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October 14, 2022 8:00 am
God's hand has been involved in the sad things the sinful things that have happened in your life have led you to this point understand that God was working through all of it to bring you to where you're at right now. This is the truth with gone green founding pastor of truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio were done teaches God's people.
I bill right, you heard it said that those who fail to plan, plan to fail. But as Christians we should reword that saying to those who plan without taking God's will into account plan in vain. Today Don begins a message called a plan for life and done what should listeners expect to learn today friend as you listen to our program today, I encourage you to contrast what you're about to hear. With the frivolity and the silliness that you find in the world. Be mindful of this one thing God has given you One Life to live, and he calls you to live that One Life to his glory.
It's a noble call.
It's a joyful call. And as you hear today's program.
Think about moving forward in life with a sense of meaning and confidence as you depend on the Lord and you commit yourself to living, to the glory of Christ in the days to come next God and friend will be in Proverbs 16 turn there in your Bible as we join Greenville in the 12th what we have to talk about here really hits is all right where we live, whether you have threats over past failed relationships concerns about the future of you know I talk with people who are worse very concerned about taking care of their health and all of that 10 different aspects of planning for the future and all of that has around that there is a common thread that is woven through all of those things that were addressing that are common to each one of us that each one of us feels the way to unexpected events come.
The common thread through all of this is taking our understanding of what the Bible teaches about the sovereignty of God and placing it in applying that to the details of our life, both great and small.
This goes to the very very heart of living a productive, wise, fruitful Christian life is to be able to do this in and to be able to understand these things and to apply them properly to your life. You know the Bible says in Proverbs 21 verse one, for example, at the heart of Kings is in the hand of the Lord. He directs him wherever he wishes the Bible teaches us that the very hairs on your head are numbered that the Spiro doesn't fall to the ground or a deer alongside the interstate God's hand is in everything that happens he's in every detail of life, both great and small. The numbers of hairs on your head.
The intervention of life-and-death issues in your life.
Every aspect of it is involved with the sovereignty of God. Nothing escapes his site.
Nothing escapes his direct care for us and I say this and I say this sympathetically.
I have to say this over and over again so that you never lose sight of it. This is always to build you up and sometimes the word as the word helps us, it rebukes us. It exposes defective thinking the lack of faith, perhaps in our thinking that even when the word rebukes us. It is done so to build us up to edify us and to encourage us. So what were going to look at his design for your blessing from beginning to end and to give you a sense of confidence about the future and the ability to be able to see the direction by which you can put the past to rest and not be tortured by the things that have tortured you in the past. All of this comes under the wise counsel of God is shown to us in the book of Proverbs and I would invite you to turn to Proverbs chapter 16 for message. It is always remarkable to come across a single verse of Scripture that unlocks the key to life. Not every verse of Scripture can be said to do that. But this is a verse that properly understood points us in a direction that helps us understand the nature of the Christian life that gives you the capacity to live with a sense of resolution with the past and confidence about the future and it takes all of the pressure off as you contemplate those things look, I get it.
Life you know it's except for people that are just really, you know, narcissistic, and just really wrapped up in themselves in the pursuit of pleasure.
I understand that you take life seriously life matters to you want to live well. You want to honor the Lord as a Christian with what you do well here in this verse. It gives us the mindset by which we can do that is Proverbs 16 verse nine.
It won't take me long to read it. It's about 13 words in the English text Proverbs 16 verse nine says the mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps. What I want to look at here from this verse is to consider the whole nature of planning in the Christian life.
How we approach life.
How do we think about and how do we prepare for the future and also as we do that to be able to cast a look back with you at your past experience in life and be able to give you a means of understanding that in interpreting it in a way that will give you as you meditate on these things. A settled sense of resolution and confidence that God's hand has been involved in all of it.
Even the sad things, even the sinful things that have happened in your life that have led you to this point understand that God was working through all of it to bring you to where you're at right now, there has not been a mistake in the overall sovereign plan of God.
That's not to excuse our sin, but God overrules even our sin to accomplish his purposes, and so when we understand that as a believer in Christ as we understand that Christ is commonly reconciled us to a holy father that he intends to bring us to heaven with him. We realize that God's hand in his direction has been involved in every step of the process and when you understand that when you take that to heart and realize that this is more than an academic truth that were discussing here. You look back and you say that particular regret that thing that I still grieve over somehow I I must view this through the lens of the sovereignty of God, of his personal direction of my life, and therefore, therefore, that which caused me grief, which has still been a burden on my mind.
I look at and say there's an unseen dimension to this there is an unseen element to this that has to affect the way that I think about it, there's an unseen element that somehow the good wise sovereign hand of God was leading me even through that and for those of you that are on the prank of life chain.
This gives you the greatest confidence as you step forward as you make those changes in your life. This provides this verse provides for you the greatest confidence of the certainty of God's blessing as you move forward even if it comes out different than what you expect. This is wonderful truth. This takes the pressure off of your mind. This minimizes this mitigates regret this gives you confidence as you go forward. This is what we need to hear today so were going to talk about planning and see where that takes us and I would use the word plan today with the following sentence okay I like to define terms when we're together just so that were all on the same page word plan PLA in when you plan your doing this you're using your mind to develop a proposed course of action with the means that you have at your disposal to achieve the result that you value your plan will say again you plan when you use your mind to develop a proposed course of action with the means that you have at your disposal to achieve a result that you value now it is very simple, sensitive, non-just in a common sense every day manner.
We all plan 1° or another. I understand that you make a task list for the day ahead to plan out what I wanted to get done today I got a plan 123 that I want to follow. Some people do that you want your car to run well so you follow up maintenance plan and you you maintain it at regular intervals because you value the fact of having a long-term vehicle that is reliable so you take care of the of what you spent your money on so that it will serve you well into the future. The maintenance isn't necessarily necessary right today, but you understand that there's a cumulative impact and so you plan any take care of things because you're taking the future into account. As you live life today. Now that's very simple and basic. So far there are elements of professing Christianity the believe that planning is inconsistent with trusting God there are Christians who would tell you that you shouldn't have life insurance because you're not trusting God. I don't agree with that at all. I think that's foolish thinking to make a blanket statement like that. I want you to see today that there is a role for planning in the Christian life as you think about planning and what it means, what the Bible says about planning it opens up your mind to these whole other issues were talking about about the way we view the past and the way that we view the future to understand this is to understand the whole nature of Christian life and how we live it here today so three points here to think about first point here today is this is your thinking about your life, whether it's thinking about today your thinking about the longer-term future. According to the Scriptures.
Point number one, you should certainly plan you should certainly plan you should have a course of action in mind, not simply be a passive responder to the every circumstance in life, you should take the reins in your hands and start to direct the carriage in the direction that it's going, you should certainly plan you should certainly plan. Look at Proverbs chapter 6, I want you to see that the Bible commands diligent planning. The Bible commands diligent planning and promises blessing on those who do it. Proverbs chapter 6 verse six go to the end O sluggard, observe her ways and be wise we speaking to a lazy person and humbles him with his instruction go look at this insect go to the cantle sluggard, observe her ways and be wise, which having no chief officer or ruler prepares her food in the summer and gathers her provision in the harvest. Solomon says, look at what an insect does to care for life. When the provision is is there in the summer. She gathers it up and preserves it so that it's available when food is in us, readily available in the fall and insect.
Does that and experiences blessing and preserves life for itself and for its colony by those simple planning actions and it's obvious that that's the right thing to do. Solomon goes to a human being made in the image of God, guilty of the sin of laziness and says that's what you need to be locked and so for all of the sophisticated things that we like to commend ourselves for Solomon takes us back and humbles us and says look at an ad and get a view of how you should approach my now turn over Proverbs chapter 21 verse five seed in a more just and more didactic sense, and these things that we see here in verse five really shape the whole nature of your character and it shapes the whole way that you think about life and it preserves you from making foolish decisions in an impulsive reaction to adverse circumstances.
This is the most common mistake. I believe the people make in the Christian life as they make hasty decisions when adverse circumstances, something happens that they don't like and they change the whole direction of their life on an impulse on a whim without due consideration simply because they find themselves suddenly and circumstances that they don't like. We have to rise above that beloved it's not that we don't make plans and change her life. That was a case, I'd still be in California rather than the pastor. Here, but look at chapter 21 verse five the plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, but everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty.
Hasty decisions are the bane of Christian living. Planning. The Bible says leads to advantage impulsive behavior leads to poverty and the wonderful thing about this. The thing that you have to do to really appreciate this. You have to step back and look at it from a big perspective because the consequences of hasty behavior aren't immediately evident and people love to baptize their hasty impulsive behavior with with statements like, well, I think the Lord is leading me to do this. What makes you think what makes you think that the Lord would suddenly call you to the other side of the world when you've never given a thought to that and then you would be making plans to do that instantly. In response to some disappointment in your life that that's not the Lord's leading that you being foolish, but you being hasty and not really taking into account the biblical merit the biblical mandate of planning God's will listen to the moral order of the universe as a principal to be honored and we can see this real simply consider simple example hypothetical example got two men with the same job, same family basic same basic expenses. One man orders his life plans his life plans his finances and saves money at the rate of $200 a month so much money. I understand. But that's but he orders in his discipline in that direction. You got another man is hasty, impulsive with his decisions does a lot of things are beyond his means, and he's spending and it didn't rain about thousand dollars a month initially. Initially, the hasty man has the appearance of external prosperity enjoying life more, but check back in five years. Check back in 10 years and see what the outcome of that approach to life leads secant measured by the instant things that happen you have to evaluate what produces the best long-term result, you have to think that for all of the way that we take life seriously.
We also have to approach life with wisdom and to realize that God has established a creation that is very ordered. Just look at the circulation of the planets in the galaxies around us and you'll see the precision of his order and realize that while we don't have complete control over what we do that we approach life with an orderly sense in order to honor the one who made creation in ordered fashion receive 11. The wise man not only plans his finances. The wise man thinks through life. He plans life. He thinks ahead and see. And here's the ultimate way to plan your life. The wise man. The biblical thinker is going to approach things with this in mind, the wise man is going to plan his life. With this in mind, you look ahead and you realize that coming ahead for your life is the certainly the one day you're going to give an account to God you're going to stand in his presence as a believer in Christ are to stand before the judgment seat of Christ, and he's going to he's going to reward you based on how you've lived your life for the unbeliever.
It's going to be before the great white throne and the certainty of eternal judgment. See the wise person thinks ahead to that certain coming event that is more certain than what you will have for lunch today. He looks ahead to that event, and says oh I need to order my life so that that day that event that time in the presence of God goes well as well as it can be. How can I do that will let me start by saying what he says in his word.
You devote your life to things of eternal significance now because you value the good result of a good outcome in the presence of God in the future, and so you order life that way. Order life around godly priorities rather than the simple pursuit of your fleshly desires.
Moses spoke to this in Psalm 90 verse 12. If you take notes you construct that reference down and look it up later. Moses said, teach us to number our days, so that we may present to you a heart of wisdom. Lord, he says my life is brief and it's going to be over in a flash before I know it helped me to take account of the brevity of life as I love it so that I would use these brief passing days in a productive way that reflects the wisdom that you shown us in your word. Teach us to number our days receive 11 this is what we have to do. This is how we have to think we have to step back and say all life is brief, old life goes by quickly, and God is going to hold me accountable for how I live my life. Therefore I want to live it in a way that is honoring to him and that has the effect of excluding a whole lot of life options from your consideration leaves out and pushes out all manner of sinful living and narrows you down to the path that is revealed in the Scriptures just being conscious just being conscious of coming judgment has a sanctifying effect upon you, and if you've never taken into account the reality of coming judgment in the way that you approach life.
Today's a great day to start. Look, you know that they have accountability that is all coming for us right going to be able to stand before that togetherness will be individual accountability to go through the turnstile as it were, and collectively were not going to be able to stand and support each other through to be individually accountable to Christ for the way that we lived our lives and our time together to help each other through the life.
Now we take advantage of that one day it's not going to be in others to be anyone there is going to be you in the presence of a holy Christ. So take that into account. Beloved, if you been clinging to send in your life. If you're conscious of of anger and bitterness that you've been holding onto because of past relationships or whatever. This is the time to deal with that and straighten it out. It's a good time to apply the principle of biblical forgiveness and relationships. For example, because all that is laid open and bear before holy God with whom we have to do teach us to number our days, that we may present to you a heart of wisdom.
Godly Christians plan their approach life because God commands and commands planning in his word now. Second, secondly, you should plan confidently, you not only plan, certainly, but you should plan confidently and I love this point. This goes into the settled peace that is available to every true Christian turned back to Proverbs chapter 3 were sort of keeping ourselves anchored in Proverbs, although there's a lot of other places we can go over these things. Proverbs chapter 3 verse five we been awakened to the need for planning through thinking through life approaching it taking it seriously. Using our minds to plan both our days and our future and I we see that we do this with confidence. Chapter 3 verse five trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. Watch this in verse six in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight as you were planning as you are trusting Scripture say that the Lord is going to direct your paths and make them straight. He's going to open up the future to you in a way that displays his blessing in your life you will make your paths straight. That is the confidence that we have now.
This gets really personal really quickly. For those of you that are prone to anxiety, fear, uncertainty, what if this what if that need to do this so that that doesn't happen. It's a burden to bear. What Proverbs and the whole tenor of Scripture teaches to us that no Christ is this true Christians should plan their future with a serene confidence that the future will bring good to them, even though that future is uncertain.
Let me state that is a personal second person statement rather than in the third person if you're Christian here today. You should increasingly look to the future with a sense of serenity with a sense of confidence that God is going to be good to you, no matter what happens God is good all the time. No matter the circumstances, as you been reminded today on the truth pulpit. Don will have the second part of this message, titled a plan for life next time and we hope you'll join us. Then we know there's so much to see and email@example.com. There you'll find free podcasts and so much more and you'll get a sense of the heartbeat of this ministry done, how would you summarize your calling admission will bill my whole life is really driven by a single thought. That thought is, is that one day I am going to stand before Christ and see him face-to-face. It's exhilarating and it's sobering at the same time. When I see him I want to hear Christ say well done, thou good and faithful servant. That's the only thing that really ultimately matters to me in life you know over the years, God has directed my life in ways that I didn't understand and that were sometimes sad but now I have a season in life to preach his word and my duty and privilege are to press on toward the goal of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. I hope that your perspective on life to whatever it is that God is given you. Thanks Don and Fran began to visit us at the truth. Pulpit.com.
I will write inviting you to join us next time when Don Greene continues teaching God's people. God's word from the truth