What have you set as goals? What has given you purpose? What is most important to you? What dreams did you have for this time? What have you been striving towards? What have you valued? What have you defined success to be?
Are you at a point in life where it doesn’t line up and you are feeling that something is missing? Are you coming to a realization that those things won’t fill that void or weren’t as valuable as you had thought? Have you been chasing the wind? Have you be out of alignment from what is truly important? Have you been going the wrong way?
Do you realize that you have an alternative option? Do you realize you can turn back? Do you realize there is an answer? Do you realize no matter how far you have strayed you can always turn back? Do you realize no matter how empty, you can get a fresh new start?
1. Apply ‘the rocking chair test’ … Proverbs 10:1-10
Reflect on the decisions of the past and which were good and which were bad. Decide moving forward that you will make decisions that you won’t regret in the future.
1The proverbs of Solomon:
A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son brings grief to his mother.
2Ill-gotten treasures have no lasting value, but righteousness delivers from death.
3The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry, but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.
4Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth.
5He who gathers crops in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.
6Blessings crown the head of the righteous, but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked.
7The name of the righteous is used in blessings, but the name of the wicked will rot.
8The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin.
9Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.
10Whoever winks maliciously causes grief, and a chattering fool comes to ruin.
–from Proverbs 10
2. Set your life in the right direction … Luke 18:31-19:10
Where has your past put you? Did you achieve all your goals of success and prosperity? Have realized that they came at a cost that needs to be repaid or returned? Did you achieve wealth at the cost of your heart or soul? Realize you have a choice! Realize you can escape the trap! Realize that Jesus is the answer! Realize He has the keys! Don’t allow the pressures (real or not) to push you into a state of anger, bitterness, depression, or being resentful! Reflect on the past and remember the good and the bad! Turn to Jesus and allow Him to set your feet upon a solid foundation to help you course correct, setting first things first, and follow after Him and His ways the rest of your life! Don’t try to go it alone! Don’t allow the lies of the devil rob you of the joy that Jesus so desires for you to have! Don’t take on the weight and the pressure the devil is speaking into your ears but rather join forces with Jesus for He tells us that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Will you choose to be a force of good for God? Will you like Zacchaeus be transformed and be a benefit to others providing justice for the cheated?
31Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. 32He will be delivered over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him and spit on him; 33they will flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again.”
34The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about.
A Blind Beggar Receives His Sight
35As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. 37They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”
38He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
39Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
40Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, 41“What do you want me to do for you?”
“Lord, I want to see,” he replied.
42Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” 43Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God.
–from Luke 18
1Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. 4So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.
5When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” 6So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
7All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”
8But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”
9Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
–from Luke 19
3. Live a wholehearted life … Deuteronomy 29:1-30:10
Follow after God all the days of your life! Share what God has revealed to you with others!
Renewal of the Covenant
1These are the terms of the covenant the Lord commanded Moses to make with the Israelites in Moab, in addition to the covenant he had made with them at Horeb.
2Moses summoned all the Israelites and said to them:
Your eyes have seen all that the Lord did in Egypt to Pharaoh, to all his officials and to all his land. 3With your own eyes you saw those great trials, those signs and great wonders. 4But to this day the Lord has not given you a mind that understands or eyes that see or ears that hear. 5Yet the Lord says, “During the forty years that I led you through the wilderness, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet. 6You ate no bread and drank no wine or other fermented drink. I did this so that you might know that I am the Lord your God.”
7When you reached this place, Sihon king of Heshbon and Og king of Bashan came out to fight against us, but we defeated them. 8We took their land and gave it as an inheritance to the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh.
9Carefully follow the terms of this covenant, so that you may prosper in everything you do. 10All of you are standing today in the presence of the Lord your God—your leaders and chief men, your elders and officials, and all the other men of Israel, 11together with your children and your wives, and the foreigners living in your camps who chop your wood and carry your water. 12You are standing here in order to enter into a covenant with the Lord your God, a covenant the Lord is making with you this day and sealing with an oath, 13to confirm you this day as his people, that he may be your God as he promised you and as he swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 14I am making this covenant, with its oath, not only with you 15who are standing here with us today in the presence of the Lord our God but also with those who are not here today.
16You yourselves know how we lived in Egypt and how we passed through the countries on the way here. 17You saw among them their detestable images and idols of wood and stone, of silver and gold. 18Make sure there is no man or woman, clan or tribe among you today whose heart turns away from the Lord our God to go and worship the gods of those nations; make sure there is no root among you that produces such bitter poison.
19When such a person hears the words of this oath and they invoke a blessing on themselves, thinking, “I will be safe, even though I persist in going my own way,” they will bring disaster on the watered land as well as the dry. 20The Lord will never be willing to forgive them; his wrath and zeal will burn against them. All the curses written in this book will fall on them, and the Lord will blot out their names from under heaven. 21The Lord will single them out from all the tribes of Israel for disaster, according to all the curses of the covenant written in this Book of the Law.
22Your children who follow you in later generations and foreigners who come from distant lands will see the calamities that have fallen on the land and the diseases with which the Lord has afflicted it. 23The whole land will be a burning waste of salt and sulfur—nothing planted, nothing sprouting, no vegetation growing on it. It will be like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboyim, which the Lord overthrew in fierce anger. 24All the nations will ask: “Why has the Lord done this to this land? Why this fierce, burning anger?”
25And the answer will be: “It is because this people abandoned the covenant of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, the covenant he made with them when he brought them out of Egypt. 26They went off and worshiped other gods and bowed down to them, gods they did not know, gods he had not given them. 27Therefore the Lord’s anger burned against this land, so that he brought on it all the curses written in this book. 28In furious anger and in great wrath the Lord uprooted them from their land and thrust them into another land, as it is now.”
29The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.
–from Deuteronomy 29
1When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come on you and you take them to heart wherever the Lord your God disperses you among the nations, 2and when you and your children return to the Lord your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, 3then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you. 4Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the Lord your God will gather you and bring you back. 5He will bring you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will take possession of it. He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors. 6The Lord your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live. 7The Lord your God will put all these curses on your enemies who hate and persecute you. 8You will again obey the Lord and follow all his commands I am giving you today. 9Then the Lord your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land. The Lord will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your ancestors, 10if you obey the Lord your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law and turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
–from Deuteronomy 30
It’s never too late to start living a wholehearted life – given over to God!