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. Then you will call upon me and Come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
Picture in your mind this scene: Arriving hope, you get out of your car, go up to your house, open the front door and
SURPRISE! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! You walk in to find your house full of friends, including some from out of town. You can't help wonder, 'How did all this happen?' Things like this do not just happen. Someone had you in mind for a while. Someone had a plan to make the whole thing come about.
God works in just this way. Before He created the world He had a plan in mind. God's plan called for light and dark, water above and below, planets and stars, and you and me in His perfect presence.
God chose us in (Jesus) before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. Ephesians 1.4. What a plan! What a thoughtful God.
In the beginning God's plan was perfect. But then trouble - sin - a 'problem' so serious we no longer had a future. The problem of sin is not just what we do it's what we don't do. Our sins of thought, word, and deed are not just using good things in a bad way, sometimes it's not doing anything at all. After Adam and Eve brought sin into God's perfect plan, they justly deserved His eternal punishment. But God had other plans. God had a plan to make right the mess sin caused. God had plans for peace not evil, plans to give us a future and a hope. Out of His gracious and steadfast love God acted on His plan for our good, God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, to make us righteous again and to restore us to Himself forever.
Back in Jeremiahs' time the days were evil. Because of their own sin, time had run out, hope had run out for the people of God - about to be taken away in exile. But God had plans for them.
Build homes, plant gardens, get married, have children, seek peace wherever you live. This word of God spoken by the prophet, many thought strange. Never the less,
I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord.
Facing life's challenges and daily attack of the enemy it's easy to lose sight of God's great plan for the world. When this happens our focus tends to move from outward to inward. Strategic Ministry Planning is about assisting congregations to step back from the grind of 'same old routine' in order to refresh, replenish, repent, refocus and then revamp where it is needed. This doesn't usually come cheap and some will say the cost is too great. But when the plan is Gods' plan, we can be sure God Himself will provide resources of time, talent, and money. So,
Let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
So no matter how things look in life - God has a plan. Our loving God has planned an eternal party hosted by Jesus Himself. This great party, like our small parties, requires planning and preparation. Amazingly the plan includes us - in building, planting, evangelizing, and over all things loving and forgiving as only the Body of Christ can do. Party time's around the corner Christian. Let's pray in advance, empty our hands and open our hearts to His plan.Pastor Kelly Mitteis
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