Summary: God has significant plans for his people. We must respond to him in an appropriate manner -- with our whole hearts!
1. ILLUSTRATION: ON DESTINY
There was a frog that absolutely knew his destiny was to turn in to a handsome young prince. But for confirmation, he decided to visit a fortuneteller. The fortuneteller brought the frog in and gazed into her crystal ball. She said, “Oh, I see something. You are going to meet a beautiful young woman.” The frog gets very antsy, “Yes, I knew it. I’m going to become a prince.” The fortuneteller continues, “From the moment she sets eyes on you she will have an insatiable desire to know all about you. She will be compelled to get close to you--you’ll fascinate her." The frog is very excited. He asks, “Where am I? At a singles club?”
The fortuneteller answers, “No, Biology class.”
2. There is something within us that says we are important; that we want to rise higher than our current position
3. God agrees – EACH one of us is important to God – Galatians 2.20 (the life I now live)
a. We each have shortcomings
b. We each have things to overcome
4. Jeremiah 29.10-14
a. Captivity of Judah
b. Based on sinfulness of the people (see Jeremiah – no converts)
I. God’s Good Intentions
I once read the true story of a woman who told about how frustrated she’d gotten with her husband during the early years of their marriage. Apparently they both worked, but she took pride in the idea that she could still prepare good meals for them to eat. She’d prepare meals in advance and put them in freezer bags, carefully labeling the bags in large clear letters: “Meatloaf” or “Pot Roast” or “Steak and Vegetables or “Chicken and Dumplings” or “Beef Pot Pie.”
But when she’d ask her husband what he wanted for dinner – he’d never make a decision. He’d just say something like: “ah, whatever.”
So, she decided to stock the freezer with what food that he actually asked for. NOW, if you looked in her freezer you’d see a whole new set of labels.
You’d find dinners with neat, legible tags that say: “Something Good,” “Whatever,” “I Don’t Know,” “I Don’t Care,” “Anything,” or simply: “Food.”
APPLY: This woman had planned “good things” for her husband. She had spent a great deal of time preparing good food for her husband to eat. But he just didn’t seem to care…
I wonder how God feels about our responses to his plans for us. . . .
A. God Attracts Us by His Goodness
1. Physical Necessities – (Matthew )
2. Spiritual Necessities – “Son’s Reign”
B. God Wants the BEST, not the Worst
21 “But if a wicked person turns away from all his sins that he has committed and keeps all my statutes and does what is just and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 22 None of the transgressions that he has committed shall be remembered against him; for the righteousness that he has done he shall live. 23 Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord GOD, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live? Ezekiel 18.21-23