this means, and what Jesus does for us daily, anchoring his lesson in Acts 1 which depicts the moment that Jesus left the earth and returned to his former glory in heaven: “the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”

[ Damian Kyle ]

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The Scene of Christ’s Ascension

Luke 24:50-53 King James Version (KJV)
50 And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.
51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.
52 And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:
53 And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.

[ Charles Spurgeon ]

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The Outrageous Claim of the Ascension

Today is Ascension Day, the fortieth day after Easter Sunday. For centuries the Christian church has marked this day (also called Ascension Thursday) in remembrance of Jesus’s bodily ascent to heaven.

The number forty is based on Acts 1:3: “He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.” Ten days later we celebrate Pentecost (Acts 2:1), fifty days (seven full weeks) after Easter, when Jesus poured out the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1–33) on his fledgling church.

Don’t be too surprised if you haven’t heard of Ascension Day, or even if it’s been a while since you’ve heard any reference to Jesus’s ascension at all. It’s sad, but not surprising. The doctrine of the ascension is not a truth that the recent history of theology has been apt to emphasize, and as Tim Chester and Jonny Woodrow highlight in their book The Ascension: Humanity in the Presence of God, it is not only important but essential to the gospel. Wisely did the ancient church confess not only that

He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried, on the third day he rose again but that he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.

The ascension reminds us that Christianity is not only an historical faith, but a faith of the present and future. Jesus is, right now, in glorified humanity on the throne of the universe, wielding as the God-man “all authority in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18). He is not just our suffering servant who came and died and rose triumphant, but our actively ruling, actively conquering king.

The True King of the World
Despite the ignorance and negligence and animosity there is toward him in the world today, he already sits enthroned and is, in his perfect timing and sovereign sway, bringing all his enemies under his feet. In light of what his foes would contend, Chester and Woodrow are right to call the ascension an outrageous claim.

When you went to bed last night Jesus was at work subduing his enemies. While you slept he was continuing to rule over the world. He was still at it when you woke up this morning and even now as you read this. That is the outrageous claim of the ascension. It is outrageous because his rule is not recognized in his world. Open a newspaper and it is not full of how Jesus is reigning. Instead it is full of conflict and crime.

Yet the story of the ascension is the story of the enthronement of Jesus as the king of the world. (29)

The Ultimate Affirmation of Bodily Existence
It’s Jesus’s ascension into the presence of God that gets all that he accomplished “down here” to count for us “up there” with God. Without Jesus’s ascension, there would be no true access to God, no full measure of the Spirit, and no great salvation. The ascension is a link in the chain of salvation as essential as Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection. And the ascension has something powerful to say about humanity and the human body:

The ascension is the story of a body moving to heaven. It is not escape from the bodily realm, but the entry of humanity — in all our physical-ness — into heaven, the sphere of God. Far from diminishing the importance of the body, the ascension is the ultimate affirmation of bodily existence. The Son of God himself has a body — not as an historical convenience, but as a permanent presence in heaven. (60)

[ David Mathis ]

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Ascended

Now we’re going to look this morning at one of the greatest and I believe also one of the least understood and appreciated events in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ after all we celebrate his birth at Christmas we meditate on his death on Good Friday we sing about his resurrection on Easter day we look forward to his second coming in glory but if there is one event that is forgotten in the life of Jesus it is surely the Ascension now I think that there is one fairly obvious reason for this and that is that the Ascension of course marks the departure of Jesus physical presence from this world he will continue to be with the disciples as he promised by the Holy Spirit but he will after the Ascension no longer be physically present as he had been with them for the previous three years he was leaving and somehow it seems inappropriate to get too excited about someone going as everybody who has ever said a long-term goodbye knows however well you’re prepared for it it’s never easy when you actually come to the moment I went through that experience… [more].

[ Pastor Colin Smith ]

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Why the Ascension of Jesus Matters

The ascension of Jesus is celebrated 40 days after his resurrection, the date when he departed from earth and returned bodily to heaven (Luke 24:50–53, Acts 1:9–11).

On first glance, Jesus rising up in the clouds may seem like something out of a Monty Python skit. It’s perhaps a little difficult to understand, maybe even a little bizarre to grasp, and even more difficult to apply. And yet the ascension of Jesus carries with it a full range of implications for our lives, something we discover in today’s episode of the Authors on the Line podcast.

I put two pastor-theologians on the line to explain. First up, Gerrit Scott Dawson, senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and author of Jesus Ascended: The Meaning of Christ’s Continuing Incarnation (P&R, 2004), a standard theological work on the topic.

And secondly, we hear from Jonny Woodrow, pastor, theologian, and director of the Porterbrook Network headquartered in the United Kingdom. He is the author of a fantastic little book just released under the title Ascension: Humanity in the Presence of God (Christian Focus, 2013), a book he co-authored with Tim Chester.

To listen to our 27-minute conversation, subscribe to the Authors on the Line podcast in iTunes here. Download the mp3 here (18.5 MB). Or listen from the resource page through the following link:

Why the Ascension of Jesus Matters: An Interview with Gerrit Scott Dawson and Jonny Woodrow (27 Minutes):

https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/why-the-ascension-of-jesus-matters-an-interview-with-gerrit-scott-dawson-and-jonny-woodrow

[ Tony Reinke ]

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More Than an Afterthought: Six Reasons Jesus’s Ascension Matters

Have you marked your calendar for Ascension Day on May 9? How many of us have even heard of Ascension Day? Or perhaps just a sermon about Jesus’s ascension into heaven? It is impossible to overstate the importance of Good Friday, when Jesus died for our sins, and Easter Sunday, when he was raised from the dead — but Jesus’s earthly ministry did not stop there.

After the resurrection, Jesus taught his disciples about God’s kingdom for forty days (Acts 1:3) and then he was “taken up” to heaven (Acts 1:2, 11). The cross and empty tomb are at the very heart of the gospel message proclaimed by Jesus’s followers throughout history (see 1 Corinthians 15:1–4). However, for many evangelical Christians and churches, Jesus’s ascension is simply an afterthought to Easter and Good Friday.

Here I want to highlight six aspects of Jesus’s ascension or exaltation, in hopes that this significant and climactic event in Jesus’s life will no longer be an afterthought for you.

1. Jesus continues to work after the ascension.
In Acts 1:1–2 we read, “In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up…” The small but important word began signals that Jesus’s ascension does not mark the cessation but the continuation of his work as Lord and Messiah. That’s what Luke’s second book is all about, the “Acts of the risen Lord Jesus,” which he works from heaven, through his people, by the Holy Spirit, for the accomplishment of God’s purposes.1

2. The ascended Lord Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to his people.
After his resurrection Jesus told his followers, “I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49).2 In his Pentecost sermon Peter explains, “Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing” (Acts 2:33). God promised in Joel 2:28, “I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,” and this promise is fulfilled by the exalted heavenly Lord Jesus. The ascended Lord sent the Spirit to be present with his people (John 14:16), to empower them for worldwide mission (Acts 1:8; 4:31), and to transform believers to live new lives reflecting their king (Romans 8:9–11; 2 Corinthians 3:18).

3. Jesus’s ascension is his heavenly enthronement as King.
At Jesus’s ascension he is installed as the true king of the world. According to the Apostles’ Creed, he “ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.” Jesus is taken up to heaven in a cloud (Acts 1:9–11), and Stephen declares that he sees the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God (Acts 7:56). These texts suggest that Jesus’s ascension fulfills the important prophecy of Daniel 7:13–14:3

I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.

Jesus’s kingdom cannot be destroyed and will not pass away! According to Revelation 3:21 Jesus conquered and sat down with his Father on his throne, where he receives unending praise (Revelation 5:6–13). Jesus will reign at God’s right hand until all enemies are subdued under his feet (Psalm 110:1; Acts 2:34–35; 1 Corinthians 15:25; Hebrews 1:13). Thus God’s kingdom has been inaugurated through the enthronement of Jesus, who now sits on heaven’s throne and will return to consummate his kingdom on earth as in heaven.

4. Jesus’s ascension is his return to his Father.
Before and after his death and resurrection Jesus declares that he was sent by his Father and must return to his Father:

I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father. (John 16:28; cf. 13:1, 3)

Jesus said to Mary, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” (John 20:17)

There has been no sweeter reunion in the history of the world than Jesus’s return to his Father! Perhaps the closest analogy is a courageous, wounded soldier returning to his loved ones after a hard-fought victory. Jesus fully accomplished his mission and glorified the Father on earth, and at Jesus’s ascension the Father glorifies the Son in heaven (John 17:4–5). Take heart that Jesus’s homecoming to his Father prepares the way for our homecoming to be with Jesus forever (John 14:2–4).

5. The ascended Lord Jesus is our heavenly mediator and high priest.
Jesus is the unique mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5). His death and resurrection secure our forgiveness, justification, and reconciliation with God (Romans 4:25–5:1; 2 Corinthians 5:18–21). Note also that the exalted Lord Jesus is now in heaven interceding for his people as our true high priest and advocate (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 1:3; 7:25; 8:1; 1 John 2:1). During his earthly ministry Jesus’s work was geographically limited — he didn’t teach in Ethiopia while healing in China. But now he is at work everywhere and able to hear and respond to his people’s prayers no matter the time or place. He sympathizes with our struggles and promises to do whatever we ask in his name (John 14:13–14; Hebrews 4:15–16).

6. The ascended Lord Jesus will return as King and Judge.
In Acts 1:11 two angels explain to the disciples, “This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” Jesus’s heavenly reign will one day be fully realized on earth (Revelation 11:15; 19:10–16; 22:3). This is the very thing we ask for when we pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). At his return, the Lord Jesus will execute divine judgment, vindicating his downtrodden people and judging his enemies.4

What It Means for Our Lives
To sum up: Though often overlooked, the ascension completes Jesus’s earthly mission and signifies his enthronement as heavenly king. Jesus has completed his Father’s mission and he now rules with all authority and intercedes with all sympathy as our mediator and high priest. I close with four implications of Jesus’s ascension for our lives.

Remember that Jesus is presently reigning as king and remains active and engaged in our world and our lives.

Therefore live boldly, confidently, and strategically as servants of the exalted king of heaven. Know that your labors in the Lord Jesus are not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58).

Sufferers, take heart that Jesus is not indifferent to your struggle. He has endured great suffering and is thus the most merciful and sympathetic counselor and mediator. Take your cares to your ascended Lord who hears your prayers and can respond with all heaven’s authority.

Finally hope in a glorious future. The ascended Lord will return as judge and king. He will abolish injustice, end suffering, and destroy death and set up his kingdom of truth, righteousness and love. Best of all, we will be with our king forever.

[ Brian Tabb ]

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The Ascension of Christ

“Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven” (v. 11).
– Acts 1:6–11

The gospel tells us we can be reconciled to God only if we trust in Christ, the King of God’s blessed kingdom. We must, therefore, understand who Jesus is and what He has done. The Apostles’ Creed summarizes the person and work of Christ, and we are examining the creed’s biblical basis as we make our way through the Heidelberg Catechism. Question and answer 46 of the catechism discuss Christ’s ascension, an event the contemporary evangelical church largely ignores.
The church must not neglect this significant event. In the first place, it reveals the nature of Jesus’ return at the end of the age. The catechism notes that the phrase “he ascended into heaven” in the Apostles’ Creed means that Christ was taken from earth into heaven before the eyes of the Apostles. Jesus’ ascension into heaven was not merely an invisible move of His soul, but an upward movement of His body and soul that the Apostles could see. Acts 1:9 says, “A cloud took [Jesus] out of [the disciples’] sight.” Jesus was physically present with His followers, but a cloud raised Him into the sky and on into heaven.

Jesus ascended visibly; thus, He will return visibly when He comes in final judgment. After all, the angels told the disciples that Christ would return just as He ascended (v. 11). People will see Jesus physically because He will come again bodily (1 Thess. 4:16). He will return in a cloud of glory, the same cloud that indicated God’s presence under the old covenant (Ex. 13:21; Lev. 16:2; 1 Kings 8:10–11).

In Matthew 24:1–31, Jesus anticipates His ascension. Many people believe Jesus predicted His final return to judge creation when He quoted Daniel 7:13–14 in Matthew 24:30. But as John Calvin and other scholars have noted, Daniel 7 refers not to the Son of Man’s descent from heaven but to His entrance into heaven to receive His kingdom. Matthew 24:1–31 does not predict the end of the world. It foresees events associated with Jesus’ enthronement as King of kings and Lord of lords, events that culminated in the AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem. The ascension of Christ recorded in Acts 1:6–11 is one of these events, the Son of Man coming to receive His kingdom as foreseen in Daniel 7:13–14 and Matthew 24:30 (Keith A. Mathison, From Age to Age, pp. 358–359, 377, 461).

Coram Deo
Jesus is indeed coming from heaven at the end of the age to consummate His plan and bring a new heaven and earth (Rev. 21). But He is not coming back to establish His kingdom and take His throne, for as Matthew 24:1–31 and Acts 1:6–11 inform us, Christ took this throne when He ascended on high and judged the city of Jerusalem in the first century. Jesus is reigning now, and because He is king, we can serve Him in confidence of His final victory.

https://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/the-ascension-of-christ/

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The Ascension of Christ

“After He said this, He was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid Him from their sight” (v. 9).
– Acts 1:9-26

Just before He ascended into heaven, Jesus told the crowd of disciples that had gathered around Him, “You will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). This statement gives an outline for the book of Acts, for at first we see the disciples ministering in Jerusalem, then spreading out into Judea and Samaria (Acts 8:1), then ministering to God-fearing Gentiles (Acts 8:20ff. and Acts 10–11), and finally going all over the Roman Empire, ending in Rome (Acts 28).

Notice that Jesus did not tell the disciples that they were all going to be evangelists or missionaries. They were not all called to be teachers or deacons. In the body of Christ there are many functions to which Christians are called. There is one office, however, to which all Christians are called, and that is witnessing.

Today, witnessing and evangelism are often regarded as the same thing, and this is not correct. There are all kinds of ways in which the church and Christians bear witness to Christ and to His kingdom. Evangelism— explaining the Gospel—is but one of these. Not everyone is called and gifted to explain the Gospel, but everyone is called to bear witness. Everyone is to call attention to the Gospel by his or her life, behavior, and words. We are to make visible the invisible reign of Christ as King.

Then, while the disciples watched, Jesus ascended up into a cloud. What cloud was this? It was the cloud of glory, the shekinah cloud that appeared so often in the Old Testament. It was that which appeared to Ezekiel, the chariot made up of cherubim and angels. It was the cloud-chariot that formed a pillar of cloud to lead the people through the wilderness. It was the cloud that surrounded Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration.

As Elijah was taken up in the chariot, so now Jesus is conveyed into the presence of the Father. But while Elijah was simply a member of the cloud of glory arrayed around God’s moving chariot-throne, Jesus is the one who sits on that chariot-throne. Jesus’ ascension into the cloud was a visible sign that He had assumed His throne, and was now going to rule as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Coram Deo
Everyone who names the name of Christ is automatically a witness. What must be evaluated is the nature of that witness—is it true and faithful to Christ or is it detrimental to the advancing kingdom? Reflect upon your witness during the last day or two, and allow the results to shape your life’s witness today.

https://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/the-ascension-of-christ-2/

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The Ascension of the Son of Man

“Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (v. 30).
– Matthew 24:29-31

We have been considering how the original audience of Daniel 7 would have understood the chapter and how it should inform our application of the text today. Given what we have said about Daniel 2, it is best to view the four beasts in 7:1–8 as representing four empires—Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece, and Rome. These empires were all known to Daniel’s first readers as once-mighty powers in decline (Babylon), powers ruling currently (Media-Persia), or powers gaining strength (Greece and Rome), so the chapter’s original audience could actually relate to his vision. And what Daniel told them was incredible.

During the reign of the fourth empire, Rome, the Ancient of Days would judge it decisively and give an eternal kingdom to “one like a son of man” (7:9–14). Of course, this ruler is Jesus the Messiah, who was born at the height of Rome’s power. He preferred the title Son of Man above all others, and today’s passage indicates that Daniel 7 defined His understanding of it (Matt. 24:29–31). As the fulfillment of Daniel 7, He is fully God and rides the Almighty’s cloud-chariot, yet He can also be distinguished from the Ancient of Days. Under the new covenant, we recognize Him as the Son of God, the second person of the Holy Trinity, to whom His Father grants all authority in heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18–20).
However, Rome did not fall during the first century, so how can we view God making a decisive judgment on the Roman Empire? First, given the symbolism of apocalyptic literature, the fourth beast can stand for both Rome and evil in general, and Jesus triumphed over Satan on the cross (Col. 2:15). Second, within a few hundred years of our Lord’s ministry, Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire. His work provided for the eventual conversion of His enemies. Finally, Rome did not crucify the Son of God—the most evil act of all—alone; rather, it worked hand in hand with the Jewish Sanhedrin, which actually instigated our Lord’s execution. In AD 70, God judged this generation of impenitent Jews when He allowed the Roman general Titus to destroy Jerusalem. Today’s passage, in fact, is tied in its original context to that destruction, which can be regarded as part of the entire complex of events surrounding the vindication of the Son of Man, His ascension on the clouds of heaven, and His session at the right hand of God the Father to rule and to reign over all creation (Matt. 24:15–28). Jerusalem’s fall and Christ’s ascension revealed Him as Lord of all, which Daniel foresaw hundreds of years beforehand.œ

Coram Deo
Jesus’ ascension and session (seating) at God’s right hand were important enough to the earliest Christians to include in both the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed. Yet as Dr. R.C. Sproul has often said, we often neglect these important events in the modern church. Christ’s ascension and session are critical because they confirm that Jesus Christ has been given all authority in heaven and earth. Thus, we know that He is reigning now to defeat all His and our enemies.

https://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/ascension-son-man/

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Ascension and Session

“The Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.”
– Mark 16:19

After Jesus rose from the dead, He appeared to His followers and commissioned them to proclaim the gospel to all creation, to every man, woman, and child (Mark 16:9–18). This gospel, we have noted, includes the declaration that Jesus is the Son of God who atoned for sin and rose from the dead to save His people. But there is another important aspect of the gospel that the New Testament gives us. It is found throughout the book of Acts and the Epistles. We are talking about the announcement that Jesus is Lord. As Peter preached on the day of Pentecost, “God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified” (Acts 2:36).

Proclaiming that Jesus is Lord is the most fundamental Christian creed. The universal lordship of the Messiah finds its roots in passages such as Psalm 110, wherein the God of Israel, the Creator of all things, tells the Davidic king who is also David’s Lord to sit at His right hand in the place of supreme authority. Jesus alludes to this important event when He predicts the Son of Man’s coming on the clouds of heaven, which has reference to His ascension but also to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, which was the visible confirmation of Christ’s lordship (Mark 13:26). This ascension to heaven and session—His being seated at the Father’s right hand—is recorded in many places, including today’s passage (16:19).

The gospel is not simply a message of personal salvation or a declaration related to spiritual things. It is both of those, but it is much more. The gospel also asserts that God has seated Christ “at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come” (Eph. 1:20–21). The Son of God has possessed such authority from all eternity according to His divine nature. In the incarnation, the Son of God took on a human nature and submitted to the Father’s authority as a man while possessing authority fully equal to the Father’s as God. By fulfilling His mission, the incarnate Son received authority to rule and reign over all creation. In His humanity as well as in His deity, the God-man is King over all He has made. He is Lord over all the rulers of the earth. No earthly leader sits over Him, and His law alone is absolute. No one is worthy of higher allegiance than Christ, and where His law conflicts with the laws of lesser authorities, we must obey Christ rather than men.

Coram Deo
Christians are called to be good citizens who pay their taxes and pray for their political leaders (Rom. 13:1–7; 1 Tim. 2:1–2). But only One deserves unquestioned allegiance—Jesus Christ. Let us resolve in our hearts now that we will serve Him as Lord of all so that we will be prepared to stand if we must ever suffer for our faith.

https://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/ascension-and-session/

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The Ascension

These men had spent three years in a state of unspeakable joy. They had witnessed what no human beings before them had ever seen in the entire course of history. Their eyes peered openly at things angels themselves longed to look into but were unable. Their ears heard what ancient saints had a fierce desire to hear with their own ears. These men were the disciples of Jesus of Nazareth. They were His students. They were His companions. Where He went, they went. What He said, they heard. What He did, they saw with their own eyes. These were the original eyewitnesses of the earthly ministry of the Son of God.

But one day, these men heard from the lips of their teacher the worst of all possible news. Jesus told them that He was leaving them. He told them that the days of their intimate companionship in this world were coming to a hasty end. Imagine the shock and profound panic that filled the hearts of these disciples when Jesus said that it was just about over.

In John 16 we read what Jesus said: “‘A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me.’ So some of his disciples said to one another, ‘What is this that he says to us, “A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me”; and, “because I am going to the Father”?’ So they were saying, ‘What does he mean by “a little while”? We do not know what he is talking about.’

“Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, ‘Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, “A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me”? Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you’” (John 16:16–22).

Just shortly before this enigmatic statement, Jesus had said to His disciples: “But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” (vv. 5–7).

In the first instance, Jesus says that their hearts will not simply be touched by sorrow or grief or disappointment, but there will be a fullness of sorrow that saturates the chambers of their hearts. They will be overcome with grief. Their mourning will reach the limits of its human capacity. But Jesus says the condition that they will experience will be temporary, that the sense of abandonment they may feel for a moment will give way to unspeakable joy.

Jesus also explains why He must leave them. He says that it is expedient or necessary for Him to go away so that the disciples may be filled with the Holy Spirit. What sounds like an absolute disadvantage, Jesus promises will turn into an advantage. In Acts 1:9–11 we read, “And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’” The disciples watched Jesus leave them. They gazed, staring intently into the heavens as long as their eyes had any sight of Him, at which point two angels came and asked them why they were staring into heaven. The angels then told them that the same Jesus who visibly and bodily ascended would come in like manner at a later time.

Luke tells us in his gospel account of the ascension (24:50–53): “Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God.” We notice here the complete fulfillment of what Jesus had predicted — the fullness of their sorrow that had completely engulfed them at the hearing of the news of His departure, had given way not only to contentment, not only to acceptance, not only to joy, but to a great and fulfilling joy. They returned from their last sight of Jesus with their hearts filled with elation. How can that be? The obvious answer is found in that the disciples came to understand the significance of the ascension. As hard as it was to fathom, they came to believe that Jesus’ absence from them was of more benefit than His bodily presence with them, the reason being where He was going and what He was about to undertake.
In John 3:13 Jesus declared, “No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.” That verse sounds difficult at first glance when we realize that in the Old Testament, Enoch ascended into heaven in the sense that he was carried there, as was Elijah when the chariots of fire lifted him up into the heavens. When Jesus speaks of ascension, He’s not speaking of merely “going up.” He is speaking of something in technical terms. He is thinking in terms of the Psalms of Ascent that celebrated the anointing of a king (Pss. 120–34). When Jesus says no one ascends into heaven, it is true that no one ascends or goes to heaven in the same manner or for the same purpose that He went there. He was lifted up on clouds of glory in order to go to His Father for the purpose of His coronation as our King — as the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He ascended into heaven to fulfill His role as our Great High Priest, interceding for His people daily. So as He sits at the right hand of the Father, exercising His lordship over the whole world and His intercession before the Father on behalf of His people, He improves our condition dramatically. Not only this, but before Pentecost could come and the Holy Spirit could be poured out upon the church, empowering the church for its missionary enterprise to the whole world, it was necessary for Christ to ascend so that together with the Father He might dispatch from heaven the Holy Spirit in all of His power.

As hard as it is to imagine, the condition that we enjoy right now on this side of the atonement, on this side of the resurrection, this side of the ascension, and this side of Pentecost is, redemptively speaking, a greater situation than that which the disciples enjoyed during their three-year tenure in the presence of the Lord Jesus. We celebrate the ascension because we celebrate our King.

[ R.C. Sproul ]

https://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/ascension/

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The Ascension

(1) Separation. In one sense the ascension was the bodily separation of our Lord from His followers. But we must quickly add that the Scriptures never record any mourning or tears concerning this. Undoubtedly this is true because, ironic as it may seem, our Lord’s departure inaugurated a time of even greater intimacy through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. “… and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).

(2) Consummation. The ascension symbolized that the work which our Lord was sent to accomplish in His physical body on earth has been finished. “… when He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3).

(3) Glorification. When our Lord returned to the Father it was in splendor and glory. While His glory was somewhat veiled by His humble surroundings at His incarnation, His return was with even greater glory and honor because of the work He had accomplished. “Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name” (Philippians 2:9).

(4) Confirmation. The ascension was, in part, a confirmation of Christ’s person and work. He returned to the Father. In this His claim to have come from the Father was vindicated. While no one could actually witness the actual incarnation of Christ in the virgin birth, His return was visible to His followers. The ascension of Christ is also a confirmation of our faith and assurance in Christ: “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchezedek” (Hebrews 6:19-20).

(5) Transition. The ascension serves as a connecting link: between the work of Christ in salvation and that in our sanctification; between the gospels and the epistles; between what has been accomplished by Christ and what is still being done through His Spirit. It is even a transition in the ministry of Christ as well. Having completed His work on the cross in His flesh, He now intercedes for us as a sympathetic High Priest, as One Who has experienced our afflictions:

“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 5:14-16).

(6) Anticipation. The ascension also creates in our hearts a sense of expectation as we realize that He will return, just as He departed: “… This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into Heaven” (Acts 1:11).

And so it is that we come to the importance of the ascension to Christians today. It is not primarily to be viewed as the conclusion of our Lord’s life and ministry, but as the introduction of a new phase of His ministry through His church, empowered by His Spirit. The assurance of His return and the measure of His presence and power in these intervening days is to be found, to a great extent, in His ascension. What a Savior!

[ Bob Deffinbaugh ]

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The Ascension

The disciples asked the Lord many questions during His earthly ministry. And right before Jesus ascended to heaven, there was one final question they asked of their Master. Did they get their answer? On this weekend edition of Renewing Your Mind, Dr. Sproul discusses the final instructions Jesus gave His people right before “The Ascension.”

https://www.ligonier.org/learn/series/book_of_acts/the-ascension/

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Exalted to the Right Hand of God: The Resurrection and the Ascension

Michael Horton looks at the connection between the resurrection of Christ and His ascension to the right hand of the Father. He also explores the kingdom implications of the resurrection.

https://www.ligonier.org/learn/conferences/is_there_life_after_death/exalted-to-the-right-hand-of-godthe-resurrection-/

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Taken up into Heaven: The Ascension of Christ

The ascension of Christ marks the pinnacle of His earthly ministry, yet it is one of the most underappreciated aspects of His work. Jesus said it would be to our advantage for Him to return to His heavenly Father. From His exalted position at the right hand of the Father, Christ poured out the Holy Spirit upon His people. In this session, Dr. W. Robert Godfrey explains the ascension of Christ in connection with the work of the Holy Spirit and the ministry of the local church.

https://www.ligonier.org/learn/conferences/the-gospel-2016-national-conference/taken-up-into-heaven-the-ascension-of-christ/

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The Ascension — The Unfolding of Biblical Eschatology

Acts 1:6–8 follows the brief introductory prologue and provides the immediate context for the ascension narrative.

So when they had come together. They asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

The apostles have gathered together with Jesus on the Mount of Olives (cf. Acts 1:12) just east of Jerusalem. The apostles then ask Jesus a question about the kingdom, specifically whether he would “at this time” restore it to Israel.i His response is highly significant because it reveals the last words Jesus speaks before his ascension. He does not respond to the apostles’ question with a direct yes or no. Instead, he tells the apostles that it is not for them to know “times or seasons.” They are not to concern themselves with this question. Knowledge of the time of restoration belongs to God.ii

Jesus then reminds the apostles of the promise of the Father that they are to await in Jerusalem (cf. 1:5). He tells them they will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon them. There is a possible allusion here to Isaiah 32:15. David Pao explains that the possible allusion is significant because in its original context, the reference to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit “signifies the dawn of the Isaianic New Exodus.”iii If Jesus is alluding to this text, he is connecting the coming outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost in some way with the fulfillment of this Isaianic prophecy. This is significant because in Isaiah and other prophets the new exodus is a way of describing the coming restoration of Israel. If Jesus is alluding to Isaiah 32:15 here, then his words indicate that the restoration the apostles have asked him about is in fact coming. It will not, however, occur in the exact manner that nationalistic Jews might be expecting.

Jesus then gives the apostles their last commission, telling them they will be his witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the end of the earth.iv Again there are possible allusions to Isaiah (cf. Isa. 43:10; 49:6). As Pao explains,
Acts 1:8…becomes the second part of the response to the question in that it confirms the beginning of the process of the restoration of Israel. This process of restoration is portrayed through the model of the Isaianic New Exodus in which the salvation of the Gentiles becomes part of the program of the reconstitution of Israel.v

In short, the restoration of Israel will involve the fulfillment of the task that has been given to the apostles to accomplish. The restoration of Israel will involve their bearing witness to Christ not only in Israel but to the ends of the earth. Their commission introduces a theme that is important throughout the Book of Acts, namely the progress of the Gospel and the expansion of the Church. The Gospel of Jesus will be taken from Jerusalem to the very ends of the earth.vi

[ Keith Mathison ]

https://www.ligonier.org/blog/ascension-unfolding-biblical-eschatology/

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Ascension Sunday Address

Among the central truths of the Christian faith, the ascension of our Lord to heaven may sometimes receive less attention than His death and resurrection. Is it really so important that He is now at the Father’s right hand? Alistair Begg responds with a resounding Yes, explaining how Jesus’ ascension affirms His finished work to redeem us and demonstrates His eternal kingship. When we understand that we serve the living King of Glory, we are motivated to boldly proclaim the Gospel message to a world that needs to hear.

[ Alistair Begg ]

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Our Ascended Christ

[ Alistair Begg ]

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Epic Sermon on the Ascension of Jesus

Without the Ascension of Messiah we have no Gospel of the Kingdom.
Don’t miss this powerful message on the Ascension of the Messiah. Pastor Jeff Durbin of Apologia Church gave this message during the week we celebrate the historic day of the Ascension of the Messiah.

[ Jeff Durbin ]

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The Ascension of Jesus

After Jesus died and was resurrected, he ascended to the right hand of the Father after remaining with his disciples for 40 days. The great Apostles Creed, a unifying statement of ancient Christian belief, states, “He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.” Though we tend to think of the ascension as an afterthought, in this Seven Minute Seminary, Dr. Steve Seamands reveals how Jesus’ leaving our world was just as crucial as were his life, death, and resurrection.

[ Steve Seamands ]

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The Ascension

Sermon Text: Acts 1:1-14
This sermon is from the Lord’s Day pulpit ministry of R.C. Sproul at Saint Andrew’s Chapel near Orlando Florida.

https://www.ligonier.org/learn/sermons/ascension/

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Ascension of Jesus Christ

“The Most Epic Depiction of the Ascension of Jesus Christ to Heaven I have ever seen.”

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Celebration of Jesus’ Ascension

From Charles Wesley’s 1739 “Hymn for Ascension Day” to Phil Wickham’s contemporary rendition of the “The Ascension”—drawing attention to the commemoration of the New Testament account in Acts 1:9 of Jesus’s ascension into heaven—the ascension is celebrated by many Christians on the forty days after Jesus’s resurrection, described in Acts 1:3.

During that time, Jesus instructed his disciples, and on the fortieth day they witnessed his ascension to heaven. Although Ascension Day is formally acknowledged ten days before Pentecost, and always on a Thursday, many churches choose to celebrate on the following Sunday—often as a time of prayer and fasting.

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Mission Accomplished

Through lyrical theology, Shai Linne presents biblical truth that explains the doctrine of Actual Atonement (Particular Redemption), which is probably the most controversial of the doctrines of grace and most difficult to accept by many believers.

Scriptural Support:
Matt. 26:28, John 10:11, Matt. 25:32-33, John 17:9, Acts 20:28, Eph. 5:25-27, Isaiah 53:12

The renowned 19th century British preacher and evangelist Charles H. Spurgeon had these words to say about the atonement (from his sermon, “The Mission of the Son of Man”):

Now, some people love the doctrine of ‘universal atonement’ because they say it is so beautiful. It is a lovely idea that ‘Christ should have died for all men’; it commends itself, they say, to the instincts of humanity; there is something in it full of joy and beauty.

I admit there is; but beauty may be often associated with falsehood.

There is much which I might well admire in the theory of ‘universal redemption’ but let me just tell you what this supposition necessarily involves. If Christ on His cross intended to save every man, then He intended to save those who were damned before He died; because if this doctrine (that He died for all men) is true, He died for some that were in hell before He came into this world, for doubtless there were myriads there that had been cast away.

Once again, if it were Christ’s intention to save all men, how deplorably has He been disappointed! For we have His own evidence that there is a lake that burns with fire and brimstone, and into that pit must be cast some of the very people, who according to that theory, were bought with His blood!

To think that my Savior died for men in hell, seems a supposition too horrible for me to imagine. That He was the substitute for the sons of men, and that God having first punished the substitute, punished these same men again, seems to me to conflict with any idea of justice.

That Christ should offer an atonement and satisfaction for the sins of all men, and that afterwards, some of those very men should be punished for the same sins which Christ had already atoned for, seems to me, to be the most marvelous monstrosity that ever could have been imputed to Saturn, to Janus, aye, to the god of the Thugs, or the most diabolical heathen demons!

God forbid that we should ever think thus of Jehovah, the just and wise.

The death of Christ is the foundation of the Christian’s hope. But those believing in a general redemption cannot possibly fully enjoy that blessed hope in Christ. They claim to believe in a redeemer who is not completely successful in redeeming the lost; an atonement that falls short of achieving its purpose; thus believing that the death of Christ must be joined with freewill in order to save. Fortunately, Jesus is a Redeemer who does deliver His people from sin; not just tries to deliver His people with the possibility of losing some of them. His grace is thoroughly efficacious in saving the elect, for whom He died. And one elected by the grace of God is bound to come to Him, for it would be then natural for him to do so.

[ Shai Linne – “Lyrical Theology” ]

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Hail the Day That Sees Him Rise

Hail the day that sees him rise, Alleluia!
to his throne beyond the skies. Alleluia!
Christ, the Lamb for sinners given, Alleluia!
enters now the highest heaven. Alleluia!

There for him high triumph waits; Alleluia!
lift your heads, eternal gates. Alleluia!
He has conquered death and sin; Alleluia!
take the King of glory in. Alleluia!

Highest heaven its Lord receives; Alleluia!
yet he loves the earth he leaves. Alleluia!
Though returning to his throne, Alleluia!
still he calls us all his own. Alleluia!

Still for us he intercedes; Alleluia!
his atoning death he pleads, Alleluia!
near himself prepares our place, Alleluia!
he the firstfruits of our race. Alleluia!

There we shall with you remain, Alleluia!
partners of your endless reign, Alleluia!
see you with unclouded view, Alleluia!
find our heaven of heavens in you. Alleluia!

[ Charles Wesley ]

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The Ascension

This is the start of something amazing
A moment when heaven touches earth
Here in our hearts, Lord we are waiting
For something that’s far beyond what we have seen or heard

Let us start the ascension
Let’s begin the climb
Up this holy mountain
Where Your glory shines
Further up, further in
Just to be with You again
Let us start the ascension

We’re fixing our eyes on glory and fire
Your name is branded on our hearts
You are the source of all we desire
Nothing can hold us back, we’re running to where You are

Let us start the ascension
Let’s begin the climb
Up this holy mountain
Where Your glory shines
Further up, further in
Just to be with You again
Let us start the ascension

We run to Your light

Let us start the ascension
Let’s begin the climb
Up this holy mountain
Where Your glory shines
Further up, further in
Just to be with You again
Let us start

Let us start the ascension
Let’s begin the climb
Up this holy mountain
Where Your glory shines
Further up, further in
Just to be with You again
Let us start the ascension
We run to Your light

[ Phil Wickham ]

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Christ The Lord Is Risen Today

Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!
Earth and heaven in chorus say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia!

Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia!
Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia!

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once he died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where’s thy victory, boasting grave? Alleluia!

Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia!
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like him, like him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia!
Praise to thee by both be given, Alleluia!
Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!
Hail the Resurrection, thou, Alleluia!

King of glory, soul of bliss, Alleluia!
Everlasting life is this, Alleluia!
Thee to know, thy power to prove, Alleluia!
Thus to sing, and thus to love, Alleluia!

[ Charles Wesley ]

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Soldiers of Christ, Arise

Soldiers of Christ, arise
And put your armor on,
Strong in the strength which God supplies
Through His eternal Son;
Strong in the Lord of hosts,
And in His mighty pow’r,
Who in the strength of Jesus trusts
Is more than conqueror.

Stand then in His great might,
With all His strength endued,
And take, to arm you for the fight,
The panoply of God.
From strength to strength go on.
Wrestle and fight and pray;
Tread all the pow’rs of darkness down
And win the well-fought day.

Leave no unguarded place,
No weakness of the soul;
Take every virtue, ev’ry grace,
And fortify the whole.
That having all things done,
And all your conflicts past,
Ye may o’ercome through Christ alone
And stand complete at last.

[ Charles Wesley ]

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Arise, My Soul, Arise!

Arise, my soul, arise,
shake off your guilty fears;
The bleeding sacrifice,
in my behalf appears;
Before the throne my Surety stands,
Before the throne my Surety stands,
My name is written on His hands.

Chorus: Arise (arise), arise (arise), arise
Arise, my soul, arise.
Arise (arise), arise (arise), arise
Arise, my soul, arise.
Shake off your guilty fears and rise

He ever lives above,
for me to intercede;
His all redeeming love,
His precious blood, to plead;
His blood atoned for every race,
His blood atoned for every race,
And sprinkles now the throne of grace.

Five bleeding wounds He bears;
received on Calvary;
They pour effectual prayers;
they strongly plead for me:
“Forgive him, O forgive,” they cry,
“Forgive him, O forgive,” they cry,
“Nor let that ransomed sinner die!”

The Father hears Him pray,
His dear anointed One;
He cannot turn away
the presence of His Son;
The Spirit answers to the blood,
The Spirit answers to the blood
And tells me I am born of God.

My God is reconciled;
His pardoning voice I hear;
He owns me for His child;
I can no longer fear
With confidence I now draw nigh,
With confidence I now draw nigh,
And “Father, Abba, Father,” cry.

[ Lenox ]

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L.S.F.
(Parody of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” by The Beatles)

Picture yourself on the Mount called Olivet
You’re standin’ with Jesus … a marvelous time
Then while you talk He begins to rise slowly
And gives you His final goodbyes
Aeroplane flyers were seldomly seen
Down in Jerusalem then
Look for the Lord with the sun in your eyes and He’s gone!
Lookee, in the sky, He’s flyin’!
Lookee, in the sky, He’s flyin’!
Lookee, in the sky, He’s flyin’! Ohhhh
Following that there appear on the mountain
A couple of angels in garments so white
“Ye men of Galilee,” they say, “please tell us
How come you still stare at the sky?
Soon He’ll be back, He’ll appear as before
Where He was taken away
When He comes back, He’ll descend through the clouds.” Then they’re gone! Lookee, in the sky, you’ll find Him!
Lookee, in the sky, you’ll find Him!
Lookee, in the sky, you’ll find Him! Ohhhh
Scripture foretells of a day we’ll be taken
“The Rapture,” they call it – it’s looking like time
Suddenly trumpets declare His return while
The church will arise to go with Christ
Lookee, in the sky, we’re flyin’!
Lookee, in the sky, we’re flyin’!
Lookee, in the sky, we’re flyin’! Ohhhh

[ ApologetiX – “Jesus Christ Morningstar” album ]

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We’re More Than Champions
(Parody of “We Are the Champions” by Queen)

I’m made like you
I’m not sublime
I’ve done my repentance
For some miserable crimes
And bad mistakes I make ‘em too
I’ve had my share of temptations from Satan
But I’ve got some news
(God’ll keep us all one and strong and on and on)
We’re more than champions, my friends
Just read Romans 8 until the end
We’ve got redemption
Stronger than Samson
No one can move us or cease our ascension from the world
I may get knocked down, and I’m sure to fall
You’ve got the same misfortunes and everything I’m going through Haven’t we all?
But if in His death He rose up
He’ll raise us too
I consider them the challenges we know that all humans face
But I’m telling you
(God’ll keep us all one and strong and on and on)
We’re more than champions, my friends
Just read Romans 8 until the end
We’ve got redemption
Stronger than Samson
No one can move us or cease our ascension from the world

[ ApologetiX – “Recovery” album ]

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DEEP THOUGHTS:

“A personal mission statement can act as your “north star” throughout the bumpy road of life.”

[ Rachel Dresdale ]

“Writing or reviewing a mission statement changes you because it forces you to think through your priorities deeply, carefully, and to align your behaviour with your beliefs.”
[ Stephen Covey ]

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”
[ Maya Angelou ]

“To succeed in your mission, you must have single-minded devotion to your goal.”
[ A. P. J. Abdul Kalam ]

“Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life; everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated, thus, everyone’s task is unique as his specific opportunity to implement it.”
[ Viktor E. Frankl ]

“A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.”
[ Mahatma Gandhi ]

“Stay focused on the mission.”
[ Naveen Jain ]

“Outstanding people have one thing in common: An absolute sense of mission.”
[ Zig Ziglar ]

“America is a Nation with a mission – and that mission comes from our most basic beliefs. We have no desire to dominate, no ambitions of empire. Our aim is a democratic peace – a peace founded upon the dignity and rights of every man and woman.”
[ George W. Bush ]

“From my very first day as an entrepreneur, I’ve felt the only mission worth pursuing in business is to make people’s lives better.”
[ Richard Branson ]

“What I try to tell young people is that if you come together with a mission, and its grounded with love and a sense of community, you can make the impossible possible.”
[ John Lewis ]

“When you discover your mission, you will feel its demand. It will fill you with enthusiasm and a burning desire to get to work on it.”
[ W. Clement Stone ]

“A mission statement is not something you write overnight… But fundamentally, your mission statement becomes your constitution, the solid expression of your vision and values. It becomes the criterion by which you measure everything else in your life.”
[ Stephen Covey ]

“I will keep America moving forward, always forward, for a better America, for an endless enduring dream and a thousand Points of Light. This is my mission, and I will complete it.”
[ George H. W. Bush ]

“The message of Jesus is summed up partly in the Sermon on the Mount, and partly when he begins his ministry and quotes the passage from Isaiah: ‘I have come to set free the prisoners and restore sight to the blind.’ And certainly, his mission is also to bring hope. It was to heal people, to befriend the outcast.”
[ Dan Wakefield ]

“Coming home, we stopped for a bite to eat and ran into a confused waitress. Had a heart-rending time trying to speak the Words of Life to her, and as I think of all this country now, many just as confused, and more so, I realized that the 39th Street bus is as much a mission field as Africa ever was.”
[ Jim Elliot ]

“Here is the test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished: if you’re alive, it isn’t.”
[ Richard Bach ]

“I felt most proud on the success of the Apollo mission.”
[ Katherine Johnson ]

“If you have a sense of yourself, your mission, your belief system, those things will lead you to success.”
[ Goldie Hawn ]

“The mission of the United States is one of benevolent assimilation.”
[ William McKinley ]

“Prophets have no other purpose, no other mission except to serve God.”
[ Joseph B. Wirthlin ]

“I shall never ask any pilot to go on a mission that I won’t go on.”
[ Eddie Rickenbacker ]

“If you have a family mission statement that clarifies what your purpose is, then you use that as the criterion by which you make the decisions.”
[ Stephen Covey ]

“The Ascension is the important link between His work on earth and His work in heaven which begins with the Ascension.”
[ John F. Walvoord ]

“The chief condition on which, life, health and vigor depend on, is action. It is by action that an organism develops its faculties, increases its energy, and attains the fulfillment of its destiny.”
[ Colin Powell ]

“Real success means creating a life of meaning through service that fulfills your reason for being here.”
[ Oprah Winfrey ]

“I have seen business moguls achieve their ultimate goals but still live in frustration, worry, and fear. What’s preventing these successful people for being happy? The answer is they have focused only on achievement and not fulfillment. Extraordinary accomplishment does not guarantee extraordinary joy, happiness, love, and a sense of meaning. These two skill sets feed off each other, and make me believe that success without fulfillment is failure.”
[ Tony Robbins ]

“The more intensely we feel about an idea or a goal, the more assuredly the idea, buried deep in our subconscious, will direct us along the path to its fulfillment.”
[ Earl Nightingale ]

“It is not in the pursuit of happiness that we find fulfillment, it is in the happiness of pursuit.”
[ Denis Waitley ]

“There are certain things that are fundamental to human fulfillment. The essence of these needs is captured in the phrase ‘to live, to love, to learn, to leave a legacy’. The need to leave a legacy is our spiritual need to have a sense of meaning, purpose, personal congruence, and contribution.”
[ Steven R. Covey ]

“The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.”
[ Confucius ]

“Only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution experience life’s deepest joy: true fulfillment.”
[ Tony Robbins ]

“I have wandered all my life, and I have also traveled; the difference between the two being this, that we wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment.”
[ Hilaire Belloc ]

“Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart.”
[ Martin Luther King, Jr. ]

“You are the only real obstacle in your path to a fulfilling life.”
[ Les Brown ]

“Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life to carry out a concrete assignment which demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone’s task is as unique as his specific opportunity to implement it.”
[ Viktor Frankl ]

“Jesus Christ carries on intercession for us in Heaven; the Holy Ghost carries on intercession in us on earth.”
[ Oswald Chambers ]

“I think the Ascension of Jesus is one of the most important moments in all of biblical history. To which the psalmists look forward in the Ascension Psalms, and the enthronement psalms of the Old Testament, where our King is given His Crown.”
[ R. C. Sproul ]

RELATED BIBLE VERSES:

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying: Who should I send? Who will go for Us? I said: Here I am. Send me.”
[ Isaiah 6:8 ]

“This good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed in all the world as a testimony to all nations. And then the end will come.”
[ Matthew 24:14 ]

“Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the Gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the Gospel.’”
[ Mark 1:14-15 ]

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
[ Acts 1:8 ]

“Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”
[ John 20:21 ]

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
[ Luke 19:10 ]

“And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.’”
[ Mark 16:15 ]

“And he said to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.’”
[ Luke 10:2 ]

“Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.”
[ Joshua 21:45 ]

“Now I am about to go the way of all the earth. You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed.”
[ Joshua 23:14 ]

“Therefore say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: None of my words will be delayed any longer; whatever I say will be fulfilled, declares the Sovereign Lord.’”
[ Ezekiel 12:28 ]

“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
[ Philippians 1:6 ]

“How then will the Scriptures be fulfilled, which say that it must happen this way?”
[ Matthew 26:54 ]

“But all this has taken place to fulfill the Scriptures of the prophets.” Then all the disciples left Him and fled.”
[ Matthew 26:56 ]

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
[ Mark 1:15 ]

“Every day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize Me; but this has taken place to fulfill the Scriptures.”
[ Mark 14:49 ]

“Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things which are written through the prophets about the Son of Man will be accomplished.”
[ Luke 18:31 ]

“Brethren, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit foretold by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus.”
[ Acts 1:16 ]

“For I tell you that this which is written must be fulfilled in Me, ‘AND HE WAS NUMBERED WITH TRANSGRESSORS’; for that which refers to Me has its fulfillment.”
[ Luke 22:37 ]

“Now He said to them, ‘These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.’”
[ Luke 24:44 ]

“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.”
[ Matthew 5:17 ]

“For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.”
[ Matthew 5:18 ]

“For I say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”
[ Luke 22:16 ]

“And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
[ Luke 4:21 ]

“While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.”
[ John 17:12 ]

“After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, said, ‘I am thirsty.’”
[ John 19:28 ]

“This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: “He took our illnesses and bore our diseases.”
[ Matthew 8:17 ]

“But the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled.”
[ Acts 3:18 ]

“For those who live in Jerusalem, and their rulers, recognizing neither Him nor the utterances of the prophets which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled these by condemning Him.”
[ Acts 13:27 ]

“Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.”
[ Romans 13:8 ]

“Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”
[ Romans 13:10 ]

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“A quick summary of the Christian “Gospel”:
JESUS’ PROPITIATION made our SINS FORGIVEN and IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS to us so that we have GOD’S ACCEPTANCE into His Heaven and ETERNAL LIFE.”
[ Mark Besh ]

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Hope you enjoyed some of these insights—share them with your friends and colleagues—so we can have a larger ‘pool’ to receive from, and more to share with! Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!

 

FOCUS VERSES:

“And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”
[ Acts 1:9-11 ]

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
[ Matthew 28:18-20 ]

 

Mark

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If you have a ‘neat’ story or some thoughts about an issue or current event that you would like me to try to respond to, I would be glad to give it a try…so, send them to me at: mbesh@comcast.net

Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright are used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.

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