When Our Plans Aren't God's Plans
There once was a man who worked his land until it produced plentifully. He had an abundance. In fact, he had so much that he was able to retire from his work. This man was able to relax and enjoy life. Really, when you look at this man many might say that he was living the “American Dream”. Now what’s wrong with that? After all, this man doesn’t appear to be a blatant sinner. The text doesn’t describe him as a drunkard, murderer, adulterer, thief, or any such thing. He was simply a man who worked hard, and accumulated a great wealth. Jesus made it very plain, however, that there was a problem. It was a problem that cost this man his soul because his plans weren’t God’s plans.
What Kind of God is He
With each new tragedy, people call God into question. There are many who believe that God is not real because of the suffering that exists in the world. Others come to the conclusion that if God is real, they do not want to serve Him. These people cannot reconcile the pain and suffering that exists in the world today with a loving God. Therefore, they ask the question, “What kind of God is He?” By examining the scriptures we want to answer this question.
They Watched Him Closely
Although the King James Translation simply says, “They watched Him,” there are a number of translations that say, “They watched Him closely.” In fact, there are a number of passages throughout the Gospels that mention how the Pharisees watched Jesus. The text before us lets us know their motive in doing this. The Bible says that they watched Him, “that they might accuse Him.” Later, the text mentions that they desired to destroy Him. The bottom line is that the Pharisees desperately wanted to find fault with Jesus. They did not like Him, and they wanted to destroy Him. In order to satisfy their hatred for Jesus the Pharisees watched Him closely that they might accuse Him. What a sad way to act toward someone! Let’s examine this attitude for a little while in order to make sure that we don’t develop it in our life.
To say that patience is a virtue is an understatement. Patience is a necessity to living the Christian life. Without patience a person will not be successful in enduring to the end. Anyone who lacks patience runs the risk of becoming unfaithful to God, and being lost eternally. We must not only have patience, we must cultivate it in our life so that it will grow and flourish. Patience is a key to fighting against spiritual burnout.
Talking Ourselves into Sin
It is not pleasant to endure temptations and trials, but they do serve a purpose. The various temptations and trials that we go through in this life prepare us for the life to come. Of course, that is if we remain faithful while going through them. Unfortunately, we can fail to endure during these temptations and trials. If we are not careful, we can talk ourselves into sin. So, for just a little while, we would like to consider some things that we say to ourselves that prevent us from being successful when we face temptations and trials.
Convenience or Conviction
The Bible tells us that Jeroboam pleaded with the people and convinced them that it was too much for them to have to travel to Jerusalem to worship God. He made golden calves, and set them in Dan and Bethel. He made a house, and appointed his own priests. He even made his own feast to go along with his false religion. It was a religion of convenience.
Some may think that sorrow is sorrow, but the Bible makes a distinction. “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” (2 Corinthians 7:10) You see there is a Godly sorrow and there is a worldly sorrow.
The Demands of Grace
These verses contain a beautiful description of the most important event in human history. That event is the incarnation of Jesus. When Jesus left the glories of heaven and came into this world as a man, He was a visible manifestation of the grace of God. Through Him, the grace of God burst forth into the history of man like the rising sun piercing the darkness of night until it vanishes away. The appearance of Jesus has given man an understanding of the grace of God.
Overcoming Life's Challenges
There is a significant portion of the book of Genesis that is dedicated to covering the life of Joseph. There are some specific events that we are going to look at within this portion of God’s word. As we do, we will examine some of the challenges that Joseph faced in his life. By the time we finish I believe that we will truly be able to say that the story of Joseph is a story full of lessons for all of us.
Discouragement is a very real thing. It’s something that all people deal with at various points in their life. Within the Bible, we can read of discouragement in the lives of Job, David, Jeremiah, and Elijah – just to name a few. No one is exempt from discouragement. Discouragement can take many forms and be caused by many things. Basically, a person is discouraged when they lose hope and feel like giving up. If left untreated it can be devastating to a person. It’s for that reason that we would like to discuss how to overcome discouragement.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.