From the very beginning of creation God revealed His intention for mankind to develop the whole earth for His glory (Gen.1:26-28). As this has been God’s plan from the start, we should keep it in mind as we make our own plans for a new year.
Making plans for the coming year is a wise thing to do. God Himself makes plans, and by making plans ourselves we show that we bear His likeness.
But we must not merely plan – we must have regard for God in our plans.
Many will make plans during this time of year. Those with wisdom will make them with an awareness of God’s presence and a desire for His glory.
The Proverbs reveal an inescapable interplay between the plans of men and the plans of God. Consider a few examples. . .
“The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord” (Pr.16:1).
“Commit your works to the Lord, and your plans will be established” (Pr.16:3).
“The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs His steps” (Pr.16:9).
What is the gist of these verses?
Helpful discussion on the celebration of Christmas. “There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace” (Is.9:7). . .
There was a news report out a few days ago that told about a bank that was being forced by the government to remove all of its Christmas decorations. Generic holiday decorations could stay, but anything having to do with Christmas, Jesus, or the Christian message of the season had to go.
Many would see this kind of action as another example of what’s been called “the war against Christmas.” But actually, attempts to rid the season of any vestiges of the Christ child is just one battle in a much larger war – the war against Jesus Himself.
The war against Jesus has been going on for a very long time. In fact, it precedes His incarnation.
After the fall of mankind, God promised that a seed would be born who would overcome evil and redeem fallen humanity (Gen.3:15). Once that promise was issued, Satan did his best to keep it from being fulfilled.
Cain’s murder of Abel, the corruption of the human race before Noah, Pharaoh’s efforts to kill the male offspring of the Hebrews, and Saul’s attacks on David are just a few examples of Satan-inspired attempts to keep God’s promised seed from coming forth.
But the seed did come forth. In the fullness of time, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman. This is what we celebrate at Christmas.
Yet, even after Christ was born, the war continued as attempts were made to keep Him from reigning and ruling as the royal seed.
When the prophet Isaiah wrote of Him, he described Him as the “Prince of Peace” (Is.9:6). After the announcement of Christ’s birth was made, the heavenly host praised God saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men. . .” (Lk.2:14). Also, the hope of Christ’s kingdom is that the day will come when, “Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war” (Is.2:4).
With the coming of Christ, peace should be a foremost desire for us, and what we strive for in the midst of conflict. The Bible tells us as much as it depends upon us, we are to “be at peace with all men” (Rom.12:18). It also says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God” (Mt.5:9).
In light of the emphasis that the Bible puts on peace, it’s remarkable how many professing Christians are so quick to advocate war. Too often the knee-jerk reaction to some country that goes against our nation’s established policy is to want to “nuke ‘em.” We’d rather send the military than missionaries to bring about change.
Of course, a nation has a right to defend itself. But let’s consider a few facts.
As a nation – at least publicly – we have abandoned God. His Word tells that if we forsake Him, He will forsake us (2 Chr.15:2). A nation forsaken by God is sure to find itself in more trouble, including war.
Good words from one of the finest preachers of the last century. . .
“Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? You must take yourself in hand, you have to address yourself, you have to preach to yourself, question yourself. . . then you must go on to remind yourself of God, Who God is, and what God is and what God has done and what God has pledged Himself to do.”
~ Martyn Lloyd-Jones
What is the biblical basis for talking to yourself? Psalm 42:5. . .
Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence.