Well, here we are, the 30th consecutive post on Three 31 (which has never happened) and the last installment of 30 Days Of Manna. Thank you for being here today!
I began this journey in Genesis and I’m ending it in the Book of Revelation – the beginning and the end. Appropriate, right?!
If you doubt or need a reminder of God’s sovereignty and power in the lives of His beloved children, consider the majesty, hope, reconciliation, and joy He delivered thousands of years ago and the prayers He still answers today. God meets us in the muck and messes of life; we don’t need to be anywhere but ‘here’ and accept His invitation for an intimate relationship with genuine fulfillment and abundant love. If you want biblical examples of people who are broken, desperate, hopeless, sad, angry, forgiven, and renewed, remember:
- Eve let physical desires (hunger) and emotional triggers (significance and knowledge) disrupt her perfect life in the Garden of Eden.
- Hannah refused to retaliate against her enemies and never stopped praying for a son. Her faithfulness renewed her spiritual strength and drew her closer to God, who eventually answered her prayer: Samuel, became a prophet, priest, and one of Israel’s leaders.
- The thief on the cross reminds us that we are all in need of a Savior and the gift of salvation is always available, if we are willing to accept it.
- King David came from humble beginnings and eventually committed murder and adultery, but he had a heart for God and was restored.
- Peter denied Christ yet God built the Church upon his witness.
- Martha got distracted by to-do lists and playing hostess-with-the-mostess, until Jesus rearranged her priorities to focus on Him.
- Salome had ambitious plans for her sons’ futures, but Jesus called James and John to be fishers of men.
- Nicodemus had wealth and power, but his true value was found in Jesus, his Savior.
- Instead of seeking revenge or using swords against his enemies, King Hezekiah prayed for their deliverance.
- The woman with an illness, ignored and labeled as society’s outcast, believed touching Jesus’ cloak would heal her … and it did.
If there is one person who most appeals to me after this 30-day series in the Bible, it is Daniel. Thanks to his story, struggles, and lessons, I resolve to be more like him – to not destroy myself by the diet of culture and selfish desires – and present myself as a wholesome devotee to God.
Scripture is full of people who, though they lived a long time ago, connect with us here and now. The lessons they learned then are just as poignant and applicable for us today.
In Revelation 2, Jesus is speaking through John about the seven churches of Asia Minor. He is mostly pleased with their growth and progress, but there is still work to be done physically and spiritually – the same is true for me!
I know how many good things you are doing. I have watched your hard work and your patience; I know you don’t tolerate sin among your members, and you have carefully examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but aren’t. You have found out how they lie. You have patiently suffered for me without quitting. Yet there is one thing wrong; you don’t love me as at first! Think about those times of your first love (how different now!) and turn back to me again and work as you did before; or else I will come and remove your candlestick from its place among the churches. ~ Revelation 2:2-5 (The Living Bible)
Jesus sees what I have done and am doing to improve my health and He acknowledges my persistence and courage. He also knows I have work left to do: discipline, portion control, and self-esteem. Jesus calls me to be more by remaining faithful to Him and remembering my first love: a genuine excitement about my spirituality and passion for God.
Jesus is the epitome of motivational speakers and gives us three specific steps for success:
ONE // Identify strengths
TWO // Acknowledge weaknesses
THREE // Create an action plan
My three steps towards success have already begun. Food will always tempt me, but I am stronger than my weaknesses and God always wins. I have a loving and supportive ‘tribe’ who keep me accountable and encourage me when I need an extra push. In addition, my journey towards physical health and spiritual well-being includes regular activity: exercise at the fitness center, small group studies and worship at church, and distancing myself from tempting or trigger foods.
Heavenly Father, thank you for this 30-day challenge and blog series. You have been masterfully working in and through me to identify my strengths and weaknesses while drawing me nearer to your heart as I surrender my selfish ways and desires. You laid the foundation of the world, surely I can trust your ways! Though this series is ending, my renewal is just beginning. I pray for continued strength and guidance to stand strong in the face of temptation. Amen.
Thank you for joining me on this 30 Days of Manna journey, what shall I do next? If you enjoyed this series, I’d love to hear your thoughts and/or suggestions for future posts!