Thursday, January 1, 2009

God Has A Plan - Believe and Receive

Jeremiah: 29: v. 11-12 NIV
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." 12. "Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you."

In the midst of everything that's happened this past year, from the failing economy, to the violence, death and destruction in other countries, one may wonder if there is hope. But hope and a future is exactly what God has promised.

Did you know that God has a plan for you? His word says that His plan for you is one that will prosper, give hope and a future. Haven't seen that plan yet? There's a reason for not seeing God's hand in our lives. That reason is unbelief. If you noticed in Jeremiah, v. 12 it says, "then you shall call upon me and pray to me and I will listen to you."

I believe God is trying to show you the plan He's already laid out for you. First of all you have to realize that we all fall short of God's glory, but His plan included forgiveness and eternal salvation.

Romans 3: v. 23-24 NIV
23. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." 24. "and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ."
Romans 5: v. 8, 12 NIV
8. " But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." 12. "For if, when we were enemies; we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more..., shall we be saved through His life."

You have to accept His plan by faith. God cannot give you something unless you believe He has it to give in the first place. Why else would He say, "then you will call upon me..." God wants to raise you above the circumstances in your life and give you peace even in the midst of the turmoil of this world. God has blueprints for your life- "plans to give you hope and a future." Believe, then pray by faith, so you can receive all He has for you.

Romans 10: v. 8-10 NIV
8. "...the word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart..." 9. " That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." 10. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified...."


The Wisdom of His Word

Jeremiah: 29: v. 11-12 NIV
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." 12. "Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you."

For the last few years I've struggled with this verse, especially v. 12. I couldn't quite understand why God said we would pray after receiving His plans instead of praying before, then receiving plans for our lives.

Then just a few days ago, out of the blue, an elderly gentleman approached me at the gas pump- he was on the other side. He just started talking about how bad the economy was, the violence in the Middle East and just how dark our future looks. During the conversation I had several things go through my mind as how to respond back. Just as quickly as the conversation started though, it ended. Maybe there wasn't time to respond due to others wanting to get gas.

However, since then God has layed on my heart what's really important; getting His word and the hope that is in Jesus Christ out to others. I decided I wanted to write God's plan of hope and salvation and hand it out to those in need-as God's Spirit leads.

Of course in God's all knowing wisdom He gave me Jeremiah 29: v. 11-12. As I began to write, I looked at the scripture and asked, "Lord, I don't understand. Why wouldn't we pray first, then receive the plans You have?" Suddenly, He gave me the understanding I needed. " You have to believe in what I have for you to be able to ask for and receive it by faith."

Wow! So simple, but what a revelation. He already has the plans for our lives. We don't have to pray for them. We just have to believe and receive them. We certainly want to pray about them and be opened to what they are, but faith comes first.

It's the same with salvation. He's already provided the way. We just have to believe and receive through prayer what He already has given. This will be the foundation for what I've decided for my tract, (devotional), I want to give out so that others may believe, then pray for God's plan for their lives.

Following is a posting of the writing I want to give out. I pray the words belong to God and that His Spirit will minister to others through what's written.