Jeremiah 29:11

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. Jeremiah 29:11
We have all seen this verse posted on pictures, books, and we may have used it for encouragement for what is going on in our own life or in another person’s life. But what is going on in the surrounding verses that God is actually saying? Listen to Jefferson Bethke‘s as he expands on the verse and what is going on in the surrounding verses.

This video gives truth to the circumstances to the Babylonians. Now I am not saying that God doesn’t have a plan for each one of us. He does. However, quoting this to a person who is struggling, God had a very specific plan for the people of Babylonia and they needed to trust him and do what he wanted. The same applies  to our lives, but when a friend is struggling with some thing shouldn’t we ask them what they feel is the right thing to do? God calls us to be people of action. This doesn’t mean simply pray and God’s will is going to happen. Yes ALWAYS pray! There is no if, ands, or buts for that, when making a serious even a small decision ask God for guidance. When we seek him for the small things, when those larger decision come along won’t we turn to him naturally during those storms?

I guess since this specifically says what you want to tell the person it’s the easy way out. That doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do. What can we do better for people than give our time for them. Don’t you feel valued and blessed when a friend or person you look up to, takes time to speak with you doing a big activity, simply seeing how you’re doing when he or she see you, or asks you to do something? We all have that person, you could even be that person for someone else.

That is what’s an amazing blessing about having a community. We are blessed with a community but telling someone that God has a plan, yeah you did a small part but did you really listen to them? Better yet, did you feel appreciated or heard when someone said that to you? I know we are told to look to others, serve other, do as God would do, but when you are being there for someone if you’re doing it right remind yourself, if the actions you are doing for someone else, would you want done for you? Would you want that said to you? It’s not even about saying the right thing, but letting that person know that you are listening to them and her for them. Most likely no matter who you are we will say the wrong thing, possibly give bad advice, or you might say the right thing. No mater what it’s for God’s glory.  Bring this all to him and that will make him smile and in the end we all need him. So listening friend, don’t put a pressure on yourself to say the right thing, just remember God is there with you. Also talking friend, your friend isn’t God so don’t harp on them to give you the perfect advice or blame them when your plan doesn’t work.

We have an awesome amazing God who is continuously there for us! Yes, he does have a plan, but his plan may not be clear to you, he will work these things into your life that is why we are called to trust in him. I will leave you with Psalm 16:9-11: “Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay. You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”

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God Will Give Us More Than We Can Handle

God doesn’t tell us that he won’t give us more than we can handle. If that was the case then why would we believe and trust in God? Don’t we call to him when the world gives us too much and we are overwhelmed? Through God we can go all things. When we trust in him, that is where we find peace and he gives us strength.
“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:11-13

Read:

http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/yes-god-will-give-you-more-you-can-handle

This notion that believing in God makes our lives suddenly perfect is a lie. I am not saying he is not a perfect God, just that this world we live in is not perfect. That is the lie. It is filled with sin which we need to know because it is filled with temptation and suffering. God gives us a way out and he protects us and always has a plan for us. When we are put in a position for temptation, he give us a way out. As the article said, that does not go the same for suffering. As Christians we will and are called to suffer. That may make a non-believer question why on earth you would want to be apart of something you know you will suffer. For me, I see it as a blessing. I have a God who I can trust to get me through these things and by trusting and calling out to him, he knows that I do trust him and how much I need him. He already knows this, but acknowledging him, he feels us with peace, strength, and he guides us.

Just look up John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” Jesus gives us peace! He came to this earth, relieved us of the penalty of sin and then gifts us with peace. Then going to Isaiah 30:15 says, “This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: ‘In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.'” When you see someone seeking a quiet place or even being quiet, that is a strong person. Holding your tongue and listening, that is strength. God calls us to be quiet and seek a quiet place so we can spend time with him seek him and hear him. “Quietness and trust is you strength” I pray that throughout your day you do not forget that.

When we do reach those moments of spiritual battle, we have an amazing and awesome God who knows that in this world we are in a constant battle. “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, God makes sure that we can fight away evil and that we are constantly protected and guarding our hearts and mind. Knowing God’s Word and spending time with him is how we can stay strong through these battles. Remember to stand firm!

I now shall leave you with this, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” Ephesians 6:10-20

 

God is Three in One

“God’s First Act of Grace: God is Three in One” Pastor Fred spoke from Genesis 1 and John 1 this past Sunday and Saturday at Cornerstone Christian Church. In Genesis 1:26 it says, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” In our image, not in my image, but our – God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Pastor Fred expands on this throughout the sermon and it is worth listening to.

Listen: http://sermon.net/CornerstoneWyckoff

How subtle it is said to be created in “our image”, hearing this struck me because you know that you our created in God’s image and we always say, he made us in his image. God tells us in the first book that he is not alone. Then we go to John 1 and it’s about the Word. God is the Word, in the beginning he was the Word and the Word was with God. God knew all along what it would say and he created not only this world that was a void, but Words that even when he no longer is physically with us, we can still grow closer to him.

Through his Word, that he created each of us in their image. What an amazing God we have! I know how easy it is to skip over Genesis 1:26, God wants to make man in our image. I am so thankful for that, Three in One! I pray that throughout today you can be in awe of that and that we have his word to grow closer to him, to trust him, to love him, and to be a mirror of him throughout our day. May you be reminded of that and may it be a reminder to those you encounter.

His Creation

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day. And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day. – Genesis 1:3-8

Photo credit – Dave Shay Photography

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Our God created this! He made this an let us enjoy this beauty. Take a moment and pause, look up from the screen and see what beauty surrounds you. He created this! He created the world we live in, and he created each one of us.

A wonderful book called, “Jesus Calling” had this devotional, “Learn to enjoy life more. Relax, remember that I am God with you. I crafted you with enormous capacity to know Me and enjoy My Presence. When My people wear sour faces and walk through their lives with resigned rigidity, I am displeased. When you walk through a day with childlike delight, savoring every blessing, you proclaim your trust in Me, your ever-present Shepherd. The more fully you can enjoy life. Glorify Me through your pleasure in Me. Thus proclaim My Presence to the watching world.” Look at verses Matthews 1:23 and John 10:10-11

Be in a childlike delight! Run through open fields, lay on the ground an look up at clouds, be still. God calls us to be quiet with him and be still. What a better way then to look out into the world he’s created us to be in. Look up! Now go be with the day and take every opportunity God has granted you with!

Is Empathy Lost?

em·pa·thy noun
1. the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Empathy is said to be lost in the church, however the worlds view of empathy is not what God calls us to be. We are held up to a higher standard.
Matthew 7:12, Jesus tells us, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Life is not just about not doing to someone else that you wouldn’t want done to you. It’s about doing for another person what God would do for them. Did you think outside if yourself for that persons need? Did you bless them? Or we you too busy to not see their need?

His Grace is Sufficient

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9, 10

Photo credit: Scott Degelman

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From the verse above, God needs us to be weak because we can then see his need for him in our life. Through Christ, when we are weak, don’t you feel incredible strong when you’re trusting in him? It’s so powerful. When God calls us to a place and to live the life he has designed for us, he gives us the power and strength to have his glory be shown through all we do.

That is what has made yesterday’s post with the verses from 2 Corinthians 12:9, 10 tie in with today’s article and passage:

One of the biggest struggles can be asking yourself what you’re doing with your life. However as a Christian you may ask, “Am I doing what I’m called to do? What am I called to do?” Sometimes where we are is exactly where God has called us to be.
Each person should remain in the situation they were in when God called them. Were you a slave when you were called? Don’t let it trouble you—although if you can gain your freedom, do so. For the one who was a slave when called to faith in the Lord is the Lord’s freed person; similarly, the one who was free when called is Christ’s slave. You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings. Brothers and sisters, each person, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation they were in when God called them. 1 Corinthians 7:20-24

Relevant Magazine’s article: “How to Find Your Calling (And Why Most People Get This Wrong)

Rejoice! You have a God that has a plan for you! He has called you to be where you are and doing something that you have the skills for, a passion, and you shine with his glorious light! Yes, there are times of struggle and weakness even in those callings, but that is why we need God. God shows us his strength and our true need for him.

I know I am repeating myself. Just let that all sink in. We have a God who calls us to be where we are, doing something we love, and all we need to do is follow him and serve him. Now with that we are continuously blessed. God continuously gives and gives for us. Yes, his grace is sufficient because without it we would be so lost. Think of previous or current struggles. Isn’t it unimaginable to go through any of those things without God? I would not want to go through this life without God.

Maybe the point is not so constantly be seeking a calling, but to pray and ask God for his guidance. He will bring us an answer. You could be at your calling now and be completely unaware because you are so desperately trying to find your calling. Open your eyes to his glory and be present. In all things that you do, serve, and every conversation – BE PRESENT! God is always there for us, why can’t we be there for his people and those lost sheep or those found to help in his glory? It is not about getting through to the many, it is all about the one. Build on the relationships you currently have, those that you’ve neglected try to reconnect.