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FIRST-PERSON: No parking

EL CAJON, Calif. (BP) — Have you pulled to the side of the road and parked your life?

We can park at any age. Some people lose interest and motivation even in the prime of life. But consider Hosea 10:9: “The Lord says, ‘You have made no progress whatsoever'” (NLT). In John 8:37, Jesus lamented: “My teaching makes no progress among you” (NET).

But the apostle Paul commended the Philippians, saying, “I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith” (Philippians 1:25). And he told Timothy, “Meditate on these things … that your progress may be evident to all” (1 Timothy 4:15).

Is your progress evident to all? Are you more excited than ever about the Lord? Learning new things from His Word? Growing in faith? Launching out into new areas of ministry? Tackling new projects for His glory?

2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

As Christians, the glory of God soaks into our lives and makes us phosphorescent, glow-in-the-dark people. As we progress in our Christian experience, we become increasingly productive, ever more fruitful and more deeply appreciative of the abundant life we have in Christ.

Remember these “no parking” principles:

Hit the road with enthusiasm

Sometimes we should intentionally put some pep into our step. It works! It’s an application of faith. When we’re filled with the Holy Spirit, we’ll be enthusiastic people. We have to remind ourselves to tackle each day knowing that it’s the day He has made for our joy.

What a difference it makes when we tackle life with enthusiasm!

Hold key Scriptures in your mind

For the Christian, our enthusiasm is fueled by the truths of God’s Word. Find a Scripture each morning as a motto for the day. Here are some of my favorites: “This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in. … I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. … Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I will say, rejoice! … As the Father has sent Me, I also send you. … Be filled with the Spirit.”

There once was a man who wrote out a verse every morning on a card — whatever verse the Lord gave him — and he put that card in his shirt pocket and carried it close to his heart all day. He’d often think of it or take the card out and read it during the day so the truths would be held in his mind from morning until bedtime. He called it “Shirt Pocket Therapy.”

I call it staying “fueled up” for the trip.

Go to work for the Lord each day

Realize that God has a plan for His children and He allocates our work for us day by day. The Lord told Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5).

Every day is a gift to be used for the Master’s use.

You may feel tired or be disabled. Perhaps you think you’re behind the times and modern technology has passed you by. Maybe you’ve had some hard blows and you’ve given up on life.

Don’t stop! Don’t park! When God is finished with you on earth, He’ll take you to heaven. But until then, stay in gear.

I like the story of a 90-year-old who decided to join a group from his church for a missions trip to India. His buddy came to him in distress, saying, “You shouldn’t try a trip like this. I might not see you again.”

“Maybe not,” replied the man, suitcase in hand. “You may be dead when I get back!”

That’s the spirit!