SEEING YOUR FAITH IN HOW YOU PLAN
1. What are you planning for: College? Marriage? Career? Retirement? Death? (Heb. 9:27) Are you planning to go to heaven?
2. Not enough planning goes into our Christianity? Without planning we will fail!
3. This world is not our home (Phil. 3:20). We are called to remember we are strangers in a foreign land (1 Pet. 2:11-12).
4. How do we accomplish this? After all, we must live & work here (the Lord recognizes this, Jno. 17:14-16).
5. By following worthy examples, strengthening our faith & focusing on heaven our faith will show through in how we plan and live our lives.
I. ABRAHAM: A MODEL OF FAITHFUL PLANNING - 2 Cor. 5:7
-(Christians are Abraham's seed because we live by faith, obeying God like Abraham did - Gal. 3:29, 6-7; Jno. 8:39.)
A. God Called Abraham To Be A Stranger & Sojourner In A Foreign Land - Gen. 12:1-3.
*Likewise, the gospel calls sinners to salvation & a pilgrimage of faith - 2 Cor. 6:16-18.
B. God's Call Required Much Planning On His Part - Gen. 12:4-5.
1. His family & household - 12:4-5 (cf. 14:14).
2. His possessions (herds, etc.) - 12:5
3. Provisions for the journey - 12:5 (300-400 miles).
4. Ongoing needs in Canaan (herds, household, etc.).
5. Safety concerns (Gen. 14).
6. Faith concerns:
a. Worship - cf. Gen. 12:7, 8.
b. Peace with brethren - cf. Gen. 13:8.
c. Obedient to God covenant - cf. Gen. 17:23.
d. Prayerful - cf. Gen. 18:23-33.
e. Faithful - Gen. 15:6; 22:2, 12.
*Likewise, discipleship requires planning - Lk. 9:23; 14:25-33.
II. HOW CHRISTIANS SHOULD PLAN THEIR LIVES - Jas. 4:13-17.
A. By Distinguishing The Temporal & The Eternal - 4:13; Eccl. 12:13-14. (cf. Lk. 16:1-8, esp. v. 8)
1. Know the virtue & value of godliness - 1 Tim. 4:7-8.
2. Do not become anxious - Matt. 6:25, 33 (cf. Lk. 10:38-42).
3. Count the cost & pay the price - Lk. 14:25-33.
B. By Understanding The Nature Of Life - 4:14. (Uncertain & brief, Job 7:7).
C. By Reverencing, Consulting & Deferring To The Lord's Will - 4:15 (Jas. 4:6-7); cf. 2 Sam. 2:1.
D. By Rejecting All Evil (heart & conduct) - 4:16 (4:7-10).
E. With A Determination To Do What We Know Is Good & Right - 4:17 (Eph. 2:10; 2 Tim. 3:16-17).
III. AS YOU LIVE BY FAITH, PLAN
A. For Your Spiritual Service - Rom. 12:1-2.
1. Put Christ first in every plan of life.
a. Who are you going to marry? (Help / hinder your faith?)
b. Where you live - cf. Gen. 13:9-13. (Is there a faithful church? Will you start one? Its impact upon the faith of you & your family, etc.)
c. Where you work - cf. Gen. 19:1.
d. Where you play - 1 Cor. 15:33 (1 Pet. 4:3-4).
e. Where & when you worship. (Faithful church; worship comes first will you miss worship for your vacation?).
2. Know that Satan will try to stop you! - 1 Pet. 5:8
a. Plan to resist temptation - 1 Ths. 5:21-22; 2 Tim. 2:22.
b. Use God's escape routes - 1 Cor. 10:13.
c. Plan to be honorable & to honor God! - 2 Cor. 8:21; 1 Cor. 10:31.
B. For Your Spiritual Growth - 2 Pet. 3:18.
1. When you study, what you study, how you study - 2 Tim. 2:15; Acts 17:11.
2. Plan to make opportunities to serve others - Gal. 6:10.
C. For Your Eternal Home - Heb. 11:8-16.
1. Keep your faith, heart & life right toward God - 11:8; cf. Lk. 12:13-21 (Mk. 12:28-30).
2. Keep the proper balance in your life (material v. spiritual) - 11:9
a. If wealthy, do not be a slave to your wealth.
b. If poor, do not envy the rich (who are poor toward God).
c. Rich or poor -- lay up treasures in heaven! - Matt. 6:19-21, 33 (1 Tim. 6:17-19)
3. Keep your heart facing heaven - Heb. 11:13-16 (Col. 3:1-3).
1. God has flawlessly made & executed His plan for our redemption - Eph. 1:11.
2. Men & women of faith plan their lives around His will in all things - Col. 3:17.
3. Will you?