Monday, December 12, 2011

Rehab for Quitters

Quitters are not bad people. They are good people who have been given bad advice or simply followed the line of least resistance.

The militia of Ephraim must have been fed “quitters soup” at the mess hall and all went AWOL in mass. It was not for a lack of purpose, tradition or equipment. The Bible tells us that they were “armed and carrying bows.” They had the goods but in a sense they didn’t have the guts.

The fact is this. You will always find 1,000 reasons to quit and “many quit helpers” line the highway of life. But one of the best lessons you can learn in is that there is only one thing that can guarantee your failure, ant that is if you quit.

Michael Jordan learned this lesson well. He was cut from his high school basketball team, but he didn’t quit and is arguably recognized as the best basketball player of all time.

Babe Ruth struck out 1,330 times in his career, but he kept going back to the plate. As a result, he hit 714 home runs.

Elvis Presley was fired by the manager of Grand Ole Opry after one performance and told, “You ain’t goin’ nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin’ a truck.” Maybe he took that advice and drove a U-Haul truck to carry his money to the bank. My heart is pounding to challenge you to hold on, and this poem written by an unknown person about says it all.

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up though the pace seems slow--
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor's cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out--
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit--
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.

This devotional is what I will refer to as a REHAB FOR QUITTERS. It is a 5 step plan to get you back on the road to success taken directly from Psalms 78 and 79.

Number 1: REESTABLISH your covenant relationship with God. (Psalms 78:10 – “They kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk in his law…”) They broke it, and they must fix it. God’s covenant has not appended or amended or rescinded.. His promises of prosperity, peace and provisions are still in effect. He will keep His end of the bargain if you will keep yours. You quitting didn’t quench God’s love for you or cause God to question his loyalty to you and His covenant. He remembers the covenant that he made with you and waits to honor it.

Number 2: REFRESH your memory of past blessings and benefits of God. (Psalms 78:11-12, 42 – “And forgot his works, and his wonders that he had shown them….marvelous things…”) Quitters forget the unexplainable, unequivocal, unequaled performances of God. They forget that his will is inviolable, his word is indestructible and his works are indescribable. We quit because we forget what he has done and will do for us. In this Rehab session we are reminded that nothing is impossible with God. Philippians 2:13 tells us, “It is God which works in you both to will and to do his good pleasure.” Don’t quit. God is working in you, and he is not about to quit.

Number 3: REBUILD your belief system that has been broken down. (Psalms 78:22,32 “Because they believed not in God…”) You feel like the rug has been jerked out from under you. You want to believe, but it is tough. Preachers fail to live up to our expectations and fall. People disappoint us. Government leaders have proven to be some of the least trustworthy citizens of our country. It should carry us all back to Genesis 1:1. “In the beginning God…” Our faith must rest on God-in the beginning-in the middle and in the end. Rebuild your belief system upon the character, compassion, continuity and cohesion (sticking) of God. He will never let you down nor give up on you. Don’t quit. Help is on the way.

Number 4: REPENTANCE and confession of sin of self doubt and doubting God. (Psalms 79:8,9 – “O remember not against us former iniquities….Help us, O God….and purge away our sins…”) Any rehab plan for quitters must include repentance. The psalmist said, “Purge away our sins.” Sin separates us from God. Sin cancels out the covenant. Sin frustrates God, forfeits my relationship with God and demands forgiveness from God. Repentance gives me a new start, a new beginning. I can start over with God covering me with his presence and connecting me to his power, wisdom and authority. With him, then, we can do anything but fail.

Number 5: RECOVER the attitude of praise and thanksgiving to God. (Psalms 79:13 – “So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture will give you thanks for ever: we will show forth your praise…”) I would like for you to join me in an old song of the Church which is not the song of a quitter but a song of praise unto God for his goodness. “Praise God from whom all blessings flow; praise him all creatures here below; praise him all of you heavenly host; praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.”

We praise you, Dear Father, for a quitter that is back on the road to success. Amen.

Never Give Up!

Pastor Jimmy & Bob

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