2,000 Percent LIVING

You'll learn how to live a much more fruitful life for the Lord through gaining Salvation (if needed), re-dedicating your life to Him (if needed), and being more focused on sanctification. Establish more Godly objectives, help lead more people to gain Salvation, and engage in your calling from Him in more effective ways through the Bible-based directions in 2,000 Percent LIVING, my latest book.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Follow Progress in The 400 Year Project Daily in a New Blog


Good Evening, Fruitful Liver!

Are you feeling motivated this evening?

I know that I certainly am!
 
I've recently started a new blog that delivers daily progress on The 400 Year Project, which supports research to show how to make breakthroughs in every form of human endeavor, including more fruitful individual living. 

Be sure to check it out to gain even more information concerning how to live a more fruitful life for the Lord at:


Please let me know how I can help. 

May God bless you, your family, and all you do in the name of Jesus! 

With best regards, much appreciation, and all good wishes,

Donald W. Mitchell
Founder, The 400 Year Project and Author of 2,000 Percent Living

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

A Universal Method for Quickly Increasing Benefits by Ten Trillion Times


Dear Fruitful Liver,

I pray that you are having an amazing day!

The Holy Spirit gave me an astonishing revelation last evening, a universal method for quickly increasing benefits by ten trillion times while engaging no more time, money, assets, effort, and resources from existing sources. Wow! Do we serve a great God of what? I've been directed to teach this method to those who want to immediately put it into effect for Godly purposes. Send me a message to save_more_souls [at] yahoo [dot] com if you are so called. Praise God for His unlimited knowledge, power, and grace!

Please let me know how I can help.

May God bless you, your family, and all you do in the name of Jesus!

With best regards, much appreciation, and all good wishes,

Donald W. Mitchell
Founder, The 400 Year Project

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Friday, October 08, 2010

2,000 Percent LIVING

From the Back Cover

After thinking about the possible contents for the
book over several weeks, I was surprised to be
awakened at 1:30 a.m. on May 19, 2009, by a voice
that dictated to me in great detail what should be
in this book. This dictation continued for many
hours and finally paused for me to begin asking
clarifying questions, which were then answered.
The instruction lasted over six hours.


From that experience, I believe that by writing
this book I am merely serving as a fleshly vehicle
for a message from the Holy Spirit that is intended
for all people on Earth. I pray that I have been
faithful and accurate in sharing with you what I
was directed to write.


This is a book about fruitfulness, about how to
accomplish more of what God intends. For your
willing contributions to those fruitful results,
He will reward you in heaven.


Would you like to understand Godly ways that
have led
some Christians to enjoy life more, to
accomplish so much
that they amazed themselves,
to have lots more free time, to be with loved ones
more often, and to earn a living in less time and
with less effort? When it is God’s will, those are
some of the potential benefits that 2,000 percent

solution living may offer you.


2,000 Percent Living is available for purchase
in paperback at:

http://www.amazon.com/000-Percent-Living-Donald-Mitchell/dp/1453822410/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_2

2,000 Percent Living is available for purchase
in the electronic Kindle format at:

http://www.amazon.com/2-000-Percent-Living-ebook/dp/B00472O5NA/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=digital-text&qid=1287004215&sr=8-2-catcorr

I am also looking for volunteer translators
who would like to help make the book
available to many more people. Send me an
e-mail at save_more_souls@yahoo.com if
this is of interest.

The appendixes for 2,000 Percent Living can be
found at:

http://2000percentsolutions.blogspot.com/,
http://billiondollarbusiness.blogspot.com/, and
http://livespirituallybetterthanabillionaire.blogspot.com/.

Copyright 2010 Donald W. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

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2,000 Percent Living Front Matter

2,000 Percent
LIVING


Donald Mitchell

Coauthor of The 2,000 Percent Solution

Salvation Press
Weston, Massachusetts
United States of America

Other Books by Donald Mitchell

The 2,000 Percent Solution (with Carol Coles and Robert
Metz)

The Irresistible Growth Enterprise (with Carol Coles)

The Ultimate Competitive Advantage (with Carol Coles)

The 2,000 Percent Solution Workbook (with Carol Coles)

The 2,000 Percent Squared Solution (with Carol Coles)

The Portable 2,000 Percent Solution (with Carol Coles)

Adventures of an Optimist

Witnessing Made Easy (with Bishop Dale P. Combs,
Lisa Combs, Jim Barbarossa, and Carla Barbarossa)

Ways You Can Witness (with Cherie Hill, Roger
de Brabant, Drew Dickens, Gael Torcise, Wendy Lobos,
Herpha Jane Obod, and Gisele Umugiraneza)

2,000 Percent Living
Copyright © 2010 by Donald W. Mitchell. All rights
reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced,
distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means,
including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or
mechanical methods without the prior written permission
of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations
embodied in critical reviews and certain other
noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.

Scripture quotations marked (NKJV) are taken from the
New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas
Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the
HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.
NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International
Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights
reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (NAS)® are taken from the
New American Standard Bible®. Copyright © 1960, 1962,
1963, 1968, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman
Foundation, A Corporation Not for Profit, La Habra,
California. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy
Bible, New Living Translation. Copyright © 1996, 2004.
Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

For information, contact:

Donald W. Mitchell
Salvation Press
P.O. Box 302
Weston, Massachusetts 02493
781-647-4211

Published in the United States of America

This book is dedicated to:

My beloved Mother, Felice Mitchell (1925-2010), who
taught me to pray and helped lead me to gain Salvation
May she find continual delight in her new heavenly home

Contents

Acknowledgments.................................................... ix

Introduction.............................................................. xi

Lesson One: Follow the Lord, Jesus Christ ............1

Lesson Two: Free Your Mind.................................21

Lesson Three: Improve Your Goals .....................29

Lesson Four: Put First Things First .....................36

Lesson Five: Learn from Others by Reading ......50

Lesson Six: Read Helpful Sources .........................58

Lesson Seven: Design and Implement
a Valuable 2,000 Percent Solution.........................69

Lesson Eight: Multiply Your Access to
Valuable 2,000 Percent Solutions..........................80

Lesson Nine: Personally Create More
2,000 Percent Solutions .........................................90

Lesson Ten: Improve 2,000 Percent Solutions
Again and Again .......................................................95

Lesson Eleven: Use Complementary Solutions
to Multiply Exponential Benefits..........................105

Lesson Twelve: Cleanse Your Heart through
Selfless Service in Creating 2,000
Percent Solutions....................................................117

Lesson Thirteen: Connect Better with Other
People ......................................................................128

Lesson Fourteen: Stop and Consider What
You Are about to Do from God’s Perspective.....137

Appendix A: Author’s Testimony ........................149

Appendix B: 2,000 Percent Living Blueprints for

Ideal Practice Identification,
Breakthrough Leadership, and
Breakthrough Servants..........................................154

Acknowledgments

Oh, give thanks to the LORD!
Call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples!

— 1 Chronicles 16:8 (NKJV)

I thank Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, for creating
the universe and all the people on the Earth; our Lord
and Savior, Jesus Christ, for providing the way for us to
gain Salvation; and the Holy Spirit for guiding our daily
paths towards repentance and righteousness. I also
humbly acknowledge the perfect guidance I received
from God through His Holy Spirit to write this book.

I am grateful to Bishop Dale P. Combs of Jubilee Worship
Center in Hobart, Indiana, for generously reviewing all of
the writing in the book for its consistency with the Bible.
Bishop Combs’s comments greatly helped me to be sure
that I was acting in one accord with the Lord’s purposes.
This is the third book I have authored or coauthored
that Bishop Combs has improved for Biblical accuracy.
His continual encouragement for the book’s writing made
work easier and more pleasant.

Let me also thank Assistant Pastor Scott Richardson of
Calvary Chapel in the City in Boston, Massachusetts, for
reviewing the Introduction and suggesting that I add
the theme of fruitfulness to help Christians more clearly
understand the book’s focus.

I would like to express my gratitude to my family for
allowing me the time and peace to work on such a huge
and awe-inspiring project for God. They made many
sacrifices without complaining and were a continual
inspiration.

I appreciate my many clients who held off on their
demands for my help so that this project could receive
the attention it required over more than four years.
Their financial support also made it possible for me to
give this time to the Lord and to invest in the expenses
required to make this book available.

Finally, I am most appreciative of the many fine
improvements that the editor, Bernice Pettinato, made
in the text. This is the tenth book where she has helped
me to make the messages clearer and more pleasant to
read. As always, she was a delight to work with. Her
kindness made the writing much easier. I value all she
has taught me about writing.

I accept sole responsibility for any remaining errors and
apologize to my readers for any inconvenience that they
cause.

Copyright 2010 Donald W. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

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Thursday, October 07, 2010

2,000 Percent Living Introduction

Wisdom is the principal thing;
Therefore get wisdom.
And in all your getting,
get understanding.
Take firm hold of instruction,
do not let go;
Keep her, for she is your life.

— Proverbs 4:7, 13 (NKJV)

What is wisdom? It is doing God’s will through abiding in
Christ as Jesus described:

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.
Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes
away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that
it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of
the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I
in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it
abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in
Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides
in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me
you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is
cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather
them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will
ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this
My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you
will be My disciples.” (John 15:1-8, NKJV)

This is a book about fruitfulness, about how born-again
Christians can accomplish more of what God intends.
When you follow His directions, you will assist in creating
valuable results that He wants. For your willing
contributions to those fruitful results, He will reward you
in heaven. In some cases, your life on Earth will also be
improved, but remember that exercising faith may,
instead, require suffering on Earth:

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 11:35-40, NKJV)

In any case, Jesus promises that all your Earthly needs
will be met if you focus on the kingdom of God:

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,
and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33,
NKJV)

Would you like to understand Godly ways that have led
some Christians to enjoy life more, to accomplish so much
that they amazed themselves, to have lots more free time,
to be with loved ones more often, and to earn a living in
less time and with less effort? When it is God’s will, those
are some of the potential benefits that 2,000 percent
living may offer you.

And while you may or may not gain Earthly benefits,
remember that you will certainly gain heavenly benefits
as Jesus promises:

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where
moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and
steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves
do not break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:19-20, NKJV)

To gain those benefits, you’ll have to make some changes:
Stop doing some harmful things and start doing some
more beneficial actions. In the process, you will use God’s
help to bring glory to Him and joy to you and those you
love.

How do I know what’s possible and what’s involved? With
God’s guidance through reading the Bible, prayer, and
listening to what I believe is His Holy Spirit, I’ve been
helping people make such improvements for many years
as demonstrations of the opportunity for everyone on
Earth to make improvements at twenty times the usual
rate. In addition, I’ve gained benefits from 2,000 percent
living for myself through the Lord’s grace.

Are you ready to start now? Read on to learn what to do.

Fulfill Your Potential by
Gaining the Right Knowledge
and Performing Breakthrough Service

“… he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger,
and he who governs as he who serves.”

— Luke 22:26 (NKJV)

Many people have the wrong idea about what talent is
for, seeing it as a resource for themselves. Instead they
should apply their talents to serve others in doing God’s
will.

Most people have no idea how little of the talent and
knowledge that God has given them they are employing.
I see that lack of awareness all the time among my
students. I believe that you are underestimating your
potential as well.

Here’s an example of what I mean. Dr. Burra Ramulu
worked as a shift supervisor at a fertilizer factory in the
Middle East for many years. However, his most important
responsibility was to train young Arabs to hold the
organization’s senior roles. He was effective in such
preparation, and all of those with positions above him in
the organization were younger men whom he had
originally trained.

After deciding to earn a doctorate, Dr. Ramulu became
interested in 2,000 percent solutions (ways of
accomplishing 20 times the results with the same or
less time, money, and effort). His first 2,000 percent
solution project was to study how his factory’s profits
could be increased by more than 20 times while
spending very little money for new investment. He
found a way to greatly increase capacity, improve
quality, expand productivity, and lower costs that only
required an investment equal to about 10 percent of
the plant’s existing capital base. As a result, cash flow
expanded by more than 20 times.

Realizing that his opportunities to advance his career were
constrained in the Middle East, Dr. Ramulu moved back to
his native India and took a position with a global producer
of basic commodities. As his dissertation subject, Dr.
Ramulu investigated how to create a new business model
for his employer, the first major business-model
improvement for that industry in more than fifty years.
As a result, he discovered a way to lower costs by over 40
percent, to reduce capital needs by even more, and to
expand his company’s business volume by several
hundred percent. The new business model was approved
by his employer and is now being pursued.

Not satisfied with what he had learned and accomplished
during the process of attaining his first doctorate, Dr.
Ramulu decided to study for a second one. This time his
dissertation work was based on an even more
fundamental problem: How to lift poor, uneducated
people out of despair and to make their lives hopeful and
economically successful. Choosing to serve Kasimpet, the
village where he grew up, Dr. Ramulu faithfully trekked
hundreds of kilometers across India on weekends to
teach the people there about 2,000 percent solutions.

Also supported by other volunteers who had once lived
in Kasimpet, an initial fifty people soon reformed the bad
thinking habits that had held them back, began using
better thinking processes, formed a cooperative, and
began designing and implementing profitable 2,000
percent solutions. In just a few months, most of those
fifty people increased their incomes by more than twenty
times, reduced their debts by more than 96 percent,
slashed the interest rates they were paying on the
remaining debt by 96 percent, and increased their net
worths by more than twenty times. They also gained
new, positive outlooks on life and sought to cooperate
with one another rather than be divided by the
accidents of birth from which castes are defined.

As this book was going to press, these fifty people had
pledged to teach what they had learned to at least
another twenty other people each who will be asked to
do the same for twenty more people. Dr. Ramulu hopes
that at least fifteen of the fifty will act on their pledges
so that the rest of the village will be able to gain the
same knowledge.

After everyone in the village is helped, the plan is to
adopt surrounding villages by sending Kasimpet’s experts
to help them.

Should enough people be faithful, much poverty and
despair can be eliminated from that part of India in just a
few years. You can keep track of the progress by going to
Dr. Ramulu’s Web site about this project, http://hstrial-
rburra.homestead.com/about.html.

Naturally, Dr. Ramulu enjoys a wonderful sense of
accomplishment from encouraging so many positive
improvements. Can you imagine the sense of satisfaction
that he enjoys each morning as he thinks about the
villagers?

What else might Dr. Ramulu accomplish? It’s up to what
God calls him to do. There is no practical limit to his
potential to succeed in serving others with God’s help.

There are millions of people with as much potential as
Dr. Ramulu has who could have done what he did to
serve others. But few of them choose to serve by learning
and teaching breakthrough skills. Dr. Ramulu made that
important choice, and that decision liberated him and
those he has taught into 2,000 percent living.

I pray that this book will do the same for you if that is
God’s will.

Foundations of 2,000 Percent Living

Become complete.
Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace;
and the God of love and peace will be with you.

— 2 Corinthians 13:11 (NKJV)

God wants us to focus on Him as we abide in Christ. To do
this, we need to be “of one mind” and avoid being double
minded:

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the
one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one
and despise the other. You cannot serve God and
mammon.”

(Matthew 6:24, NKJV)

Since I was young, people have often asked for my advice.
I have always been happy to share my ideas, and many
people have benefited. I have always been grateful to
God for granting me the ability to serve and for providing
His guidance for what to say and to write.

I was deeply humbled in 1995 when I believe that the
Holy Spirit directed me to lead an effort to help everyone
on the Earth accomplish at least twenty times more. (You
can read about the origins, methods, and conclusions of
what I call the 400 Year Project, ways to make 400 years
worth of normal improvements during the years from 2015
through 2035, in Adventures of an Optimist, Mitchell and
Company Press 2007, and at www.fastforward400.com.)
I was so overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task that
I had no idea what to do first. Fortunately, I believe that
He directed my steps and learning so that the necessary
solutions have been identified and described in the books
I have contributed to about the 400 Year Project.

Despite my willingness to help in every possible way, it
recently struck me that I may not have been sharing what
I have learned in the ways God intended: When I asked
people who have been reading about my work for years
what questions they would like me to answer about
accomplishing twenty times more, I found nothing new
in what they asked. In fact, I had previously written
answers to each of the questions I received.

From those responses I realized that people who want to
make breakthroughs in all aspects of their lives need a
brief compendium of the most important ways to
accomplish twenty times more. This book, 2,000 Percent
Living, is intended to facilitate those accomplishments.
After thinking about the possible contents for the book
over several years, I was surprised to be awakened at
1:30 a.m. on May 19, 2009, by a voice that dictated to me
in great detail what should be in this book. This dictation
continued for many hours and finally paused for me to
begin asking clarifying questions, which were then
answered. The instruction lasted over six hours.

From that experience, I believe that by writing this book
I am merely serving as a fleshly vehicle for a message
from the Holy Spirit that is intended for all people on
Earth. I pray that I have been faithful and accurate in
sharing with you what I was directed to write. Since
some receive false messages intended to deceive, you
should test what you read in this book through your
reading of the Bible and through prayer as we are directed
to do by Paul in 1 Corinthians 14:29 (“Let two or three
prophets speak, and let the others judge.” NKJV).

The Lessons for You

But who can teach a lesson to God,
since he judges even the most powerful?

— Job 21:22 (NLT)

These lessons are intended to focus you first, last, and
throughout on God and doing His will. Don’t think of
these lessons as putting human reason or experience
ahead of His will and guidance. Instead, see each lesson as
being directed by the Holy Spirit of faith.

Most people rarely read nonfiction books, especially
Christian ones, dipping perhaps into one or two in a
decade. If that’s your reading pattern, this section is for
you. I summarize the elements of the book’s fourteen
lessons here.

If this information is enough for your purposes, stop after
reading this section. If you want to learn more about why
these solutions are important or how to implement them,
go to the lessons you want to learn more about.

If you would rather read a fuller treatment of the book’s
contents, you can skip this section and just begin reading
Lesson One.

Lesson One: Accept Salvation by repenting of your
sins; believe Jesus is God’s Son and in His
resurrection from the dead; and give your life to
Jesus Christ to do His will, not yours (or rededicate
your life to Him if you have accepted Salvation but
have not been walking with Him). Start every day
by praising and thanking the Lord; praying for what
is righteous that you want done in the name of Jesus;
and studying the Bible. Attend church whenever
possible; make a weekly written commitment of
added ways to follow His direction; and continually
witness to others about your faith, seeking to help
lead at least twenty people to whom you have
been speaking to choose to accept Salvation.

Doing these things will help you to hear and understand
the Holy Spirit who will guide your steps toward the most
productive directions on Earth, will provide you with
supernatural support for making performance
breakthroughs, and will help you earn eternal rewards to
be enjoyed in heaven. As a result, you will have all the
wisdom and power you need to do any righteous thing you
want that is in God’s will. Isn’t that awesome?

Lesson Two: Cleanse your mind of distractions,
accusations, worries, fears, and annoyances
through twice-daily meditation.

Most people have trouble accomplishing breakthroughs
because their minds are so full of idle, distracting chatter.
Meditation can reduce the volume of that irrelevant,
useless chatter by at least 96 percent so that you can
focus better on the worthy things that you want to do
with your life and hear the Holy Spirit better. You’ll
redirect lots of mental focus to work on opportunities
that you’ve been ignoring or not pursuing actively
enough.

Lesson Three: Pick better life objectives through
prayer and consultation with your family and
friends.

Many people are working long and very hard to achieve
results that aren’t going to please God, won’t be very
productive and satisfying for their lives, and will not be
supportive of their relationships with family and friends.
For example, one parent may be working long hours and
traveling to the ends of the Earth in search of faster
career progress so the family can have more possessions
and vacations; but the effect may simply be to undermine
the family and its spiritual life by not providing enough
time to be together in loving ways. Talk to the people
who know and care about you to get ideas for better
objectives, pray about what you hear, listen to the Holy
Spirit, and redirect your energies into far more fruitful
paths for His will.

Lesson Four: Increase by at least a factor of
twenty the time you spend on your most
important goals in serving the Lord.

What’s most important deserves top priority and more
than enough attention. Instead, most people spend the
bulk of their time attending to what others demand be
done immediately. By reorganizing and redirecting how
you spend your time, you will soon have the ability to
focus adequate attention and activity to make
breakthrough gains with the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

Lesson Five: Expand your ability to read,
comprehend, and remember by at least twenty
times.

In order to make breakthroughs, you need to gain a lot of
information you don’t yet know. Reading is very helpful as
one source for gathering the needed information. No matter
how well or how poorly you read now, there are methods to
help you make great improvements in permanently
capturing valuable information through reading. With the
Holy Spirit guiding your reading, you’ll then be led to
appreciate new things to do and how to accomplish old
things in better ways.

Lesson Six: Select reading materials that will
help you identify and understand the future
best practices (the best ways anyone in the
world will do that or any similar activity in
the next five years) and the ideal best
practices (the best ways anyone can ever
hope to do that or any similar activity by
using technology that will be available in the
next five years) in those areas where you
want to gain breakthrough results.

One reason most people accomplish far less than their
potential is because they are ignorant of what others
already know how to do. It’s far more productive to start
aiming for improvements after first drawing on the best
knowledge that’s available. With that knowledge in hand,
the Holy Spirit will show you valuable breakthroughs that
serve God.

Lesson Seven: Learn how to identify stalls
(bad thinking habits), to eliminate and
replace stalls with good thinking habits, and
to design and implement 2,000 percent
solutions to serve others on God’s behalf by
producing your first one.

Most people can develop their first 2,000 percent solution
with between 60 and 120 hours of reading, study, and
work under the Holy Spirit’s direction. If the
improvement area is an important one, the increased
performance gained from the solution will easily repay
the time, money, and effort that were invested. You
can learn to identify your bad thinking habits and replace
them with good ones and learn to develop 2,000 percent
solutions by reading, answering the questions in, and
applying The 2,000 Percent Solution (AMACOM, 1999)
and The 2,000 Percent Solution Workbook (iUniverse,
2005). You can obtain free e-copies of those books by
registering (and confirming your registration by replying
to the e-mail that’s sent immediately — check your spam
folder) at www.2000percentsolution.com.

Lesson Eight: Teach someone else how to
identify and eliminate stalls and to design
and implement 2,000 percent solutions
that are attuned to the Holy Spirit.

The only thing better than creating your own 2,000
percent solutions is having others create them for God
without you. When you teach someone the process, you
gain the potential to create more Godly benefits from
their work. At the same time, the Holy Spirit will help
you deepen your understanding of the process. If you
ask those you teach to teach others, you create the
potential to enjoy a family, circle of friends, and an
organization that’s so wonderfully productive for God
that most important tasks require little time, attention,
or expense.

Lesson Nine: Apply the 2,000 percent solution
process each year to one additional important
activity that the Holy Spirit leads you to improve.

In this way, you will become more effective in designing
and implementing solutions and surround yourself with
the benefits of having many more solutions. Otherwise,
you’ll probably fall into your old habits of using far too
much time, money, and effort to accomplish what’s
needed, wasting your life and not fulfilling God’s purposes
for you.

Lesson Ten: Repeat the 2,000 percent solution
process annually to enhance benefits from the
solutions you developed by at least an additional
twenty times.

Most people never repeat the 2,000 percent solution
process. That’s a big mistake in ignoring the Holy Spirit’s
potential to make you more fruitful because the gains
from the first repetition will be twenty times larger than
the initial gains. And the gains from the second repetition
will be 400 times greater than the initial improvement.
And so on. In addition, repeating the process in the same
solution area usually takes much less time than on the
preceding occasion.

Lesson Eleven: Link together at least seven
complementary 2,000 percent solutions to
create multiplied, exponential Godly results.

This is a 2,000 percent solution for making 2,000 percent
solutions by increasing the combined gain achieved from
each solution by at least 63,999,980 times. How’s that for
increased productivity on God’s behalf? The Holy Spirit
will be essential to picking the right complementary
solutions to work on. You can also read about some possible
complementary 2,000 percent solutions for an organization
in Chapters 10 and 11 of Adventures of an Optimist and in
The 2,000 Percent Squared Solution (Mitchell and
Company Press, 2007).

Lesson Twelve: Increase the benefits of what
you do by twenty times to assist some of those
who cannot help you.

Many people take the easy way out when it comes to
providing for the poor and helpless, not heeding the Holy
Spirit’s directions to serve others. As a result, they may
simply write a check to help with the symptom of the
person’s problems (such as buying a meal for a hungry
person) while not helping to eliminate the source of the
problem (which might be the lack of reading skills
needed to get a good job).

By using your 2,000 percent solution skills under the
Holy Spirit’s direction to serve those who cannot help
you, you improve the quality of your life by purifying
your heart through becoming more humble. Otherwise,
all your success with 2,000 percent solutions may make
you prideful, spoiling your relationship with God, the
Father, the Lord, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.

Lesson Thirteen: Approach others with fresh
interest, warm gratitude, and a deep desire
to draw twenty times closer to them.

Your successes may isolate you from many people God
wants you to be in contact with if you don’t take steps to
offset that tendency. Begin by seeking the Holy Spirit’s
help to become well acquainted with everyone who is
near you (family, friends, neighbors, fellow churchgoers,
coworkers, those who serve you, people you travel with,
and those you see on the street). Then, find out how they
look at life to find the views that you share with them.
Encourage them to regularly pursue locating views they
share with you and others. Appreciate them for who they
are each time you see or think of them. Seek
opportunities to be with them and to talk with them more
often. Pray for them daily. Ask the Holy Spirit what else
you should be doing with them. You can also read a number
of ways to accomplish these results with little time, money,
and effort in Chapter 9 of Adventures of an Optimist.

Lesson Fourteen: Examine your conduct
before acting to see if it will be pleasing to
God.

Throughout the day, try to look at your choices through
His eyes before acting and ask the Holy Spirit to direct
you. When you find that you’ve made a mistake,
immediately repent and ask His forgiveness and seek to
correct the error for those who are affected. Pray for
guidance in how to do better next time. In addition, pray
several times a day for a pure heart and to be acting in
His will. The mistakes you avoid will save you from acting
in rebellion to God’s will and wasting endless amounts of
time. In addition, fixing right away whatever mistakes
you do make will limit the damage so that you won’t have
to do as much later on and can, instead, follow the Holy
Spirit to the next Godly task you are intended to do.

Fourteen items make a long list, don’t they? Relax.

Acting in each area is not as challenging as you might first
think. You will have Christ in you, guiding your every step.
The Holy Spirit will keep you on the right path. You’ll also
find that most of these activities quickly become
comfortable habits. And you don’t have to master all of
them at the same time. You can just work on one item at
a time until you feel comfortable adding the next one. If
you take that approach, I recommend that you work on
Lesson One first, followed by Lesson Fourteen, before
working on Lesson Two.

In addition, you’ll soon be gaining wonderful benefits from
your focus on being closer to God. Each breakthrough will
make you feel great and encourage you to seek even more
significant gains.

May God bless you, your family, and all you do in the
name of Jesus!

Copyright 2010 Donald W. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved

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Wednesday, October 06, 2010

2,000 Percent Living Lesson One: Follow the Lord, Jesus Christ

Accept Salvation by repenting of your sins;
believe Jesus is God’s Son
and in His resurrection from the dead; and

give your life to Jesus Christ
to do His will, not yours
(or rededicate your life to Him if you
have accepted Salvation
but have not been walking with Him).
Start every day by praising and
thanking the Lord;
praying for what is righteous that
you want done
in the name of Jesus; and studying the Bible.
Attend church whenever possible;
make a weekly written commitment of
added ways to follow His direction; and
continually witness to others about your faith,
seeking to help lead at least twenty people
to whom you have been speaking
to choose to accept Salvation.

And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee,
saw two brothers, Simon called Peter,
and Andrew his brother,
casting a net into the sea;
for they were fishermen.
Then He said to them,
“Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

— Matthew 4:18-19 (NKJV)

If you have already accepted Jesus as your Lord and
Savior and are following Him
to the best of your ability,
please go directly to the section in this lesson about how
to
start your day.

If you have gained Salvation by being born again in the
spirit but aren’t
following Him now, please continue
your reading at the section in this lesson about

rededicating your life to Him.


If you have never accepted Jesus as your Lord and
Savior, please begin reading
right here.

Why should you follow Jesus? Let me tell you a little
about my life to help you understand.

I humbly offer this information realizing that there are
many more dramatic and impressive stories about how
God the Father, our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy
Spirit have helped a person to experience and enjoy
2,000 percent living. Despite this shortcoming, after
much prayer I decided to write about some of my
experiences because I can
describe my life more accurately and completely than
what happened to someone else.

I have a lot to be grateful for. I wouldn’t even be alive
today if God had not wanted me to be conceived. The
same is true for you. My life has shown me how fragile
our physical existence can be. I don’t know if you have
ever been close to losing your life, but life-and-death
challenges have been all too frequent for me. I praise
and thank God that He has carried me through those
trials and that I am able to do His work while giving
Him the glory and credit for the wonderful results.

Without His mercy I wouldn’t have lived long enough to
become an adult. When I was just a few months old, I
barely survived dehydration from an intestinal flu or
infection that required a long hospital stay. At age one,
I received such a severe sunburn while lying in the
shade by a lake that I had to be hospitalized again, and
my parents worried about whether I would live. At six, I
had another close call when lightning struck a fence post
less than 10 feet away as I raced down a road toward
shelter from a tornado. At thirteen, I contracted double
pneumonia and spent two weeks in the hospital before I
went home to continue my bed-ridden recovery.

That’s when I started down the path to become a born-
again, saved Christian: My physician, Dr. Helmsley, told
me that I had had a close brush with death and shouldn’t
take another chance of losing my life before accepting
Jesus as my Lord and Savior. The doctor helped me to
understand that I was a sinner who could not save himself
from the wrongs I had already done and that Jesus wanted
to grant me Salvation because He loved me.

After receiving Salvation at fourteen, sickness continued
to be a challenge. At seventeen, my blood pressure was so
high from an overactive thyroid gland that I spent weeks
in the hospital to help avoid having a heart attack. I went
away to start college a few weeks later with hardly enough
strength to carry my books to class.

Fortunately, severe illnesses weren’t as frequent after I
became an adult, but some of the ones I experienced were
difficult. When my daughter was a year old and I was in
my thirties, I suffered something that started to act like a
stroke. As my face started to be paralyzed, I prayed to
Jesus to save me and the paralysis immediately drained
away. But the problems didn’t end there. I was so weak
in the aftermath that for months I could only get out of
bed with difficulty. For many years afterward, much of
my body was either extremely painful or numb.

In my fifties, I started fainting for no apparent reason: It
turned out that my blood pressure was too low to push
enough oxygenated blood up to my brain. I won’t bore you
with any of the other sicknesses I’ve had. I can best
summarize those experiences by saying that I can relate
very well to Job’s pain and suffering in the Bible because
I feel like I’ve lived through the Book of Job.

More times than I like to count, I have also been near
death in automobile accidents from which I have been
miraculously rescued. Here’s one example: I was driving
at about 40 miles an hour through a snowstorm in
Hartford, Connecticut, late one night when two large
trucks passed by recklessly on my left, sideswiping my
car. The impacts pushed my small sedan hard to the
right and into a guard rail that barely kept me from
plunging over 50 feet onto the concrete embankment
below. Fortunately, all I suffered was damage to my car
and some badly shaken nerves.

Airplanes have been dangerous, too. One time a window
came unsealed next to me, and the plane had to make an
emergency descent to a lower altitude. Another time, I
was flying through a severe storm while a plane
immediately below crashed, killing all the passengers and
crew.

I’m sure you would agree that a person who has many
dangerous and debilitating illnesses and accidents isn’t
likely either to lead a very normal life or to live very long.
Yet, the Lord has healed, protected, and sustained me
time and again. As a result, I’m now in my middle sixties
enjoying my first extended period of good health and
energy in many years. Praise God!

In my twenties, thirties, and forties, I didn’t follow Him
nearly as closely as I should have. I believe that a lot of
the challenges I faced then were sent to ensure that I
realized that I wouldn’t go very far without His help.

Here’s an example of the kind of warnings I have
received: While watching television with my family about
thirty years ago, the set exploded on being struck by a
lightning bolt that blasted through the nearby closed
window. Lord, I’m convinced! I need You!

Fortunately, I awoke from many of my spiritual errors in
1995, rededicated my life then to Jesus, and began
studying and working hard to live as much like Jesus as
possible. Almost immediately, I was given a commission
through what I believe was the Holy Spirit to lead the
400 Year Project to show how everyone could make
improvements at twenty times the usual rate from 2015
through 2035.

Who could have been a more unlikely person to succeed
in that amazing undertaking than me? I was still
functioning at a very low level physically, and my mind
wasn’t nearly as sharp as it could have been. I had no idea
of how to start this enormous, seemingly impossible task.
Yet He cleared a path for me and showed me where to
go.

Compared to how I was living and what I was
accomplishing in 1995, everything I do in any given day
now is way beyond 2,000 percent living, beginning with
having followed His directions so that I have demonstrated
how to accomplish vast multiples of more for righteous
purposes. I’ve seen everything I touch that’s related to
His will increase in astonishing, gratifying ways. Clearly,
the glory goes to Him, not to me. It’s wonderful to be on
the receiving end of His grace, mercy, and favor.

I suspect that part of His purpose in choosing me to lead
the 400 Year Project could have been to demonstrate to
people who think they don’t need God’s help that He can
lift them up vastly more than they can help themselves.
If that was His purpose, I’m honored to be His example.

It would be a terrible sin for me not to tell you that you
need Him to live a life on Earth and afterward in heaven
that will happily exceed your biggest, most positive
dreams for contributing to righteousness.

Accept Salvation

But what does it say?
“The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”
(that is, the word of faith which we preach):
that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus
and believe in your heart
that God raised Him from the dead,
you will be saved.
For with the heart one believes unto righteousness,
and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

— Romans 10:8-10 (NKJV)

As someone who isn’t yet saved by the grace of Jesus
Christ, you may be wondering why I began this book’s
lessons about accomplishing twenty times more for
righteous purposes with directions for developing and
deepening your relationship with Him. While it would
be possible to write quite a long list of reasons for this
emphasis, in the interests of clarity let me give you the
shortest complete list I can:

1. Without accepting the Salvation that Jesus provides
through His sacrificial death on the cross and believing in
His subsequent resurrection by God, you will endure life
on Earth and eternity after death separate from God,
suffering terribly in hell, because of your sins.

According to the Bible’s record of words spoken by either
God (see the 10 commandments in Exodus 20) or Jesus
(see Matthew 5), if you have ever taken God’s name in
vain such as by swearing, worked on Sunday, stolen
anything, been angry enough to think about hurting
someone, lusted sexually for someone who was not your
spouse, lied, or wanted something that belonged to your
neighbor, you have sinned and cannot redeem yourself
by your own efforts to gain connection with God.

Fortunately, there’s good news: The Bible also promises
that all your sins are already forgiven. You need only
repent your sins, accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior,
believing Him to be God’s resurrected Son. There’s no
greater improvement you can make now than to upgrade
how you will spend life on Earth and eternity after you die.

2. On Earth, you will gain great advantages by following
the directions of the Holy Spirit (you will be baptized by
the Holy Spirit after being saved through accepting Jesus
as your Lord and Savior as described in Acts 10:44-48,
NKJV) to steer clear of traps set to distract you by the
enemy who is the source of sinful temptation in this
world.

The Bible tells us that He wants to make your crooked
places straight (Isaiah 40:4, NKJV), that He will listen to
your prayers, that He has peaceful thoughts toward you,
and that He has plans to give you hope (Jeremiah 29:11-12,
NKJV).

3. Until you accept Salvation and faithfully follow Jesus,
God may choose to send you more and more difficult
challenges and setbacks to help you realize that you are
weak and He is strong … and that you need Him to lead
your life.

God isn’t some remote judge just hoping we will make a
mistake and be condemned. Instead, He cares about us
and wants each of us to be saved.

4. When you follow what Jesus wants you to do, you will
have His authority and power to accomplish much more,
authority that commands the accomplishment of any
righteous result in the supernatural and physical worlds.

Jesus wants us to help lead the world toward His
goodness, and He is prepared to deliver immense
resources to you for making that happen.

Why is your Salvation important to God? He loves you
and wants you to spend time with Him. As evidence,
consider that before Adam disobeyed God in the
Garden of Eden they had daily walks and talks together.
God also sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die a
painful, shameful death as a perfect blood sacrifice, the
only way to wash away my and your sins forever.

Because you’ve already been forgiven by Jesus’ sacrifice,
you just need to receive that forgiveness by taking these
actions:

1. Confess your sins and repent (be sorry that
you sinned and reform by changing your frame
of mind and practices) to Jesus Christ.

2. Believe that God raised Jesus from the
dead and ascended into heaven (Mark 16)
where He intercedes for those who believe
in Him (the Bible describes in 1 Corinthians
15:4-8, NKJV, that there were over 500
witnesses who saw Jesus alive after He died
and was buried, which testifies that Jesus
is who He said He is and can grant you
Salvation).

3. Promise to follow the Lord Jesus for
the rest of your life and to do His will,
not yours. Keeping this promise will
lead you to many good occurrences you
don’t expect to help you lead a more
righteous life. Jesus has good plans for you.

Once you accept Him as Lord and Savior, you will begin
the best relationship you will ever have. You can read
more about my experiences with getting to know Him
better in my Christian testimony located in Appendix A.

When you are ready, here’s a prayer you can use to
speak sincerely to God from your heart so you can
accept the free gift of Salvation by repenting and
seeking to follow Jesus with all your being:

“Dear God,
I have sinned.
I am very sorry that I have sinned.
I know that I deserve Your punishment for my sins.
I ask You to forgive me for these sins.
From my whole heart I accept that Jesus Christ is,
and will forever be, my Lord and Savior,
that He died and rose again to be with You in heaven.
Take my life, Jesus.
I surrender my life to You.
From this moment on, I will live my life according
to the Bible and to serve You.
Thank You for taking away my sins and
giving me everlasting life in heaven.
In Jesus’ name I pray.
Amen.”

If you would like to ask questions about or discuss what
Salvation is, to learn more about Jesus, or to accept
Salvation with a witness, you can always reach someone
who will help you at Need Him, a Christian ministry. Just
call 1-888-NEED-HIM toll-free in the United States. If
you are outside the United States or would prefer to have
a live Internet chat, go to http://www.needhim.org/ and
click on the “chat” button.

Rededicate Your Life to Jesus

“I have not come to call the righteous,
but sinners, to repentance.”

— Luke 5:32 (NKJV)

Once you have been saved by repenting of your sins and
accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you continue to
be saved even if you don’t follow Him. However, He has
good plans for you that you will miss out on until you
follow and obey Him.

Here’s what Jesus had to say on the subject of obedience
to His will:

“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine,
and does them, I will liken him to a wise man
who built his house on the rock:
and the rain descended, the floods came,
and the winds blew and beat on that house;
and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine,
and does not do them,
will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand:
and the rain descended, the floods came,
and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell.
And great was its fall.”

— Matthew 7:24-27 (NKJV)

Be sure you understand that once you are saved you
don’t have to rededicate your life to Him every time you
sin. However, you should tell Him you are sorry that you
have sinned, promise to do better with His help, and ask
for guidance and strength so you won’t sin again.

It’s only after you have decided to disobey Him and to
keep disobeying Him that you must rededicate yourself.
He doesn’t expect you to be perfect in avoiding sin: That’s
one reason why His sacrifice on the cross was designed to
forgive the sins you have done in the past, the sins you do
now, and the sins you will do in the future.

He does expect us to try to follow Him to the best of our
understanding and to the full extent of our strength and
abilities. If you decide to do life your way instead of His,
He will try to bring you back to His will.

It’s easy to know that you are in His will again after
faltering: Life feels light and comfortable because you trust
Him to take care of you.

You will have peace even in the middle of danger and
difficulties:

The LORD is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
for His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the
valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD
Forever.

— Psalm 23 (NKJV)

Start Your Day Praising and Seeking Him

My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD;
In the morning I will direct it to You,
And I will look up.

— Psalm 5:3 (NKJV)

Most days are full of distractions that can pull you away
from God’s will. As Psalm 5:3 describes, you can be more
tuned into Him by starting each day focusing on the Lord.
Then you will hear Him and stay in His will better
throughout the day.

I keep lists of the great things that the Lord has done for
me. I read those lists every morning, drawing strength
and happiness from reliving those awe-inspiring
experiences. I feel very peaceful as I do.

Next, praise and thank God specifically for all the
wonderful things He has done for you. As you
remember these blessings, your heart will be lightened
and gladdened.

Some people like to praise and thank Him silently in their
minds through prayer. Others play some recorded praise-
and-worship music based on the Bible and sing along.
Others sing and dance to the music. Try all these ways to
praise Him and engage more often in the ways that bring
you the most peace and comfort. Be sure to ask in prayer
for His strength and guidance in being sure that you do
His will that day, rather than yours.

Pray Each Morning for What Is Righteous
to Be Done in His Will

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true,
whatever things are noble,
whatever things are just,
whatever things are pure,
whatever things are lovely,
whatever things are of good report,
if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy —
meditate on these things.

— Philippians 4:8 (NKJV)

The New Testament describes many miraculous things
that Jesus did: He turned water into highly praised wine
at a wedding feast in Cana (John 2:1-11, NKJV); He told
the woman He met at the well in Samaria all about her
past and current life without having heard of her before
(John 4:4-43, NKJV); He banished an illness from an
official’s son without coming near the child (John 4:46-54,
NKJV); He directed His future disciples to net a huge
catch of fish after they had caught nothing despite
working all night (Luke 5:1-11, NKJV); He cured a
leper in Galilee (Mark 1:40-45, NKJV); He healed a
paralyzed man in Capernaum (Luke 5:17-26, NKJV);
He treated a centurion’s servant from a distance
(Luke 7:1-10, NKJV); simply touching His clothes
stopped a woman’s bleeding who had been suffering for
12 years (Luke 8:42-48, NKJV); He walked on water
(Mark 6:47-52, NKJV); He fed five thousand men plus
many women and children until they were filled by
tearing apart and sharing two fish and five loaves of
bread (John 6:9-13, NKJV); He gave sight to a man had
been blind from birth (John 9:1-12, NKJV); and He
raised Lazarus from the dead after many days in the
tomb (John 11:34-44, NKJV). We also know that He
did so many other miraculous things that it would take
an immense number of books to record those events
(John 21:25, NKJV).

Imagine how exciting it must have been to observe one of
His miracles. Do you wish you could have been there to
watch? Well, you can do the next best thing and pray in
faith for a miracle to be done in the name of Jesus for a
righteous purpose, and He will do it. Matthew 21:22
(NKJV) tells us:

“And whatever things you ask in prayer,
believing, you will receive.”

Prayer is one place where you can add great value to
His supernatural work: You need to pray to Him in faith,
believing that He will do these things, or many righteous
things will not occur. I’m sure you’ll be glad to do your part.

Jesus promised and delivered many miracles to believers.
Imagine how relatively easy it must be for Him to help you
as a believer to develop and implement mere 2,000
percent solutions for righteous purposes: These solutions
require far less supernatural support than miracles do!

When you have prayed for such things while filled with
faith that they will occur, you will have the added joy of
looking with expectation for signs that He has begun to
grant your prayers. However, remember that God acts in
His own perfect time, which is rarely just after we pray to
Him. Just keep praying in faith each morning, and you will
see many great favors and accomplishments unfold before
you.

Study the Bible Each Morning

My soul melts from heaviness;
Strengthen me according to Your word.

— Psalm 119:28 (NKJV)

God speaks to us through the Holy Spirit, His holy Word
the Bible, and events. Your ability to listen to and
understand Him will improve by increasing your morning
Bible reading, a source of His wisdom that you can access
more often and whenever you want. As you become more
familiar with His promises and actions, you’ll see and
experience the world differently through the guidance of
the Holy Spirit and a better understanding of what events
mean. In addition, you’ll be able to remember and refer to
sections of the Bible that strengthen your faith throughout
the day.

Chances are that you will find it helpful to read the Bible
in many different ways. Pray for guidance about
performing your Bible reading and speak to your pastor
as well.

Let me share some of my experiences and observations
to help increase your sense of some choices. If you can’t
read Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek (which is my
situation), different translations will probably help you
more fully appreciate the Bible’s lessons. I began by only
reading the King James Version of the Bible. The
language in that translation doesn’t match English usage
today very closely. I found that my understanding
expanded after I also began reading the more
contemporary language found in the New King James
Version. After that, I began to read from the Amplified,
New American Standard, New International, and New
Living translations. By putting the versions side-by-side,
I sometimes develop a fuller sense of what a verse’s
meaning is.

I also began to read commentaries about different sections
of the Bible, which added more scholarly references and
explanations that also direct me to other parts of the Bible.
Those commentaries have been a blessing, and I intend to
read many more. In addition, I read many different
devotionals that address different subjects and guide my
understanding of the Bible in new ways.

What should you read in the Bible? New believers often
find the Gospel of John to be a good starting point for
knowing who Jesus is and what He has done. You can
use keyword and subject searches to find sections related
to the questions you have and the trials you are
experiencing. I also suggest that part of your daily
reading should be in sequence from the beginning of the
Bible to the end. Such front-to-back reading will help you
develop a sense of the whole Bible and how one section
relates to another one. In addition, many people find it
helpful to read daily from certain books in the Bible. For
instance, some find Psalms to be especially restoring.

Also consider listening to recorded Bible readings. The
inflections of the readers help the text to come alive and
make the verses easier to remember. Recordings are
especially soothing and encouraging to listen to while
serving the Lord. For example, I usually play recordings
of the New Testament while I write about the Lord.

Attend Church Whenever Possible

“For where two or three are gathered together in My name,
I am there in the midst of them.”

— Matthew 18:20 (NKJV)

Jesus wants us to spend time with other believers so we
can encourage, help, and teach one another. Although
new and recently rededicated believers have the Holy
Spirit in them directing their paths, these Christians will
find it valuable to have additional encouragement and
help from more experienced believers. As the verse above
indicates, the Lord will be present among you and you will
have a chance to see more Godly examples of Christian
behavior. In such gatherings, more experienced believers
can also gain spiritual maturity through mentoring and
helping those who are less experienced.

Most church services and many Bible studies and other
activities begin with praising and worshiping the Lord,
which can help strengthen your faith in and connection to
Him. There will be many prayers spoken that will help you
learn more about how to pray. In addition, there will often
be a lesson presented from the Bible designed to help you
follow Jesus.

Many churches also offer classes for new believers,
which provide a great way to learn about what it means
to be a Christian. Anyone who hasn’t yet taken such a
class should. Your learning there will strengthen your
faith. I encourage you to also ask the class leader to help
you find a mentor to meet with you weekly to answer
questions and to help you go more deeply into the
information presented in the classes.

Each time you have any contact with a church, you will
have an opportunity to feel closer to God the Father,
the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. By attending
church more often, you will have the Lord’s peace more
often. I find Wednesday night services and mid-week
Bible studies to be particularly helpful ways to refocus
my attention on the heavenly agenda for my life.

Righteous service activities are also important to your
Christian development. It is through your works for
Him that your faith grows and becomes more complete.
Through these works, your heart will be gladdened and
encouraged.

Make a Weekly Written Commitment
of Added Ways to Follow His Direction

“I am the vine, you are the branches.
He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit;
for without Me you can do nothing.”

— John 15:5 (NKJV)

New believers and those who have recently rededicated
their lives to the Lord may find that they are still mostly
trying to live life their way, rather than following God’s
and the Lord’s commandments and the Holy Spirit’s
directions. That’s an indication that more work is needed
to help them become like Jesus.

The need for more focus shouldn’t surprise anyone. New
believers and the newly rededicated aren’t used to
thinking first about Them and the Bible as guides: They
probably aren’t as familiar with what the commandments
and directions are as they should be. When long-time
believers don’t continually expand their knowledge,
willingness to serve, and ways of serving, they likewise
can remain immature in their faith.

Working with your new-believer mentor, identify areas
where you need to begin serving the Lord or to do more
for Him. Make a written commitment to do something
new or more during the following week that will increase
your service for the Lord. Review your new commitment
daily to check on how you are doing. Continue that new
activity thereafter while taking on another new
commitment.

Let me mention a couple of examples of important
commitments called for by Jesus’ commands that some
new believers don’t consider right away. After accepting
Jesus as Lord and Savior, Jesus wants us to be baptized
as He indicated in Mark 16:16 (NKJV), “He who believes
and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not
believe will be condemned.” Undoubtedly, this first act
of obedience helps us to develop the habit of looking for
His commands and carefully following them once
recognized.

Another such direction that is often ignored can be found
by examining Proverbs 3:9 (NKJV) and Malachi 3:8-12
(NKJV) from which most Bible scholars agree that we are
commanded to provide the first 10 percent of our income
to the storehouse of the local church.

Many people are troubled by that commandment until
they realize two things: It all belongs to God anyway, and
He promises to those who tithe to

“… open for you the windows of heaven
And pour out for you such blessing
That there will not be room enough to receive it.”

— Malachi 3:10, NKJV

Here are some other examples of following Him to help
you pick commitments. A new believer might set an
initial commitment to read a chapter from the Bible
every day. The following week, the new commitment
might be to attend a midweek service. After that, a third
commitment might be to work on the church’s car-wash
outreach that weekend. By proceeding one step at a time,
each day can be refocused so that a believer is following
Him ever more completely.

This same approach to making and adding commitments
is valuable for people who are longer-term believers but
haven’t become very mature in serving Him. Such
believers may find that they have a hard time breaking
old habits that draw them away from Him; as a result,
they may find it helpful to ask another Christian to
encourage them.

Continually Witness to Others about Your Faith
Seeking to Help Lead at Least Twenty People
to Whom You Have Been Speaking
to Choose to Accept Salvation

“Therefore whoever confesses Me before men,
him I will also confess
before My Father who is in heaven.”
“Go therefore and make disciples
of all the nations,
baptizing them in the name of
the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, ….”

— Matthew 10:32 and 28:19 (NKJV)

One of the missed opportunities to follow Him for most
Christian comes from not helping anyone else to become
saved. Such silence and inaction violate what Jesus told
us to do in proclaiming Him, as described in Matthew
10:32, and in the command to make disciples in Matthew
28:19.

One of the beauties of being a new believer or a Christian
who has recently rededicated your life to the Lord can be
that you feel full to overflowing with His love and
forgiveness. With those great spiritual gifts in your heart,
you also feel love toward more and more people and want
to share that great feeling with unsaved people. Your
knowledge for helping others to gain Salvation may be
limited, but your energy and commitment probably
aren’t.

No one can become a Christian solely through the efforts
and words of a witness. Only the Holy Spirit can touch
someone’s heart to cause someone to repent and to accept
Salvation by believing in Christ. However, you can
certainly play a valuable role by helping attract an
unsaved person’s attention on behalf of the Lord. Here
are some things you can add to your list of new
commitments that will help lead others to seek the Lord:

• Write a testimony that tells about how you became a
Christian and what the Lord has done in your life. Add
information about how to get in touch with you, your
church, and organizations that support witnessing such
as Need Him (1-888-NEED-HIM toll-free in the United
States).
• Before approaching or speaking to anyone about the
Lord, pray that people’s hearts will be open to receiving
the Holy Spirit and accepting Salvation.
• Hand copies of your written testimony to everyone you
know.
• Ask people if they have repented of their sins, believe
that Jesus is God’s Son, and have dedicated their lives to
follow Him. Start with people you know and eventually
begin asking people you don’t know.
• Learn to tell the story of your testimony to people who
haven’t yet been born again through the workings of the
Holy Spirit.

• Share tracts and books of testimonies with people who
aren’t yet born-again Christians.
• Pray aloud and silently for people’s needs in the name
of Jesus when you are with them.
• Invite people to go to church with you and offer to pick
them up and drop them off.
• Follow up with those you have spoken with until they
gain Salvation.
• Pray daily for guidance about what else you should do.

There are many wonderful benefits from doing this part
of the Lord’s work. Helping others to accept Salvation will
mean that you are adding to the people you will be able to
enjoy Christian fellowship with here on Earth as well as in
heaven. If each Christian perseveres in attempting to help
lead at least twenty others to Salvation, you will eventually
enjoy being part of a holy community larger than all but
what a few Christians have now. After you help lead
twenty, keep going. There are more lost souls we are
commanded to help learn about becoming saved.

You can also look forward to encouraging and assisting
these new believers, a process that will help you grow
in spiritual maturity. Imagine how much you will enjoy
being a mentor for someone you helped to lead to
Salvation when that person helps someone else choose to
accept Salvation.

If you would like to read more detailed directions about
what to do as a witness, I recommend you study
Witnessing Made Easy: Yes, You Can Make a Difference
(BookSurge, 2010). That book will also help you to
understand how your church and you can be more
effective in supporting witnessing education and activities.

Copyright 2010 Donald W. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

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Tuesday, October 05, 2010

2,000 Percent Living Lesson Two: Free Your Mind

Cleanse your mind of distractions, accusations,
worries, fears, and annoyances
through twice-daily meditation.

But in a great house
there are not only vessels of gold and silver,
but also of wood and clay,
some for honor and some for dishonor.
Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter,
he will be a vessel for honor,
sanctified and useful for the Master,
prepared for every good work.

— 2 Timothy 2:20-21 (NKJV)

What thoughts flitted across your awareness the last time
you let your mind just wander? Were you glad you had all
those thoughts? Did having those thoughts help you? Did
any of those thoughts lead you toward 2,000 percent
living?

Researchers report that most people have more than ten
thousand thoughts each day that they can recount, and
they probably have a lot more thoughts that they cannot
remember. Given that most of us are awake for about
sixteen hours a day, we can infer from the research that
most people are having several different thoughts during
each waking moment. With that much going on in your
mind, how much can you hope to focus on any one
thought — no matter how important or valuable?

What’s worse, most of those thoughts we have are
identical to yesterday’s thoughts, as well as to those of
the day before. It’s almost as though our minds are
filled with broken music players that cannot be stopped,
similar to when those catchy advertising jingles get stuck
in our minds and keep playing over and over again.
Imagine how much more you can accomplish if you can
eliminate 96 percent of your unhelpful thoughts. Let’s
look at the primary sources of unhelpful thoughts.

Be Aware of and Eliminate
the Sources of Your Unhelpful Thoughts

And this I say for your own profit,
not that I may put a leash on you, but for what is proper,
and that you may serve the Lord without distraction.

— 1 Corinthians 7:35 (NKJV)

While every person’s thought life is different, my
experience has been that many of my unhelpful thoughts
simply arise in response to distractions. There are lots of
good reasons to be distracted. For example, a television
network may want people to watch a certain program.
Thousands of hours of research and work may go into
creating a very arresting set of images and sounds that
will take most people’s attention away from anything else
and shift their attention toward the program. You have
very little chance to resist unless you have no interest
whatsoever in the program’s subject.

As a result of such powerful distractions, some people
report that they can sit down to work on something and
later be surprised to find that thirty-seven minutes have
passed, but nothing has been accomplished. And they may
not even remember how they spent the time while their
minds were adrift.

Most of us have regrets. Accusing voices remind us of
missteps and mistakes that we’ve made. A certain mistake
may have occurred in less than a second, but the mental
recriminations may last for decades … chewing up
enormous amounts of time and attention. In addition to
our own regrets, others may have condemned us, fairly or
unfairly, and we often mentally repeat those accusations
as well. In these accusations our own voice and the voices
of others make us feel terrible. It’s no way to live.

Beyond distractions and regrets, most people have some
real worries. When lots of people are being laid off at
work, it’s natural to be concerned that your job will be
lost. Such concerns can easily blossom into worries that
leave us feeling uncomfortable, worn out, and defeated.
If later your job is lost, the worry can blossom into an
anguished wail: “What am I going to do now?” When was
the last time you made a positive breakthrough while in
such an upset emotional and mental state?

Some people are more completely chained to worry: They
have no faith that matters will work out well. As a result
they live in discomfort, desperately trying to stave off
what might go wrong.

Everyone has some fears, typically of speaking in public
or of falling from a height. Based on painful experiences
and exposure to difficult circumstances, many people
have developed other fears. Fear can be a good thing
when it causes us to avoid a danger that would
otherwise harm us. Unfortunately, fears can also be
triggered just by our thinking; there needn’t be any real
danger nearby. Irrational fears present a special
problem: Our bodies overreact to perceived dangers,
causing a great desire in us to escape or to feel
immobilized and unable to cope. It also takes a long time
to get back to normal after a fearful episode. Following a
panic attack, just starting to breathe easily again with a
slowed heartbeat can be quite an accomplishment.

One thing can almost always be counted on to break
through distractions, accusations, worries, and fears:
an annoyance. Just notice a mosquito taking a bead on
your head while hearing that irritating high whine, and
you’ll be soon swatting away until the mosquito either
leaves or you kill it. No other thought will get much of
your attention until the annoyance is gone, which is one
reason why avoidable automobile accidents can occur
while a driver is swatting away at an annoying bug.

There’s a helpful lesson we can learn from the examples
of fears and annoyances: When you concentrate on
something arresting, everything else fades away. When
you pick an arresting focus that’s positive instead, your
mind will be filled with helpful, constructive thoughts. For
example, many Christians report that when they are
thinking about all the great things that God has done for
them, their troubles and discomfort fade away to nothing.
Instead, they feel suffused with warmth, light, and joy.
In addition, faith that God has a good plan for our lives
can help us to remain happy and calm in the face of all
our real dangers and adversities.

We can also eliminate the sources of many unhelpful
thoughts. If we don’t watch television, listen to the radio,
or surf videos on the Internet, the sources of many
intrusive distractions are eliminated. If we need to
not concentrate on something important, we can ask
others not to disturb us, close the door, and ignore the
telephone. When our hearts are filled with condemnation,
we can repent and ask Jesus to forgive us. Then, we can
go forward fully forgiven so there is no need to feel
condemned again for the same reason. Rather than
worry, we can trust that God has a good plan for our
lives and thank Him for His help. When circumstances
are frightening, we can remember the 23rd Psalm and
pray for His support, knowing that no harm will come to
us. Before going outdoors, we can splash on some anti-bug
spray.

Let’s look next at how you can use a certain kind of
directed focus to clear away vast quantities of thoughts
that certainly aren’t doing you any good or may even be
harming you.

Direct Your Focus to Empty Your Mind
of Useless Thoughts

“But whatever house you enter, first say,
‘Peace to this house.’
And if a son of peace is there,
your peace will rest on it;
if not, it will return to you.”

— Luke 10:5-6 (NKJV)

You can’t add much more useful information onto a
blackboard that’s already covered with chalk marks.
Before writing anything, you will do better to take a
few moments instead to erase at least some of the old
chalk marks. If you want to write even more distinctly,
you will also scrub off the old dust with a soap-filled
sponge. The resulting clean slate will make you feel more
peaceful and will help inspire you to write new things on
the board in a more deliberate, attractive, and useful way.

Those actions are a pretty good metaphor for an
important action you need to take with your mind: Clean
out useless thoughts so that there’s much more room and
time for useful thoughts. Your goal should be to get rid of
96 percent of what’s not useful in your thinking.

How do you do such thought-eliminating beyond focusing
on God and His good plans for you and not engaging in
sources of distractions? I’m no expert on the subject, but
I have eliminated a lot of my useless and harmful
thoughts. I estimate that the majority of my thoughts now
are useful ones well worth the time they take. I mostly
learned to accomplish this shift in focus through studying
and practicing meditation. I suggest that you do the same.

Some people don’t want to take time to meditate, feeling
that their lives are already too full of things they need to
accomplish. Dr. Stephen R. Covey tells a memorable story
in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
(Simon and Schuster, 1989), that sheds light on this
problem and its solution. A man sees another man
struggling to cut down a tree with a dull saw. The first
man suggests that the second man stop a minute to
sharpen his saw. The second man grumpily retorts that
he’s much too busy to take time for that: He’s got to cut
down the tree! Meditation is like sharpening a saw
because it allows you to do all of your tasks much faster
and more effectively. Yes, meditation does take time; but
the practice will save you much more time than it will take.

I don’t want to prescribe how you should meditate.
Thousands of different methods are described by people
who say that their thought lives have been helped. I’ve
tried only a very few of these methods and can only
accurately report on my experiences. I recommend that
you try a variety of ways to meditate that seem appealing
to you and see how well they work in clearing your mind
and helping you to focus more on God. Then, pick one
method and stick with it — that’s important because the
effects are cumulative. The biggest improvements come
only after years of regular meditation.

I’ve been meditating twice a day (on arising and in the
evening) for fifteen years, and the practice has been a
wonderful supplement to my prayer life and Bible reading
for clearing out mental cobwebs and useless thoughts.

After I finish meditating, I begin my Bible study and
prayers. I’ve found that my connection to God is more
direct, uncluttered, and pleasant when I start after
meditation. As a result of meditation, Bible study, and
prayer, I’m very Christ-centered in doing His will by the
time I start my day. My mind also stays more focused on
His will and His blessings throughout the day. The gentle
whisperings of the Holy Spirit come through my head
louder and clearer than when I did not meditate and did
not read the Bible and pray twice a day.

Let me address two concerns that some people have
mentioned to me about meditation. First, some people see
any form of meditation as a pagan activity that is at odds
with their Christian faith. That hasn’t been my
experience: I find that my faith in and desire to connect
with God are increased after meditating. If you have this
concern, there are many forms of Christian meditation
that you can study and practice.

You should also realize that several of the Psalms and a
few places in the New Testament encourage meditating.
Here are a few of those verses:

Be angry, and do not sin.
Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still.

— Psalm 4:4 (NKJV)

My eyes are awake through the night watches,
That I may meditate on Your word.

— Psalm 119:148 (NKJV)

I will meditate on Your precepts,
And contemplate Your ways.

— Psalm 119:15 (NKJV)

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true,
whatever things are noble, whatever things are just,
whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely,
whatever things are of good report,
if there is any virtue and if there is anything
praiseworthy — meditate on these things.

— Philippians 4:8 (NKJV)

Second, some people find that their minds don’t quiet
down while they meditate: Their minds may actually
become more active. Some people prematurely and
incorrectly conclude that they cannot succeed with
meditation.

Unfortunately, no one alerted them that having a more
active mind is a healthy experience while learning to
meditate. Let me give you a metaphor to explain why
this happens: If you open up a carbonated-beverage
container and pour out some of the liquid into a cup, the
beverage will start to fizz as carbon dioxide changes from
being dissolved in the beverage into a gas that rises up
into the open air. At some point, the carbon dioxide will
have all escaped and the liquid will be flat.

Similarly, with enough meditation experience and regular
practice your stored-up tensions will eventually be
dissipated and your mind will have little tension to
release when you start each new meditation session.
This effect is an important reason why the benefits
from meditation for clearing your mind are cumulative.

One of the great mysteries about Christianity that
puzzles those who are not believers can be found in
this promise:

Be anxious for nothing,
but in everything by prayer and supplication,
with thanksgiving,
let your requests be made known to God;
and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

— Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV)

As you regularly turn your focus from distractions that
cause unhelpful thoughts, meditate, concentrate on
God’s Word, and pray, you will experience the peace of
God. How do I know? It’s the result I have experienced
from the practices I describe in this lesson.

Copyright 2010 Donald W. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

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