Archives For God’s love

If you have ever been walking down the path you had planned for your life and come to a roadblock that kept you from continuing to fulfill the plan you had, then you will appreciate this book!

As someone who is facing a “Plan B” in my life at the moment, it was refreshing to read the stories presented in the book (Biblical references and personal references from Pete) and see that there are others that are facing an end to the path that they had planned as their “Plan  A” as God takes them down another path that may hurt at first, but also prepares them for who He wants them to be for the rest of their lives.

Pete’s writing is simple and down to earth, and is very genuine, not preachy.  I it easy to provide a bunch of Scriptures and tell someone that everything will work out for good.  But to hear stories of how people, including the author, faced and end to their own plans and embraced what God has for them is a great inspiration and compels you to seek out God’s Plan A.

I really appreciated what Pete wrote about Joshua and the Children of Israel as Joshua takes the mantle from Moses and prepares to lead the people. Pete writes:

God is just giving him a little pregame pep talk: “Joshua, just remember what you know.  Be strong. Be courageous. And whatever you do, don’t forget I am with you.”

God has a few words for Joshua’s people as well: “Don’t live in fear. I don’t want you to make the same mistake you parents did. Listen to me, pay attention to my instructions, and everything will work out for you.

Finally, God makes the whole nation a promise: “If you trust me, if you’ll follow me, I’ll be with you. Every place you set your foot in that land, I’ve already gone ahead of you. My power will be available for you. You’re not going to have to undertake the rest of your life on the power of just your own resources.”

Here is the deal, and really the point of the book.  What you consider to be “Plan A” in your life may never happen. If it does not, we need to remember that God is sovereign, that He is in control, that He works from the future back and has already been where we are headed. As long as we trust Him and follow Him, what we may consider to be “Plan B” will actually be what God intended for us from the very beginning.

You can read a sample of the book by clicking on this link.

I am thankful to have had the opportunity to review this book, which was provided to me by Thomas Nelson and BookSneeze.

jesus-crossIt is Good Friday, and my thoughts are directed towards my Savior and the suffering He went through during this next 24 hour period nearly 2000 years ago.  As I sit here in my comfortable chair, drinking my coffee and listening to the sounds of a couple of my children as they go about their day, I am overwhelmed.  Overwhelmed by the fact that Jesus did what He did… and that He did it for me.  Overwhelmed that God the Father would allow His Son, His PERFECT Son to bear the pain and suffer as He did. I am overwhelmed that by no merit of my own, the God of heaven showed favor on me by allowing Jesus to become sin for me… actually, it was more then that, He took upon Himself the sin of all humanity, so that we could come to God in a right relationship.

I am also overwhelmed, because even though God did all of this for me, I still sin. I am overwhelmed with the fact that Jesus shed His blood, yet I am still a selfish individual who chooses my way instead of His many times. I am overwhelmed to know that God’s plan is still to use me to love others and help them take their next step towards Him, even when all of my steps are not always in the right direction.  I am overwhelmed knowing, that with all of the good that I think I do, it is still not enough to merit the love that He pours on me every day.

I am overwhelmed…

Do ever get mad at people? DUH! Stupid question isn’t it? We all do. Do you ever just look at people, and see the way that they do something, or hear the things that they say, or witness the way that they act towards other people and think that they are just stupid? A lot of that is plain old personality stuff. My wife and I are guilty at times of asking ourselves if we are the only normal people left on the earth. We usually end up reminding ourselves that someone else thinks that we are weird. Personality differences are what make this world interesting. I am often guilty of treating people how they treat me. Or I treat them according to the value they have to me. I am so glad that God does not think or act like me.

I think as Christ-followers, we tend to get this holier-than-thou attitude that makes us think that no one should sin, and that we are better than other people. But let’s face it, people without Christ are going to act like people without Christ. And that is not a statement of arrogance from a Christ follower, like we are better. It should be a statement that gives us a longing in our heart to reach out and love people so that they can know that God loves them, that God is interested in them, and interested in their lives.

Many Christ-followers have forgotten this truth as they have dealt with people, and consequently, people who are outside of the church have been driven away from Christ and the church. We need to remember one thing:

Everybody you lay your eyes on is somebody for who Christ died.

No matter who it is. You are surrounded by people today of immeasurable value. You interact with people every day and in every area of your life that are of immeasurable worth to God.

There are people outside the walls of your church that have been mistreated and bumped around by the Church. We, as Christians, have gotten into our little Churchianity sub-culture, and have only viewed those that are just like us as being valuable. And that is so not like Jesus. That is so unlike what He did as He walked this earth.

1 John 4: says, “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

God says here, “If I can love you, and you know how wicked you are (you know the thoughts you think, you know the things you have done) than certainly, you can love other people as well. You ought to love them because I paid a high price for them!

No matter who it is, everyone you meet is someone for which your heavenly Father sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for. You are surrounded by people today of immeasurable value. You interact with people every day and in every area of your life that are of immeasurable worth to God.

How do you treat someone who has that much worth and value?

You love them, because God has loved us.

What do people around us need? They need to know that they matter to God. How do they learn that? By the way that we love them. Let’s treat people as if they are of incredible value to God. And they are… in fact, they are of so much value that God allowed His Son to die for them. All of them!