2010 to 2011: Planning a Relationship

by Bethany

Today’s Readings: Proverbs 31, Romans 15

THE FRUIT OF PLANNING

Melodie and Brenton know that meaningful results require forethought and planning. Thus, they spent 12 hours designing and 40 hours building their gingerbread house from 3 batches of hard candy, 40 sleeves of large Smarties, 8 bags of powdered sugar, and 12 square feet of gingerbread dough. The result? A magnificent replica of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater.

THE WISDOM AND ORIGIN OF PLANNING

According to Proverbs, the wise person makes plans [1]. For example, the “wife of noble character” has a plan for each day (“she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants”) and for her household (“she considers a field and buys it”) [2]. Similarly, Paul planned to take the gospel from Jerusalem to Rome, where he hoped to establish an operational base, and then to Spain [3]. Interestingly, although his plan fell through when he was arrested in Jerusalem and then incarcerated in Rome, his plan inspired “the greatest letter ever written”, Romans [4]. Ultimately, however, we plan because we are God’s image-bearers and, as we saw during Advent, He promised and planned from the beginning [5]. Even Jesus, for example, refused to perform a miracle at Cana because His hour had not yet come [6].

THE SUBSTANCE OF PLANNING

When it comes to our spiritual lives, however, how much fervor do we put into forethought and planning? Even though we long for a more meaningful relationship with the Lord (as discussed yesterday), most of us do not know how to make plans to achieve it. Participating in the 843 Acres reading plan is a great way to get to know the Lord through His Word, but we must also plan to spend regular time praying and asking Him how He may want to use us. Therefore, how will you plan to know and enjoy the Lord in 2011? Will you set aside weekly time for planning?

THE PRAYER OF PLANNING

Lord, Your Word teaches us to plan for the days to come – even Your Son set His face to Jerusalem when He faced death on a cross because it was in accordance with the most loving and amazing plan ever crafted. Oh, Lord, as You planned for our joy, help us plan for Your glory [7]. And, to the extent that our plans are not Your plans, we submit to You as our loving and holy Father. Amen.

_______________________________________


[1] See Prov 6:6-7; 14:15; 15:22; 16:3; 24:2 | [2] See Proverbs 31:15-16 NIV. | [3] Romans 15:23-33 (see below). | [4] N.T. Wright | [5] SeeIsaiah 46:9-10; Ephesians 1:9-10; Acts 2:23. | [6] See John 2:4. He stayed with His plan – even though it meant death in Jerusalem. See Luke 9:51. See also John 10:18 (noting that Jesus was not driven against His will; the Father’s plan was His plan as well). | [7] Loosely quoting John Piper. | FN: In 2011, 843 Acres will follow a chronological reading plan, i.e., a plan that reads the Bible in the order of events as they occurred in real-time. Therefore, for example, a day’s readings may include an event in David’s life and then also the Psalm that he wrote in reflection on that event. For more information, check back on Monday and begin the reading plan and also visit the “About 843 Acres” page, where more information will be posted on Monday. Until then, prayers to you all this weekend as you plan for your relationship with the Lord! Happy New Year!

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4 Comments to “2010 to 2011: Planning a Relationship”

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