Ever considered a plan or what a plan is? A plan is a detailed proposal for doing or achieving something. A plan is an intention or decision about what one is going to do. When you are planning, to plan is to decide on and arrange in advance and to design or make a plan of something to be made or built.
How precise was or is your plan? How accurate is your plan? How exact is your plan? How many assumptions did you have to make? How many refinements or calculations did you have to make? Are you still making?
Are you being specific? Is your plan clearly defined? Are your dependencies identified? Are the requirements identified? Are the risks identified?
Imagine a plan where God desires to have a relationship with man. Imagine the perfect environment (Eden) for man to live. Imagine a deceiver who tricked man and created a divide between man and God. Imagine how God’s desire wouldn’t have changed, but God is just and as such consequences happened. Imagine the plans, the precision, the specifics required to try and fix up what the devil has tripped up back in the garden. Imagine how love was able to fix it up and how God had to take things into His own hands because man could never be good enough to make things right.
16For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. 18Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son
–from John 3
But within the plan to be able to save the people of the world, God wanting it to be about love never forced man to choose Him! God being love and not wanting robots gave freewill to man! So even though God’s desire is for everyone to spend eternity with Him, He has given us all the ability to make that choice for ourselves!
8Beloved, do not let this one thing escape your notice: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some understand slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
–from 2 Peter 3
So will you choose to spend eternity with God? Will you choose to go it your own way and spend eternity apart from God? We won’t have forever to make our decision! We have 2 choices and not choosing is choosing to be apart from God! Similar to the quote from Desmond Tutu where we see how not choosing is choosing…
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” – Desmond Tutu
So we need to choose:
8Beloved, do not let this one thing escape your notice: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some understand slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance 12as you anticipate and hasten the coming of the day of God, when the heavens will be dissolved by fire and the elements will melt in the heat. 13But in keeping with God’s promise, we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. 14Therefore, beloved, as you anticipate these things, make every effort to be found at peace with Him, without spot or blemish. 15Consider also that our Lord’s patience brings salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom God gave him. 16He writes this way in all his letters, speaking in them about such matters. Some parts of his letters are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17Therefore, beloved, since you already know these things, be on your guard not to be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure standing. 18But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
–from 2 Peter 3
So we need to make our own decision! We also have to choose if we will say something or do nothing under the front, the appearance, the pretence, the masquerade, the mask, the cloak or the veil of trying to be neutral! The choice is yours! The decision is yours! Will you want to be known for sharing the good news? Will you want to be one who lost someone because you weren’t willing to share with them? Trying to be neutral and leaving them to fend for themselves?
God is calling us! God is calling us to step up and step in! God is calling us to make a difference! God is asking us to share His love with the world around us!
So how are you going to respond? Stuff won’t last, but the spirit will and so will you invest in what will last? The eternal life of those around you who all get to choose where they will spend eternity! Let’s spend our lives giving and being generous!
Let’s reflect on today’s reading from 1 Timothy 6 and see about how we are to live, to teach, to respect those in authority…
1All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that Godʼs name and our teaching may not be slandered. 2Those who have believing masters should not show them disrespect just because they are fellow believers. Instead, they should serve them even better because their masters are dear to them as fellow believers and are devoted to the welfare of their slaves.
False Teachers and the Love of Money
These are the things you are to teach and insist on. 3If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.
6But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Final Charge to Timothy
11But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 12Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you 14to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.
17Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
20Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, 21which some have professed and in so doing have departed from the faith.
Grace be with you all.
–1 Timothy 6