God’s Plans

February 9, 2016

 

God’s Plans

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

What is God’s plan for your life and are you fulfilling it? It doesn’t matter if we are twelve or ninety-two, God created us for a purpose, have we found it?  Like Jeremiah, the Lord has good plans for your life, but if we never find it, if we never grow and develop in it, we miss His perfect and best for us.  Our success story in life is not about our wealth, our natural accomplishments or talents.  If all of that is accomplished outside of God’s plan then all we have gained is worthless chaff.  God has us all in different and unique places. He has furnished each of us with different and unique talents and abilities.  The truth is, we have the basic raw materials to fulfill the plan of God for our lives.  The one thing we may really lack is God’s direction and a heart that wants first and foremost to fulfill God’s destiny and purpose for ourselves and not our own.  Self-made men are often godless men, who have become gods unto themselves.  Our God is a God of destiny, plan and order.  Each of us is not random genetic materials living out lives with no reason, hope or purpose.  God doesn’t make junk, that’s what happens when we pursue a direction outside of His purpose.  

Isaiah 32:5-8 speaks this concerning men, “5 No longer will the fool be called noble 

nor the scoundrel be highly respected. 6 For the fool speaks folly, his mind is busy with evil: He practices ungodliness and spreads error concerning the LORD; the hungry he leaves empty and from the thirsty he withholds water. 7 The scoundrel’s methods are wicked, he makes up evil schemes to destroy the poor with lies, even when the plea of the needy is just. 8 But the noble man makes noble plans, and by noble deeds he stands.”  Here we see the two types of men, the fool and the wise, the man of self and the noble man of God.  What is deceiving is that often the godless are given by the world the cloak of nobility, but noble isn’t in their character, it is only a mask of appearance.  The fool even uses the appearance of godliness to self-gain and to carry out his wicked devices, but the noble man of God is established on godly principles “and by his noble deeds he stands.”  

Where are our lives in the scheme and plan of God’s order and purpose?  Proverbs 29:18 tells us, “Where [there is] no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy [is] he.”  God has given us His Word, His prophets, His Christ, His apostles and those who minister His Word all to give us vision.  If we fail to see, it is because we have refused to look into the perfect law of liberty whereby God has called out of darkness.  Ephesians 2:1-6 reminds us, “1At one time you were dead because of your sins. 2You followed the sinful ways of the world and obeyed the leader of the power of darkness. He is the devil who is now working in the people who do not obey God. 3At one time all of us lived to please our old selves. We gave in to what our bodies and minds wanted. We were sinful from birth like all other people and would suffer from the anger of God. 4But God had so much loving-kindness. He loved us with such a great love. 5Even when we were dead because of our sins, He made us alive by what Christ did for us. You have been saved from the punishment of sin by His loving-favor. 6God raised us up from death when He raised up Christ Jesus. He has given us a place with Christ in the heavens.” God has a plan for you and I that will only be realized as we walk in His will and purpose for us, seeking and desiring His perfect personal direction and will for our lives.  Our lives are often meaningful and purposeful in ways we don’t even recognize, like the kind words of encouragement you speak to someone, the random acts of kindness and the deliberate acts of mercy.  When we live and move and have our being in Him, we are living out His will and purpose in our lives.  

We often quote a scripture in 1Peter 2:9-12 because the trails we travel keeps leading us back to our destiny.  “But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past [were] not a people, but [are] now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. Dearly beloved, I beseech [you] as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by [your] good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.”  We are destined for greatness in Him, let us not choose to live anything less than His perfect will and plan for our lives. 

Blessings,

#kent

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Agenda for Today

May 1, 2015

Colosians 3:17
And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Agenda for Today

Lord, what is on Your agenda today?
Other thoughts invade my mind as I take time to pray.
I try to focus in on what Your will is for me,
But my mind is cluttered by all the mental imagery.

I find my thoughts on these rabbit trails,
Then I catch myself only to feel like I have failed.
Help me Lord, get my soul quiet before Your throne.
Help me give myself, that I may be all Your own.

Lord, what is Your agenda today?
Give me spiritual ears to hear what You have to say.
Order my steps and help me with the choices I make.
Help me loose myself in You and do all for Jesus sake.

Fill my thoughts and be in all I do,
Let my former distracting thoughts, now be thoughts of You.
Focus me in Your will and plan for me.
In all I do, let it be done as unto Thee.

You are the ark and the safety for my heart,
Help me find in You my every portion and needed part.
Be my everything, as You are meeting every need,
Let me live in Christ and humbly follow as You lead.

Kent Stuck

Blessings,
#kent

What God does to us or for us?

Job 42:1-6
Then Job replied to the LORD : 2 “I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.
3 You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. 4 “You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’ 5 My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. 6 Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”

How many of us have gone through times in our lives when we have experienced such pain, sorrow or disappointment at circumstances that have come upon us or happened to us? We question, “God where are you, where were you and why did you let this happen to me”? There are those of us who have gotten angry, offended and hurt because we felt that the Lord let us down and He didn’t meet our expectations in the ways that we thought He should have. Perhaps God would ask us, as He did Job, ‘Who is this that obscures council without knowledge?’ God is the Magnificent One that created the Universe, the earth and all of the mysteries and wonders contained therein. Would we be so bold as to compare our wisdom and understanding with His? If what God says in Romans 8:28 is true, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified,” then we must believe that God is working for our good. Jesus never makes the promise to deliver us from tribulation. In fact, He says just the opposite, “…In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). To the natural mind, life often isn’t fair and it doesn’t always make sense. It is in these times that we must rely upon our faith to bridge the gap between our understanding and God’s plan. Often what we thought was the enemy coming against us, in retrospect, we see the hand of God was working through what seemed to be a negative circumstance to bring us into God’s plan and higher will for our lives. It serves to stretch us and takes us to places we would never go on our own.
Let us not be so foolish as to attempt to pass judgement upon God for allowing things to happen to us. His ways are so much higher than our ways and His thoughts are so much higher than our thoughts. Job thought He had a pretty good handle on understanding God till His world and theology got turned upside down. The one thing that Job never lost was faith and trust in the Lord. I think that with many of us it will be as it was with Job when he said, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. 6 Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” When we really come into the revelation and presence of God and all that He is we will repent that we ever questioned, doubted or spoke negative of Him.
God is not doing things to us; He is doing things for us. Our understanding may not comprehend it, but our trust has to receive it and know that God’s nature is to work in our behalf. Even when that means we are crushed in the process, it is because He does love us and sees the end from the beginning. We see in terms of time and earthly values. God sees in eternity and kingdom values. God values you. Even when you don’t understand His hand, trust His heart. God is for you, trust Him and rest in His wisdom, love and council.

Blessings,
kent

A Loving Moment

August 14, 2013

A Loving Moment

1 John 3:18
My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

How do we show our love? Do you find that in the fast paced society we live in, we are constantly on the move, meeting demands, deadlines and obligations? In today’s society, especially, time is a commodity we seem to have the least of. Everything around us is in competition for the little bit we have. I know from personal experience that this is an area we easily get most out of balance in our lives. Time becomes a day to day scheduling of priorities and often what we put at the top of our list would not be what God would put at the top of His. God tells us in His Word to seek first the Kingdom of God. What is the first thing on your priority list each day and where do you spend that time? While some of us hardly have time for God, others of us are so absorbed with spiritual things we may be failing to really meet the needs of those closest to us for trying to meet the needs of everyone else. Time management is an issue that I wrestle with even as I am writing this and I am sure it is an issue with many of us. It is hard for us to be everything to everybody. While we can tell people and loved ones that we love them, nothing really communicates that like our personal time and attention. We have all seen instances where childcare, TV, electronic games, computers and other modern day conveniences and inventions raise our children. Many of us are guilty of this to varying degrees ourselves.
The point of this is not to condemn us for what we have failed to be or where we have failed to demonstrate our love in action. What we want to do is bring our time and agendas before the Lord and examine them in the light of His purpose and will for us. It is the investments of our time that are the true currency in making a difference in the ones we love. When the Word says we are to love “in deed and truth” isn’t it really talking about “quality giving,” whether it is of our time or our substance? In order to improve the quality of our love, we have to improve the quality of actions and demonstration of what we say with our words. The greatest testimony against Christianity today is that we are not demonstrating what we say with our words. We are all talkie, talkie and no walkie, walkie. As we sincerely begin to seek to move in the Spirit of God, we must constantly be willing to change our thinking, our priorities and our plans. God is not always going to move according to our agenda and schedule. We must learn the flexibility of moving to His. That means we may have let go of what we are doing, at the most inopportune times. If you are a person that likes structure and consistency in your life you will find this tuff. The Lord is shaping and molding our lives to move with the leading of His Spirit and will, not ours. We have to become like the harnessed horse that is willing to submit to the direction of the bit. Our life is all about service and surrender. When Jesus taught His disciples, He didn’t recruit them and send them off to seminary to get a good theological education. He showed and mentored them through day to day, moment to moment life experience how to walk out the love of God in a practical way. We see times Jesus and His disciples desperately needed some rest and space to themselves and how Jesus gave up His needs to meet the needs of others.
Time is a precious commodity and we all have accountability for how we use it. The Word tells us to “redeem the time for the days are evil (Ephesians 5:16).” Let us make the moments of our lives count as we invest them wisely in the lives of others rather than just the business of life. What is it that we do that will matter a week from now, a year from now, a lifetime from now? It is my prayer that the Lord will give us all a greater wisdom when it comes to how we spend and invest our time. We must remember that it is our time that can both build and make a meaningful relationship or the lack of it, which can destroy it. May our time become a series of loving moments that translate into a lifetime of loving in deed and in truth.

Blessings,
kent

Presumptuous Sin

January 28, 2013

James 4:13-17
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. 17Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.

Presumptuous Sin

How many of us walk day by day asking God’s will and purpose to be done in and through our lives? Most of us already have our agenda’s set, our plans and schedules made and our daily routines formed. This scripture from James might jar our awareness that the life we live so routinely is not about our plans and agendas, they are about God’s. How many opportunities and blessings are missed because what we have to do is more important than being in tune with the Holy Spirit to allow Him move through us in a different direction than what we have planned? If we ask for God’s will in our lives, but then ignore Him and the Spirit’s leading then haven’t we fallen into what might be for us a presumptuous sin?
We often find ourselves trying to live in two different worlds. We have our spiritual world where we acknowledge and worship God, but then our daily routine kicks in, it is business as usual and we may hardly give God a second thought. We don’t think anything of it, because it has become our habit and we have compartmentalized God out of certain areas of our life.
We can never forget that we don’t even have a life outside of what God gives us and blesses us with. There are no guarantees of tomorrow and of what we think we will do. We become presumptuous in that we think that we are fully in control of our lives and that it should always go according to our plan.
Who’s are we? What are we here for? What is your purpose in life?
As believers in Christ we should realize that our life is first and foremost about God and not about us. We live, move and have our being for His good pleasure, not just ours. Romans 12:1 exhorts to daily present ourselves a living sacrifice that we might prove what is His good, acceptable and perfect will. Each day should start with us first getting in tune with the Holy Spirit and entering into God’s presence. It should start with our hearts being open and spiritual awareness that this day is for Him and not just for us. We may go through a fairly routine day, but somewhere in that day may be an opportunity to speak into someone’s life, to bless someone, to help someone or someone is watching, unbeknownst to you, how you live, speak and conduct your life. You are first and foremost, God’s ambassador and the expression of who He is to the world around you. When you are open to God changing your plans or redirecting your path, don’t allow yourself to be frustrated by a change in your circumstance, just be keenly aware that He might want to use you in a different way.
A life in Christ is not a living apart from Him, but an acknowledgement of Him in all that we do, no matter how routine or ordinary. God leads us as we acknowledge Him in all of our ways, as Proverbs 3 tells us.
Let us not fall into presumptuous sin, by making assumptions about all that we or will not do. We first submit our plans and ways to the Lord; being open for Him to adjust them to His will and purpose. When our faith is in God and not in ourselves then we are at peace with the circumstances that face us even when that might seem so negative. God is able to turn all things for good if our hearts and attitudes are trusting Him. We are not to boast and brag about we can do or accomplish, but our boasting is only in the Father and what He can do if we trust and acknowledge Him in all of our ways.

Blessings,
kent

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