Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
This is one of the loveliest of all Scriptures. The Lord clearly states his plans are “to give you hope and a future.” Those plans are in place to preserve and restore his relationship with his creation.
Our bottom line is only a mustard seed away from believing what God has declared to be true. Remember the story about the mustard seed? The smallest of all “seeds” of faith in him is all it takes. “Call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” That’s the plan!
Jeremiah 18:1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” 3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 4 But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. 5b…“Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand…
I took a pottery class once. It’s not as easy as it may look to take an unwieldy lump of clay and make something out of it. This Scripture is a perfect analogy of life experienced with God as he reshapes us. If he can’t open your eyes through his Word he’ll get the message to you some other way. God sometimes uses funny ways I call his humor to point out the difference between what appears to be and what actually is in the life of those he loves. We can react to them in shame [which is not God’s choice] OR choose to see them as humorous interventions of a potter at work.
I have some carpentry and remodeling skills and had offered to help a friend with a few projects. I arrived early, made a pot of coffee and work was underway when I received a phone call from another friend standing on my own doorstep, reminding me Bible Study was meeting at my house that morning…and where was I? I think that’s kind of a funny situation to find yourself in.
I put the pot of coffee on the floor of our new car to race home. You see where this is going, right? I turned the corner, over went the coffee pot and thru my brain went an unspoken word of profanity. I pulled off the road shaken more by that word than the coffee spill. Sitting there by the side of the road in the mess of my own making and stunned at my own unbidden response, God taught me one of the most important lessons of my life. You don’t get over your desperate need for him and he can use the “funniest” circumstances to remind you to be thankful he loves you enough to remind you of that.
Ah, humility…it comes in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes a heart is moved by circumstances to act in secret on behalf of God to meet a need. Even in that secret act God’s humor seems to aim at what appears to be and what actually is in my life. We’d been privileged to be a part of meeting such a need. It was a heartfelt act…right up to the point the recipient gave a testimony about what a blessing it had been AND named the responsible person. It’s a heart-cleansing lesson in the humor of humility that reshapes you when the name given is someone else’s!
Humor is one of the tools the Potter uses to point out the difference between what appears to be and than reshapes it into what is in our life. It’s one way he gently accomplishes humility in us because “the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.” 🙏😇
“Just because I have listened carefully and intently to one thing from God does not mean that I will listen to everything He says.” From Devotion of Hearing by Oswald Chambers
These last few days I’ve spent some time thinking about what my goals are when I read the Bible. Sometimes I am unsure about what to read. I really am trying to “hear” what I read but nothing “speaks” to me. It seems presumptuous to look at God’s Word and say, “nope, not that” but I do that at times. Here’s the bottom line of even that very selective reading plan…I’m there and so is God.
It’s times like that when the devotional “words” of personal heroes of the faith like Oswald Chambers can be a welcome catalyst of direction. His title and simple confession I quoted above reminded me that even my written words can become a “devotion of hearing.” The secret is learning to be a better “listener” as I read what God has to say for himself…and write myself a note so I’ll remember.
Jeremiah 33:3 (ESV) Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.
Romans 10:17 (ESV) So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
Luke 11:28 (ESV) But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”
Hebrews 2:1 (ESV) Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.
33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 34 No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
It’s easy to forget scrolls, letters and even a prophet’s words but God had a new plan for the safekeeping of his law and his word. A place of convenient and reliable access; “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.” It would be like muscle memory for the mind and heart. It might still be forgotten, misused and unused for a time but it could not be lost. The treasured information had been protected…and then came the Advent.
That long-ago cradle was how God revealed his application to us…the Safekeeper…his son Jesus, the Christ…born to teach us how to live real lives based on the treasured information kept safe in our minds and hearts.
Jeremiah 29:11, 13b & 14
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
• I read, think, study and write each day. My goal is to come up with a thoughtful idea…AND…to keep the posts short. I’m just a couple of multiple Verse of the Day posts into the idea of Plan Be and I already need a plan B. That’s the nature of human plan-making; there’s almost always a need for a plan B.
The Lord’s planning is different. He covers A-Z. He knows every flaw and every detail of your life and still he’s got “plans to give you hope and a future.” “13b…when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you.”
I’m not sure where I first read the prayer below or who the author is. The quotes are to honor the inspirational idea and wisdom because I think it’s the perfect “Plan Be” prayer.
“Lord, give me the Grace to not need to be anything other than what I am, and the wisdom to not settle for anything less than you can make me.”