What’s Next?

Don’t give up today, in what could be the final hours of your struggles or stagnancy. The first day of your good future may be as near as tomorrow.

While we can be in difficult circumstances for a very long time, it can all change in a moment.

Hang in there. Don’t let go.

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Don’t stop paddling. Keep your eyes focussed forward with anticipation of rest and reward, and your arrival in the promised land of all things good.

Replace your inner dismal voice of, “I give up” with an inner hopeful voice, of “What’s next?”

If it’s God you are following; if it’s God you are waiting on, the culmination of his preparations and orchestration of plans for your life will still happen. Change will arrive. It will be infinitely more than you ask or imagine.

Just ahead are freedom from captivity, dry land and sun, purpose and fulfillment, blessings and justice, joy and righteousness. 

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Remember, when your sole trust is in our Father and singular focus is on him, this will always be true:

New International Version
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.

So many translations of Jeremiah 29:11 … So much hope … 

New Living Translation
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

English Standard Version
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.

Berean Study Bible
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope.

New American Standard Bible 
‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

King James Bible
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.

Christian Standard Bible
For I know the plans I have for you”–this is the LORD’s declaration–“plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Contemporary English Version
I will bless you with a future filled with hope–a future of success, not of suffering.

Good News Translation
I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For I know the plans I have for you”–this is the LORD’s declaration–“plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

International Standard Version
For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for well-being, and not for calamity, in order to give you a future and a hope.

NET Bible
For I know what I have planned for you,’ says the LORD. ‘I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope.

New Heart English Bible
For I know the plans that I have for you,’ says the LORD, ‘plans for your welfare, and not for calamity, to give you hope and a future.

GOD’S WORD® Translation
I know the plans that I have for you, declares the LORD. They are plans for peace and not disaster, plans to give you a future filled with hope.

JPS Tanakh 1917
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

New American Standard 1977 
‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For I know the thoughts that I think concerning you, said the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you the end that you wait for.

King James 2000 Bible
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

American King James Version
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, said the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

American Standard Version
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith Jehovah, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you hope in your latter end.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
And I will devise for you a device of peace, and not evil, to bestow upon you these good things.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of affliction, to give you an end and patience.

Darby Bible Translation
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith Jehovah, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you in your latter end a hope.

English Revised Version
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you hope in your latter end.

Webster’s Bible Translation
For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

World English Bible
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says Yahweh, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you hope and a future.

Young’s Literal Translation
For I have known the thoughts that I am thinking towards you — an affirmation of Jehovah; thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give to you posterity and hope.

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Power Beyond Ourselves

What can stand against a plan of God? What insufficiencies that resist correction in a person, for example, can continue in unrighteousness when caught up in the path of God’s power?Related image

Nothing can stand in opposition to God. Like an avalanche, He pushes aside opposition, scattering the unrighteous and picking up those destined to cooperate with Him, even if they aren’t yet yielded to God. He transports them.

We try to move on God’s path to the best of our abilities, but we can do only so much. We are often too slow, or too delayed in development for the timing of His plan. Rather than miss out then, He scoops us up into something beyond us, something much more powerful than ourselves, and moves within us to the completion He’s after, while simultaneously moving our changing selves along His mission. Much like an aircraft could be built while it’s being transported via ship, so that when it lands across the ocean, its construction is completed at the moment it’s unloaded and ready for use.

Psalm 147:5 – Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.

Travel Light

Imagine a TSA checkpoint at an airport. What if the qualification of passing from our current status to the one we are meant to be in is that we must shed some luggage? — only those who are traveling light can pass through. Would we do it, or would we stay behind, unwilling to comply? What if it was God who defined those terms, and the requirements were personalized? Image result for TSA, person with tons of luggage

I know most people from church culture would say, “Of course, to love God is to obey God, I always do.” But what people say and what people do are often very different. I have traveled many miles, so to speak, with people who claimed God as their priority, and commander and King, but witnessed them unwilling to leave behind their massive pile of luggage at the TSA checkpoint. Had they only left it, as asked and encouraged, they could have passed through to what God had planned for them (plans to prosper and not to harm, plans to give hope and a future).

But alas, their priority was there in their luggage.

Although they begged the TSA agents, and tried to claim, “I’m with him” or “I’m with her”, with intentions to sneak in with someone who willingly shed all that God asked, they were left behind.

Image result for person with tons of luggageWith their piles of luggage.

Believing they were treated unfairly. Resenting those who got through the checkpoint and quickly moved out of sight. Inventing something to condemn them, to justify discreditation or dismissal of the forward movers. All the while turning a blind eye to the clearly-stated signs at the airport, those personalized stipulations meant for them, too, but conveniently ignored, the posted requirements with which those who passed through did comply. Deciding themselves victims, not causes of their own circumstances.

Dejected and angry, they gather their piles of suitcases and drag them back home. There they unpack the bags to inspect item after item, relishing their worth, reinforcing their decision to hold tight to them. Arguing with God, but not calling it so: believing themselves “right” and the travelers “wrong”. Making themselves feel better by bashing the blameless. Redefining themselves as “the staid”, “the consistent”, “the pillars”, “the holy”, and by compare calling the innocents who traveled forward “rebels”, “flashes in the pan”, “backsliders”, “amoral”.

Which is understandable, perhaps, considering human nature, and maybe not the end of the story for the noncompliant. As long as they don’t settle in where they are and continue to lunge for the future. As long as they look for the Lord’s pillar of cloud by day to guide them on their way, and pillar of fire by night to give them light, as the Israelites wandering the desert did, they may yet come to the passage to their promised land.

But keep in mind, God doesn’t conform to people, people must conform to him. Don’t expect him to change his terms for each person; expect the requirements and enforcements to be unchanged. As long as each is intent on hearing directly from the Holy Spirit and no other voice (including their own), they may yet hear and obey and perhaps even catch up with those who traveled before them.

But why do it the difficult way when it can be done with ease? Why refuse to comply and play all those mind games to hide misplaced idolatry? (It’s not as hidden as you imagine, by the way.) Why forego the good things that would have come with simple obedience and singular godship?

If God asks us to see it his way, or do it his way, then do it. Do that over and over as often as he asks, and expect to ultimately arrive at portals and gates of things new, things wonderful, things grand, things possible only with God.

We can fake “the promised land”, “blessed”, and “favored” only until the real deal comes along, then the fake is overshadowed by the brilliant light of those who truly loved enough to obey, and who ultimately were planted by God as oaks of righteousness for the display of his splendor.

We can keep all those bags of preferred values, ideals, worldview, people, theologies, paradigms, prejudices, material things, party politics, pride, bitterness, self-pity, untruths, elitism, power — whatever it is we value more than him — and stay in the familiar world we like to control. Just don’t fool ourselves that we’ve arrived at the best stuff.

For those who have been trimmed and thrashed and forged and refined by fires, — for those who have loved and obeyed — through the TSA gate they go. They may have only wee little backpacks with next to nothing inside, but they have willingly thrown off everything that hinders. Their eyes are fixed on hope and a marvelous future. They know who God is. They let him be the commander or King or father or coach or any of his many roles in their lives. They are headed to all things good.

My friend, if God asks you to drop a suitcase or two or three or fifteen, don’t be oppositional. Do what he asks. Travel light. There is no other way to go through to the real deal. Image result for person with small backpack going through airport

Philippians 3:7.  I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done.

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.

Exodus 13:21 .  By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.

Isaiah 61:3   and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.

Hebrews 12:1-2 . Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. 

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Adoption

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Originally posted on Cindi Gale:
One day last month, my oldest son arrived on an inbound Megabus. After breakfast on the final full day of his visit, I asked, “Do you want to relax at home today or go do something?” “I could do something. Like what?” “I don’t know. Maybe stop in at the…

What’s It All About?

What is the purpose of his death and resurrection? It’s not only about Easter Sunday, it is the gift that keeps on giving.

He did it for us to be his. For us to be adopted, to be heirs to his throne, heirs of his kingdom.

Not just in heaven one day, but on Earth as well. Now.

Receive the truth of it. Know the power of it.

The power of his resurrection. It is power to heal, to create, to know, to understand. Not all things, as only God does, but as much as he is willing to trust us with. As much as we are willing to pursue and become consecrated for. As much as we stay determined to believe in, regardless the delays and events transpiring that appear contrary to who he is.

Do we give up? Do we stop before the finish line of our race, or do we press on toward the goal to which he calls us?

Do we push our wants and ways forward, or do we say as Jesus did, “Not my will, but yours be done”? Do we lead or do we follow? Do we fight him or do we work cooperatively with him?

Do we retain for ourselves what he wants us to give up, or do we open the hiding places of our minds and souls for him to do with as he wants? If he wants those places emptied of ourselves, do we slam the door on him and forbid him reentry, or do we keep it open to him no matter how much we agonize over the removal of our own desires and ambitions?

If we say and do as Jesus did, and give up our wills and let his be done, we may just find ourselves entrusted with the same power that Jesus experienced on Easter:  resurrection power. The power to do for God all that he wants done. To overcome evil with good. To take back what has been stolen, knowing it was always meant to belong to the heirs of Christ.

And who are his heirs? Not a select few, as some may want you to believe, and not those who claim they’ve earned it by good works — they’ve qualified themselves according to their big egos. They aren’t the gatekeepers to God. Jesus is. And he opens the gate for any who want to enter.

There are no qualification apart from wanting to be accepted, to be adopted by the Great I Am.

The day we realize we are his, we begin to realize what belongs to him, and what he shares with those he can trust. Like power. Resurrection power.

It wasn’t just for Easter Sunday. It’s for the daily lives of his heirs and colaborers, for those he entrusts to use as he directs. For now until Christ calls us heavenward.

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I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection. – Philippians 3:10

I pray that you will begin to understand how incredibly great His power is to help those who believe Him. It is that same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in heaven.  Ephesians 1: 19-20

In love, he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will– to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.  Ephesians 1: 5-6

In love, he predestined us for adoption to sonship[c] through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing,and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. John 14:12-14

In Just Three Days

Cindi Gale

Mark 10:27 – “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

If the miraculous ways and promises of God haven’t appeared in your life yet, it doesn’t mean they never will.

If in three days the son of man died a prolonged death on a cross; the world went dark in the middle of the day; he descended to hell and back; a stone was rolled to seal his grave and rolled back again to find it empty; angels appeared there to proclaim “Jesus is alive!”; and he was in fact alive on earth again, conversing with two followers as they walked together on the road to Emmaus …

Imagine what can happen for you in just three days.

It only takes a minute to meet someone who changes your life forever; to open an acceptance letter or a…

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