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Browsing Tag:

God’s Plan

Daily Devotion and Scripture

Just Tell Me Lord

Just tell me Lord.

 

Jeremiah 29:11
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. (NIV)

 

This may be one of the most celebrated and most perplexing passages in the Scriptures. God knows His plan. He is not confused. He is not figuring it out. The Bible says His plan was established before we were conceived. Praise God Lord! But Lord if you know Your plan for me, why don’t you just tell me what it is?

I don’t know if anyone else has ever felt like this but I sure have. And that is the perplexing part of this verse.

If you are interested in going deeper into the why of this verse, I want to shamelessly recommend my book Prepare For Greater Things. This question is the crux of the book.

To be short, however, the plans are so magnificent that if He revealed it to us fully all at once, great temptations would accompany the plan. Arrogance, disbelief, fear, and insecurity would be right there.

We might be like Joseph. God gave him a tiny taste of His plan in a dream and he rubbed his brothers’ face in it. But we might feel pressure and insecurity afraid we would mess it up. God must prepare us before He can do all He desires in our life. He gets us ready along life’s journey.

Our faith in this great plan and the valleys and peaks we go through He uses to increase our hope, faith, peace, and contentment so we can experience His plan without corruption.

God has a plan for you and every day He is preparing you for greater things!

 

Prayer: Lord, remind me in the hard times that you are preparing me for greater things. And remind me in the good times that You have new things still to do. Amen.

 

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Daily Devotion and Scripture

God’s Plan of Salvation

God’s plan of salvation.

Romans 8:37
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (NIV)

 

The Scripture teaches that God wants all to be saved and for none to perish. But what is His plan to save as many souls as possible?

He is the invisible God. When Christ was on Earth, people could see Him. They witnessed miracles. Sitting at His feet, they heard the wisdom in Heaven bring new revelation from Old Testament Scripture. But Jesus is not walking around anymore. Now is the time of the Body of Christ.

God doesn’t force us to follow Him and we can’t force anyone else. So how do we inspire people to want to listen to the teachings of Christ, then follow them?

God’s original plan was to choose one man, Abram, and call this man to follow God’s ways. God would then give wisdom and show supernatural favor. In response, this man would be filled with awe and thankfulness giving God credit for the incredible favor poured out into his life.

This man would become that nation of Israel and the plan of God would continue. He called Israel to follow Him, then with supernatural favor, He wanted to pour out His goodness on them as they followed Him faithfully. God’s hope was that other nations would see His character and goodness through the favored position of Israel and turn to Him also. Israel struggled in following God, but this was the plan.

The plan is still the same today. God calls us to Him. As we draw near in faithfulness, He desires to shower us with increasing favor beyond what we could do for ourselves. This kindness will create in us a desire to proclaim His goodness to others. They will see the favor and hear us give God credit and their interest will be peaked. Then they will listen more intently and follow Him too.

We should always tell people about God, but we need to know that God wants to flood our life with Heavenly favor for others to see as our faithfulness increases. Greater faithfulness and favor will give our testimony more weight when we praise God for what He has done. They’ll want to hear more.

God’s plan to rescue those around you is to help you be more than a conqueror in all things!

 

Prayer: Lord, open my eyes to Your plan for me. Help me to seek You more faithfully to increase my influence with others who need You. Amen.

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Daily Devotion and Scripture

Unlimited Grace

Unlimited Grace

1 Corinthians 2:9
However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
the things God has prepared for those who love him— (NIV)

 

One most beautiful aspects of Scripture are the description of God’s unlimited grace. Jesus said that He came that we might have life ‘more abundantly.’ The structure of those words helps us to see His desire is for the life in us to continually increase becoming more abundant.

The passage we have today is the same.

God’s plan for our life is good, pleasing, and perfect the Bible says. The life we envision for ourselves and the way we map out for ourselves seems as if it would be good, pleasing, and perfect, but in our ignorance, there are aspects that we will miss. The life we choose will turn out empty and unfulfilling not to mention filled with pain that could have been avoided.

God’s plan doesn’t avoid trials. Some of these are necessary to increase our faith that we might not let fear keep us from following God to His better plan for our life. We would never choose trials. Trials do not fit our image of the best life. But our best life is beyond what we can see so we have to trust Him. As we do, His plan continually lifts us to higher places of fulfillment.

Once you begin to see the goodness of God more and more, then God’s plan must increase for this passage to remain truthful. The Bible says the pathway of the righteous is like the dawning of the sun unto midday. In other words, God wants your life to continue to rise to its highest point. The highest point however is not static.

When God brings you to a high point in life, now you have seen it. Now you can conceive it. To remain truthful, God still has another height of soul flourishment for you. His plan is ever-increasing, unlimited grace.

The worst thing we can do is try to dictate to God how to get us to the more abundant plan He has for us. We can’t say, “Ok, God. You promised wealth so make sure I get this job.” Nope, God’s plan may lead through a different company or even a time of unemployment. We never know.

All we can do is remain in Him with our heart, our thoughts, and our behavior each day. Then, He will lead us to higher ground.

 

Prayer: Lord, help me not limit your grace by trying to take my own path. Amen.

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guard your heart

Guard Your Heart

 

Do you believe God has a beautiful plan for your life?  If you don’t, you are denying Scripture and the very words of God.  He has said that He has a plan for your life and that plan is beyond comprehension filled with hope, purpose, and prosperity of the soul (Jeremiah 29:11, 1 Corinthians 2:9-10, Ephesians 2:10).  These bring meaning and enjoyment to life.  But how do we find this plan?  let’s consider this passage:

 

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 12:1-2 (NIV)

 

That last part gives us the answer.  We first must engage in the renewing of our mind.  This is a continual process of forcing our thoughts to conform to Biblical truth,  Then we have the right mindset to change our behavior so that we no longer conform to the pattern of behavior we see in the world.  Then, and only then, can we test and approve what God’s will is.  This means we can look at any situation before us and test it according to Biblical truth to determine our response that will lead to His good, pleasing, and perfect will for our life.

The hardest part about this is learning to think differently.  The Bible uses the word ‘heart’ to take into account our thoughts, our will, and our emotions.  The bible also says the heart is corrupt and deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9) meaning the way we think and feel has, for the most part, been affected by our life experiences.  Our family relationships from early childhood have a great impact on how we feel about ourselves, others, and life in general.  Throughout our life, there are significant relationships that will define core values such as love for us.

I remember counseling a couple once and the man was weeping trying to tell his wife how much he loved her.  She sat next to him on the couch with tears running down her face, but both eyes blackened with bruises from their confrontation a few days earlier.  For them, love had been defined differently, deceitfully and it needed to be redefined according to Scripture.  

Usually, this happens for us at such a young age, we don’t even realize what has happened.  It is dangerous and can separate us from the love of God and His plan for our life.  This is why the Holy Spirit gave us this proverb:

 

Above all else, guard your heart,

for everything you do flows from it.

Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)

 

We must stand guard over our heart in order to set emotional and intellectual boundaries to keep any thoughts or emotions that do not align with Scripture out.  We can’t do this unless we immerse ourselves into the Word of God to find truth, then we stand guard forcing ourselves to not comply with any thought or feeling outside the boundaries of God.  When we learn to master this process, it will radically change our life.

 

Live Blessed and Be A Blessing!

Pastor Lee.net

 

 

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Read more about God’s plan

Living in the Abundant Plan of God

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God's Plan For My Life

You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

Breaking Free From the PastThe defining characteristic of God’s plan for our life is that it always remains above what we can comprehend.  As we move one step and then another into the plans of God, we enjoy the increase, but the plan of God always has more.  There is no point of fulfillment where we have gone as far as we can go with God. His provision and blessings are limitless.  This is a glorious thing about the plan of God. But this also means there are blessings so great that we have not yet seen them, nor imagined them (1 Corinthians 2:9).  We don’t know what we don’t know.

2 Corinthians 7:1

1 Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.

(NIV)

The promises we have from the Lord are of His plans for us.  The Bible clearly teaches us that He has a plan for every human soul (Jeremiah 29:11).  He knows us individually and He has a plan for our life. Finding the plan is the difficult part.  I wrote a whole book about it called “Prepare For Greater Things.”  This is because the plan that God has for us is based on His promises which are always ‘yes’ and ‘amen’ in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 1:20).  And the greatest news is that He is faithful even when we are not. When we are working against the Lord and moving away from His plan, He is working to draw us back to Him and His promises.  

Even though He is always working to get us back into the promises, when He brings us back, we must do our part.  The promises of God are many times quid pro quo (I just thought I would use that term since it’s in the news so much right now :P).  Let’s look at the promises that our Verse of the Day is referring to:

2 Corinthians 6:16-18

As God has said:

“I will live with them

and walk among them,

and I will be their God,

and they will be my people.”

17 Therefore,

“Come out from them

and be separate,

says the Lord.

Touch no unclean thing,

and I will receive you.”

18 And,

“I will be a Father to you,

and you will be my sons and daughters,

says the Lord Almighty.”

(NIV)

God’s promises to us here are wonderful.  First He says that He will walk among us. The Holy Spirit who is God manifested in our own hearts and minds allows us to be more intimate with God than any other relationship if we learn how to be in the spirit.  He is not far from us. He is not watching other things not paying attention to us. He is right there with you. Wherever you are reading this blog from, He is there with you. In the car, He is there. (Of course, you shouldn’t be reading unless you are stuck in traffic.)  In your living room, in your cubicle, in the hospital, in prison, wherever you are He is there with you (Romans 10:8).  

Second, He says He will be our God.  That is a magnificent statement. He will be to us all that He is.  He is all-powerful, all-knowing, above all, in control of all, undefeatable, the King of all Kings and Ruler of everything.  On top of that, God’s greatest adversary did not even make him sweat when he rose up against the Lord. The devil mustered up all the power and support He could get and stormed the throne in Heaven.  God said ‘Get out.’ Like the soldiers trying to arrest Jesus fell back (John 18:1-6) every rebellious demon in Heaven fell out of Heaven immediately (Luke 10:18). With this power, He ministers to our needs, desires, and gives to us freely in absolute beneficence.

Third, He promises to love us like a Father loves His children.  The Bible tells us to look no further than our relationship with our own children and how much we love them.  Then, consider how impure our hearts are compared to the Lord Almighty. Our capacity to love is so minuscule compared to how He loves.  His love is like a Father who never stops loving. I am a father now and I have two adult children. My love for them hasn’t changed just because they are out on their own.  I have one awesome teenager still at home and I will never love him more or less than I do now. But my ability to love is a fraction (like 1 gazillionth if that is even a number) compared to His love for His children.

But there are many parents out there who love their children, but they are not allowed to be their Mom or Dad because of conflict and separation between them and their children. The Lord promises not simply to love us as His children, but He promises to BE our Father.  But how is this possible because the child has a choice of whether or not to remain connected relationally to his or her father. Well, therein is the rub of all of this.

We all want God to fulfill His promises but look at our part of this whole thing.  To receive the promises in full, we must touch no unclean thing. We must pursue holiness.  Every time we do not pursue holiness, we are moving away from the promises of God. The Lord is convicting me even now of how much more He wants to do for me, in me, and through me, but when I pursue wickedness or simply don’t pursue holiness, I’m missing out.  The problem is that what I am missing out on is something I have never seen. I don’t know what I don’t know. This is why the righteous live by faith.  

When we choose to live righteously and pursue holiness in faith, we don’t have to know the next part of His grand plan for our life.  In fact, if we did know the next big thing He wants to do for us, we might pursue Him with the wrong motive-just to get something. But the righteous live for Him with faith that He will do what He does-be our God, be our Father, and never stop loving us.  Isn’t that enough? Let’s touch no unclean thing. Let’s keep our eyes from any vile thing. Let’s fill our heart with the wonders of our Maker and He will keep His promises.


Hey guys, if this has been a blessing to you, think about someone who also needs to hear this message.  Forward this to them, share it on social media.  We need to do all we can to help people find the glory of our God.  And if YOU have not yet read my free ebook on emotional healing, download it and read it today.  Emotional healing is so difficult, but until we know how to apply the healing power of God, we will stay wounded and those wounds will keep us from all God has for us.

Live Blessed and Be A Blessing!

Pastor Lee.net

living the abundant life

Biblical Principles for an Abundant Life!

 

Living the Abundant Life

It is the dichotomy of every believer who has read the Bible, listened to a sermon, or had a grandma like mine who constantly talked about the exceeding goodness of God.  It is the promises of God contrasted against the realities of life. God’s promises are so intense.  Jesus said we should be living the abundant life!  In great storms, He promises peace so great that people can’t understand how we could be at such peace.  In a world full of trials and tribulations, He promises a joy so great that it can’t be articulated in human terms. Amid a failing society, He promises to make us strong like a tree planted by the water that is not moved but stands steady for others to enjoy its fruit. 

Well, can I be honest? I don’t always have that kind of peace. That kind of joy is not my normal. And the times when I have failed people remind me that I am not always full of the strength of God. We hear the promises, long for the promises, but struggle to find them.  But this I know.  A greater understanding of Biblical principles with the help of the Holy Spirit, I have way more peace, joy, and love even in the most disheartening times.

 

Jesus Came that You Might Have Life More Abundantly

God says, “I know the plans I have for you…” (Jeremiah 29:11).  He says this to you and to me. My response: “I’m glad You know the plan because I can’t see it.”  These exalted promises force us to accept them to be absolutely true and attainable or see them as hyperbole beyond reach.  Sadly, I think Christians have decided that God’s promises are hyperbole and beyond reach. But there is one thing I keep going back to – the life of Christ who said that He came that we might be living in the abundant life God wants for us.

Biblical Principles for a Better Life

The Bible tells us that Jesus was God.  But it also says that He humbled himself to a mere man.  Too often, we look at Jesus and see someone that God favored exponentially with power, peace, joy, and strength beyond what is possible for mere men.  But even this thought is contrary to Scripture. We are co-heirs with Christ. Everything Christ had spiritually has been made available to us. These things sit like an unclaimed package at the UPS office waiting to be picked up.  But again, did Jesus receive the glory from the Father simply because of who He was – the Son of God? Philippians 2 gives us an answer to this question:

 

Philippians 2:8-9

8 And being found in appearance as a man,

he humbled himself

by becoming obedient to death —

even death on a cross!

9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place

and gave him the name that is above every name,

(NIV)

 

We know that God has exalted Christ to the throne in Heaven.  Revelation 4 gives us a beautiful picture of Jesus glorified on the throne in Heaven.  We could say that Jesus is there simply because of who He is, but according to Philippians, it has nothing to do with who He is.  It has everything to do with what He did. The Father exalted the Son not because He was the Son, but because the Son obeyed the Father.  Because Jesus obeyed the Father, the Father directed His steps and led Him to His destiny on the throne of Heaven.

Applying Biblical Truth for a Full Life

The Pharisees in Jesus’ day were the religiously perfect men who seemingly did everything God told them to do.  But Jesus told the people of His day that for them to experience the Kingdom of Heaven, which had spiritually descended upon them in Christ, their righteousness had to exceed that of the Pharisees.  The Pharisees obeyed all the law, but their heart was not pure. They obeyed for selfish reasons. Arrogance was their norm. Jesus humbled himself, but they were self-serving. Reputation was everything to them while Jesus made Himself of no reputation.

Philippians 2 says “He made himself of no reputation.”  Our reputation is the substance of everyone else’s opinion about who we are.  Jesus lived his life without a care of what people thought. Love Him or hate Him, He was the same.  He did not puff Himself up. Humility was His demeanor. When people mistreated Him, He was not offended.  Peter denied Him and Jesus forgave Him. Judas betrayed Him and Jesus responded by calling him ‘Friend.’ As He hung before those who cheered for his crucifixion and the soldiers who carried it out, He pleaded on their behalf, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

We all want Love and Acceptance

It is natural to care what people think about us, to want people to think well of us. It is in the DNA of humanity to want to be loved, accepted, and approved by those around us.  This is natural, but when our desire to be loved and accepted exceeds our desire to please God, these natural cravings will find us in dark places.  Depression, anxiety, erratic behavior, anger, bitterness, jealousy, and mental instability all come from the same source – our desire to be loved, accepted and approved of.  When people do not treat us as we believe they should, our reaction reveals our greater desire between being loved by men or giving our love to God.  

We crave what we don’t have

When we have been deprived of love and acceptance by those around us, we crave it even more.  Like a desert wanderer finally finding a spring of water, we violently go after approval all the more.  Out of this intense thirst for love, disobedience to the Lord manifests daily in our life. Because I don’t want you to be angry with me, I will shade the truth.  Because I feel mistreated, I unleash my anger to make sure you never do it again. When people don’t like me for no reason, I give myself an excuse to not be nice.  It is easy to see how difficult obedience to the Lord can be and because we disobey, we do not experience the great and precious promises of God. And we miss His perfect plan for our life.  We settle for so much less than what He desires to give us.

We are vulnerable to more pain because of our desire for love and acceptance.  When people do not love us as they should, we tend to see it as a reflection of our lack of value rather than their inability to love purely.  The pain from emotional wounds can become intense. The Lord has given us many things to bring pleasure to our bodies. Blue Bell ice cream brings me much pleasure.  God gave me taste buds to enjoy food. And He has given us many things to give us pleasure from wine, a hot bath, to sex. But when my heart hurts, if I don’t turn to the Lord, I will seek pleasure from the things of this Earth.  Seeking pleasure instead of healing leads to even darker places of addictions to food, drugs, alcohol, sex, exercise, work.  Pleasure-seeking steals away God’s plan for our life. 

Seeking pleasure over healing also steals away God’s plan for our life

Living life to capture love from people and then indulging in fleshly pleasure when we don’t get it can make obedience to the Lord incredibly difficult.  It is not that we don’t want to obey the Lord, it is just so hard. God gives us commands like forgive seventy times seven times when people hurt us, bless those who persecute you, be perfect, honor your mother and father, give to God first, always build other up, be perfect, don’t get drunk, don’t withhold your body from your spouse, don’t lie, don’t show favoritism, be perfect.  The presence of love, acceptance, and approval makes it easier, but disrespect, betrayal, neglect, and rejection make it debilitating. We are so concerned with what people think of us and this separates us from God’s plan that is more than we have ever imagined.

Everyone Struggles

And don’t think you have to live in the gutters of society to struggle in this way.  Do we not see people in the church too concerned about what people think of them? Is there not arrogance in the pulpits the same as in corporate America, professional sports, pop stars, and American idols.  Are there not Christians angry with parents or friends who have treated them less than what they feel they are worth? All Christians have a place waiting for them in Heaven, but I am afraid that very few will experience the abundant life Christ had in mind when He came to this Earth.

 

John 10:10

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

(ESV)

 

I remember when I was training up my children to follow the Lord.  To get them to see that obedience in deed and attitude was the key to receiving all God has for us was not easy.  I would say to them, “Just obey.” It seems so simple, but it ain’t simple at all – not at all. Sure, we can avoid some of the vices, some of us, but our desire for love is so strong it makes obedience to God extremely difficult at times.  God has a plan for all of us, but how do we find it?

God has a plan for all of us, but how do we find it?

This has been the theme of my books.  I wrote “Breaking Free From Your Past” as a quick read to help people understand the Biblical principles that are essential from breaking free from the pain caused by those who did not love us as we needed.  I want as many people as possible to learn and follow these principles. We can’t move into our destiny until we break free from the pain of the past.

My first full book is called “Prepare For Greater Things.”  This book is about learning the wisdom of God and why God allows bad things in our lives and how, if we respond as He calls us to, these moments prepare us for greater things – hence the title :). My most recent book just released “With All Your Heart” is all about going deeper in our trust with the Lord.  When we don’t trust the Lord, we will not obey. How many blessings are we missing out on because we don’t’ trust the Lord enough?   Trusting God more and more is the key to living the abundant life.

Biblical Understand is the key

The Bible says the Word of God reveals to us the next step.  He doesn’t show us the end from the beginning. He told Abram to go to a place but didn’t tell him where the place was.  Instead, the Lord led Abram step by step. With every decision and every response to circumstances in his life, God moved Abram on a journey that eventually brought him to the promises of God.  It’s time to take the next step to living the abundant life God wants for you!

Every moment of every day, what is happening around us and our response to those things will be the next step on our journey.  Some decisions we make will take us off the path to God’s promises while others will move us closer to His plan. There are times when we don’t know how to respond and we need to learn.  Other times, we are certain of how we should respond, but we don’t have the emotional stability and strength to do what we know we should. But God is our healer. He can bind up our wounds giving us the ability to keep stepping into His plan for our life.

This is why I write!

I want to see everyone living in the abundant life God wants for them.  Not that I always do life as I should, but the Lord has helped me to understand the principles that help me improve day after day.  My desire is to teach and help people find God’s plan for their life. It is free to subscribe. And I would love to connect with you, answer questions, or just pray for you. Send me a note and I will get back to you quickly.  And join my Facebook page where I take current events in our society and apply Biblical truth.

May the Lord bless you and may you find God’s plan and live the abundant life He has for you!

Live Blessed and Be a Blessing!

Pastor Lee.net