What about Your Plans?

Reading the Word

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.(Proverbs 16:9, ESV)

Understanding and Applying the Word

We all make plans. We are even told that we should think about the future and plan for it in places like Luke 14:25-33. Wisdom tells us to plan ahead. However, as we make our plans, we must not forget that it is ultimately God who determines the outcome. We must not think we can rely on our own strength and understanding, but we must always look to the Lord and trust in him. Consider our proverb for today and the verses below:

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.(James 4:13–16, ESV)

Lord, we thank you for holding our futures in your hands and we trust in your plans. Amen.


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Prepare Now for the Future

silhouette of woman

Photo by ThisIsEngineering on Pexels.com

 

Reading the Word

Luke 16:1–9 (ESV)

1 He also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions. 2 And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’ 3 And the manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. 4 I have decided what to do, so that when I am removed from management, people may receive me into their houses.’ 5 So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 He said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7 Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ 8 The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light. 9 And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.

Understanding and Applying the Word

This parable is notorious for its difficulty. Just read through a few commentaries or listen to a few sermons on this passage and you will quickly learn that there are a few different interpretations. The difficulty is in deciding if what the manager did by cutting the bills of each debtor was for the master’s benefit or not. I will let you research this and decide on your own. The important thing to see here is that the master commended the manager for his “shrewdness”. The manager did everything to prepare for his own future.

The lesson Jesus is teaching with this parable is that we, like the manager, must always have our futures in mind. The things we do now must be done in preparation for the day when we stand before the holy God and give an account of our lives. Are we using all that we have to prepare for that day or are we going through life without thought of what is coming tomorrow. We must be shrewd in preparing because the day will be here before we know it.

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If God Is For Us…

Romans 831 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

Romans 8:31–39 (ESV)

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Understanding and Applying the Word

Today marks the beginning of a new year. Many of us have likely made resolutions for the year with the aim of making this year better than the last. It is good to look ahead to the future and make plans, but we are also faced with the reality of uncertainty. We do not know what the future holds. It may be difficult.

Paul reminds us in today’s reading that, no matter what comes our way, we can rest knowing that God is on our side. He is for us. He is for us so much that he sent his Son to die for us. If he did that, nothing else will stand between us and him. Let us plan for the future with hope and not fear, knowing that we go in God’s love.

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