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.
God is faithful to his promises. He has made promises to His people and he will see them carried out. He is going to bring back his people to the land they were promised. So we see His faithfulness in that.
God does have a plan.(Psalm 92:5-6, Psalm 115:3)It is His plan. Not what we think His plan is for us. Sometimes it looks like we want sometimes it is completely the opposite. If you’ll notice Jeremiah 29:10 starts off by saying “after you guys have been in Babylon for 70 years, then I will do this….” I’m sure if that was the answer we got from God on our prayers, we would not think that He had plans for our good in mind?
God desires peace for us, not for evil (harm, calamity). So we see His goodness (attribute of God) God has an ultimate plan for us, it is peace in the end. Not evil.
When we seek w/all of our heart, we find Him. In verses 12-14 God is saying essentially, “here is how it is all going to go down”. Eventually you are going to seek me with everything you have and then you will find me.
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.
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’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
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.
“"People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated."- D.A. Carson”—
“The waves of death encompassed me, the torrents of destruction assailed me… This God—his way is perfect” (2 Samuel 22:5, 31).
After the loss of his ten children owing to a “natural disaster” (Job 1:19), Job said, “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21). At the end of the book, the inspired writer confirms Job’s understanding of what happened. He says Job’s brothers and sisters “comforted him for all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him” (Job 42:11). This has several crucial implications for us as we think about the calamity in the Indian Ocean.
1) Satan is not ultimate, God is.
Satan had a hand in Job’s misery, but not the decisive hand. God gave Satan permission to afflict Job (Job 1:12; 2:10). But Job and the writer of this book treat God as the ultimate and decisive cause. When Satan afflicts Job with sores, Job says to his wife, “Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10), and the writer calls these satanic sores “the evil that the Lord had brought upon him” (Job 42:11). So Satan is real. Satan brings misery. But Satan is not ultimate or decisive. He is on a leash. He goes no farther than God decisively permits.
2) Even if Satan caused the earthquake in the Indian Ocean the day after Christmas, he is not the decisive cause of 100,000+ deaths, God is.
God claims power over tsunamis in Job 38:8 when he asks Job rhetorically, “Who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb … and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stayed’?” Psalm 89:8-9 says, “O Lord … you rule the raging of the sea; when its waves rise, you still them.” And Jesus himself has the same control today as he once did over the deadly threats of waves: “He … rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm” (Luke 8:24). In other words, even if Satan caused the earthquake, God could have stopped the waves.
3) Destructive calamities in this world mingle judgment and mercy.
Their purposes are not simple. Job was a godly man and his miseries were not God’s punishment (Job 1:1, 8). Their design was purifying not punishment (Job 42:6). But we do not know the spiritual condition of Job’s children. Job was certainly concerned about them (Job 1:5). God may have taken their life in judgment. If that is true, then the same calamity proved in the end to be mercy for Job and judgment on his children. This is true of all calamities. They mingle judgment and mercy. They are both punishment and purification. Suffering, and even death, can be both judgment and mercy at the same time.
The clearest illustration of this is the death of Jesus. It was both judgment and mercy. It was judgment on Jesus because he bore our sins (not his own), and it was mercy toward us who trust him to bear our punishment (Galatians 3:13; 1 Peter 2:24) and be our righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). Another example is the curse that lies on this fallen earth. Those who do not believe in Christ experience it as judgment, but believers experience it as, merciful, though painful, preparation for glory. “The creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope” (Romans 8:20). This is God’s subjection. This is why there are tsunamis.
Who suffers from this fallen world of natural disasters? All of us, Christians included: “Not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies” (Romans 8:23). For those who cast themselves on the mercy of Christ these afflictions are “preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 4:17). And when death comes, it is a door to paradise. But for those who do not treasure Christ, suffering and death are God’s judgment. “It is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17).
For children, who are too young to process mentally the revelation of God in nature or Scripture, death is not the final word of judgment. God’s commitment to display his justice publicly means that he does not finally condemn sinful people who could not physically construe natural or special revelation (Romans 1:20). There is a difference between suppressing revelation that one can mentally comprehend (Romans 1:18), and not having a brain sufficient to comprehend it at all. Therefore, when small children suffer and die, we may not assume they are being punished or judged. No matter how horrible the suffering or death, God can turn it for their greater good.
4) The heart that Christ gives to his people feels compassion for those who suffer, no matter what their faith.
When the Bible says, “Weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15), it does not add, “unless God caused the weeping.” Job’s comforters would have done better to weep with Job than talk so much. That does not change when we discover that Job’s suffering was ultimately from God. No, it is right to weep with those who suffer. Pain is pain, no matter who causes it. We are all sinners. Empathy flows not from the causes of pain, but the company of pain. And we are all in it together.
5) Finally, Christ calls us to show mercy to those who suffer, even if they do not deserve it.
That is the meaning of mercy—undeserved help. “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you” (Luke 6:27). Therefore, pray earnestly for Scott Purser and his team as they investigate the best way that the Global Diaconate can mercifully respond with the love of Christ to the calamity around the Indian Ocean.
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"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
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
Main Entry: suc·cess Pronunciation: \sək-ˈses\Function: nounEtymology: Latin successus, from succedereDate: 1537
1obsolete:outcome, result 2 a:degree or measure of succeeding b: favorable or desired outcome; also: the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence 3: one that succeeds
I have been thinking about this for a few weeks now. The thought of success. It started with a podcast I was listening to about Biblical Faith from The Village Church in Texas. The preacher was talking about what success was in our culture. He was talking about sewing and reaping.
Our culture leads us to believe that if we do not see immediate results then whatever it is was not successful. We demand immediate results, immediate fruit that we can see. The example was made that in the investing world, if profits aren’t being made within the first 3-4 years it is deemed a failure and money is pulled from that investment.
Success is a long term thing, that we may never see in our own life time. We may not always be the ones reaping the harvest of what we sewed. It could be the next generation, it could be our children, or whoever. There is too much pressure on the now of things.
Just think about John the Baptist again. His life did not look like success in the world. He lived in the wilderness, wore camel fur as clothing, and ate locust. Obviously not characteristics of success. Yet he knew what he was supposed to be doing, prepping the way for Christ. He was the sewer, planted the seed and never got to reap what he sewed. He never got to see success, yet he was obviously successful as the forerunner for Christ as we sit here 2000 years later and read about him and what he did.
Success is not money, it is not attaining a status, it is not about getting married, it is about doing to will of the one who sent us. We are not all called to do the same things, we are not all gifted the same, and success will look different for us all. And it may not always be pretty, we may not always feel successful but if you know you are doing what you were made to do, keep doing it. Do not let the world be your scale of measuring success.
"The reason: The Bible demands immediate action, faith, surrender, committal. Until it has secured these, it has done nothing positive for the reader, but it has increased his responsibility and deepened the judgment that must follow.
The Bible was called forth by the fall of man. It is the voice of God calling men home from the wilds of sin; it is a road map for returning prodigals. It is instruction in righteousness, light in darkness, information about God and man and life and death and heaven and hell.
Further, the destiny of each individual depends upon the response to that Voice in the Word!”
Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest.2 Corinthians 4:10
Not everyone agrees with me that full qualification for eternity is not instant or automatic or painless.
I can only hope that you are wise enough, desirous enough and spiritual enough to face up to the truth that every day is another day of spiritual preparation, another day of testing and discipline with our heavenly destination in mind.
I hope too that you may begin to understand why many evangelical churches are in such a mess. It has become popular to preach a painless Christianity and automatic saintliness. It has become a part of our “instant” culture—“just pour a little water on it, stir mildly, pick up a gospel tract, and you are on your Christian way!”
“Lo,” we are told, “this is Bible Christianity!”
“It is nothing of the sort!”
To depend upon that kind of a formula is to experience only the outer fringe, the edge of what Christianity really is. For when the new birth is real and the wonder of regeneration has taken place, then comes the lifetime of preparation with the guidance of the Holy Spirit!
We talk too much, we talk in circles Till we’re all spinning round reaching for rings on this merry-go-round Scenery spins, we call it progress I’ve seen this all before When all’s said done we wake up on the floor
We set sail with no fixed star in sight We drive by Braille and candle light
We’re building towers with no foundation Just stacking stone on stone Whatever it takes, Mix our mortar with bones True progress means matching the world to the vision in our heads We always change the vision instead
Progress should mean that we are always changing the world to fit the vision, instead we are always changing the vision.” - G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy,
Love this song. Lyrics are great. My favorite band. The guitar solo in this song is amazing, not because of difficulty or anything like that. But you can just feel it, if that makes any sense. Give it a listen.