How are you treating others? How are you being treated?…(The Bible’s Impact on Acts of Mercy [Apr 24])


Is it with dignity? Is it with respect? If not, why not? It goes beyond wrong to treat people wrong? In today’s reading we capture how it was said that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. We need to treat others with respect and dignity! We need to treat people as we would like to be treated! We need to take on God’s side and God does take sides! As you are speaking with people today consider how you are treating them. As you are working with people consider how you are treating them. How will others treat us? Well, we know that in this world we will have troubles and we also know that we can take heart because Jesus has overcome the world. Can we be brave enough to turn the other cheek like Jackie Robinson did? I have found that living my life without retaliation and by respecting others and showing them dignity that it has an impact on others. In a room of people I have watched people lose their temper and curse and then look at me and apologize. I never said or did anything outwardly that would reprimand or correct them but the Spirit must have. We can’t control what others will do or say but we can control our responses to them. We can’t control what will come our way but we can control our responses to them. We all get a choice in how we will respond! We get to choose if we will respond with respect or with rudeness! We get to choose if we will respond with respect or with disrespect! We get to choose if we will respond with respect or with contempt! We get to choose if we will respond with respect or with discourtesy! We get to choose if we will respond with dignity or with dishonor! We get to choose! We have freewill! All we can choose is what we have control over! We can choose to walk away! We can choose to turn the other cheek! We can choose to escalate! We can choose to confront! But however we respond we need to make sure we are doing it in alignment with God’s will or we risk putting ourselves in a problem space. Would you want to respond to someone is hurt in a way that will hurt them more? Have you ever heard that hurting people hurt people? Let’s wait on our respond and allow the Holy Spirit to give us wisdom and discernment on how best to respond! God does take sides! God is a good God and isn’t neutral! So let’s pursue His plans and His purposes for our lives in all we do today!

Today’s reading came out of 1 Corinthians 6 today and today’s devotional focuses on verse 19.

Lawsuits Against Believers

When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even your own brothers! Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Flee Sexual Immorality

When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even your own brothers! Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

–from 1 Corinthians 6

Today’s devotional speaks to this specific verse

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,

–from 1 Corinthians 6:19

Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on the subject of Acts of Mercy speaks of Desmond Tutu and his works on human dignity. He receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his efforts to end apartheid (in South Africa they had racial segregation system called apartheid). Desmond Tutu used today’s verse from 1 Corinthians 6:19 to support the idea that God created all human beings to be treated with respect and dignity! God cares and does take sides! We read in today’s devotional “God is a God who is always on the side of the poor, the oppressed, the little ones who are despised and it is for that reason that we, his church have got to be in solidarity with the poor, the homeless, the hungry and the oppressed.” We need to serve them and help them with dignity and respect! Not as a handout but a hand up like Paul with the man on the mat outside the gate! Meet them right where they are at and share the hope and love of God for them not to stay or be stuck there. We all were somewhere before our encounter with Jesus and so He met us right where we were at, not waiting for us to be perfect or all cleaned up and touched us right there and right then.

So how will you live out today in a way that shows dignity and respect to the people that come into your life? The choice is yours!


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this day and for this Word. Help me today Lord to respond to what comes my way in a way that will glorify You. Help me today Lord to pause that I can hear and respond to what the guiding of the Holy Spirit is for each situation rather than just responding in my own way. Lord give me eyes to see beyond the surface. Lord give me ears to hear beyond just the words. Lord grant me the wisdom to be able to speak truth in love into every situation. Lord grant me discernment of what is really the situation so that I can speak life into the world around me. Help me Lord to be salt and light. Help me to be Your hands extended and your feet going into the world to make a difference for the glory of Your kingdom. I ask all this so that in and through it all You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Will you do what you are able to do? Will you do the right thing? Will you join forces?


If you are asked and are able, will you do it? If you are asked and can do it now, will you do it?

Will you do what is right? Will you do what is just? Will you do what is good?

Are you wanting and trying to be helpful? Are you or as one of the values at the company puts it “joining forces”?

How are you going to respond? Today’s reading comes from Proverbs 3 with the focus on verses 27-30 which say…

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you. Do not plan evil against your neighbor, who dwells trustingly beside you. Do not contend with a man for no reason, when he has done you no harm.’ Proverbs 3:27-30

How do you receive that? How do you interpret that? How will you respond to these words of wisdom?

Let’s consider each sentence for a moment…

Do you have what they need? Do you have it available? Will you give it to them? Will you do what is right? Will you do what is good? Will you do it when it is needed?

Do you have a good heart? Are your intentions pure? Are you taking hold of what Jesus said “love your neighbor as yourself“? Are you taking hold of what the Commandments say? ‘”You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” ‘ from Exodus 20:16-17?

Will you do what is right? Will you not hesitate to do what is good? Will you step up and step in to what is required of you?

Don’t stir up trouble! Don’t start an argument! Look at where you are at! Consider what you have! Do what is right!

Today’s devotional from the Global Impact Bible on the topic of human rights first points us to Proverbs 3 and then uses the example of Thabo Mbeki and how he used Proverbs 3:28-30 in the annual Nelson Mandela Lecture in 2006.

Mar 10 - Prov 3_28-30 - Thabo Mbeki - Annual Nelson Mandela Lecture in 2006

Today’s devotional points to how Thabo Mbeki in his speech said:

The Book of Proverbs assumes that as human
beings, we have the human capacity to do as it
says – not to withhold the good from them to whom
it is due, when it is in the power of (our) hand to do
it, and not to say NO to our neighbour, come again,
and we will give you something tomorrow, even
when we can give the necessary help today.
It assumes that we can be encouraged not to
devise evil against our neighbours, with whom we
otherwise live in harmony.
It assumes that we are capable of responding to the
injunction that we should not declare war against
anybody without cause, especially those who have
not caused us any harm.
It urges that in our actions, we should not seek to
emulate the demeanour of our oppressors, nor
adopt their evil practices.

–from NELSON MANDELA MEMORIAL LECTURE BY
PRESIDENT THABO MBEKI: UNIVERSITY OF
WITWATERSRAND, JULY 29, 2006.

So how will you live your today? Are the assumptions correct? Will you live a life that makes a difference in the world around you? Will you choose to receive and follow the example of Jesus and be salt and light into the world around you? Will you be all that God has created you to be? Will you live the way Jesus has shown you to live? Will you receive Jesus into your heart and be transformed from the inside out?


Heavenly Father,
I thank You for this day and for Your Word that tells me that I should do what You have prepared in advance for me to do. I thank You for Your plans that are so much better and so much greater than my plans as You go before me preparing in advance the good works You have for me to accomplish. Grant me the wisdom, the boldness, and the courage Lord to not hold back but to step up and step in to every situation You have prepared for me. Help me also to know when it is and isn’t Your will for me to step into a situation so that only by Your wisdom and Your grace I may live a life that will bring You all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 

 

 

Repent and let’s start the revival…Rejoice, Respond, and Rebuild!


We all want to have a hope and a future! We all want to have love! So let’s get started by repenting, that is turning back to God!

God’s got a plan and His plan is to give us a hope and a future! God’s got a plan and He goes before us setting up in advance the good work He has for us to do! God’s got a plan and that is why He sent Jesus to make a way when there didn’t seem to be a way! God’s got a plan and through Jesus we are able to spend eternity in heaven with Him!

So will you choose to receive the gift of life which is Jesus Christ? Will you turn back to God and receive the gift of grace and love? You do realize that no matter how far you may have strayed that you can always turn back to God! So let’s repent! Let’s turn back to God! Let’s start a revival of people living a great life through an eternal and intimate relationship with God! Let’s receive Jesus and be transformed and start to help transform not only us but our families, our neighborhoods, our communities, and our world!

Let’s take a look into a few readings from God’s Word…

1“Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. 2After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence. 3Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.”

–from Hosea 6:1-3

 

12“Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” 13Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.

–from Joel 2:12-13

 

14if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

–from 2 Chronicles 7:14

 

Are there areas of sin or compromise in your life that you need to give up to God? Not sure? Ask Him for wisdom in this area and then give them up to Him! Ask Him for forgiveness! Remember Jesus paid it all and they will all be nailed to the cross! He paid the price once for all!

When we invite Jesus into our lives, we are born again! There is a transformation where the old is gone and the new has come! It allows us to start walking forward and leaving the past where it belongs behind us and leaning forward into all that God has in store for us!

Today’s devotional talks of repentance this way as it is a good and positive thing…

‘Repentance’ is a very positive word in the Bible. The Greek word ‘metanoia’ means ‘change of mind’. That means, first, turning away from the bad stuff. This is the stuff that spoils your life and breaks your relationship with God. Repentance means to be sorry enough to quit. Getting rid of the bad stuff only enhances your life. But, that is only the first part.

The change of heart and mind means not only turning away from the bad things, but also turning towards God and good. The word ‘repent’ rarely appears on its own in the Bible. Genuine repentance is shown by its fruit. Remorse is not enough. A change of mind, heart and life is required. It is nearly always, ‘repent and…’. Repent and believe. Repent andput your faith in Jesus Christ. It is not just a case of looking back, but also looking forward.

–from Day 358: Bible In One Year 2018

So let’s make today count and count for more than just ourselves and for more than just today by receiving Jesus, being filled up to overflowing with Jesus, and then pouring out into the world around us the love of God!

Today’s reading from the book of Revelation (Chapter 16) speaks to the importance of us responding to God’s offer of the gift of Jesus so that we can have the peace and comfort of God…

This must be one of the most terrifying chapters in the entire Bible. It describes God’s final judgment. These are the seven last plagues (see Exodus 7–10). It all ends in ‘Armageddon’. In the midst of the awful judgment, there are four things that should bring you comfort:

    • Jesus is coming back
      ‘Keep watch! I come unannounced, like a thief. You’re blessed if, awake and dressed, you’re ready for me’ (Revelation 16:15, MSG). Later on in Revelation, we will see all the blessings that the second coming of Jesus will bring to you and to the whole creation.
    • Jesus took your judgment
      The words, ‘It is done!’ (v.17) tell us that once this final judgment has taken place, ‘It is finished’ – echoing the last words of Jesus on the cross (John 19:30). They remind us that Jesus bore God’s wrath upon himself on the cross for you. God so loved the world that he sent his one and only Son to die for you so that you might not come under God’s final judgment, but rather receive all the blessings of eternal life (see John 3:16–17).
    • Judgment is delayed
      The judgment only falls on those who ‘refused to repent and glorify him’ (Revelation 16:9). God gives them, like Pharaoh, so many opportunities to repent, ‘but they refused to repent of what they had done’ (v.11). God’s desire is that everyone should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). He gives many, many opportunities. It is only those who absolutely refuse to repent that come under his judgment.
    • Judgment will be totally just
      Many people worry, understandably, about passages like this in the Bible. However, God’s judgments are going to be absolutely ‘true’ and ‘just’ (v.7). As the former vicar of HTB, John Collins always says, ‘We will all say on that day, “That is absolutely right.”’

Look forward to Jesus’ return. Get your life sorted out now. Make sure there is no refusal to repent in your own heart. Respond in the right way to these warnings and help everyone else to do the same.

–from Day 358: Bible In One Year 2018


Look Forward – Day 358: Bible In One Year 2018

Lost and Found vs Given and Received…


Was it lost or given? Was it found or received? Was it offered or taken? Was it accepted or forced?

How are you living your life? Do you realize the gift that was offered and given? How will you respond? We can’t control what happens to us but we can control how we respond!

Jesus sacrificed! Jesus gave! Jesus submitted! Jesus offered! Jesus is still offering!

What will you do about this incredible gift from God? How will you respond?

Do you realize how much God loves you?

For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

–from John 3:16

Do you realize that Jesus wasn’t forced to be beaten and crucified but that He gave His life so that we could be saved? He showed this at the last supper when speaking to the disciples…

The Last Supper

17 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”

18 He replied, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’” 19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.

20 When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. 21 And while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.”

22 They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, “Surely you don’t mean me, Lord?”

23 Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”

25 Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi?”

Jesus answered, “You have said so.”

26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”

27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the[b] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

30 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

–from Matthew 26

and also told here …

The Last Supper

12 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, when it was customary to sacrifice the Passover lamb, Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”

13 So he sent two of his disciples, telling them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him. 14 Say to the owner of the house he enters, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 15 He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.”

16 The disciples left, went into the city and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.

17 When evening came, Jesus arrived with the Twelve. 18 While they were reclining at the table eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me—one who is eating with me.”

19 They were saddened, and one by one they said to him, “Surely you don’t mean me?”

20 “It is one of the Twelve,” he replied, “one who dips bread into the bowl with me. 21 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”

22 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.”

23 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it.

24 “This is my blood of the[c] covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them. 25 “Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

26 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

–from Mark 14

Jesus didn’t lose His life or lose His blood, He gave it! He gave it as a ransom for you and me so that we could have the opportunity to choose and decide to receive the gift of Jesus and salvation in our lives! His blood is worth so much – it’s precious!

Will you receive the gift and be a friend of God?

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

–from John 15:13

Today’s devotional speaks to this in the following ways:

Meet Your Blood Donor

  • It makes forgiveness of sins possible (Colossians 1:14)
  • It purifies us from every sin (1 John 1:7)
  • Through it, we draw near to God (Ephesians 2:13)
  • It brings peace and reconciliation to God (Colossians 1:20)
  • It gives life to those who consume it (John 6:53)
  • It is the means by which you overcome Satan (Revelation 12:11).

–from Day 312: Bible In One Year 2017

Today’s reading from God’s Word speaks to it through these ways…

Day 312: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. The ultimate act of friendship … Proverbs 27:5-14
  2. A clear conscience … Hebrews 9:1-15
    • When Jesus came, he ‘bypassed the sacrifices consisting of goat and calf blood, instead using his own blood as the price to set us free once and for all’ (vv.11–12, MSG). By doing this ‘he brought together God and his people in this new way’ (v.17, MSG).

      What does this mean?

      You are clean inside and out

      Jesus makes it possible for your conscience to be cleansed: ‘The blood of Christ cleans up our whole lives, inside and out… through the Spirit’ (v.14, MSG).

      You have been set free

      ‘Christ offered himself as an unblemished sacrifice, freeing us from all those dead-end efforts to make ourselves respectable, so that we can live all out for God’ (v.15, MSG).

      The Holy Spirit and the blood of Christ go together. Joyce Meyer writes, ‘The Spirit could not be poured out on the Day of Pentecost until the blood was poured out on the cross of Calvary.’

      –from Day 312: Bible In One Year 2017

  3. Restored fortunes … Ezekiel 16:1-63

 


Don’t wander lost in the wilderness of life! Don’t meander through the desert place! Make a choice today to invite Jesus into your life and to be your Lord and Savior!

We have all be lost at one point or another and God loves us so much that He sent Jesus that we could be found! Turn back to God! Return home to Him today! Receive His grace, His mercy, and His love! He is waiting with arms open wide for you turn back to Him! Will today be your day?

The Parable of the Lost Sheep

15 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

The Parable of the Lost Coin

8 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins[a] and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

The Parable of the Lost Son

11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.

13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’

28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

–from Luke 15

Will you join forces to accomplish the great plans set up for you?


What if you learned that someone had prepared in advance good work for you? What if you learned that someone has a plan for you and it is good? Where do you go to get advice? Where do you go to get wisdom? Where do you turn to receive discernment?

There is but one person and one place that we should turn! There are many impersonators and illusionists! There are many deceivers and trickers! There is but one who truly knows the future and can help you walk through this life in alignment with the great plans He has for you and that He has set in place in advance for you to accomplish! Don’t turn to the left or the right, turn to Him and ask Him for wisdom for each day!

In Jeremiah from today’s reading from God’s Word we are warned about this…

Do not listen to your false prophets, fortune-tellers, interpreters of dreams, mediums, and sorcerers…

–from Jeremiah 27:9

Today’s devotional closes reminding and warning us that…

As the one who holds the past, present and future in his hands, only God truly knows the future. Much of it is hidden from us. However, there are certain things about your future that God tells you.

–from Day 286: Bible In One Year 2017

So will you turn to God? Will you invite Jesus into your heart? Will you allow the Holy Spirit to be your comforter and your guide through this life?

Rather than trying to go it alone, will you choose to join forces with God to be able to live out and complete the incredible plan and purpose God has for you and your life?


God’s Good Plans for Your Future

Day 286: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. Your future is freedom … Psalm 119:25-32
    • How does he respond to all these difficulties? He prays, ‘Preserve my life according to your word’ (v.25b). He meditates on God’s word (v.27b) and prays, ‘Strengthen me according to your word. Keep me from deceitful ways; be gracious to me through your law’ (vv.28b–29).

      Resolve to follow God’s ways in everything, but not out of a sense of obligation or guilt. Choose to run in the path of God’s commands, for he has set your heart free (v.32).

      –from Day 286: Bible In One Year 2017

  2. Your future is secure … 2 Thessalonians 1:1-12
    • The gospel message is urgent. The gospel is only good news if it gets there in time.

      As far as their short-term future is concerned, Paul writes, ‘We constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfil every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith’ (v.11).

      Do not simply sit around waiting for Jesus to return. God has a ‘good purpose’ for your life. He has called you. He puts ideas into your heart. He works in you both to will and to act according to his good purpose (Philippians 2:13).

      In all this, Paul prays that the name of Jesus will be glorified: ‘If your life honours the name of Jesus, he will honour you’ (2 Thessalonians 1:12, MSG).

      –from Day 286: Bible In One Year 2017

  3. Your future is hopeful … Jeremiah 27:1-29:23
    • Jeremiah’s prophecies did come true. The people of God did go into exile as he had warned.

      Jeremiah speaks the message from the Lord to his people in exile. He tells them, ‘Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper’ (29:7).

      There is an important principle here. Generally, you should seek the peace and prosperity of the place in which God has put you and pray for it. This includes places where you may work, your local church, your city and your nation.

      There is an expression: ‘Bloom where you’re planted.’ This passage encourages you to make roots even where you feel uncomfortable or isolated (like in exile). Sometimes the place where you find yourself is not where you want to be but if God has led you there, then that place must be fertile ground for God’s work in you to thrive.

      God promises his people that the exile will come to an end: ‘When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfil my gracious promise to bring you back to this place’ (v.10).

      This is the context of the wonderful promises: ‘For I know the plans I have for you… plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you’ (vv.11–14a).

      God has good plans for you. They are not plans for your failure or defeat. They are plans to ‘prosper you’. They are not average or mediocre plans. They are ‘good, pleasing and perfect’ (Romans 12:2).

      But God will not force his plans on you. He requires your cooperation. If you want his plans to be fulfilled in your life, you need to seek him. He promises that, if you do so, you will be found by him (Jeremiah 29:13–14b). As you spend time with him, you will become like him and he will lead you into the good plans he has for your life.

      –from Day 286: Bible In One Year 2017