Today is just another day.
Let me begin by saying. I do not have everything figured out. I have a viewpoint on this particular scripture and want to examine what may be some misinterpretation of this verse and the verses around it.
“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.” Jeremiah 29:11
The first I will say is that you can not base your entire theology on one specific passage of the Bible. You have to take in and digest the whole thing. So to stand on one particular verse (for this instance Jer. 29:11) and set up shop on that hill and die on that hill is unwise.
Next the context of this scripture is the Prophet Jeremiah delivering this message to exiled Israel. These are God’s plans for the exiled peoples.
I also know that all scripture is God breathed and valuable for teaching, reproof, training and correction. (2 Timothy 3:16)
So what is there for us to learn in Jeremiah 29:11.
There is tons more in there I am sure. But I feel like those are the main things that we can gather from this as far as what we can learn about the character of God.
Here is what this scripture is not saying.
You are entitled to the riches of this world. You will always a great job. you will not hurt. You will not suffer. You get the picture I could go on and on and on and on.
Here is what it is saying
That through everything that we go through in this life. God has an ultimate plan. It is for peace for you in the end of this life, He will see that though now matter what. It looks like from this verse, that it took 70 more years of captivity for the Israelites to seek out God fully to give them that peace. He will mold you, hold you, challenge you, rebuke you, discipline you until you are ready to seek the face of God to get what He was ultimately promised me and you through His son Jesus Christ. Eternal peace, eternal joy, eternal riches.
Hebrew break down of passage
You always need to break down and go back to the root of passage. So let us break down a few key words in this passage.
Plans- the Hebrew word here is Machashebeth - most commonly used in the text as the word ‘thoughts”.
Welfare( or Prosper) - This word is the word Shalom, which means peace ultimately.
Harm(NIV)/Evil(ESV) - The Hebrew word here is Ra, essentially translates back to the word evil/calamity/adversity/harm most of the time it is used.
Future- Acharith is the Hebrew used here, it simply means in the end. As in final outcome. Or to give you rest.
Hope- From the Hebrew word Tiqvah, which is pretty simply put, it means a hope or expectation.
So if we are to take that scripture now and look at it through the lens of the Hebrew it says…
“The Lord knows the thoughts that He has for you, His thoughts are for your Peace and not for your Harm, to give you a final ending or peace and a expectation or hope.”
This scripture promises that the goal in the final ending for you and I, if there is an accepting of Christ as savior, there is peace and hope in the end. No matter what, regardless of circumstances in this life. Riches or lack of. He is our peace and in the end we get Him. That is His plan. So if it takes you going through a mess to get you to the peace and hope that is in Him alone. Then praise God for that.
But let us as the body of Christ not make this about getting worldly riches, our riches(http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/pray-and-ponder-yourself-into-sync-with-pauls-sense-of-wealth)., peace, joy, hope, prosperity, is found in the good news of Jesus Christ. Our riches are at the end of this life.
Will He take care of you in this life, absolutely, he takes care of the birds of the air, so he care for us even more so, but we are not to find our peace in those things.
I’ll end with this. I just cant help but picture Paul, injured, shipwrecked, imprisoned, beat, stoned, living on money he made from building tents. Then Him saying to Timothy or Barnabas, “Guy, I’m standing on Jeremiah 29:11, he has plans not to harm me but make me prosperous.” That does not hold up for the life that he lived, Paul was harmed, suffered so much, in fact he was even told in his vision of Christ that he would be shown how much he was to suffer. I am willing to bet (not with real money of course that would be very un-christian of me, but maybe like for some Starbucks or something like that.) that what pulled Paul up all of those times was the future hope, knowing at the end of this thing he got to spend eternity with God. Not thinking that there would be some desk job, and 10 years of retirement at the end, that was not his hope, that was not his prosperity, God and Him alone was it.
As alway I am always open to being wrong or corrected about anything I may have misquoted, taken out of context, etc. So feel free to let me know.
Here is a short word on Thanksgiving from Desiring God’s website, (http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/thanksgiving-to-the-glory-of-god). I couldn’t have said it any better.
“Here’s a plea that we look along the beams of delicious turkey and good football to see Jesus, crucified for us, dead and buried for us, raised for us on the third day. For his grace has been extended to us. We’ve heard the good news. Paul (or one of the apostles) told someone who told someone who told someone. And eventually one of these “someones” told us. This grace has extended to “more and more people.” It has extended to you and me.
So in the midst of our many thanksgivings, may we be mainly thankful for that — for Jesus and all that he is for us. And in so doing, may we fulfill Paul’s goal, the increase of thanksgiving, to the glory of God.”
“knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.” 2 Corinthians 4:14-15
The following quotations are taken from Mark Driscoll’s website, from blog he posted today. http://pastormark.tv/2011/11/16/the-biblical-necessity-of-adam-and-eve
This article caught my eye because of something I am currently studying in a class over the Enlightenment era, and because I was actually asked this question in an interview at a Christian school this summer because it was a realistic question that students were asking.
I am currently reading a writing for a paper called “Essay’s On Religion” by Thomas Paine. Paine is shredding the bible as painting a false picture of God, the life of Christ, and Old Testament Prophecy. Pretty much laughing while writing at what he sees as the stupidity of writers of the Bible.
This is hard for me to read. Paine is a smart guy so his arguments make you think and make you really examine scripture and what you think you know. It is also hard because it sucks to see someone just trash the Word of God like he is doing. You just want Paine to “get it” while you are reading some of the things he is saying. You just want him to see the love, grace and mercy in scripture. Instead he says he doesn’t need scripture to know God, he will just use his intellect, which to him is enough and far beyond any wisdom that the Bible could ever give him.
That is what I see here in the argument against a historic Adam and Eve. Men are saying that their natural logic and reasoning is enough.
They are abandoning scripture.
We can never do that. I like the idea that Driscoll points us toward. Sola Scriptura, which says, “Nothing judges Scripture. It judges everything else. As followers of Jesus, we take the same stance he did and receive the Bible alone as infallible, inerrant truth from God with full authority in our lives.”
Also, this ideas seem to be one I keep butting up against in seemingly everywhere I look. Science V. Biblical Creationism. So this helped clear some things up for me. Not that they were necessarily unclear, but I just didn’t have the words.
So here are a few quotes that I pulled out of the article that stood out to me.
The first question we must ask is, Does the Bible intend to give a wooden, literal account every time it speaks? The answer is no.
For instance, Revelation 7:1 speaks of “the four corners of the earth.” Is the intent to teach that the earth is flat? Some people claim such, but an understanding of Revelation’s apocalyptic literary genre would reveal that this is poetic language to speak about the authority of God over all the earth, not a prescription on whether the earth is flat or not. It’s using poetry to convey a factual truth—God is sovereign over all the earth.
“The book of Genesis … was not written with the intention of being a scientific textbook. Rather, it is a theological narrative written to reveal the God of creation, which means its emphasis is on God and his relationship with humanity and not on creation.”
There is room for discussion as to how he did this—and certainly science is helpful in this discussion—but there is no room for debate on the fact that he did it. This is important because “it negates the possibility of naturalistic evolution and an eternal universe,” which is taught by some as truth but is a truth contradictory to Scripture. Simply said, you cannot claim biblical Christianity but deny God’s work in creation.
One of the main reasons that Christians need to affirm that Adam was the first human being to exist is the doctrine of the fall and original sin.
The humanity of Adam is important to the humanity of Christ the person in the flesh. Luke’s account is trying to point that out.
To deny this historical teaching of the church undermines the clear teaching of the Bible and fails to make sense of its storyline, as without a historical Adam and Eve, there is no fall and no need for redemption and no need for Jesus. The very basis of Christianity is effectively undermined.
“Salvation is not by what you bring to Christ, but by
what you take from Him. You are to be receivers first, and then, by-and-by, through the power of Grace, you shall give
forth from yourselves rivers of living water to others.” Charles Haddon Spurgeon
The grace of God well never not be overwhelming to me, no matter how many times I read about it, or think on it.” —http://www.spurgeongems.org/vols19-21/chs1169.pdf
Activity Is Not Enough
“And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart … and rest a while.” Mark 6:31
Those who try to give warnings to the Christian church are never very popular. Still, I must voice the caution that our craze for “activity” brings very few enriching benefits into our Christian circles. Look into the churches, and you will find groups of half-saved, half-sanctified, carnal people who know more about social niceties than they do about the New Testament.
It is a fact that many of our church folks are activists— engaged in many religious journeys—but they do not seem to move up any closer to Jesus in heart and in spirit.
This modern religious emphasis on activity reminds me of the Japanese mice I have seen in the pet store windows. They are called waltzing mice—but they do not waltz. They just run continually!
Many in our churches hope to have a part in “something big and exciting.” But God calls us back—back to the simplicity of the faith; back to the simplicity of Jesus Christ and His unchanging Person!
Dear Lord, help me to find some quiet moments in the midst of today’s schedule to focus my thoughts on Your goodness and mercy. Sent from the Mornings with Tozer, by A. W. Tozer.
Christ Is Not Divided Jesus answered … If a man love me, he will keep my words.John 14:23 Much of our full gospel literature and much of our preaching tend to perpetuate a misunderstanding of what the Bible says about obedience and Christian discipleship.
I think the following is a fair statement of what I was taught in my early Christian experience and before I began to pray and study and anguish over the whole matter:
“We are saved by accepting Christ as our Savior.”
“We are sanctified by accepting Christ as our Lord.”
“We may do the first without doing the second.”
What a tragedy that in our day we often hear the gospel appeal made in this way:
“Come to Jesus! You do not have to obey anyone. You do not have to give up anything. Just come to Him and believe in Him as Savior!”
The fact that we hear this everywhere does not make it right! To urge men and women to believe in a divided Christ is bad teaching—for no one can receive a half or a third or a quarter of the divine Person of Christ!
Heavenly Father, You are a wonderful Savior and Lord deserving my full obedience to all of Your teachings. Forgive me, Lord, for the times that I’ve obeyed only a portion of Your Word. Show me the areas in my life in which I am weak. Sent from the Mornings with Tozer, by A. W. Tozer. For devotionals like this one for your iPhone, visit us at 43rdElement.com
Sent from my iPhone
I have been trying to read The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer for quite a while now and am finally getting around to it, and I am very glad that I am now. I am going to share a few quotes that really stood out to me in this first chapter, and also a few quick thoughts.
“Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.” pg. 45
“it is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son, “You were bought at a price” and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us.” pg. 45
“Of Course you have sinned but now everything is forgiven, so you can stay as you are and enjoy the consolations of forgiveness” pg. 48
“Grace had cost him is very life, and must continue to cost him the same price day by day.” (in reference to Luther) pg. 49
” The price we are having to pay today in the shape of the collapse of the organized Church is available to all at too low a cost. We gave away the word and sacraments wholesale, we baptized, confirmed, and absolved a sentiment made us give that which was holy to the scornful and unbelieving. We poured forth unending streams of grace. But the call to follow Jesus in the narrow way was hardly ever heard.” pg. 54
“What are those three thousands Saxons put to death by Charlemagne compared with the millions of spiritual corpses in our country today.” pg. 54
Grace does not mean that we accept the unconditional love of God and continue on our own way and do nothing with it besides quit cursing. It does not mean we know that Jesus loves us and continue to just manage the sin in our lives. Yes, we all sin, and will continue to sin until the sun rises and sets. But, grace calls us to kill sin in our lives. Grace calls us to act on our faith. Grace calls us to the path less traveled, the narrow, the less popular. I just don’t want our churches to be filled with people who think they are Christians because we don’t push them any further. I want and pray that those people step up and begin to realize it is about a relationship with the Lord, and just like any other relationship you are in, it takes time, requires sacrifice, requires great attention if you want it to grow. I am tired of hearing people stop at the “I know Jesus love me” part of this journey. That is great, I hope everyone really does know how much Jesus loves you, (its a whole lot by the way) that is very important. But think about this, if I stop at the “I know Erika loves me” part of my relationship with my fiance then what good is that? I know she loves me so I am going to serve her, I am going to provide for her, I am going to listen to her, I am going to spend time with her, I am going to learn about her everyday, I am going to respect her, I am going to cook for her instead of watching football, I am going to let her know she is beautiful. Her love is going to push me to act out in love. You see there is more than knowing about the grace of God, knowing that Jesus loves you, there is discipline and obedience that comes with that. I want to be part of making disciples of/for Christ, and there should be something about the Love and Grace of God that sparks something more inside of you. I could go on but I hear the longer the blog post the less effective it is. There will be more thought on this to come. Once again, I am human, I can be wrong, very open to being wrong, but don’t feel like I am at the moment. I hope this can be helpful to someone else, if not, it is effective for me to write in order wrestle with my own thoughts, readings, others peoples thoughts etc. So many thoughts on this right now. I am not pointing anyone out, if anything else just all reminders to myself of what it means to follow after God.
Apparently I am pretty bad at keeping up with this blog, well any blog for that matter. I really do enjoy writing, not because I want people to read my opinions on things, but more so for me personally. It helps me to express some things that have been floating in my head that may not have been full, complete thoughts. Who knows, a lot of these thoughts may end up being challenging to someone, they may end up becoming better ideas and thoughts with others input, they may end up making me realize that they were silly and irrational thoughts. Who’s to say really. I just know that expressing yourself is a good thing. It helps solidify my foundation as a person, as a man, as a son, and as a servant to all.
So since you all are asking yourselves, “Man, I wonder what Adam has been thinking about lately?” Here is a one big idea I have been thinking about, discipleship. When Jesus was on Earth, he made disciples and went he left, he commanded that his disciples go out in to the World and make more disciples.
This applies to me as a believer in Christ and a believer in the Word of God. So I have been asking myself a few questions. Am I making disciples? What is a disciple?
In the process of these questions my mind has began to go to work on somethings that may not make complete sense just yet, but I feel that they will whenever I am done processing and thinking.
“None but Jehovah’s fellow could have received the stroke of Jehovah’s justice in His bosom and survived the blow. The penalty of the law was no vulgar ill, to be appeased by a few groans and tears, by agony, sweat, and blood. It was the wrath of the infinite God which, when it falls upon a creature, crushes him under the burden of eternal death. It is a blackness of darkness through which no ray of light or hope can ever penetrate; to the soul of a finite being it must be the blackness of darkness forever. But Jesus endured it. Jesus satisfied it. Jesus bowed beneath that death which the law demanded, and which sinks angels and men to everlasting ruin, and came victorious from the conflict. If He had been a creature, He would have been crushed, sunk, lost — if He had been less than God, the bitterness of death could not have been passed; never, never could He have emerged from that thick darkness into which He entered when He made His soul an offering for sin.”
James Henley Thornwell
Always, powerful to think on the cross!