Welcome to Day 21 of 21 Days of Prayer! Continue to Move Forward.
Stunned by the revelation that the initial reports were not a hoax in bad taste, people all over the world are reeling in disbelief. Now, we mourn today's tragic loss of a cultural icon ... NBA superstar Kobe Bryant, his 13 year old daughter and several others who died in a helicopter crash.
As I have watched the news unfold and observe the bewilderment of so many people, I am reminded of Matthew 9:6, when Jesus was observing the multitudes of people and his heart broke for them.
The Bible passage says, "But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd."
Whether you admit it or not, Kobe inspired many people and through his failures and successes, he earned a great deal of respect. His passing is a painful loss to our society on many different levels. After nearly making a mess of his family, public and private humiliation, he received forgiveness, recovered, learned from his mistakes, got back in the saddle and gave his best until he retired. This man showed the world his humanity and proved that it is possible to recover.
We know he learned from his mistakes and moved beyond his failures by focusing on the future. In fact, he once said, "Everything negative - pressure, challenges - is all an opportunity for me to rise." And rise, he did.
For all of the encouragement we have covered in the last 20 days, one thing is certain ~ every step we take toward our goal will meet opposition. The lesson you must hold on to, is that you'll never achieve a goal, become great or see a vision come to pass if you don't put in the work to get there. You must not get stuck on what held you back, instead, you must look at what awaits you when you finish ~ start seeing the future!
"Pain doesn’t tell you when you ought to stop. Pain is the little voice in your head that tries to hold you back because it knows if you continue you will change." Kobe Bryant
The path to growth and success, is littered with failure and recovery. It seems Kobe understood this and because of it, we are witnessing the impact that one life can have on so many others. Just look around and see the evidence of how his life became a positive influence and a respected example of strong moral character.
Remember Philippians 3:13-15. Paul told us he to had change the way he was thinking. He deliberately put the past behind him and reached forward to the future in front of him. Then he had to press. He had to put in the hard work to move forward. Finally in verse 15, he says, "Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you."
Understand this, as you make the journey to succeed, you don't have to be perfect to make a difference. If you learn from the negatives, use your experience to grow and focus on the future, like our friend Kobe, you will also rise. Continue to move forward.
Heavenly Father, Today we lift up the Bryant family, their friends and loved ones. Comfort Vanessa Bryant and her children. Comfort Kobe's extended family and friends. And Lord, grant me the wisdom and the strength to encourage others when tragedy strikes. Under gird me. Fortify my heart and reconstruct my mind. Open my ears so that I can clearly hear You speaking to me. Let me learn from the hurdles, barriers and mistakes of my past. Teach me how to apply those past lessons to my present experiences and rise higher than I can ask or think. I yield my dreams, all of my plans to You and I set my focus on the future that You have so marvelously prepared for me. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen!
~Seasoning Faith, Pastor Sean
P.S.: If you don't know Jesus as your Lord and Savior and want to be born again, pray this prayer aloud:
Lord God, forgive me for my sins. Jesus, come into my heart. I make you, Jesus, my Lord and Savior. Amen.
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