Weekly Devotional

Before I Let Go...

Reflection on the past; outlook for the future

Written by Stephen G. Brown on 22/01/2024

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.”

John 14:12

Each year gives us an opportunity to grow, to learn, to improve, and as my mentor taught me, to make “new” mistakes. Whenever I stand at the conclusion and commencement of two years, I feel led to share some lessons learned. So, before I entirely let go of last year, here goes:

Discipline is only discipline when it’s applied

“To do lists” are aspirational/theoretical not actual. Wishing to do something isn’t the same as doing something! In order to accomplish more, in my pursuit of applied discipline, I must narrow my focus/vision. Discipline is fulfilled with each victory and accomplishment: praying, studying, exercising, resting, etc.

More stuff begets more stuff

I love gadgets and technology. Quite often, my desire for the next/greatest things is only fulfilled when I get the thing after the next! It’s a perpetual cycle of consumption for consumption’s sake. Victory comes through learning the lesson of contentment: Being grateful for present circumstances, and being independent of the lure to want more. I’m a work in progress!

People are important to God, so they MUST be important to me

Life, says Jesus, can be summed up in two relationships: God & People! I’ve learned that I must make time for people: family, friends, ministry partners, etc. In other words, relationships cannot be delegated! It’s important to prioritize people, so that one doesn’t get lost trying to “please” everyone. We must find a healthy rhythm with all of our relationships, so that our time and energy can be maximized.

Competition can be helpful

I’ve learned to learn from others! With every bit of information that I glean from another ministry, pastor, or conference, I purpose to do “it” better. I’m competitive like that. I compete with my past accomplishments and failures, as well as, with other pastors and ministries that I value and respect. It’s all for the Kingdom!

Greatness is mandatory

When we consider all that’s been invested and sacrificed so that we could do what we do, it’s almost sinful to strive for anything less than greatness! Mediocrity is easy. Greatness requires struggle. Jesus actually said that His followers could do “greater things” than Him. If Jesus planted that seed of expectation in our hearts, then we can do no less than GREAT! We must be greater husbands and fathers, wives and mothers, children and siblings! We must be greater pastors, preachers, teachers, leaders, business owners, professionals, and students! We must be great, because it’s mandatory! We must stop settling for the scraps of life left behind by those more ambitious, and seize our greatness!

Well, that’s it! A few lessons learned from last year, that I will prayerfully apply over the coming year and beyond! We hope and pray that what we share over 2024 (including this message) are a blessing to you! This is really just the beginning…Before I let go!

Used with permission by Global Media Outreach from Pastor Stephen G. Brown. You can read Pastor Brown’s original blog post here.

Pray this week:

Jesus, I thank you for your call to greatness. May your purpose purify my life in 2024 and beyond!

Do you embrace self-discipline? What is a difficult thing to control for you? Make it a shared prayer request with your caring volunteer!

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