Tag Archives: Plans

Judges 16; Acts 20; Jeremiah 29; Mark 15

Looking at examples in the Bible, I think God is trying to say that it’s okay to go through pain – only He wants to walk through it with us.

Samson is a fine example.  Even though he had failed, God did not leave him.

Then Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines.” He strained with all his might; and the house fell on the lords and all the people who were in it. So those he killed at his death were more than those he had killed during his life. – Judges 16:30 NRSV

For Paul pain was a way of life and he prophesied the same to us. Only way through it and its the staple of my walk with Jesus is to place my hope in God, counting on His grace as my foundation and my fountain of joy.

 Keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock, of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God[d]that he obtained with the blood of his own Son.[e]  I know that after I have gone, savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.  Some even from your own group will come distorting the truth in order to entice the disciples to follow them. – Acts 20:28-30

That is why I struggle with this promise that I still quote from time to time —

For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you.  When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart,  I will let you find me, says the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes – Jeremiah 29:11-14

I struggle with it not because it is not true, but because if it is taken out of context it misses the fact that there was 70 years of pain before this promise was realized.

So Jesus’s life has to be the accumulation of all my thoughts.  The cross and Skull Hill represented death, mockery and pain but for me I found there a place of redemption, forgiveness and hope because of Jesus.  What begins in horror and inhumanity, ends in victory and grace.

 Then they brought Jesus[d] to the place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull).  And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh; but he did not take it.  And they crucified him – Mark 15:22-24

Lord, thank you for your promises, they are true, every last one of them.  While I  journey with You and we might be joined by hurt, may I take comfort that You and others that You have called have already gone before me.  

evanlaar

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Filed under 66 Books, Acts, Bible in a year reading plan, Jeremiah, Judges, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Mark, New Testament, Old Testament, Uncategorized

Genesis 16; Matthew 15; Nehemiah 5; Acts 15

…They heard the Good News from me, and they believed. God, who knows the thoughts of everyone, accepted them. He showed this to us by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us. To God, those people are not different from us. When they believed, he made their hearts pure. Acts 15: 7b-9 (NCV)

I love the grace that God extends to me. He has no logical reason to care about my life, except that He loves me beyond all reason. He sent His Son to die and rise again for me to make me pure and give me an everlasting life with Him. He made my black heart pure, white as snow. He accepts me as I am, flaws, faults, and all. He is not mad at me. He wants to bless me and give me good things.

I can look at all of the stories in the Bible and know beyond a shadow of doubt that I am not alone in who He cares for. He cares for everyone who is birthed on this planet, and even those who never had the chance to live. Every man, woman, and child, in the history of time, with the exception of Christ, lived a life full of selfish moments, angry emotions, bitter thoughts, and sinful actions. And yet as they experienced His love, even in a time when the Cross at Calvary was only a figment in God’s mind, they were restored and blessed.

Jesus answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and give it to the dogs.”

The woman said, “Yes, Lord, but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”

Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! I will do what you asked.” Matthew 15:26-28a (NCV)

He yearns to be involved in my life and experience my faith, whether it is as huge as a mountain or as small as a mustard seed. The Bible tells me that faith moves mountains (Matthew 17:20).   Faith opens the doors and makes smooth the pathways that lead from a discouraging walk in the midst of misery to a life full of prosperity and blessing even in the center of trial. When I had no prospects as a slave to sin, the faith I had in Jesus Christ, made the way for an inheritance bigger than I could ever imagine, and even when I try to comprehend everything that is mine as an heir, I know I am still thinking too small.

He took the seven loaves of bread and the fish and gave thanks to God. Then he divided the food and gave it to his followers, and they gave it to the people. All the people ate and were satisfied. Then his followers filled seven baskets with the leftover pieces of food. Matthew 15:36-37 (NCV)

His plans for my life are better than anything I could plan on my own; they are grander than anything I could try to make happen. They are plans to prosper me and give me hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). He takes the meager offering of my life, my talents, my loaves and fishes, and multiplies it into abundance. My offering becomes the plenty that helps feed the masses, a legacy that is still being written into my future generations.

The angel also said, “I will give you so many descendants they cannot be counted.” Genesis 16:10 (NCV)

And He doesn’t stop there. My faith in Him thwarts the enemy’s designs against me. It fertilizes the soil of my heart so that during the time of harvest the reaping will be plentiful, sheaves of hardy wheat with little chaff. What the locusts have eaten and destroyed through the years will be restored to fullness. What others have taken from me will be returned and extra given back.

“Give back their fields, vineyards, olive trees, and houses right now. Also give back the extra amount you charged—the hundredth part of the money, grain, new wine, and oil.” Nehemiah 5:11 (NCV)

I hold on to these truths, written in the Word. I grip them when I am lacking the strong faith of a Canaanite mother, when I am frustrated at the way the world is treating me. I hold on to God’s thoughts toward me as a lifesaving rope, knowing that without holding them in my heart, in tribulation I would be overcome.

Yesappa, thank You for Your love, Your grace, and Your mercy in my life. Thank you for full restoration and for truth. Thanks you for walking with me always. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 

Blessings – Julie, Vadipatti, India (written in the U.S.A.)

 

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Filed under 66 Books, Acts, Bible in a year reading plan, Genesis, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Matthew, Nehemiah, New Testament, Old Testament