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Posts Tagged ‘Jeremiah 29:11’

… make my joy for you complete …

Philippians 2:2

 

It has been a good week for me as a parent.  Both of my sons texted me with good news.  One has landed a few new clients for his business and the other has been placed in a leadership role which he has sought at work.  

 

I want the very best for my two sons. While my sons are married and live far away, nothing gives    me more joy than to hear them rejoice.  

 

God wants the very best for us.  In Jeremiah 29:11, God proclaims:

I have plans for you, for your good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

 

In John 15:11, Jesus tells us His dreams for us:

I want my joy to be in you so that your joy may be complete.

 

Throughout scripture God calls us His children.  It is a term of affection and endearment which communicates His deep parental love and hopes for us.  

 

God wants you, His precious child to experience the depths of His joy for you. He dreams of your happiness.  

 

God’s desire for us to experience this joy is so deep that He tells us how to find it and to keep it through out the teachings of scripture.  God has shown us The Way to have complete joy.  

 

If you will simply follow and trust God’s Word, you will have His complete joy.  If you don’t you never will.

 

I know this from personal experience.  

 

When I live life my way, I may experience temporal pleasure, but not joy.  When I live life my way, I may boast in my freedom, until I find myself lodged in a mess.  

 

It’s amazing how we so easily exchange God’s gold for the world’s shiny brass. We loss so much in life polishing our brass idols, rather than seeking God’s gold.  

 

God wants the very best for you … His complete joy.  

 

It’s yours for the following.

 

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Don’t calculate without God (1)

I have always been a whiz with numbers.  In school I could add, subtract, multiple, and divide with the best.  Word problems and algebraic equations were my soul mates.  

Arithmetic was home base.  I consistently made A’s in math until I hit trigonometry and calculus.  My guaranteed A’s turned into hard won B’s.  After completing my second semester calculus class at Chapel Hill, I had enough.

Life is like calculus, it’s hard to figure out.  I was never able to look at a calculus problem and know the correct answer immediately.  Life is the same.  Just when I think I have life figured out, reality steps up to the plate and throws me a sinking curve ball.

When I became a Christian and began to include God in the equation, life did not necessarily become easier, but the answer became clearer.  With God in the mix, I know how the story ends, thus I know where I am going and can more easily find my way.

Because God’s ways are not my ways and His thoughts are not my thoughts (2) my greatest error in life is to make plans, do my life calculus, without considering God.  

I am a list maker.  My favorite is a list of pros and cons.  I will consider every obstacle and possibility while completing this list.  Once my list is complete, I weigh my options and make a decision.  Once a decision is made, I move forward.

Periodically I will show my list to a group of leaders in the church or to the men in my Covenant Group, to help them understand that I made a wise and careful decision.

One day, a friend who was reviewing my list asked me, “Where’s God?”  

I stumbled and stammered, I was struck dumb, silenced with nothing to say.  God was not considered.  I had not calculated for God.  I had planned for opposition, deficiencies, sin, evil, rainy days, surprises, and a host of other potential problems the world might throw down in my path.  But I had not planned on God.

My friend said,”Without God, your plans will fail.”

I hate it when my friends are right and I am wrong. 

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (3)

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  1. Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest: Selections for the Year (Grand Rapids, MI: Oswald Chambers Publications; Marshall Pickering, 1986).
  2. Isaiah 55:8.
  3. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Jeremiah 29:11.

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I cry out to God Most High,

to God who fulfills His purpose for me. (1)

Parents lose control of their children at conception!

Long before the terrible two’s, the trying three’s, and those testy teen years, parents should realize that their children have a will and spirit they cannot control.  Parents who believe they can control their kids are engaged in wishful thinking.

It is equally foolish to believe you are in full control of your life.  There are hundreds of outside factors and forces that influence your life every day.  You cannot control them.

This is why I have chosen to ask God to fulfill His purposes for my life.

Life has become simpler, less frustrating, and more productive since I yielded my illusion of control to the reality of God’s sovereign purpose for my life.

Yes, I still dream of greener pastures.  Yes, I still discuss with God how He could make things a little bit better.  Yes, I still make plans for my future.

When you become a disciple of Jesus you give up your independence!

I believe this is why most people reject Christianity.  It has nothing to do with Darwin, Big Bang,  clean living, or an enlightened way of thinking.  It all has to do with the battle of the will.

Too many Christians make an unsustainable deal with God:  “Give me what I want God and I will give You what You want!”

God does not answer to us!

God’s plans are better than mine.

Best yet, He can make them happen.  As the sovereign Lord of heaven and earth, He is in full control.

I like that.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (2)

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  1. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Psalm 57:2.
  2. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Jeremiah 29:11.

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