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The fact is, Jesus has made an investment in you.

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  5. 2. God’s Perfect Plan |

He paid for your life with His life, and He expects you to take care of His investment. When you say yes to God, accepting by faith what Jesus did for you and trusting His grace and forgiveness to save you, then God puts His Spirit inside you as a guarantee of your salvation. The Bible says it like this:. So let me ask you this: I am not the owner of my body, but I am the caretaker, or manager, of it.

The word for manager in the Bible is steward. Taking care of my body is an issue of spiritual stewardship. In fact, God tells me that one day I will have to give an account for how well I managed everything He gave to me, including my body.

What does the Bible say about the Millennium and the end times?

In The Purpose Driven Life I explain how your life on earth is a test, a trust, and a temporary assignment. This life is preparation for our next life, which will last forever in eternity. God is testing you on earth to see what He can trust you with in eternity. He is watching how you use your time, your money, your talents, your opportunities, your mind, and yes, even your body.

God never wastes anything. He gets the maximum use out of all He creates. Right now you are living in the 1. You will get the 2. We know that after Jesus came from the grave, He walked around Jerusalem for forty days in a resurrected body. He was seen multiple times by many different groups of people, including one event where more than people saw and talked with Him.

So we know that other people will still recognize you in the new 2. What is your response to these five truths about our bodies?

What is the Millennium?

How are they different from what the world says about our physical selves? In what ways do you hear God calling you to treat the gift and responsibility of your body differently? Come join the conversation on our blog! We want to hear from you! God has a lot to say about the importance of the body He gave you. My body belongs to God. It is His property, not mine. He created my body, and He expects me to use it the way He intended for it to be used.

The Bible tells us the exact opposite. Your body is holy because God made it, and everything God makes has a purpose. Jesus paid for my body when He died for me on the cross. As we saw earlier, 1 Corinthians 6: This fact also makes our salvation and sanctification secure Philippian 1: It includes the calling of individuals to specific service see Jeremiah 1: The plan has precise timing as well Jeremiah The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands Psalm For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.

To Him be the glory forever. So it was with Satan as well see Isaiah Through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God Romans 5: In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, in order that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we may have strong encouragement, we who have fled for refuge in laying hold of the hope set before us.

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil Hebrews 6: The counsel of the Lord stands forever, The plans of His heart from generation to generation Psalm This is based on the truth that God is all-knowing and all-powerful, that He is faithful to His promises, and that His glory is at stake.

Nothing is more certain than the plan of God. From a human point of view, the plan is being unfolded progressively through history and is only partially revealed. They also added more detail to the plan which God had outlined in the Law. The suffering of the Messiah is hinted at in Genesis 3;15 and is foreshadowed in the offering up of Isaac Genesis 22 and in the rejection and suffering of Joseph Genesis , as well as in the Passover Exodus It is further explained in the Psalms 16, 22 and the prophets Isaiah And so the Messiah was progressively revealed as the God-man.

Some call them dispensations. Even those who reject dispensationalism admit to one degree or another that there are differences in the way in which God has exercised His rule over men. At each point of change, there are some principles and precepts which remain constant, while other aspects change significantly. While God has revealed all that we need to know about His plan for creation, there is much He has purposed not to reveal to us.

A. Situational Analysis

We are instructed not to seek to fill these gaps see Deuteronomy At times of sin and rebellion against God, the prophetic lamp is extinguished, so to speak. This is because God does not wish to inform nor to comfort sinners. When men turn from God, they turn also from His comfort and the enjoyment of peace and hope:. Be delayed and wait. Blind yourselves and be blind. They become drunk, but not with wine; They stagger, but not with strong drink. For the Lord has poured over you a spirit of deep sleep, He has shut your eyes, the prophets; And He has covered your heads, the seers.

To the degree that God has not revealed His plan, it is a mystery. But even that which He does reveal is a mystery. To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things; in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.

This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him Ephesians 3: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and He will have compassion on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.

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  • It is a mystery because of the mysterious way in which God works, using sin to accomplish His good will, suffering to produce glory, death to bring about life. It is a mystery which fallen man cannot fathom apart from the illumination of the Holy Spirit:. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.

    But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no man. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he should instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ 1 Corinthians 2: You and I do not set up insurance programs, savings accounts, or college education funds for every child in the neighborhood.

    We make provisions for the good of our children. What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And He did so in order that He might make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles Romans 9: God allows sin to be committed for evil purposes when it produces the good He has purposed.

    A cake in the making is quite different from the finished product. The process includes beating and heating, but the final product is good eating. The writer to the Hebrews reminds us this was the case with all of the Old Testament saints:. All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return.

    The Kingdom of Heaven in the Here and Now and Future

    But as it is, they desire a better country, that is a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them Hebrews We must come to see suffering not just as the result of sin but the process for producing saints:. But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?

    For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness Hebrews Satan was the most powerful angel, the most powerful of all the creatures God brought into existence.

    He wished rather to have the preeminence, to rule himself see Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel Satan persuaded Eve and then Adam to rebel against God and against His one rule. God created the nation Israel to serve as a kingdom of priests, the instrument through which the rule of God over the earth could be implemented see Exodus They too rebelled against God, His rule, and His rules His law.

    Now, the church rules, but not by physical force see John The history of the church see Revelation 2 and 3 will demonstrate that we too will not rule as God would have us do, and thus He Himself must come to the earth to establish the kingdom of God. We shall find that we ourselves groan, waiting for His perfect rule see Romans 8: The Messiah came to save men from their sins, and He will come again to establish His rule over a fallen world.

    When we repent and turn to Christ in faith, we should understand that we receive Him as Savior and Lord. To whatever excesses this truth may have been carried, let us not reject the truth. Nebuchadnezzar learned about lordship the hard way, but he indeed learned:. Throughout human history, men have demonstrated their faith in God by submitting to His rule. They, like saints today, understood that one must trust and obey. This is why Moses set the law before the people of Israel as a matter of life and death see Deuteronomy It is not because law-keeping saves us, but because reverence for God will be reflected by respect for His laws.

    There is a plan for creation. It is an eternal plan, one which encompasses all of creation, and every detail. It is a plan which is certain to be fulfilled, for the glory of God and for the good of those who love Him. The plan is a mystery, which we would not have known apart from its partial and progressive revelation in the Bible.

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    • It is one we cannot understand, apart from the illumination of the Holy Spirit. It is a plan which employs means we would naturally think are inconsistent with its end--its goal. God uses suffering to produce holiness, faith, and His glory. He uses the rebellion of men to establish His eternal rule. No wonder Peter tells us 1 Peter 1: Let us not seek to separate these two, since God in His plan, has joined them. Saints of old struggled with this tension of suffering and glory. Job could not understand his suffering.

      Asaph, in Psalm 73, struggled with the success of the wicked and the suffering of the righteous. Let us never forget that no one will ever experience suffering and glory more than our Lord. Whatever suffering God may call us to endure, to enter into His glory, it will never begin to compare with that our Lord Himself experienced see Romans 5, 8; Hebrews But His plan is also instructive as to the kind of plans we make. Some see planning as inconsistent with our faith in God, directing us to such texts as:. It seems to prohibit any thought, any consideration of the future.

      If so, this would surely prohibit planning for the future. In the context, however, it is clear that Jesus is teaching us not to worry about the future; He is not telling us to refrain from planning for the future. Worry is the opposite of faith. Jesus never discouraged plans. He exposed the foolishness of poor planning, especially planning which failed to count the cost Luke He urged potential followers to count the cost of discipleship Luke 9: Early in His ministry, when our Lord was popular, He instructed His disciples to take no provisions for their journey Luke 9: Planning is not condemned in Scripture; it is commended see Proverbs God has not revealed His entire plan to us, and thus we do not know the specific dates and timing of promised future events see Matthew You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.

      We must not take our plans too seriously. In the Book of Acts, the apostles devised a plan to replace Judas see Acts 1: From what we can tell, the action taken by the apostles did not have much of an impact on the church. When, on the other hand, God raised up Paul as an apostle, completely independent of the apostles, the world was turned upside-down.

      The apostolic church had not planned to evangelize the world and probably would have opposed it see Acts 10 and Nevertheless, God sovereignly sent out witnesses Acts 8: The important lesson for us to learn is that we should plan for the future. Our plans should also be tentative, knowing that God often accomplishes His will in ways which we would never have imagined and for which we would never have planned.

      In these cases, our plans must change as the hand of God becomes evident. It is not intended to cause us to become careless as though nothing we do matters. Peter, in his last epistle, puts it this way:.

      “You Do Not Need Anyone To Teach You”

      But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, on account of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.

      Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, and regard the patience of our Lord to be salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you 2 Peter 3: This lesson brought a text to mind which I have not taken seriously enough before:. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

      For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. How then can Jesus instruct us to pray in this way? There, His will is written on the hearts of men. Men will do His will, joyfully, consistently, and without exception. There will be no permissive will in heaven. There will be no sin, no rebellion, no need to employ evil to achieve good or suffering to bring glory.

      In heaven, it will be different. May we be used in His plan as obedient servants, and not as stubborn sons kicking and screaming at every turn. May we be a Moses and not a Pharaoh. Either way, God will be glorified, and His will accomplished. It is a choice we have been given. It is a choice which determines not only our eternal destiny, but our peace, joy, and hope in the present.

      May we choose to praise God, the Planner, for His perfect plan. Plans are necessary in order to pursue and fulfill a purpose. God is a God of order and purpose.