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

The Hidden Things

March 24, 2014

 

The Hidden Things


1 Corinthians 4:5

Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.


How many of us know that things are not always as they appear outwardly?  Many of us may be very surprised at the ones that are ruling and reigning with Christ, because we judge by the outward vision and natural understanding, but God judges after the heart.  Big names and ministries, credentials and degrees, accomplishments and awards so often impress us.

When you see someone who stands out and is accomplished in an area our tendency is to admire that individual.  Is every individual that distinguishes themselves, self-made?  If you look beneath the surface you will probably see parents who sacrificed their wants and dreams for their children.  You will see teachers, instructors, coaches and mentors who poured into these promising individuals to help them rise to their potential.  The point is no one is great in and of themselves.  There is much invested in bringing people to greatness that most of the world never sees.  They are the hidden ones.  They live and work in the background and are never in the limelight.  They aren’t the ones that receive the recognition, awards and accolades, but they just may be the truly great ones because they know how to invest in making others great.  

Paul, the apostle was experiencing some of this same frustration in his ministry.  Paul saw time and again where he would pour out his life for the church, which so quickly would turn to some other ministry or doctrine.  The Jews or some other element would come in after he had left to pollute and lead the people off track from the gospel foundation that Paul had laid for them. We have the hindsight to look back at the legacy and tremendous impact Paul had on the early church, the New Testament and on the church throughout history.  We can easily see from our perspective what a great and awesome man of God that Paul was.  Do you think that a lot of the people of his day saw him in this light?  What they saw outwardly in Paul probably wasn’t that impressive.  He was this tentmaker and itinerate preacher obsessed this Christ.  He probably wasn’t that striking in his natural presence.  He was pretty much a hand to mouth type of guy who didn’t have a nickel to his name, but what he had he used it to advance his agenda about this Christ.  He was a passionate kind of guy and he preached a good word, but perhaps a little offensive at times.  He would go to any lengths to try and communicate this Christ and who He was and what He stood for, but probably not the kind of guy that would impress you by outward appearance or status.  In 1 Corinthians 4:9-16 Paul tells us a little bit about his glorious life as a great apostle, “For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. We [are] fools for Christ’s sake, but ye [are] wise in Christ; we [are] weak, but ye [are] strong; ye [are] honourable, but we [are] despised. Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace; And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, [and are] the offscouring of all things unto this day I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn [you]. For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet [have ye] not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.” Everything that Paul should have been in the natural was imparted to others.  The great ones aren’t the ones that have everything imparted unto them and the world marvels at, the great ones are those seeming nobodies that are the vessels and channels of imparting.  Their lives are spent and poured out to make others great.  They are fathers whose glory is in their children and what they become is because of what they were given.  Have you have found yourself discouraged because you have given and given, only to be taken for granted, despised and unappreciated?  Remember there is a day when the hidden things will be revealed.  It doesn’t matter what men think of us, the Lord is our judge.  In due season we will reap our reward if we faint not.  Paul says in 1 Corinthians 2:4, “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” Just be faithful to do what God has put in your hand to do.  Judge nothing before its time, for God will bring the hidden things to light.   

 
Blessings,
#Kent
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