Summary: Do we take our plans and present them to God? Are we planning for eternity?
Planning for the Future
One of my favorite commercials on T.V. is the one where the elderly couple has guest over to their home. The guest are sitting on the sofa and the home owners are shaking them while telling them how glad they are to see them. When the couple that was visiting leaves the home owners yank the cushions off the sofa and gather the loose change. The commercial is an advertisement for a financial institution. The message is “plan for retirement now!”
Should we plan? What does God’s Word say about this topic? This applies to our relationships, finances and many other issues in this life and eternity in the afterlife.
I. PLAN FOR LONG-TERM DEDICATION. LUKE 14:28-32
A) We could go out to our property on P hwy. and pour concrete tomorrow. Someone might walk up and say “What kind of building are you erecting?” Our response could be “oh, we don’t know. We are just going to start pouring concrete and nailing some boards together. We are going to the Spirit direct us.”
B) Jesus is saying you wouldn’t build a tower or go to war without planning. His point is that if we are to be a true disciple that is going to endure, we must count the cost of following Him and choose to do so anyway.
1) There will be times that it will be difficult and even costly to follow Christ. Will you stay true or are you only interested in the perks? Mark 8:10-21
2) Don’t seek persecution in some false sense of hyper-spiritualism. Avoid it when you can but never at the cost denying the Gospel. The spies in Jericho, Peter, Paul, even Jesus himself avoid the angry mobs when possible. But when it came down to making a stand, they stood committed.
C) This is the commitment that says “no matter what, I will remain committed to Christ.” The Bohemian reformer John Hus was a man who believed the Scriptures to be the infallible and supreme authority in all matters. He died at the stake for that belief in Constance, Germany, on his forty-second birthday. As he refused a final plea to renounce his faith, Hus’s last words were, “What I taught with my lips, I seal with my blood.” Source unknown
Are we willing to say “Lord I have counted the cost. I know that being a follower is not going to be the easiest life. I know that it may cost me at times to remain true. But knowing that, I still look at what you paid for me to have salvation. I commit to you for the long term. I will be steadfast.”
II. PLAN FOR INCLUDING GOD IN EVERYTHING ESPECIALLY ETERNITY. Matt 12:13-21
A) This man in the parable represented many in Christ’s day and many in our day. He planned and planned and planned. He was a real businessman, always looking for an angle on making more money.
1) One of the greatest lies of our world is that money provides security. You can go to bed a millionaire and wake up a pauper.
2) His covetous and greedy nature led him to tear down his barns and build new ones. But he didn’t plan for eternity.
B) This man deceived himself into believing he had plenty of time. “Soul, you’ve done good.”
C) God spoke the truth. “Tonight your soul will be required….you will die.” And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: Heb 9:27
In the spring of 1981, a young man was flown into desolate northern Alaska to photograph the natural beauty and mysteries of the tundra. He took along 500 rolls of film, several firearms, and 1,400 pounds of provisions.
As the months passed, the words in his diary changed from wonder and fascination into a nightmare. In August he wrote, “I think I should have used more foresight about arranging my departure. I’ll soon find out.” In November he died in a nameless valley, by a nameless lake, 225 miles northeast of Fairbanks. An investigation revealed that though he had carefully planned his trip, he had made no provision to be flown out.
Our Daily Bread, March-May, 1998, p. for March 24