15 Instead you should say, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live—and do this or that.” – James 4:15 ISV
We can look at nature and realize that God is very organized. He established the seasons and the natural order of dormancy in the winter, birthing of the new in the spring with the winds in March that help to be sure every plant is pollinated, the showers in April to prepare the soil for the flowers of May. Then the summer for growth and the fall for maturity and harvesting. That plan remains the same year after year since plants can’t make their own plans. We need to have a plan for our lives but it needs to be flexible enough and held loosely enough to allow God to change us and our plans to fit His plan for our lives. As Proverbs tells us, we make our plans, but God directs our steps and makes them sure. Each of us is only one little piece of the whole jigsaw puzzle. Since we don’t have the box
top, we can’t see the finished picture. So, we need to be sure that our plans fit into God’s big plan just as each piece of the puzzle must fit to complete the picture.
10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. — Eph. 2:10 NIV
So, if we know which good works God has prepared us to do, we need to do them with all our hearts, minds, and strength. Because of all He has done for us, we should consider anything less as unacceptable.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
12 Afterward Mordecai returned to the palace gate, but Haman hurried home dejected and completely humiliated. — Esther 6:12 NLT
We are familiar with the story of Esther and how God exalted her to the position of queen in a most unlikely situation. Besides Esther, there are three other people God had positioned strategically for this particular time. God needed a man with the the authority to make things happen so He had positioned Xerxes as king. He needed a villain, He chose Haman for this role. Haman was the perfect villain for this time, he hated Mordecai and all of the Jews. God needed a hero, someone who would refuse to bow to the villain and with the backbone to stand up for God’s people. He chose Mordecai who had a little known history with the king. In the past, he had warned the king about a plot to kill the king and for this he had never been rewarded (at least not in earthly ways). Mordecai was also a man of compassion. We know this because he had taken his cousin, Hadassah, also known as Esther and raised her as his own daughter after his uncle died. God had prepared and positioned each of these people to carry out His plan to free His people and destroy the enemy. God is preparing each of us to do the same thing today. Are we ready and willing to do our part when all the people involved come together? If not, how do we get ready?
15 Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth. — 2 Timothy 2:15 NLT
47 All the men between thirty and fifty years of age who were eligible for service in the Tabernacle and for its transportation 48 numbered 8,580. 49 When their names were recorded, as the Lord had commanded through Moses, each man was assigned his task and told what to carry. — Numbers 4:47-49 NLT
When it was time for the Israelis to leave a place in the desert and move forward, the Tabernacle had to be completely disassembled. Moses and Aaron would assign each membmer of the Levite tribe a particular task to achieve this, The things that were in the Holy of Holies could not be touched by anyone but Aaron and his sons. If anyone else touched these things or even looked at them for a moment they would die or be put to death. Each person had a specific job to do and a specific way to do it. Some carried the Holy objects and others carried the poles and skin coverings. Aaron and his family were chosen by God to be the priests and the Levite tribe was chosen by God to be their helpers. If the move was to be successful, each person chosen by God must accomplish his task in the manner prescribed by God. God never changes. He has the same plan in place today and if the Church, His body, is going to move forward, each of us must do our job. Just as Israel was called out of Egypt and Aaron was chosen to be the priest and the Levites were chosen to carry the Tabernacle, we are called out of darkness and chosen to be priests and a holy nation. We may not feel a calling to be pastors, missionaries, choir directors or teachers in the congregation where we worship God. But in the Church, the body of Christ, each of us has a speicifc task to do. Just as the Levites were chosen to help Aaron and Moses, we have been chosen to help our local pastors and the Church staff. God has a specific plan and purpose for our lives. The Holy Spirit abides in each of us so we are not restricted as the Levites were. We can touch every area of our world with the Word of God. Ask the Holy Spirit what task God has assigned you and do it diligently.
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. — Matthew 6:19-21 NKJV
We spend the majority of our time working to make money and another good portion of our time figuring out how we are going to spend that money. Plans, goals and budgets are good things. Our goal is to make it to heaven, but Jesus understood that it takes money to make the trip. After all, Judas was the “treasurer” for Jesus and His disciples. But Jesus also told the rich young ruler to sell all that He had and give it to the poor. So, the question is how much is enough and how much is too much. The writer of Proverbs put it this way:
8 Remove falsehood and lies far from me; Give me neither poverty nor riches— Feed me with the food allotted to me;
9 Lest I be full and deny You, and say, “Who is the Lord?”
Or lest I be poor and steal, and profane the name of my God. — Proverbs 30:9 NKJV
Jesus taught us to pray “give me this day my daily bread”. When God sent manna from heaven, He instructed the Israelites to collect only enough for each day (except for the day before the Sabbath when they collected enough for two days). If they collected more, it rotted and was of no use. How much is enough is a question each of us should ask the Lord. We just need to remember who we are serving and be sure we allow Him to be Lord of our lives. Then, when the bank account is overflowing, it won’t be too much and when it is empty, it won’t be too little. He has promised to provide and if we are obedient, He will do just that.
6 We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.7 No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.—1 Cor. 2:6-9 (NIV)
God is waiting to show you the Way.
God’s plan has never changed. It existed in eternity and before time as we know it. Eternity was, is and always will be. God was, God is and God ever more will be. He knew our finite, human minds would be unable to grasp and understand eternity and endless space. So, He spoke the earth into existence somewhere in space and some time in eternity. By doing so, He divided space and time into small chunks of universes and days. This allowed humans to have something finite that we could grasp and understand. This is wisdom beyond our understanding. Then He created us and breathed life into us. Then we rebelled against God by doubting His love and provisions for us. This was no surprise to Him. He had already made provision to redeem us before we ever fell. The how and the when was a mystery until Jesus came and died for us on the Cross. It was prophesied over and over throughout history but people refused to see and /or believe. Had satan and his demons understood the plan and the time, they would not have crucified Jesus on the Cross. But God was, is and always will be in control. Jesus helped to design the plan of salvation and He finished it at Calvary.
2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.–Hebrews 12:2 NKJV