Posts Tagged ‘God’s Plan’

GOD’S KINGDOM

Saturday, January 8th, 2011

Day 286

“For the Kingdom of God is . . .
righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit”
Romans 14:7

Imagine if you had the opportunity to work and practice your future career while you were growing up. Then one day you stepped into your position as an accomplished person achieving everything that is expected of you. You would then reap the fruits of your work the rest of your life. In a sense, this is already true for you as a Christian.

The kingdom of God is a present day reality for those who yield their lives to the rule of the Spirit. We have been transferred into the kingdom of His beloved Son (Colossians 1:13) and given the opportunity be a co-worker bringing the kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven. We can reap peace and joy as the fruit.

“Thy kingdom come” of the Lord’s Prayer is the Father’s will to be done on earth, as it is heaven. It is a prayer for God to reign and to manifest His sovereignty and power through us. The kingdom of God is also a future event when there, “will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:11). It is a day when, “the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father” (Matthew 13:43).

“What is the kingdom of God like? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew, became a tree, and the birds of the air perched in its branches” Luke 13:18-19

GOD OF THE DESERT

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

Day 283

“They entered the desert . . .”
Deuteronomy 19:2

The desert is a place of testing and eventually the Lord will lead us to it. These periods in our life often lead us to believe that the Lord has ‘turned His back’ on us, or even abandoned us, making them spiritual droughts. However, there is a purpose to these times and it is to reveal what is in our hearts. Since the Lord is all knowing, the purpose isn’t for Him, it’s for you.

Maturity does not come by knowledge. We must live what we know. Our works and actions (and reactions) reveal the heart. For instance, to know we love our brethren does not make it a reality in our lives. We first must lay down our life and serve in humility holding others in higher regard than ourselves. When that becomes our way of life, we know we are expressing the very love of our Father that was given to us. The desert will tell us if we are there yet.

God is in the desert. Although He may let us be hungry, He will feed us with His manna and when He let us thirst, He will give us drink from His water. In the midst of our dryness, we find a new way to live – by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord (Deuteronomy 8). He is a good Father, training us to know what is in our hearts and then learning how to live leaning upon Him and not our flesh.

“Who is this coming up from the desert leaning on her lover”
Song of Songs 8:5

JESUS, THE MAN

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

Day 237

“But when the time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law”
Galatians 4:4

Jesus was both God and Man. It was always part of God’s plan because the word says, “…at the appointed time God sent His Son.” He came from heaven to earth to live as man. It is an extraordinary revelation that God would send His Son to be man, live as a man and then permit him to die on a cross.

God could have executed His overall plan with a snap of His finger. He could have decreed it. He could make it happen anyway He wanted, but He did not. He chose to make Himself subservient by becoming one of us. He did this for a reason. He wanted to identify with us in our poverty and demonstrate His love. With the greatest love, kindness and compassion Jesus became the first man to obey perfectly the Father’s will. He pioneered the way for us by demonstrating that we could do the same in Him.

Jesus, as man, was intensely spiritual, completely natural and thoroughly practical. He experienced growth as we all do, living in a physical body, sleep, sorrow, hunger, weariness, and even experiencing our emotions. He was raised as all other children were and was trained by His father as a carpenter. This is our God and all of this was for you.

“Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, but being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!” Philippians 2:6-8

BOUNDLESS LOVE

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Day 233

“In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, according the good pleasure of His will”
Ephesians 1:5

Our Father’s boundless love broke right into our fallen world with salvation. It destroyed the work of the devil who held the power of death, and restored us to His original plan. The glorious beauty of His boundless love not only restored us, but brought us to stand before our Father holy and without blame. We can fellowship with our God and call Him “Abba”-Father, a term of endearment.

The verse “He predestined us” further accents God’s glory. This is part of His original and ultimate plan. He determined before hand, before time began. It has never changed! Read this carefully—before the foundation of the world, before anything was, we were chosen in Him [Ephesians 1:4]. How can we fathom this? In the face of our rebellion and separation from Him, living our lives onto ourselves, He still remained steadfast, faithful and true to His nature. It is beyond our comprehension, yet it is the power, depth and magnificence of this love that overwhelms us.

God’s love reaches the highest expression as John states, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed (lavished) on us, that we should be called children of God” [1 John 3:1]. The Amplified says, “See what [an incredible] quality of love the Father has given …” We’ve been adopted as His children, given His Spirit. Why? For one reason, and one reason only—His love. It was according to the good pleasure of His will. He was motivated by love alone. He delights in the revelation of His divine plan, of restoration to His original purposes.

“For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the Lord has chosen you to be His treasured possession”
Deuteronomy 14:2

GOD’S ORIGINAL PLAN

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

Day 232

“Now, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory, before time began”
1 Corinthians 2:7

For our glory—before time began.

Think about this. God’s original plan has never changed. God created us to fellowship and share in His divine nature. He created us with a free will so that our acceptance and fellowship with Him placed us in the highest order—above created objects and even angels. The question is what about man’s fall, his rebellion and wickedness?

This is the marvel of it all! Before time began, God had a plan for our glory and even the fall of man could not divert it! Where we would believe that man’s fall is a loss and the results of it would cause God to turn away from us, it became the opposite. God not only turned it to good, He had already made provision for us in His Son, Jesus Christ. This is God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom hidden, but revealed to us in Jesus Christ.

The revelation is the wisdom of His glorious divine plan, a plan that has not changed from the beginning. God’s answer to man’s sin was a greater increase of grace and mercy. This was revealed to us when He first loved us (1 John 4:19) and sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to bring us back into His original plan. He has now revealed it to us by His Spirit.

“For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will—to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves”
Ephesians 1:4-6

HE HAS NOT FAILED

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Day 226

“Not one word of all the good words which the Lord your God spoke concerning you has failed”
Joshua 23:14

Every promise has been fulfilled.

Not one has failed.

Joshua had reached the end of his life and ministry. He now calls to mind that God has not failed in one word of what was promised to His people. He gave Israel all the land He promised, and they possessed and lived in the land. Not one of their enemies stood before them. He delivered those enemies into their hands. They had success and victory in their wars. He gave them rest on every side from the wars and their travels [Joshua 21:43-45].

We have the same promise today. Paul says that, “He who began a good work in you will carry it onto completion until the day of Christ Jesus” [Philippians 1:6]. When we become His children, there is nothing that will ever separate us and there is nothing that will ever prevent us from being glorified in Him. That is His promise, His word to us. We may have a confidence and assurance of completion in Him.

“I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever; with my mouth
I will make your faithfulness known through all generations”
Psalm 89:1

THE FATHERHOOD OF GOD

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

Day 225

“What he sees the Father do; for whatever He does,
the Son also does in like manner”
John 5:19-23

Jesus shows us the patterns of God’s character as a Father. During His 33 years, He continued revealing His Father as an example for us to follow. His own life of obedience to the Father also shows us how to be pleasing to the Father and glorify Him.

The Father demonstrates love for the Son, unity in the Trinity, and shows Him all things. These ‘things’ become of the work of Jesus, His love, healings, miracles, mentoring disciples, appointing apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. It is the Divine plan for reconciling man to God. The Father demonstrates what it means to make an investment in others and through Jesus teaches us to do the same.

We then see He will show Him greater works than those He was presently doing. Like here, He desires to show us how to excel in all that we do. He delegates (vs 22) responsibility to the Son. Likewise, as we prove trustworthy with small things in our lives, Jesus said we will be trusted with greater things.

The Father sees that the Son is honored (vs 23). There is great honor in the Godhead and the body of Christ is to reflect that. We are to love the brethren, laying down our lives for each other. In fact, we are to honor one another above ourselves. In this, we love God and the Father is glorified. His Fatherhood is replicated through His son and every member of His body. This is the glory of the Lord.

“O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay,
You are the potter; we are all the work of Your hand”
Isaiah 64:8

THE DIVINE PLAN

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Day 223

“Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will stand”
Isaiah 14:24

That God has a divine plan is unmistakable. His plan is revealed throughout the scriptures and is both universal and individual, as Jeremiah 29:11 says, “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Although some wrestle with doubts about being in God’s plan, it should be the opposite, giving us great peace and comfort knowing He has mapped out the future.

Our plans fail—“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails” [Proverbs 19:21]. Even with the best of intentions, our plans fail. Because we do not posses the abilities to foresee the future, our plans cannot take in every scenario. We are limited by our own weaknesses and frailties. John understood that when he gave instructions [1 John 5:14-15] about prayer. We have assurance when we ask anything according to His will. The first part of prayer is to know His will.

It becomes crystal clear that His plan prevails when you read the history of God’s people. Place yourself in the people’s shoes and you’ll see their choices often lead to destruction. As soon as they were out of Egypt they grumbled, complained and rebelled. But, under God’s plan, even when evil is turned against us, God turns it to good (Genesis 50:20). How great of a Father we have that is leading us to glory.

“For the Lord Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart Him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?”
Isaiah 14:27

THE TESTER

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Day 222

“And you shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart”
Deuteronomy 8:2

What is in our heart? The circumstances of life, trials and tribulations quickly can show us what is in our heart. Why me? Anger, bitterness, grumbling, etc. may show itself – or even worse attitudes and actions. Our Father is very interested in our reactions; not because He needs to know –you do.

There is no being static, standing still in the Lord. We are to grow every day more and more like our Lord. Maturity is being in the fullness of Christ and to walk in the light as He is in the light. It means a continual cleansing and purging of all that does not conform to Him and His glory. To attain this means being refined through testing. As soon as Jesus was baptized, He was tested—“Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted [tested] ….” And it is our God who leads us.

We have a good Father who understands our frailties. He leads us to His pasture and proves (test) us so we will be mature sons and daughters in Him and to enjoy His fullness and glory. Testing will humble us and we will come to understand that we can do nothing apart from Him (John 15:5b). We are to live on His bread alone. And as a good Father, He has gone before us to show us the way.

“It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’”
Matthew 4:4; Deuteronomy 8:3

WE ARE INVITED PARTICIPANTS

Sunday, October 10th, 2010

Day 218

“He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name”
Genesis 2:19-20

A small glimpse into the mystery of our God and eternity is seen in Genesis 1:26-27 where a decision is made. One can only imagine that when it says, “Let us make man in our image …” that a conversation took place resulting in the decision to share the Divine nature with man. We became invited participants of His nature, as Peter states, “you may participate in the divine nature …” [2 Peter 1:4].

Right from the beginning man was a participant in God’s work. When God made man, He gave him dominion over all creatures and that was immediately executed when Adam was asked to name “all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field.” The psalmist declared, “You made him ruler over all the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet” [8:6].

We go all the way to the final revelations given to John, and we find we will participate with Christ in bringing His kingship forth in the kingdom of God, “…and they also shall conquer that are with Him, called and chosen and faithful” [Revelation 17:14]. God will even have us judge the world and angels [1 Corinthians 6:2-3]. How often we forget the value God places on man and how He desires us to take our rightful position as His sons and daughters and have dominion over His works. How glorious it is that He has granted us a position as participants with Him.

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6:26