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
1. Sometimes God DOES get angry – Moses’ Call
2. He is seeking our good
Too often good intentions stay INTENTIONS – not with God. . .
II. God’s Good Intentions Lead to God’s Good Actions
A. God’s Purpose is to Act for Our Good
I read a story of a man traveling through Atlanta who noticed in the Yellow Pages, in the listing of restaurants, an entry for a place called Church of God Grill. The peculiar name aroused his curiosity and he dialed the number A man answered with a cheery, "Hello, Church of God Grill!" He asked how the restaurant had been given such an unusual name? "Well replied the owner, we had a little mission down here, and we started selling chicken dinners after church on Sunday to help pay the bills. Well, people liked the chicken more than the church, and we were doing such a good business, that eventually we cut back on the church services.
After a while we just closed down the church altogether & kept on serving the chicken dinners. We kept the name we started with, and that’s Church of God Grill."
Sometimes we are like the “Church of God Grill” and lose our purpose. We get caught up in life’s demands so that we lose sight of who and whose we are.
We might believe in a sovereign God but that does not get into our hearts and then it is not lived out in our lives.
God Does NOT Forget His Purpose!
1. We Do Not Always See what God is Doing – Genesis 50.20
2. Not all is “good” – Romans 8.28