At the time of this writing, Israel was divided into north and south, the people were exiled, it was a generally terrible time.
And from this, God spoke these words.
Even today, the world is a mess. Can we be certain that anything is meaningful? Or is everything meaningless?
God has a plan for you!
The Bible illustrates this.
Long before our physical mothers had us in their minds, God has us in his mind.
In this season, our resolutions should start with God, not with ourselves.
- Psalm 139:13-14 “God knit me together in my mother’s womb – that’s why I praise God, because I’m fearfully and wonderfully made.”
- Jeremiah 1:9 “Before I formed you in your mother’s womb, I knew you. I set you apart and appointed you as a prophet to all nations.”
- Ephesians 1:4 “God chose us before the creation of the world to be holy, to be blameless in his sight.”
God has plans for you!
We must remember that without the purpose of God, life is meaningless activity, a directionless path.
The will and plan of God is the biggest purpose that we should know. John: “I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full.” Therefore, God’s plan is that we have life to the full! God who is creator, maker, designer of all things should be interested in our small lives. He who hung the stars in the sky should have a plan/hope for us.
Can you imagine parents with no hopes for their children? Can you imagine a man with no special plan for a woman he accepts as wife? Can you imagine a head coach with no plan for his players? A captain with no plan for his soldiers? A king with no plan for his country? A boss with no plan for his workers? Absolutely not.
How much more, God, who created us in his likeness?
There are 4 reasons why God’s plan is not only the best, but also the ONE AND ONLY best plan for our lives.
Only when we discover God’s plan can we find true meaning and purpose for our lives.
#1. Only God knows the future – so we must learn about God’s plan.
There is a great interest into looking into the future. Daily horoscopes, fortune tellers, end-of-the-world predictions, are everywhere.
In the Old Testament, diviners, fortune tellers, should be killed immediately. It is very foolish to look into the future.
Proverbs: Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what lies ahead.
Job 23:10 “Only he knows the way I will take. After he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.”
You do not know about tomorrow – not even one single minute later.
It is only God who can lead us through the uncertainties of tomorrow.
No matter how dark the storms of life may appear, God can lead us through them.
That’s why God’s plan/purpose/will is so important.
#2: Only God knows what is the best.
One of the biggest mysteries of our lives is…we all know what we “like” but we don’t all know what we really “need”
Sometimes we want God’s stamp of approval in our desires, even selfish desires. But God wants to lead us in HIS purposes.
That doesn’t mean that God wants to make us suffer under his plan – he is our father, and like a father wants us to enjoy our lives. But he also knows, like a father, our inabilities, our incapabilities of planning our own lives.
We cannot be in two places at once, or do two things at once, or go two ways at once. So, God knows which way is the best way.
Romans 8, 16? “In this same way, the HS helps us in our weaknesses. Many times, we do not know what we should pray for so the HS intercedes for us with groans.”
#3: Only God has a plan for blessing /hope /prosperity.
Is your life all that you want it to be? Are you experiencing the best you can? We can, through Christ. We can confess like David, “We are created fearfully, wonderfully.” We are a special and precious creation of God – who cares.
Even though we’ve sinned, even though we’ve defaced God’s creation, salvation is still readily available for us.
The message of the gospel is that God has a plan for us that reaches from eternity past to eternity future.
Eph. 2:10 “We are God’s workmanship made in his likeness and created to do good works he has set aside for us to do from the beginning of time.”
#4: We want to do God’s work?
Jonah is a classic example of a man who wouldn’t follow God’s plan – he disobeyed.
God’s plan was that he be an instrument to reach a people for Him – but Jonah disobeyed and sailed away. So, God had to judge Jonah. He had to put him in a place where he would listen to God’s voice and be willing to hear God’s voice.
Eph 5:17 “Do not be foolish. Understand what God’s plan is, what the Lord’s will is.”
How? We discussed the WHY – now, HOW can we discover and find God’s plan?
There are prerequisites.
#1. Salvation – without this it is impossible to know God’s plan.
Without salvation, we are spiritually dead. Is it possible for the dead to know something? No, therefore, the first step for us to know God’s plan is: to be alive – spiritually alive – get salvation – only through Jesus Christ, dead, resurrected, coming soon.
John “To those who received him, to all those who called on his name, he gave the right to be called children of God.”
#2: Surrender, Submission
Without an attitude of surrender, submission, it is impossible to enter further, to see further the plan of God. Why do we want to see the plan? To obey. Knowing and not doing is double disobedience. God never is cheated, he is wise. His foolishness is wiser than our wisdom.
Conclusion of Sermon on the Mount: “Whoever hears these words of mine is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The winds came, the rains beat on the house, but the house stood. But he who hears and does not do is like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. In the storm, the house fell and was destroyed.”
It is the plan of God that the believers live separated, holy lives – set apart from the world, set apart from sin.
Romans 2:10 “Do not be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world. But be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and aprove what God’s will is, his good and pleasing and perfect will.”
We should be free from sexual immorality, and all other kinds of immorality.
John – “Do not love the world, or anything in the world, because anyone who loves the world, the love of God is not in him…this world and its desires pass away soon, but only the man who lives according to the will of God will live.”
Separation WITH holiness is imperative.
If we are not separated, not holy, we cannot see into God’s plan for our lives.
To see the plan of God, deeper, higher, wider, there must be more than head desire, there must be heart desire – passion, zeal, yearning, faithfulness before God.
God does not show us his plan to let us toy with him.
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him and he shall direct your paths.”
Especially this year, may God bless all of us.
I don’t know your situation, your background. But regardless, God has a plan and a purpose for you.
At the same time, God has a plan and a purpose for AICF. Because AICF is the body of Christ, it is the congregation of God’s servants, God’s children.
2013 AICF Prayers:
Definitely God has a plan, purpose, desire for AICF so that his name may be glorified fully.
We are not here by accident – I want to ask you individually, personally – do not be here MERELY as observers, onlookers. We all have a part, if we are members, we ALL have something to do here.
Jer. 29:12 “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.”
- CALL, COME, PRAY.
- ASK, SEEK, KNOCK.
- PRAY, PRAY, PRAY.
29:13 “Call to me, and I will answer you, so greatly that you will not understand.”
All the time, God is ready to listen to our cries. Without praying, it is impossible for God’s will to be fulfilled and realized.
He will accomplish his plan when we pray and call on him. Whenever we get together, let us pray for AICF for His glory.
1. Unity and Growth of AICF is very important
Eph. 4:3 “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace – there is one body, one baptism, one Spirit, one father of all who is above all and in all and through all.”
Gal 3 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female, in Christ…”
- We are different in visible details.
- But in invisible details, we are ONE.
- Visible things are temporary.
- Invisible things are eternal.
- What is unseen is more important.
- If we can see the unseen, we are spiritual.
2. 200+ worship together
This is not the final goal, just the middle. This is not about numbers, but about more people meeting Jesus.
Can you see outside? As long as there are the lost on the street, God is never happy or satisfied with all the people in the church.
What is the first and original plan of God?
- Be fruitful
- Increase in number
- fill the earth
- subdue it
- rule over all creation.
The original plan/blessing of God.
The story of the father in the book of Luke (prodigal) – one son (us, church people) were always at home helping Daddy. The other son (those people on the street) went off to enjoy himself. But Daddy always watched and waited at the window for the lost son to return home. This is the heart of God.
We should increase in quality and also number.
3. Our own space – we are very crowded, busy.
This year the main church has a 30 year anniversary – we expect and pray for action for a new building this year. If you want this, pray for it.
4. Active koinonia in cell groups – we will start with 5.
We will have cell activity this year. Our body (church) has many cells and increases in size and maturity by the division of cells – so we hope and pray for more and more cells.
Koinonia – Greek – difficult to translate in a single word – very visible in Acts – fellowship, relationship, holy intimacy, service, sharing, helping, building, in many ways this word was translated in Acts.
5. More mission – we are living at the last time of last times.
Matthew 24:14 “The gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and THEN the end will come.” To mens’ eyes, there are many many local churches. But to God’s eyes, there is only one global church – so we must pray for AICF, for Antioch Church, for Jeonju’s churches, for Korea’s churches, for all the churches and missionaries of the world.
Shall we pray?
John: “Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you…For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.”