July 15

The human mind may devise many plans, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will be established. Proverbs 19:21

 

Therefore, be serious and discipline yourselves for the sake of your prayers. Above all, maintain constant love for one another for love covers a multitude of sins. I Peter 4:7-8

 

We certainly like to make plans. We plan what we are eating for the next meal, or even plan a week of meals. We plan activities, a movie to go see, a trip to take. We plan birthday and anniversary parties, and graduation celebrations. Somewhere in all that planning we probably planned what we were going to do for our life – job and career, marriage, maybe kids, and then retirement. Some of this planning has results, probably the parts where we really do take time and plan. Much does not. Some of our planning is more like dreaming of what we hope will happen. Of course, these last few months we all have had to change many of our plans. No gatherings, stay home, we can meet on Zoom at least. And make new plans for this new situation.

 

The Bible is clear that God has plans for us and for our world. In Jeremiah 29:11 we read that God said: “For I know the plans I have for you.” My Bible notes referred me to also look at Proverbs 16:1-9 where we can read “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” (verse 3)

 And “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” (verse 9)

 

It is clear that as God created us and has a plan for us, we should listen to what it is we are to do. When we look at the words in I Peter we hear that we are to be serious – and disciplined — in our prayer life. Set aside time daily to pray and ask and praise and listen to God. Then we are to love. Love each other, love our neighbors, love the world we live in. It says “constant” love. That sounds awfully hard to do; after all we do get upset at people from time to time. But with God’s help, we can try to do this. We can pray daily for the strength to love all others. God loves all of us, we reflect His love back into His world.

 

Wise God of time and eternity, you make everything work together for our good and for your will to be established in earth as it is in heaven. Help us always to remember that your perfect plans give us hope and love for one another. You call us to live by faith in a larger world. Give us the courage of your love for the sake of everyone for whom we pray. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

Chris Gabel