Part One What Does God Want for You?
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
Renee and I live on a creek. A couple of years ago the city put in a walking path on the opposite side of our creek with a bridge over it that people use to get on the walking path. It’s been a blessing to many people – at least to those that know about it and that use it.
God has created that for us. Jesus Christ made Himself the bridge to cross over from our life without God and laden with sin, over to God – the place were we can see Him as He really is and actually have an intimate relationship with Him.
Sin was what separated God from man. Jesus became the bridge. Sin is unholy and God cannot associate with it. It is contrary to who He is. Jesus offered His life to receive our punishment for all our sins, past, present and future. 2 Cor. 5:21 puts it like this: “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.”
When that verse says, “…so that we could be made right with God through Christ…” it’s implying that Jesus blotted out our sins. The Apostle Peter preached it like this, Acts 3:19 “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,”
This truth is initially hard for anyone’s mind to wrap its arms around because we know that even after receiving Jesus Christ as Savior, we still blow it and sin. How could God keep loving us? That has always been hard for people to grasp. It is God’s love – a love that is so great and far reaching into our lives, it’s almost seems too good to be true. It can only be grasped by spending time with God in His Word and prayer so that His Holy Spirit can reveal this glorious truth to each of us personally. It’s what makes us fall in love with the Jesus.
Throughout all Biblical times, God’s people have struggled with believing God really loves them. They struggled with the thought that the God of the universe would care intimately about them. They struggled believing He would always be with them and would love them and would watch over and protect them and take care of them.
When God first used Moses to bring them from Egypt, He made it clear that He wanted to bless them with His Promised Land. God’s people hadn’t been to this land yet. They really didn’t know how great it was. Nor did they really understand all God desired to do for them IF they would trust and put their faith in Him. Every time they saw God do a miracle it affected and blessed their lives in some way. God brought protection – the parting of the Red Sea and the drowning of Pharaoh’s armies. He brought provision – water from a rock and food – a sea of quail that flew right into their camp. He fed them, manna – angel food from Heaven, and more. He brought treasures – all the Egyptians gave the Israelites an abundance of jewels, silver, and gold as they left Egypt because of the Lord’s doing. They had seen God’s miraculous hand repeatedly. When these miracles were fresh, they had faith. As soon as any kind of hardship came, they abandoned their faith and whined to Moses and God.
They always wanted to see Him move in the form of magnificent eye-popping miracles. If they didn’t’ see God move in some demonstrative miraculous way as they faced their day-to-day problems, then they turned their back on Him and abandoned their faith. People still do that today. They bargain with God and pray more out of desperation but seldom in unwavering faith based upon what He has promised us. God was upset with them. Could they only have faith if He did these kinds of miracles every day? Children have more faith than that!
Other books of the Bible written hundreds of years later give profound hindsight. In the book of Ezekiel, written possibly over eight hundred years latter, we see God upset and declaring His judgment upon Israel once again. Once again they were living in unbelief. God refers back to the days when He called Israel to receive the Promised Land that Moses and Joshua would lead them into. He reveals what His intent – His love demonstrated for them was. God’s intent is what His will is for them then and us today – what He as a loving Father wants for His children. Read and spot His intent through this verse.
Ezekiel 20:5-6 “Give them this message from the Sovereign Lord: When I chose Israel and revealed myself to her in Egypt, I swore that I, the Lord, would be her God. I promised that I would bring her and her descendants out of Egypt to a land I had discovered and explored for them—a good land, a land flowing with milk and honey, the best of all lands anywhere. “
God wanted to bring them into a land – an awesome land He “…called the best of any lands anywhere.” It would be a land where they would be blessed. But, they could only take hold of this Promised Land one way – through faith and trust.
God loves you. He wants good and blessing for you more than you want it for yourself. That is how a good parent is. His good finds its way into our lives through fervent faith. As I continue in this series you will see exactly that.
For today, listen to this love song – today’s Fresh Manna verse from God to you. Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” More later…
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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