Friday, August 28, 2009

God Is Intentional Even When He Changes the Plan

Hey gang!

Before I begin, some simple housecleaning details that you need. I had announced that we would be beginning a new series on September 11 that would be a regular Friday series. That series has been cancelled due to some complications. That’s OK though. Today is a good day to give you the direction of this ministry for September and October.

Here’s what you will see in the weekly rundown with OMR over the next couple months. On Mondays, Marriage Monday will continue to discuss Leslie Leyland Fields’ book, Parenting is Your Highest Calling and 8 Other Myths That Trap Us in Worry and Guilt. This series will actually conclude on November 2. On Wednesdays, Wisdom Wednesday will be continuing the series on the book of Ecclesiastes. That will actually run through November 4.

Starting this Tuesday, and continuing every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday through the month of September (minus September 11), I will be teaching a series on finances. What will this entail? First, I will be sharing a few Bible stories on money. Between each story, I will package in days of websites to go see and information from some of those pages that will help people (including me) in the area of money. I’m not Dave Ramsey or any other financial wizard, but I think the information and stories on money will help people have a better tomorrow.

Then Starting Thursday, October 1, I am beginning a series that I’ve been talking about back to the goals for 2009 blog back in January. We will begin a series on spiritual disciplines. There are 75 different spiritual disciplines discussed in The Spiritual Disciplines Handbook by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun . Will we look at all of them? I will honestly say that I’m not sure yet, but if we do, this series might just take us into 2010. I’ve been excited for this series since I received the book and I can’t tell you how much fun and how educational for all of us this series will be.

Sometimes things don’t work out, but God knew even before I did and he placed these other exciting studies in my heart to share with and grow with you. I’m so glad I have a God that is intentional. He knows the plan. He surprises me with letting me in on it. He does that for you too. This blog was the one and only blog that I had finished for the new series that wasn’t, but God used it to help me understand that he is in control and like Romans 8:28 says, he will work it for the good of those that love him in Christ Jesus. Thank you God for being my leader, my planner and my savior.

Even from the beginning, God was intentional. He took six days to create the earth and all that went into it. Genesis 1:1 tells us that, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” He didn’t take out his universe mixing bowl and give a smidge of this and a little bit of that. He didn’t give it the Emeril treatment and go, “Bam!” and it was done. He had a plan and he followed it to perfection.

On Day 1, he created light so that there would be a difference between the light of day and the darkness of night. On Day 2, he made the sky and the waters of the oceans and added dry land to be between the skies and the seas. Day 3, God added vegetation on the land and trees that could bear fruit for food. On Day 4, he added the sun and the moon. One to give great light during the day and the other to give a bit of light to darkness at night. On Day 5, God added in sea animals and birds and blessed them to increase. On Day 6, the Lord started with livestock and other land animals and then he saved his best work for last. Verse 26 says, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So he did. There was an order that God wanted things to be done. He was intentional.

But it didn’t stop there. God always had a plan. There was Adam and Eve and they tended the Garden of Eden. The serpent came and convinced them to eat of the tree of life that gave humans the wisdom of what their choices meant, good and bad. While this would appear to be a nasty road bump to God’s plan, God knew this would happen. This didn’t cause God to go to Plan B. He continued on with Plan A.

People have the perception that God was so disgusted that he wanted to wipe everyone out. Wrong. He knew about a man named Noah. A man so faithful that he built an ark for 120 years even though there had never been rain before. It had to be hard for Noah to put up with the mockers, but he pressed on and finished that ark. Then he and his family got in and stayed in that boat as it rained, and rained, and rained some more. When he got out of the ark a whole year later, he and his family started over.

In time, God promised another man named Abraham that he would be the father of many nations. Abraham was an old man by our standards, but he had a son named Isaac and the generations began.

I won’t go through all the generations of people because many people hate reading lineages of the Bible. Why is that? Because we can’t pronounce all the names. My friend Tim Schmidt used to call the guys he couldn’t pronounce Bucky. Bucky was easier on the tongue. However, right before I began thinking about this piece, my friend Tyler brought up a story of one of his college professors. The professor always said the names. Why? Because if a name was important enough for God to include it in his Word, then it was important enough for him to try to say. That’s one of the neat things about God. He even planned our names. He took time enough to give each of us a name that was special to us. He was intentional with our names. I may have to ask God why he gave me Frankie instead of just Frank, but that’s another story for heaven.

God knew that Moses would lead the Israelites out of Egypt and he also knew that the Israelites would complain and begin to praise other gods. You may think this caught God by surprise if you are reading through Exodus, but it didn’t. God wanted to wipe out the Israelites, but he created Moses to be his friend, so that he wouldn’t. God did it for us too. You know that at least once in your life you wanted to lay the smack down on somebody and God sent that good friend to talk you out of it. God feels your pain.

He even knew that he would be rejected and that the Israelites would want to be like everyone else and want a king. He already had the plan. There was a man named Saul. He was from one of the smallest tribes of Israel. Saul had one little problem. He didn’t always listen very well. So God found another king that did listen better. His name was David. He wasn’t perfect, but when he didn’t listen, God loved him like a father. He let him mess up and then David was usually quick to repent. Yeah, God does that for us today too. Some of us are a little more “bull headed” than others to say I’m sorry.

But again, God wasn’t finished. During Isaiah’s time in life, Isaiah prophesied that God would go quiet for a few hundred years and talk to no one. He then told of a man that would begin to tell the coming of a savior. That man was John the Baptist. John told everyone that the Messiah was coming. Oh and he did. Jesus of Nazareth came. Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life and people still didn’t want to believe that Jesus was the Messiah. They crucified him on a cross and buried him. Right about then you might think we need a Plan B. Wrong.

Jesus was buried, but he rose on the third day and ascended into heaven, to sit at the right hand of Father God. But before he left, he told the people that he would be back after he built mansions for everyone that was going to heaven. People are still waiting for this to happen, but God gave us one last book of intentionality to tell us how it would end. The book is called Revelation. So when you start seeing the things that Revelation talks about happening with more frequency, we were told to start looking to the Eastern sky and that he would be with us soon.

God has a plan. It has not changed. Just because he did not write our individual stories in the book doesn’t mean that we can’t be there too. If you’re a Christian today, begin reading your Bible more to find out all the particulars of God’s Plan A for you. If you’re not a Christian today, go to the top of the website and read how you can be. Follow your Plan A as well. God wants us. Every last one of us. He was intentional about his plan and he was intentional that you, yes you, be a part of that plan today.

I love you guys!

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