We hope you had a wonderful Christmas celebrating with family and friends. As we move into 2018, we wanted to share some thoughts with you. What we want you to remember are these words, “Forward, march!”
If you grew up in my family (the Stanek family), ringing within your heart would be a familiar phrase, “Move forward at all cost!” My children heard these words from me over and over again.
The eleventh chapter of Hebrews stands out and rings loud, speaking of men and women of faith who forged forward at all cost. They are the heroes of earth and the trophies of heaven. God continually brags on them generation after generation.
It was not the accomplishment that God bragged on; it was their determination and resolve to march forward, forward at all cost. After all, many died in faith not receiving the promises, (but God bragged on them), others were tortured, (but God bragged on them), even more were mocked and scourged, (God bragged on them), some were sawn asunder, (God bragged on them), others were stoned, (God bragged on them), and some slain with the sword, (God bragged on them).
Not one of them ever quit. They did not give in or surrender under stress and pressure. They forged forward at all cost. They are our examples.
Success in heaven is defined as forging forward, never giving in and never sounding retreat. We know challenges await us in 2018. We know that in this world Jesus said that we would have tribulation (John 16:33). But we also know that we have a cloud of witnesses standing and shouting us on. They are telling us that they would have had an opportunity to quit, to give in or to go back if they had been mindful of the country from whence they came out!
So today, stop looking back! Stop thinking back! Stop going back! Don’t look at yesterday. Don’t think about your past mistakes and failures. Only look ahead. Look to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of your faith.
Lot’s wife looked back! And it was over! (Genesis 19:26)
You have been called to “the” most honorable position a human can be elevated to while on this earth, a son of the living God (I John 3:1). You are sons and daughters of the Most High God. God, the Maker of heaven and earth, is your Father. He gave you His faith. It is on the inside of you today.
Take time to read and meditate on the eleventh chapter of Hebrews. Read about Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Rahab and more. Let their faith encourage and strengthen you today.
Remember, forward at all cost!
In His Love,
Pastor Scott Stanek
“And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again.
Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented— of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.
And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us (Hebrews 11:32-39)”