What are your plans?

God is a planner, Jer 29.11; Psa 33.11. Human plans are also good, as long as they’re well made, Prov 15.22; 20.18. There’s even a prayer that God might “bring all your plans to pass” Psa 20.4.

“A person plans his course, but the Lord directs his steps” Prov 16.9. So plans must take God into account, Jas 4.13-17.

The new year is a good and appropriate time for plans. Many people make them. What are your spiritual plans for the next year, be they for personal growth, service to God’s family, or making disciples for the Lord Jesus Christ?

#new-year, #plans

Christian action verbs make for good study series

Our little project of studying Christian action verbs is close to the half-way point. There’ll be 52 of them, in all. I hope to use it this next year, so I’m writing them up and publishing them to the Brazilian devotional site. Some of them are getting translated for “Walking with God.” Today’s is entitled, “Action: Judge.”

The format of the 3×5 index card is such an interesting one that a number of our projects are put in it, including this one. So one has to write with brevity and make every word count.

The emphasis of this project comes from such passages as Mt 7.21, words of our Lord Jesus in the sermon on the mount, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven—only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven” (NET). So what does this doing of the Father’s will look like? We take a look at that. Continue reading

#corollaries, #missions, #plans, #translation


(#98) The Proverbs of Solomon 15:22-Where Do We Go From Here?

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 15:22: “Without counsel, plans go awry, But in the multitude of counselors they are established.”

“Counsel” (advice, wisdom, guidance, good judgment) is what may be called “a second opinion.” Since God “works all things according to the counsel of His will” (Ephesians 1:11), the best “counsel” anyone can give or receive comes from God’s Word.

People who act hastily on their own, frequently do the wrong thing. The more we learn before we make a decision, usually the better is the decision. “Also it is not good for a soul to be without knowledge, And he sins who hastens with his feet” (Proverbs 19:2). A husband and wife can be more balanced in decisions than either one acting alone! A corporation is badly run by one person without regard for workers or customers. Government is ruinous when it refuses to consider the people’s convictions. “Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14). Wars waged with no thought for the safety of its soldiers, no planned outcome, no definition of victory, are foolish, indeed. “Plans are established by counsel; By wise counsel wage war” (Proverbs 20:18).

Plans are successfully carried out when “counsel” is deeply considered. “Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water, But a man of understanding will draw it out” (Proverbs 20:5). The older we get, the wiser we become, if, in our experiences, we have learned to “listen to counsel.” “Listen to counsel and receive instruction, That you may be wise in your latter days” (Proverbs 19:20). Nothing anyone advises us to do that is against God’s Will is right! “There is no wisdom or understanding Or counsel against the LORD” (Proverbs 21:30). Even the Jewish teacher, Gamaliel, told opponents of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, “’And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it–lest you even be found to fight against God.’ And they agreed with him, and when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go” (Acts 5:38-40). Sweet smells satisfy like good advice from a trusted friend. “Ointment and perfume delight the heart, And the sweetness of a man’s friend gives delight by hearty counsel” (Proverbs 27:9). It’s not just “counsel” but the wise counsel that helps good “plans” accomplish their goal.

Who is advising you about clothes, hairstyle, tattoos, piercings, friends, music, recreation, education, drugs, job, marriage and family? The best “counsel” comes from God’s Word and from those who have learned His Wisdom. Jesus Christ is called “Counselor, Mighty God” in Isaiah 9:6. He gives only the best advice. “Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:20-24).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #counsel, #counselors, #plans, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #wisdom

Nudge: Are You Making Any Resolutions?

Resolutions: some people can’t stand them – others do their best to stand in there with them.

Are you as an individual making any for this year?

How about any congregational resolutions? New activities, goals, evangelistic efforts? We have some plans at Keltonburg, how about where you’re at?

If these things apply to you, speak up, I want to hear them. If they don’t apply to you speak up anyways 🙂

#new-year, #plans, #resolutions

It is not always easy

Have you ever felt compelled by circumstance to alter what you previously planned? It is likely that you have. This seems to be a norm in life, and one that each of us “plan” for (if you will). However, it is not always good to alter our plans; this is especially the case when a higher authority (the Lord) has commanded something to be done. Because of circumstances, King Saul felt compelled to offer of a sacrifice to the Lord before Samuel arrived. Samuel replied to what Saul did as one who acted foolishly (1 Samuel 13:13). People might be sympathetic to circumstances in one’s life and be charitable to altered plans, but you will underscore the word might. The Lord was not charitable to Saul even when Saul felt compelled; he presumed on the Lord’s authority and this was not a presumption the Lord allowed him to make. Saul’s anxiety in the situation is instructive to us. There might be some legitimacy to Saul’s concern (as Saul saw it), but it was a test to Saul as to which would be the stronger “pull.” Would it be the Lord’s command or man’s compunction?

#king-saul, #plans, #presumption

No major plans for the 4th. Just a quite…

No major plans for the 4th. Just a quite, restful weekend with the family. I think wife and son are making homemade ice cream tomorrow (Saturday). I’ll be the supervisor in charge of eating! 🙂

#family, #homemade, #major, #plans, #quite, #restful, #son, #weekend, #wife

If the Lord wills, I will be speaking at…

If the Lord wills, I will be speaking at the Preacher Files Lectureship in July at the Rush Springs Church in Oklahoma. Our gospel meeting at the Grand Blanc Church of Christ begins in mid-September with Bro. John Vaughn, of Columbia, Tenn. speaking. Our VBS begins July 19 and salutes some of the “Unsung Heroes of the New Testament.” We’ll be giving our son in marriage on September 10-11. It’s going to be a busy summer.

#plans, #summer

Daily Nudge: spiritual summer plans — and news

People make big plans for the summer. What are your spiritual plans for this summer? (Assuming you’re in the northern hemisphere.) For Australians, South Americans and other humans south of the equator, what plans do you have for June-August?

And news, who has news, what can you tell of churches and saints?

#nudge, #plans, #summer

Favorite proverb says God is at work

If I have a favorite, I suppose it’s this rather popular one. “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:3. It is very easy to be arrogant about our plans. Reminiscent of James 4, we too often make plans without a consideration of the Lord’s involvement.

Here’s the other side of the coin. We do not have to rely solely on our feeble judgments. God is at work determining our steps. That’s reassuring.