There are many selves within you
that lie dormant, untapped and unused.
God is always looking for what is not yet visible. He expects to find
inside each person and thing He created more than is evident on the
outside. On the other hand, man is often satisfied with what he has—
or at least if not satisfied, he thinks there is nothing better. Thus he settles for what he has.
Therein lies the tragedy of life. The minute we begin to settle down
and be satisfied with what we have, we lose the possibility of revealing
what is really inside us. Too often we die without exploring the gifts,
abilities, and successes that lay hidden within us. Our thoughts, ideas, and possibilities are not used. We fail to realize the vast potential that is stored within us. We are like batteries in a radio that is never played—our potential is wasted.
Suppose Shakespeare had died before he wrote his poems and
plays—the potential of Macbeth would have been buried. Suppose
Michelangelo had died before he painted the Sistine Chapel or DaVinci the Mona Lisa—the beauty of their paintings would have been lost.
Suppose Mozart had died with all that music in his bosom.
Suppose Moses had died before he saw the burning bush…Paul
before he met Jesus on the Damascus Road…Abraham before Isaac was born. How different the pages of Scripture and history would be.
Suppose Martin Luther had died without writing the thesis…Charles
Wesley without penning the hymns…John Wycliffe without translating the Bible into English. How different the history of the Church might have been.
Can you imagine how many great works of art, music, and literature
are buried in the graveyard near your house? Can you imagine how many
solutions to the problems we face today are buried with someone you knew? People die without getting out their full potential. They fail to use all that was stored in them for the benefit of the world.
I wonder what would have happened if your father had died before you were conceived or your mother before you were born. What would the world have lost if you had not been born? What will the world lack because you fail to live out your potential? Will you carry songs, books, inventions, cures, or discoveries to your grave?
What would the world have lost
if you had not been born?
Our teens are committing suicide. I wonder who they were supposed to be and what they were supposed to do that we will never know. Have we lost some great leaders? Was your grandchild’s professor or another Martin Luther King among them?
As the time for His crucifixion drew near, Jesus spoke of the potential principle in terms of His life. He compared Himself to a kernel of
wheat that falls into the ground and dies (John 12:23-24). A kernel of
wheat, when planted, yields many more kernels. Within Jesus was the
potential to bring millions of people to God. Thank God Herod didn’t
succeed when he tried to wipe out Jesus. If he had, Jesus would have
died before He could offer Himself as our atonement. His great purpose in life would have been wasted. The seed of His life was much more than His disciples could see. That one seed had the potential to give life to many.
There was a time early in his ministry when the apostle Paul said, “I’d like to leave.” Though he preferred to die and be with Christ, he knew his purpose in life had not been completely fulfilled. There was
yet much fruitful labor for him to do. It was necessary for the Church
that he continue to live. Thank God Paul did not die. The benefit of his wisdom would have been lost to the early Church and to us. His potential to write Colossians and Ephesians may have been forfeited.
Later, near his death, Paul wrote: “Timothy, I’ve run the race.
I’ve finished the course. I’ve kept the faith. I’ve done the work. My
award awaits me. I’m ready to die. Keep working after I’m gone” (see
2 Timothy 4:5-7). Everything in life has the potential to fulfill its
purpose. People who die without achieving their full potential rob their generation of their latent ability. Many have robbed me—they’ve also robbed you. To die with ability is irresponsible.
Perhaps you are wasting your life doing nothing with all you have.
God packaged some things in you for the good of the world—use them.
We will never know the wealth God planted in you until you bring it
up. There’s always something in you that we haven’t yet seen because
that’s the way God thinks. Release your ability before you die. Use the
power and strength within you for the good of yourself and others. I
believe there are books, songs, art works, businesses, poems, inventions, and investments in you that God intended for my children to
enjoy. Don’t give up until you have lived out the full extent of your
potential, because you have no right to die with my things. Don’t rob the
next generation of the wealth, treasure, and tremendous gifts buried deep within you.
If you want to succeed, strike out on new paths.
Don’t travel the worn paths of accepted success.
No man can climb beyond the limitations of his own
Every day sends to the grave obscure men and
women whom fear prevented from realizing their true and full potential.
Failure is not the absence of success. Failure is the
neglect of trying.
What you see is not all there is. There is something
in everything. What you have done is no longer your potential.
Potential is what you can do but have not yet done.
God created everything with potential.
Nothing in life is instant.
Everything in life has the potential
to fulfill its purpose.
Don’t be satisfied with what you now are.
Don’t die without using your full potential.
The greatest threat to progress is your last successful accomplishment.


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