Franklin Graham on How to Experience Life to the Fullest
- Wednesday, July 14, 2004
Is something missing in your life? If you feel exhausted, joyless, or out of sync with God, it could be because you’re limiting yourself. God wants you to enjoy an abundant life – one where you’re free to experience His best and grow to your fullest potential in His kingdom.
Here are some ways you can move beyond self-imposed limits into the limitless faith that God wants for you:
Confront your fears. Even when the road ahead of you seems uncertain or dangerous, decide to trust God and give Him room to work. Rather than focusing on your circumstances, focus on who God is. Dwelling on God’s unlimited power and great love for you will bring you peace.
Speak out against sin. When you encounter a sinful situation, be bold. Be willing to lovingly yet firmly warn people that their sinful behavior has eternal consequences. Don’t worry about offending others. Realize that the most caring thing to do is to speak the truth to those you love.
Respond to your callings with confidence. Know that God will empower you to fulfill whatever He calls you to undertake. Make yourself available to God, inviting Him to use you to do His work on earth. Don’t focus on your background or inadequacies; focus on God. Take heart that God can and will do much more than you imagine through you if you’re willing to give your all and do your best.
Seize opportunities. Stay close to God, moment by moment, so you can discern His voice alerting you to opportunities to reach out to others. Seize the opportunities to act as God’s ambassador before they pass away. Know that if you see what needs to be done, then do it, God’s love will flow through you and bless both you and those you serve. Realize that the consequences of your decisions to act may very well be eternal.
Pay attention to the little things. Remember that others are watching you to see how you represent the faith. Know that you can’t ever be too careful about your attitudes and behavior because Christians are called to a higher standard than those who don’t claim to follow Christ. When you do make mistakes, confess them and repent of them on a regular basis to maintain a close relationship with God.
Offer whatever you have to God’s service. Be willing to open your home and use whatever other resources you have to serve God as He calls you. Know that God can use even something as small and simple as a meal you offer someone to accomplish important purposes.
Focus on your eternal destiny. Understand that, no matter what you achieve on earth, you’re still going to die. Make sure you’ve chosen a saving relationship with Jesus Christ so you be with Him in heaven. Live with your eternal destination in mind, living to please God above everyone else.
Don’t just talk the talk; walk the walk. Realize that words without action are cheap. Be willing to put your faith into action whenever you can, loving others as God has called you to do.
Let God prune you. Be willing to let God prune the unhealthy branches of sin out of your life so you can grow and thrive. Welcome His discipline into all aspects of your life.
Help hurting people. When someone has fallen away from the faith, don’t gossip about him or her. Instead, talk with that person privately and do all you can to help restore him or her to a right relationship with God and fellowship with other believers. Be willing to forgive, just as God has forgiven you when you’ve failed.
Express your views with boldness and respect. Earn the right to be heard by treating people – even those with whom you disagree – with respect. When you talk with them, have a positive attitude and try to find some common ground. If you do so, they’ll be much more likely to listen to you than if you had approached them negatively.
Set your mind on heaven more than earth. Know that you can endure any type of service – no matter how difficult – if you stay more focused on God, who called you to it, than on the situation itself. Be gutsy, willing to go wherever God calls you.
Always be prepared to share your faith. Realize that you could meet people who need encouragement at any moment. Let the Holy Spirit guide you at all times so you can recognize when you need to reach out to others with the gospel – and how to do so in each situation.
Build your life on the right foundation. Don’t rely on good works to get you into heaven. Know that faith in Christ is the only thing you can count on eternally. Put your faith, trust and security in Him alone.
Live in a state of expectancy. Remember that you can’t know in advance when you will die or when Christ will return. Determine to live each day as well as if it were your last, doing all you can to love God and other people.
Don’t limit God. Recognize that your Creator is infinitely creative. Know that just because something has never been done before doesn’t mean that you can’t do it if God is calling you to do it. Step out in faith and try, trusting that God will help you.
Adapted from Living Beyond the Limits, copyright 2000 by Franklin Graham. Published by Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN, www.thomasnelson.com.
An avid outdoorsman and pilot, Franklin Graham is president and chairman of Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief organization that provides help to people in more than 100 countries worldwide. He also serves as CEO, president, and first vice-chairman of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. He is the author of the best-selling autobiography, Rebel with a Cause, the children’s book, Miracle in a Shoebox, and Bob Pierce: This One Thing I Do. Graham lives with his wife and children in Boone, North Carolina.
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