God’s Great Plans

What’s your master plan? Most of us don’t plan what we’re gonna eat for lunch let alone what we’ll be doing 10 years for now. I believe in setting goals and making plans, but more than that I believe that God has a plan for all of us and no plan is greater or more elaborate than His plan for salvation.

Let’s look back at Jonah for a moment, he was swallowed by a giant fish! This is one of the crazier moments in the Bible, but it sure speaks to the extreme measures God is willing to go to demonstrate His love for us and help guide us down the right path. Just before this Jonah was drowning in the ocean, being tossed by stormy waves and did something he hadn’t done since he began running from God.

Jonah 2:7-9 (NLT)  As my life was slipping away, I remembered the Lord. And my earnest prayer went out to you in your holy Temple.

 Those who worship false gods turn their backs on all God’s mercies. But I will offer sacrifices to you. with songs of praise, and I will fulfill all my vows. For my salvation comes from the Lord alone.” 

The storm brought him to a place of repentance and that was when God sent the fish. The fish is a sign of the sovereignty of God and His faithfulness to rescue His people.

2 Samuel 14:14 (NLT)  God does not just sweep life away; instead, he devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from him.

I am always amazed at how great the love of God is. He looks down on us in all our sins, all our brokenness and He says, “I made you, I chose you, you’re my son, you’re my daughter, I love you!” He went to great lengths to devise a plan to rescue us from our sin.

Ephesians 1:7-10 (MSG)  Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.

What I love is the fact that it was God’s plan to rescue us, it was Jesus’ death and resurrection that brought us freedom. It has never been our actions that earned our salvation. It’s never been about our good deeds, but Jesus’ great deed on the cross.

God’s capacity to forgive cannot be outdone by our capacity to sin. We all have moments where we fall short and struggle with sin. Can I encourage you to not give up! God hasn’t given up on you or stopped loving you just because you blew it this week. Keep spending time in prayer and studying His word.

I absolutely believe that in Jesus we find the grace and power to be completely set free from sin, but just as importantly we find mercy patience and love enough to forgive us every time we fall short.

I am reminded of the anguish from which Paul writes in Romans 7.

Romans 7:18-25 (NLT) I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart.23 But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.

Struggling with sin is not a new concept, but one that has plagued humanity ever since the fall of man. When we recognize we have fallen short we should always come to the Lord and repent, He is faithful and Just to forgive us. (1 John 1:9) I love what Paul writes next.

Roman 8:1-2 (NLT) So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.

We don’t have to hide our face in shame, we don’t have to run from God and we don’t have to wait until we’re drowning in the middle of a storm like Jonah to come to the Lord and repent. We don’t have to drown in guilt and condemnation. God’s capacity to forgive is greater than our capacity to sin.

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