God has a Plan
We didn’t make it to church this weekend.
A stomach bug has been circling through our family and we weren’t feeling up to going out, and definitely didn’t want to share it with our fabulous church family. However, our church is broadcast over the radio, so we were able to tune in anyway and that allowed me to type my sermon notes instead of writing them out by hand, so I thought I’d share them with you here.
Based off David Warren’s sermon from the First Baptist Church in Seymour, TX
There are two ways to see our relationship with God.
We can either see God as our helper or ourselves as His servants.
How we see our relationship with Him, will affect how we see everything else.
Today’s sermon was over Jeremiah 29:4-14.
Most everyone knows Jeremiah 29:11, but when you take it out of context, it can mean something entirely different.
In Jeremiah, the Israelites were in exile in Babylon. But God still had a plan for them, a good plan. However…
Verse 10 said they would be in exile for seventy years before their prosperous future came about. It’s seventy years of exile, discipline, and hardship. God had not forgotten them, there was still hope, but relief is not immediate.
The first 28 chapters of Jeremiah are nothing but condemnation. It was 29 chapters before there was even a mention of hope and a future–and even then, it was just a mention. We can’t claim the verses of hope, without claiming the verses that come before. If you want the promises of prosperity, you have to take the promises of judgement.
God doesn’t do anything without a reason. And what we learn from these verses are principles:
- God hates sin. Hates it. But He loves us.
- He hates sin and hates what we become when we embrace it. But He loves us.
- God hates sin, but He loves His children.
- God is continually faithful to us, even when we are unfaithful to Him.
- God pursues a relationship with those who have not accepted Him.
- God loves us with an everlasting love. He made a plan for us through Jesus. Our future rests secure in eternity with Christ.
God has plans for us, but in the meantime, while we are exiled here on earth, continue to live. Do not decrease, but increase. Live life.
Things change as life goes on. Sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. And sometimes just for the sake of change. But God has a plan.
His plan is that people would seek Him, and find Him, and know Him, and spend eternity with Him. That is the plan He had for the Israelites and it’s His plan for us. It’s for us to seek Him no matter where we are or what’s going on around us, trusting that He will restore us to Him. His plan is for us to come to know Him, to love Him, and spend eternity in His arms.
It’s easy to get discouraged when we don’t see change. When we aren’t prospered immediately. But God has a plan for His people. He has a mission and it is to restore, rebuild, and make all things new.
He still has plans for a future and a hope.
He is still working in our lives, in our community, in our nation.
As we go out and live, and seek Him, and point others towards Him, we can do so knowing that He has a plan.
We may never see that plan come to its full here on earth, but every child of God has a future that is securely resting in Christ. Our eternity is safe, no matter what happens here today, tomorrow or this year.
How you view your relationship with God, will effect how you see His Word. If you see Him as your helper, waiting seventy years won’t really work for you. However, if you see yourself as His servant, your answer will be, “Not my will but yours be done.”
What it means to me
My theme this year is “Called by Christ.” I know He has called me to live my life for Him. However, one calling that I have been feeling heavily this year, is the calling to wait. I’ve been getting glimpses of a ministry He has planned for me down the road, but each time He whispers, not yet.
I sense I’m in a preparation phase or a waiting phase. And this sermon was just another way that God confirmed that for me. It may be seventy years before that ministry comes to pass, but He still wants me to live in the now. To seek Him and find Him.
That’s what He is calling me to right now. To seek Him with my whole heart. As my whole focus. To grow close to Him.