December 28th

Good Plans for You

9However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him"-- 10but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit 12We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us” 1 Corinthians 2:9-10,12 NIV 

13For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. 16 For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 17For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives. Hebrews 9:13-17 NKJV 

Do you believe that God has good plans for you?  Through our faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior, we become heirs to God’s kingdom (Romans 8:17).  The details of our inheritance are found in the Bible, which is God’s “will” and testament to us.  It was ratified by Christ’s death (the testator).  As heirs, we can claim this inheritance in Christ today.  We don’t have to wait until we die to receive the good things God has for us.   

God has given us the Holy Spirit to teach us what is in the will for us – the things he “has freely given to us.”  As we read the Bible, the Holy Spirit will quicken our mind and understanding to the spiritual truths in it.  Apart from God, nobody can fully understand or know God’s plans for us.  However, since we have God’s Spirit living in us, we can know and understand his plans for us! 

In my navy days, prior to port visits a representative would visit our ship and brief the crew on the things to do in that country.  This person would also give us a port guide that contained maps and details about the various points of interest.  When the ship pulled in and we landed ashore, we knew where to go and what to do because we had listened to the port representative and read the port guide.   

In our walk with God, the Holy Spirit is like a port representative and the Bible is like a port guide.  If we listen to the Spirit and read the Bible, we’ll know how to best enjoy the things that God has freely given us.  Some people’s ships have long since pulled into port, yet they are still onboard not realizing they are free to go ashore and enjoy what God has willed to them.  Perhaps they think that God’s blessings are only to be enjoyed in the afterlife in heaven.  The truth is that God’s blessings are to be enjoyed both now and in eternity by those who love him.   

For example, Psalm 103:2-5 NKJV tells us about some of the details of our inheritance:

2Bless the LORD, O my soul,
 And forget not all His benefits:
 3Who forgives all your iniquities,
  Who heals all your diseases,
  4Who redeems your life from destruction,
   Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
   5Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
   So that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

Notice that these verses were written in present tense.  They aren’t things that will happen in the future, but rather, they are happening right now.  The key to engaging these current blessings is faith, i.e. believing that God is working them in us right now though we may not see it physically yet.   

This doesn’t mean that our lives are going to be trouble free and painless.  As Jesus explained to his disciples, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33 NIV).   As we experience trouble in the world, we can fix our eyes on the eternal perspective, i.e. that Jesus has already won the victory and that ultimately it will be fully manifested on earth.  The troubles and trials we go through now will help build character, patience and perseverance that will help us complete his mission for our lives (James 1:2-4, Romans 5:3-4).   

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

“Heavenly Father, Thank you for your great love and mercy on me!  Thank you for the abundant blessings that are part of my inheritance through Christ.  Please help me fully recognize all that is to be mine and then engage it by faith.  Please strengthen my faith to be like that of Abraham, who believed even when he couldn’t see any physical evidence.   Thank you, Lord, that you have won the eternal victory.  I eagerly wait for the full manifestation of your kingdom on earth.  I praise you now and forever, Amen.”