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2012 New Year’s Devotional Lesson

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The following is a reblog of the SIH 2012 New Years Devotional Lesson.  May the Lord bless you in the coming New Year as you seek to serve Him…

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In Jeremiah 29:11, we find a wonderful promise that our Lord gives to His people…

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

The ESV translates this passage with a slightly different phrasing “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Although the Lord originally gave this promise to the believers in the physical nation of Israel… in today’s time this promise applies to all believers (both Jewish and Gentile) who make up His spiritual nation of Israel.  (Gals 6:14-16).  As we begin the New Year, as believers in Christ, let us remind ourselves of this precious promise and the great hope that awaits us in the coming year.

THE SCRIPTURES:

Jeremiah 29:11

THE STUDY:

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

“know” – to observe, to perceive                      “thoughts” – plot, plan, invention, weave “think” – same as “thoughts”                             “saith” – to reveal, to utter, to proclaim “LORD”- Jehovah                                                 “thoughts” weave, plot, work                “peace” – harmony, health, prosperity              “evil” – adversity, mischief, sorrow, troubles “expected” – expectation, to count on, rely on “end” –  after part, end,

Here we find a clear declaration from our Lord concerning His plans and watch care for our lives.  The Lord makes 3 basic declarations in this verse.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you”. – First of all, the Lord tells us that He personally makes individualized plans for each of our lives. He does not rely on others to plan our lives, nor does He simply allow our lives to go unguided and protected.  He has invented a plan for each of us.  This plan includes….

“thoughts of peace and not of evil” – the purpose of these plans is to bring to us prosperity and good, not sorrow and troubles.  By simply seeking His will for our lives, and then following that will, He will allow our lives to be successful in our endeavors for Him. By following His plans our lives will be spiritually prosperous and in harmony with our Lord.  These plans will not lead us into sin, sorrow or spiritual trouble.

Romans 8:28, reveals this same principle to us… And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

“to give you an expected end” – Third, The Lord tells us what the result of this truth should be for our lives…. An expected end… in other words, a future that we can place our hope and confidence in.  By understanding that the Lord has planned our lives in advance, and knowing that those plans will result in our good and spiritual prosperity, why should we not be hopeful and looking forward to a bright future for each of us?

Lamentations 3:25-26 – The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD

The ability to discern, follow, and patiently do His will for our lives can be a very difficult task.  In Daniel we have the perfect example of a King who rejected God’s will for His own will and had to learn a very difficult lesson.

Daniel 4:29-36

29At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon.  30The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?  31While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee. 32And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.

33The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws.

34And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from   generation to generation:  35And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?  36At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who have trusted in Christ.

By patiently seeking the face of the Lord, and doing His will, we can be confident of what the future holds for us.  We can count on the fact that by simply serving Him our future will be filled with hope and spiritual prosperity.

For those who have never trusted in Christ.

The first step towards spiritual peace and prosperity is found by trusting the Lord with our past present and future.  Trust that He died on the cross, paying the price for the sins of His people.  Come to Him in a spirit of remorse with a willingness to turn from our sins and accept Him as the Lord of our life.  From that point forward we can know that He is leading and guiding us and preparing us a wonderful future of peace, and spiritual properity.  And we can know that our future will culminate in having a perfect, eternal habitation that He has prepared for us.

John 14:1-4

1) Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

2) In my Father’s house are many mansions: if [it were] not [so], I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also.

4) And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

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My Main Blog “Settled In Heaven” (updated twice weekly) – http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com

The following are other places you can find “Settled In Heaven” blog (updated once per month):

www.settledinheavenbibleblog.posterous.com

www.settledinheavenblog.blogspot.com

To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”


2 Comments

  1. terry1954 says:

    thank you for a wonderful message this morning

  2. Truthinator says:

    Another great lesson. Thanks, Rob.

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