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Posts Tagged ‘future’

It is far too very easy when thinking about God’s plan for our lives to have the attitude: “it’s all about me.”  Yes, it’s true that God cares about every intricate detail in our lives.  In fact, Jesus said that even the hairs on our heads are numbered. We can also mistakenly think that God’s plan is always going to be a “feel good” plan with the intent to make us happy. 

Sunset, Trees, Landscape, Mountains, Nature, Sun

Jeremiah’s message in this verse is radically different.  He’s writing to a group of people who are being held captive, and are in exile from their homeland.  He’s writing to let them know that although they’re not where they would have expected, nor where they would have asked God to place them, God has not forgotten them and He still has a plan for their lives. Even in the midst of a difficult situation, God wants them to know His plans.

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. ~ Jeremiah 29:11

In the preceding verses we see that a big part of God’s plan is for them to “seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile” (Jeremiah 29:7).  In other words, God wants them to know that His plans are not just to benefit them personally. God is also telling them that He is not removing them from the situation immediately.  He does promise to eventually restore them, but it’s not coming quickly (70 years out when many of them will be dead).  God is letting them know they can move forward, because in the eternal picture, God’s justice will prevail and everything will even out.

Today, in the midst of difficult situations, God wants us to know He has a plan for us all and for you.  He also wants us to know that as we submit to His plan that He desires to use us to bless the world around us.

May you this week rediscover part of the plan that God has for you, you may not know the whole plan, but parts of it will be familiar.  Be encouraged that all of your plans that have come to pass, and all the plans that haven’t are still part of His plan for you.

Grace and peace.

A Plan for You

The forgotten dreams
Lay shelved among
The chapters of my life
On the old dusty bookcase

The great plans that I had
Have been used to wrap
My ideas so they keep safe
In the boxes of my mind

In the calm still waters is where
My hope and future is kept
Like a ship that is moored
For too long in the harbour

Yet the ship
Is not made
For the harbour

Unrealised hope
Cannot be anchored
To the soul forever

Dreams and plans
Need to fight
For their freedom

Then I remember that my
Plans, hopes, and dreams
Have eternal character and
An unrelenting destiny

For you know the plans
You have for me
Plans to prosper me
And not to harm me
Plans to give me hope
And a future
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Here and Now

The first time God was asked to name Himself, He said, “I am” (Ex. 3:14). He is simply—and infinitely—Himself. And in the person of Jesus, He invited people to get to know Him in the context of a face-to-face relationship. This realisation led author John Eldredge to write in one of his books, Beautiful Outlaw, about the singular unchanging beauty of Christ’s often overlooked personality and how it can transform us.

Scripture shows that Jesus continuously astonished the people who knew Him. What are some of His personality traits that would change our relationship with Him and how we understand His work in our lives, if were we to recognize and embrace them?

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His disruptiveness. For far too long we have portrayed Jesus as kindly and loving in a soft way. Think “elevator music.” It’s music . . . kind of. Well, we’ve done the same sort of thing with the word love. We’ve made it a very sweet, sappy, two-dimensional kind-of love. We’ve made elevator music with the personality of Jesus.

But Jesus was radically disruptive. Not obnoxious, but unnerving and massively unsettling. He had the courage to say things we would never say. Love is not always a get-well card; sometimes it’s an intervention.

His trueness. Jesus is so true to Himself. How much of what we do is motivated by fear of man? To be entirely free of false guilt, pressure, and false allegiances would be absolutely extraordinary. This is what gives Jesus the ability to say such startlingly honest things to people. It is what enables Him to be so scandalous. This is the secret of His ability to navigate praise and contempt. Neither success nor opposition has power over Him. One day, the crowds love Him; the next, they’re shouting for His crucifixion. Jesus is the same man—the same personality—through the swirling tempest. Jesus is free from the fear of man.

Hebrews 1:3 says, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being” (NIV). That’s why Jesus came—to be incarnate, to live before us. He said, “If you’ve seen Me, you’ve seen the Father” (John 14:9). And “I and the Father are one” (10:30). If He’s “the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb. 13:8), then His personality hasn’t changed.

May you this week know that Jesus hasn’t changed and will always be the anchor to your soul.  May you experience this constant in all the changes of life and may this give you hope.  May this hope bring you wonder and contentment.

Grace and peace.

 

Here and Now

Have you walked to the edge of today
Only to find that tomorrow
Is still an unformed dream
Of history about
To repeat?

At the edge of today did you
Achieve all that you had hoped
While regret held you back
From your dream of
The future?

If tomorrow‘s friend never called
Would the end of today
Be any different from
The past failed
Friendships?

It seems always the same
Forever unchanging regret
Betrayed by hope
Abandoned through
Rejection

Perhaps then the present
Is the only gift of today
Worth opening now
And spending time
With

For the one friend today
Yesterday and forever
Is here now with
His arms wide
Open

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The Plan I Know

So it’s almost 2013 and many of us are thinking about New Year resolutions and plans for the New Year.  What will 2013 hold for us? In reality we have no idea what the future holds, but at least we know who holds the future.

There is an often quoted verse is Jeremiah 29:11 about what God holds in store for us:

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.

It’s a great verse and a great promise. It’s a verse that I’ve been running into a lot over the last six months. Perhaps God is trying to tell me something . . .

This verse comes from a chapter in a letter sent by Jeremiah to the exiles in Babylon from Jerusalem. They have been taken to live in a land far away in a culture much different from their own. However, God assures them to live in hope, because their exile will not last forever. In fact,  God even tells the people to find peace in their current circumstances.

This message is as much for us today when we find ourselves right in the middle of the ‘now’ and the ‘not yet’. Even though we may not realise it, God wants to use us where we are right now, no matter where that might be.

But I’m caught in between
The now and the not yet;
Sometimes it seems like
Forever and ever,
That I’ve been reaching to be
All that I am,
But I’m only a few steps nearer,
Yet I’m nearer

~ Amy Grant

Jeremiah 29:11 shows us the love of God for His people and the power of His plans. Paul writes in Romans 8:28:

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Paul really captures the true meaning of Jeremiah 29:11 in his writings in Romans. Through the pains of this life, God has a plan. And his plan is not just another plan – it’s the perfect one.

God walks with us and leads us through life – the valleys and the mountaintops. When you find yourself in the dark of the valley, trust in God’s plan. When you find yourself with the wind in your face on the top of that hill, trust in God’s plan.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” –Psalm 23:4

So what about you?  Are your plans God’s plans?  How will you know and how will find out?

The Plan I Know

You may not realise
You will often forget
That I have a plan for you
In between the now and the not yet

I have so much more for you
You focus so much on your debt
I have plans for you to prosper
In between the now and the not yet

You’ll walk through the valleys
And fear to take your next step
My plans are not to harm you
In between the now and the not yet

If you’ll slow down and take a breath
Take time to watch my sun set
It’s my plan to give you hope and a future
In between the now and the not yet

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