GOD Is Our Goal ~ GOD’S Plan for His People

(Fifth in the series Little Books About the Magnitude of God)
Our new book is available from Amazon.

How do you wrap up fourteen summers of study with your grandchildren? The diagram we used to summarize our years together is still on the blackboards (two stacked on the back of the door leading to our prayer room) from five years ago. This book, with the diagram, is the conclusion we came to ~ GOD at the top, our Purpose at the bottom, and His PLAN through JESUS between Him and us, doing His work to keep us and bring us to Himself.

“How many goals do we set in a lifetime? How many do we actually reach? The Christian worldview is one that sees goals based on what has been accomplished for us by our Creator and Redeemer. God has a purpose for His creation. He has a plan. He has set the goal, and by His plan in Christ, brings us to Himself. As we live in anticipation of reaching this goal, it affects all that we think, say and do, making our pilgrimage here a joy and a glory to Him.”
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Dear Father, I pray for your grace to lead those who will read this book to see, to know, and to live in assurance of reaching the goal that you have set for us as your people. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

The Center of Contentment

Why do we keep harping on Jesus Christ as relating to contentment?

When He said, “It is finished” He was verbalizing what was from the beginning and what was the end, but more importantly what was between. He had lived His life in full obedience to the law, which no one else could do, and according to the prophecies, He had submitted His life as the sacrifice the Father required.

In the end He had prepared and was leaving for His people the means for the abundant life He promised His disciples. Those who are “in Christ” ~ born again to a living hope by His resurrection (1 Peter 1:3) have this eternal hope that outweighs anything the world has to offer. This life and hope glories in, and is supplied by, the very life of Christ, Himself.

He set up His Spirit, His mind, His words, and His life to be the center of our lives (John 6:63). To veer from Him is to leave what He has prepared for us. To live for us and to give His life for us was not just a flippant desire that He had, hoping that some would believe and consult His teaching. No. His life, death and resurrection were carried through to accomplish all that was planned before the foundation of the world for us.

To have a little of Jesus on the side is to negate His suffering and sacrifice for us.

To consult Him only when things are rough in this life is to live on crumbs from the Master’s table.

He has promised to be all things to His people ~ not to the world ~ but to His people.
He died to sanctify us in Himself (John 17:19; Ephesians 5:25-27; Hebrews 2:11).

When we say, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want” we are echoing His truth and our contentment in Him. We want nothing but what He wants for us.

What Else Do We Need?
God our Father has provided all things in Christ for His people (Romans 8:32; 2 Peter 1:3). As the Galatians were tempted to be circumcised in addition to faith in Christ, so many want to add Christ to what they have already. Some want to add to Christ, when Christ is enough for this life and the next.

We do not need practices from other religions. Similar to Yoga, Transcendental Meditation was something I did years ago. It was very effective for all I wanted it to do, but Christ soon won out. TM had to go; I did not want to be my own god.

There are many religions (on which to base our lives). Christ is not a religion, but a living person. His people do not worship Him in a manger or on a cross. That is all done, “finished” ~ ended. He now sits at the right hand of God the Father, ruling and reigning, with all authority and power ~ for what purpose?

He is our High Priest, interceding, intervening for us, supplying all the blessings and delights that are ours in Him. He is our Prophet, through His Spirit and His written Word to direct us.

He is our King, ruling, hearing and seeing our trials and struggles through the wilderness of this life. We have His promised power and presence with us, so that we can rejoice in Him always, no matter the circumstances.

The Dark Cemetery Ahead Infinite Sea

When Morning Gilds the Skies is a German hymn written in 1800 that still speaks of our life in Christ today. May Jesus Christ be praised is resounded through all of this life into the next. (Not finding a suitable video, the words suffice to show how we are centered in Christ.)

When morning gilds the skies,
my heart awaking cries
May Jesus Christ be praised.

Alike at work and prayer to Jesus I repair,
May Jesus Christ be praised.

When sleep her balm denies,
my silent spirit sighs;
May Jesus Christ be praised.

When evil thoughts molest,
with this I shield my breasts;
May Jesus Christ be praised.

Does sadness fill my mind? A solace here I find;
May Jesus Christ be praised.

Or fades my earthly bliss? My comfort still is this.
May Jesus Christ be praised.

Dear Father bring us as your people, Christ’s people, to see, know, love, obey and rejoice in you today. Let the world see Christ in us. In Jesus’ name, I pray.

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The Reason and Season for Contentment

Jesus is the reason and the season for contentment. We cannot say this strongly enough.
We looked at the role of God, the Father, last week. We will look at the role of the Holy Spirit next week.

Why are we centering on Jesus, the second person of the Trinity? There are many reasons.
(I have to, at this point say as I remind myself, everything I write is something the Lord is teaching me. At this point in our writing about contentment, I am excited about what we are learning.)

Our last post on Jesus could not be enough. Remember John’s last statement of his gospel, “the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” So, if you want to be richer and content with what God has prepared for us as His children, don’t skim this article, but stay with me to hear what He wants us to know.

With a Christian worldview, we see through the eyes of the church, the body of Christ. He is the head and we are growing up into Him as we continue in His Word. We are set free from the bondage of ignorance, the power of death and sin, of fear and the world’s influence.

How is this possible without Jesus Christ? We would still be in our sin, and in the chaotic upheaval of the world. I doubt that the world would still be here. At the precise time that was planned, He was born into this world to fulfill the promises that had been made. (Galatians 4:4-7)

Why are Jesus’ followers not rioting, and complaining? Jesus makes the difference.

How the Trinue God Works His Plan and Power on Earth

Let’s look at how His plan is established in Jesus His Son. God, the Father sent His Son to make the difference ~ between the world and His kingdom ~ a kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy.

Jesus lived a perfect life of righteousness under the law, fulfilling every jot and tittle.:) His life is the center point of God’s plan.
He is the Son, whose life we are given through his death and resurrection (1 Peter 1:3). Since His ascension and ruling at the right hand of the Father on our behalf, He is calling those who are His to live in union with Him. This life is a new life, a supernatural life, in a new relationship with Him and the Father, through the power of the Holy Spirit working all things according to His will and covenant with His people.

Let’s look more closely: God, the Father  + God, the Son + God, the Spirit = The Trinity.

Take away God, the Son ~ We would not know God the Father, nor would the Holy Spirit have been sent to us.

From all the Biblical references we see how the Father focuses all things on His Son. We understand that the whole of God’s Word, from beginning to end, is about Jesus Christ, the promised, living, dying, living, ruling and reigning Messiah. He is the First and the Last, the Alpha and Omega.trinity

We do not have room or time to include all references to Christ, but only a few that relate to His role, His relationship to the Father, the Holy Spirit and to us. I would ask that you reply with the references that you know.

The first promise of the Messiah, Conqueror, and Savior ~ Genesis 3:15
Promise of a Son ~ Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23

He is the image of the invisible God ~ “for by Him were all things created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things were created through him and for him. And He is before all things and in him all things hold together.”  Colossians 1:15-20

 “Making known to us the mystery of his will,
according to his purpose,
which he set forth in Christ

as a plan for the fullness of time,
to unite all things in him,
things in heaven and things on earth.
Ephesians 1:9-10

John, the Baptist’s witness of the Son ~ Matthew 3:11
The Father’s witness of His Son ~ Matthew 3:17; 11:27; 17:5; 1 John 5:6-12;  John 17:1-7, 24;
The Holy Spirit’s witness of the Son ~ John 14:26; John 15;26; John 16:7, 12-15

“He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine
and declare it to you.

All that the Father has is mine;
therefore I said that he will take what is mine
and declare it to you.
John 16:14-15

We have only begun to scratch the surface. There is layer and layer, precept upon precept of “the way, the truth, and the life” that is ours in Jesus Christ, our Lord. All that we need for life, godliness and contentment is all rolled up in this one “ball of wax” and beyond us, to discover what is ours in Him. He is the center and root of all things blessed and beautiful, filling and overflowing with the goodness and grace for all that we need. All that is precious, amazing, and fathomless is promised in Him, revealed and fulfilled in those who are His children.

The Season for Contentment

Because Jesus Christ holds the secret, the means and the power for all things for contentment, we must continue to keep our eyes, ears and all our senses on Him. He is the reason for our contentment. Therefore, the season for our contentment in Him is year-round, never ending, now and forever.8a98b22c4e447787d8764dd91bbbad54

Gracious Father, We thank you for your plan for true life, in and through Jesus Christ, who is to us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption, who upholds all things by the word of His power, who sits at your right ruling and reigning until you have put all things under His feet. We praise you that your greatness and power in Him is unsearchable. Thank you for this unspeakable gift of grace and life in Him, now and for eternity. Open our eyes to see and live in the wonder of who and what He is to us as your people. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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Contentment in Jesus Christ

Posting at 6:24;
awake since 3:34 with thoughts of all the things that are on my two plates for the week,
in addition to the ordinary work that we have to do:
*doctors’ appointments,
*last minute details for publishing our next book, GOD Is Our Goal ~ GOD’S Plan for His People
*writing this post
*writing a letter for our two-year-old great-granddaughter on the occasion of her dedication next Lord’s Day
*keeping a watch on and dressing the diabetic ulcer on Jerry’s foot, etc.
First and last of all these things is my duty as Jerry’s caregiver.
Yet, God has provided His grace for the other things He has planned for us, all to His glory.

How do we do all that He has planned without bouncing off the walls or ending in a tailspin? Where do we start and end with our list?

God, our Father was content before the foundation of the world with His Son, Jesus Christ.
They were content, together, to plan for Jesus to come to us, to live a perfect life for us, to give His life for us for our salvation.
They are content now with what they have done and what they are doing continually for us and in us.
The Course and the Source

This morning as I look at my two full plates, I see Jesus as the main course for this week and every week. Everything is arranged around Him. He is the physician. He is the reason for writing a letter to my great-granddaughter. He is the source of contentment in the middle of what could be confusion and frustration.

When things seem hectic, the Father says, “Listen to my Son.”
Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden.”

He is the Shepherd, keeping and leading His sheep in the way we are to go. imagesIn time we learn that when we get ahead of Him, He lets us go until our impatient steam runs out. Then, we wait for Him to renew, refresh and restore us in Christ, to continue with joy and contentment in Him. At other times He holds us back, and keeps us close until He leads us out in the right path that He has chosen for the moment and for the day.

Some of God’s children live under the oppressive spirit of this world. It doesn’t have to be this way. The Father has given us His Son. The Son has given us Himself for a life of contentment now and forever.

Much more can be said about the contentment that is ours in Christ; perhaps Part 2, later this week.

Please comment on why our contentment is first and foremost in Christ; to add to Part 2.

Gracious Father in heaven, we thank you for granting us all things that pertain to life and godliness through Jesus Christ, your Son. Draw us today to Him; in and through Him keep us close to you, leading us to fulfill all that you have planned for us. Let our contentment be in Him and Him alone. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
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Contentment With GOD Our FATHER

 As I sit in contemplation, praying how to start this post, the reminder comes that everything we as children of the Kingdom do, starts with GOD. This is a reminder that my thoughts, my words, my actions all play off of this truth that only our heavenly Father can teach us.

This is how I have always taught, especially with my grandchildren for fourteen summers, with the premise, “In the beginning, GOD.” Add to this, the first petition in the Lord’s Prayer, “Our Father …. Hallowed be Thy name,” In these, we learn where to start our thinking. From these, we witness to others who we are, and live what we believe.

What we learn from Him never changes because He never changes. “The world lies in wickedness” (1 John 5:19) “under the power of the evil one” (ESV). And we as His children are all prone to forget that He leads us in “the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” According to His will and the power of His light, He brings every generation through the darkness of this world, each heart, and each person to His designated end. From start to finish, it is and always will be, GOD

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us,
that we should be called children of God;
and so we are.
The reason why the world does not know us
is that it did not know him.”
1 John 3:1

The difference is in how we each relate to Him. GOD, to some people, is nothing; purely speculation. He may pass as a thought through the minds of others. But in His kingdom, we relate to GOD as our Father. There is a huge, magnitudinal difference in the minds, hearts, and lives of those who know Him as FATHER. The key word here is “know.”

“Knowing” in God’s Word denotes intimacy; being close enough to live in assurance, without doubt, with the one we know. A child who lives with a father who takes loving care, promises and fulfills his promises, can live content. We are living “with” God our Father. He is not just a supernatural being that has “set His throne above the heavens…His kingdom ruling over all.” He is transcendent so as to encompass all, but He is also, supernaturally, living in our hearts, our minds and our strength.neverthelessHe is always with us. He is GOD to His children when He is nothing to others. He is caring for us in the smallest detail, and the greater things. While the world lives in despair and hopelessness, He is able to supply every need, whether physical or spiritual. If we fail to know, trust and live in light of these truths, then we must set our minds on Him as GOD, in prayer and in meditation on His Word. He is able, “exceeding abundantly able” to “hold us by the hand and guide us with His counsel” to know Him as Father beyond what we can ask or think of Him by His power working in us (Ephesians 3:20-21).psalm-73GOD Is Our Goal ~ GOD’S Plan For His People is our newest publication (next week). This book is a summary of what I taught my grandchildren and relates to God’s goal for us as His children. He, in His purpose for our creation and redemption before the beginning of time, planned how He would bring us through this wilderness to Himself. He has not, and will not fail, to be GOD and Father to us.

Are we His children? Has He ever failed in His promises? Are we content with Him as our GOD and Father? What more does He need to do for us? Let us draw near to Him; stay close to Him, and we will through all our trials and temptations, learn to be content with Him and all He has planned for us.psalm-73

Gracious Father in heaven, you teach us in your Word what you want us to know about you. By your Spirit of Christ working in us, you bring us to yourself so that you may fill our minds and hearts with your love and grace. You are a Father like no other, who promises all that we need for this life and for eternity. Send out your Holy Spirit today; mark us as your own that we may be witnesses of your promises and the fulfillment in us of all that you have prepared for us. Make us to know you as Father in the middle of a world that does not hold this role sacred; a world that lives in the state of oppression. Thank you for leading us to keep our eyes on you, no matter the circumstances. In Jesus’ name, I pray.

A Child’s Plea for God

A Child's Plea

  Give me not a god,
a god that I control.
Don’t give me a god
that I can mold.

 Give me GOD, THE LIVING GOD,
who’s free to come and go.
I need GOD, the REAL GOD,
who knows more than I know.

   GOD, Himself, who created Life,
and all living things—
GOD, who lives, and to my life
His own LIFE He brings.

   I  want  GOD, the HOLY GOD,
who has a master plan.
GOD, the GOD who acts in grace,
though I can’t understand.

 Where is GOD, the GOD OF TRUTH,
who tells it like it is;
Though painful it may seem to me,
shapes my heart like His? 

   I see GOD, the MIGHTY GOD,
when I look at the cross,
Who gave His life that I might live,
removing all the dross.

This GOD, THE GOD I’m looking for,
is greater than the world;
Able to do anything,
simply by His Word.

I will wait for GOD, THE LOVING GOD,
THE GOD OF POWER, still,
Who can, in JESUS, fill my heart,
and conform me to His will.
F.R. 1996

  (Poem was written for our oldest grandchild, Ansley, for her fourth birthday. She is now twenty-four, married, and has a two-year-old daughter.)

The Image of Contentment

Let’s remember the main points from this series on Contentment.

  1. Divine Contentment is supernatural, possible only for God’s people.
  2. It is the result of a relationship between God our heavenly Father and His children.
  3. He will teach us and show us what He is doing in us.

In this post we want to meditate on God’s Word and what we learn from Him, concerning His image and how He works His image in us as His children. He is content with His own work in and through us. Therefore, we must learn to be content with what He is doing.

From the beginning He saw that everything He had made was “good.”

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:” Genesis 1:26a

He is still working all things for our good and conforming us to the image of His Son.

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;”
Romans 8:28-29

We are being transformed to the image of the Lord as we continue to look to Him for all things.

“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
2 Corinthians 3:182-corinthians-3-18-orange-copy

The apostle John and the Psalmist speak of the future when we will see God in all His glory.

“Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.”
1 John 3:2

“As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.” Psalm 17:15

While we wait for His second coming we can be content in our role as a servant, even as He served while He was here.

It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord.
Matthew 10:25

Dear Father, You have created us in your image, and given us new hearts so as to fill us with your Spirit and to conform us to the image of your Son. It is enough for us to be like our Master, and to one day behold your face in righteousness and be satisfied with your likeness. Make us content in the work you are doing in us now, by your grace and for your glory. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
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