Pastor, author, and Bible teacher, Alan Wright. Might be years in the making, but you can invest yourself where you are right now with energy, love, and compassion, because I got a good plan at work.
Don't fire God just yet. That's Pastor Alan Wright. Welcome to another message of good news that will help you see your life in a whole new light. I'm Daniel Britt, excited for you to hear the teaching today in the series called Providence as presented at Granola Church in North Carolina. If you're not able to stay with us throughout today's entire program, I want to make sure you know how to get our special resource right now. It can be yours for your donation this month to Alan Wright Ministries.
So as you listen to today's message, go deeper in your study as we send you today's special offer. Contact us at PastorAlan.org. That's PastorAlan.org. Or call 877-544-4860.
877-544-4860. More on that later in the program. But now, let's get started with today's teaching.
Here is Alan Wright. If a daddy can hold his one day old and have plans for her and thoughts for her well-being that she has no capacity to process how much more so your Father in heaven who is infinite in knowledge, wisdom, and power, and love. He's holding on to you.
He's thinking good thoughts towards you. I know the plans, verse 11. I love this word because it really, it's hard to know how to translate it. The Theological Word Book of the Old Testament says of this word that's usually translated plans that the basic idea of the word is the employment of the mind in thinking activity. The reference is not so much to understanding, but to the creating of new ideas. That's why some translations render this, I know the thoughts I have towards you. But what it really means is God is saying, I know how my own mind is imaginatively in process right now of thinking of all of the good intentions towards you. I know what's going on in my mind towards you. And he's thinking about in his own glory and his own joy, God's own joy, and finding himself delighted with the thoughts that he has for his own people.
And he wants you just to know that, to have these thoughts towards you. Interestingly, it's the same root of the word that is used to describe the notion of what we call theologically imputation. When we speak of God imputing, for example, Genesis 15 6, when God imputes righteousness to Abraham. Abraham believed the Lord, and God counted it to him as righteousness. That word for counted it to him, or imputed it to him, or it's the same word from Jeremiah 29 about thoughts. He's saying he thought of Abraham as righteous.
But that word doesn't quite do it. It means he sees him that way. And so he is that way.
Do you know how it is? Like, if you've ever seen somebody in the wrong way, everything in your mind aligns to how you see them. And unless it's corrected, you'll see them wrongly and you'll treat them wrongly. But God doesn't see you incorrectly. He sees you, and he thinks of you as the one that he has good intentions towards, and he sees you that way.
The word is also used to describe the work of the head builder of the tabernacle who was devising artistic productions, the faults of the artist. God knows all of this. And see, as God is speaking through Jeremiah, he's not just thinking about how he's going to raise up Cyrus of Persia in 536, and Cyrus is going to overrun Babylon, and how Cyrus is going to send the people back home because of a different political policy. He's not just thinking about that, although he's thinking about that. He's not just thinking about those people that will be able to return and rebuild a temple and rebuild their lives, and the people that will rebuild their family businesses and the children and grandchildren that will grow up back home where they have always wanted to be. He's thinking about all of that, but he's thinking about more than that. When he says, I know the plans that I have for you, he's thinking about his own son. He's thinking about the kind of love that he has, the kind of love that makes a father in an instant be willing to lay his life down for his baby girl. He's thinking like that, and he's thinking about his plan that he's known from the very moment that sin entered the world, and God knew that in the fullness of time he would send his only begotten son, that he himself would come, that he would live a sinless life, that he would take into his very being the sin of the world and hang upon a cross so that anyone who would trust in him would be forgiven, set free, and thought of by God, imputed with the very righteousness of Jesus so that then you could become a co-heir with Christ and live with God forever and ever in a new heaven and a new earth where we who are in Christ know each other, love each other, enjoy each other, laugh with one another, and continue to grow and expand as the people that God has made us to be.
He saw all of it. He thought of all of it when he said, I know the plans I have for you. God's got big plans. God's got big plans for you.
The power of knowing this is, well, in the first place let me just give you several of the benefits of trusting in God's plan, knowing he has a plan, thinking of it, being a baby in his arm and knowing he's got a plan, is in the first place it'd give you peace. It's like getting on an airplane and you have no idea how the plane is going to get to where you're supposed to go, but the pilot has filed a flight plan and not just on a commercial flight but I've flown a lot privately with friends and I've sat there and watched them file their flight plan and the flight plan includes a lot of factors, the weather and if you have to go out of the way to get around a certain storm and other traffic and where the smooth air is going to be at what elevation and then the flight plan is submitted to the air traffic controller and they sometimes amend it and it comes back and then there's an agreed upon flight plan and that's the way the plane's going to fly and the passenger doesn't have any idea. You just sit there and read your book and drink your coffee, take your nap and just let the flight plan happen. You don't even think about the flight plan. Well, that's what happens when you think about God's plans.
You begin to go, I don't really know why we've having to come through Chicago in order to get to Dallas, but anyway I guess there was a plan. That's Alan Wright and we'll have more teaching in a moment from today's important series. Unlock the power of blessing your life. Discover God's grace-filled vision for your life by signing up for Alan Wright's free daily blessing. If you want to fill your heart with grace and encouragement, get Alan Wright's daily blessing.
It's free and just a click away at pastoralan.org. God's love. You've heard about it with your ears.
You've believed it in your mind. Now experience it in your heart with Alan Wright's beloved book, Lover of My Soul. The Bible is a love story from beginning to end. You are the spiritual bride of Christ, the perfect bridegroom. The Bible tells about a God who has gone to unimaginable lengths to woo you, to win you, and to walk with you hand in hand. For any man who has fallen in love with a woman, you've tasted the sweetness of what God's love for you is like. For any woman who has searched for true love, which you long for can only be found fully in God. Gary Chapman, renowned author of the five love languages says, the incredible reality that God pursues us in love comes to life and lover of my soul. Ancient biblical accounts explode in the heart. Accept Christ's proposal, enjoy his embrace, revel in his love.
After all, it's a match made in heaven. It's Lover of My Soul by Alan Wright. The gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support. When you give today, we will send you today's special offer.
Now these are the final days this offer is being made available to you this month. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries. Call us at 877-544-4860.
That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, PastorAlan.org. Today's teaching now continues. Here once again is Alan Wright.
The thing that happens when you think about God's plans is that there is a way in which you learn how to, with a greater patience, endure challenges. Matt Ruhl, Carolina Panthers coach, got fired this week. I was sad about that because he was the former Baylor coach where my son went to school, and even more so, he's a preacher's son. And no preacher's son ought to get fired from anything, but he did because they're just losing, and they're losing. And Matt Ruhl was eagerly hired by the Carolina Panthers for 60 or 70 million dollar contract. I can't remember.
Once you get up there, yes, what's 10 million here or there? And because he was the great turnaround coach, he went to Temple who had a miserable football program who had gone losing everything. And in Ruhl's first season at Temple, they won two games, lost 10, two and 10. But then in years three and four, each of those season, he won 10 games at Temple, turned it around totally. So Baylor hired him because Baylor was in misery after a football scandal, and they went to Baylor. And the first season he was at Baylor, they were one and 11, won one game and lost 11 games.
And then just, I think it was the next year or maybe it was this third year, they went, yeah, it's the third year, they went 11 and one. So they went from losing 11 to winning 11 games and went to the Big 12 championship game and the Sugar Bowl. And then the Carolina Panthers wanted him to come and do the same, and that is to turn their program around.
But they're less patient in the NFL than they are in college. And Matt Ruhl had this line, this is his motto, it's his philosophy. And while he was at Baylor his first season, he said it often, while they were losing 11 games, he said, trust the process. In other words, I have a plan and we've put it to work. And it was pretty funny to see some of the responses to this after you were losing about 11 games.
And one confession that came from a linebacker at Baylor, Jordan Williams, when Baylor was losing 51 to 7 at West Virginia late in the third quarter, and later Jordan Williams said, I was questioning the process. So what happens is if you believe someone's got a plan and it's working itself out, then you can keep it facing the adversities. But the moment you think this isn't a good plan and I don't trust this process, you're ready to give up. God's saying to the exiles and to us, I got a plan.
It's not instant. It might be years in the making, but you can invest yourself where you are right now with energy, love, and compassion, because I got a good plan at work. Don't fire God just yet. The other thing that happens when you think much of the plan of God is that you just start getting filled with expectancy. That's what a good plan does. When everybody knows that it's a good plan and they don't know the plan, but they know it's a good plan, then you start getting filled up with expectancy, and that causes our hearts to be joyful.
Hopeful is what it feels like when around every corner it could be that the next step of a good plan is being unveiled. So my wife is a planner and I'm not. Her idea of a good vacation is to plan everything out so that you maximize the experience. My idea of a good vacation is to have no plan because I say, sweetheart, I live every day by a calendar and every minute of my day seems planned out. So when we get some time off, what I like to do is do nothing and just see what we feel like doing. And she's like, but the restaurant will be full and we won't even be able to get in unless we get a reservation.
And you won't be able to do that fun thing that suddenly you want to do in the spur of the moment unless there's a plan. And of course she's right. When in 2010 we had this delicious sabbatical and we took our 15 year old Bennett and 11 year old Abby into a conversion van and drove across the country and spent months and months planning it all out. She did things like for every state, and we must've gone to 30 of them on this trip. And for every state, she had a different big package for each child in which she had stuff about that state.
And of course, being homeschoolers, we are always educating. So first there was all kind of educational stuff about that state, but then she had little gifts that had something to do with the state, little toys or little gifts or little books or things that had to do with it. So every time we'd go across a state line, she'd like, pull out the Texas packages, you know, and maybe open them up going, ah, this is awesome. And every place where we had made a plan that we would do this and we do that, and they didn't know all these plans, they didn't know.
It would just show up and here it is all of a sudden. And what happens with that is that on a journey like that, it gets more and more fun because you're like, this isn't haphazard. This is planned out by someone who knew what they were doing and who loved us and who had foresight and who has been in some of these places before and who just wants us to be surprised by joy. I think God's like that. I think God's like that.
He's got big plans. And when all of this becomes part of you and you're thinking like this and you're feeling the sense of expectancy, when you are at peace because there's a flight plan and you're able to trust through adversities that the plan is still at work, what happens is you just become a very secure person who, even in Babylon, you invest yourself and you think, I can be a blessing right here, right now. And you like being a blessing because you have a father who's a big God with a big, big plan.
I think the thing that I loved the most about becoming a parent and I think the thing that I already love most about being a grandparent is that there's something about a little child, a little baby, who doesn't have thoughts for her future being held in the arms of one who does. Somebody said, have you gotten her golf clubs yet? I said, no, but I know which one I'm getting.
I've already thought about things like that, you know. The thing that I like about holding a little baby, I like holding a little baby, is, and I had to go see her yesterday because I hadn't seen her in an eternity, four days. I'm more than half her life.
I hadn't seen her. I had to get back down there. I like to hold a baby. A lot of dads, they like the baby but they can't wait till the child's old enough to come play with me, you know, but I like a baby because when you hold a baby, even if the baby's just sleeping, you can pray over that baby and bless that baby. That's what I do. I just pray. I just pray in the Spirit. I just pray every blessing I can think. I just speak it over the child. I just speak it into the child.
Start telling the child who you are because I believe that her little spirit is receiving every bit of it and the reason this causes me so much joy is that that's what I like to do. I like to pray and bless people but for most people, including myself, there is always some impediment to being able to receive it. There's some life experience, some wound, something that makes us think that maybe God's not that good and we question it all but not a little one.
It all goes in. Maybe this is why Jesus said, I'd like you to become like a little child as you enter the kingdom of God because I want you to just be able to be held by a loving Father who has good plans for your life and then just spend all your days, the hard days, the easy days, the days of loss and the days of celebration, thinking about how good his plans are. I know the plans, God says, I know my thoughts toward you.
You say, now I wish you could know what I'm thinking. They're good thoughts, good thoughts for your welfare, for your very best, to prosper you, to bring you shalom and well-being, not to harm you, not for evil, not for wickedness. God's good all the time.
All the time, God's good. I wish you could know these thoughts, he says, as he holds us, as he speaks to the exiles, as he talks to us when we're sorrowful in the in-between places of life. I'd like you to know I've got really big plans to give you a future and a hope.
Plans. That's Providence. That's the gospel. Alan Wright, our Good News message, God's big plans from the series Providence.
Please stay with us. Pastor Alan is back joining me in the studio, sharing his parting Good News thought for the day in just a moment. Unlock the power of blessing your life. Discover God's grace filled vision for your life by signing up for Alan Wright's free daily blessing. If you want to fill your heart with grace and encouragement, get Alan Wright's daily blessing.
It's free and just a click away at pastoralan.org. God's love. You've heard about it with your ears.
You've believed it in your mind. Now experience it in your heart with Alan Wright's beloved book, Lover of My Soul. The Bible is a love story from beginning to end. You are the spiritual bride of Christ, the perfect bridegroom. The Bible tells about a God who has gone to unimaginable lengths to woo you, to win you, and to walk with you hand in hand. For any man who has fallen in love with a woman, you've tasted the sweetness of what God's love for you is like. For any woman who has searched for true love, what you long for can only be found fully in God. Gary Chapman, renowned author of the five love languages, says, the incredible reality that God pursues us in love comes to life in Lover of My Soul. Ancient biblical accounts explode in the heart. Accept Christ's proposal, enjoy his embrace, revel in his love.
After all, it's a match made in heaven. It's Lover of My Soul by Alan Wright. The gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support. When you give today, we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries. Now these are the final days this offer is being made available to you this month. Call us at 877-544-4860.
That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, PastorAlan.org. Back here now with Pastor Alan and our parting good news thought for the day. We can trust his big plan because he is sovereign and he is good. And that means we can take the next step. Probably no better illustration than recent history for most people listening that would be living through a pandemic when the world shut down and it felt like everything was put on hold.
Right. We look back over our lives and we see the hand of God and how he provided. But when we're looking ahead, and we're in those exile times, and we don't know how we're going to be restored, that's where we're so worried.
That's where we're so full of angst. And so the word to the exiles is powerful to us. I was saying I know the plans that I have for you. We may not know the plans, but it's good enough if we believe God knows the plans. And I'm just trying to learn more and more to be like a little child in his arms who can trust that, yeah, dad's got a great big plan and it's going to work. We're like my little grandbaby Mia who, she has no idea all the plans that have been laid up for her. She doesn't even know, you know.
It's just, that's the way of little children. Someone who knows more, has more, can do more, is making plans that you don't even understand. How much more so are infinitely good and powerful God.
God's got big plans. Thanks for listening today. Visit us online at pastorallen.org or call 877-544-4860.
That's 877-544-4860. If you only caught part of today's teaching, not only can you listen again online, but also get a daily email devotional that matches today's teaching delivered right to your email inbox free. Find out more about these and other resources at pastorallen.org. That's pastorallen.org. Today's good news message is a listener supported production of Allen Wright Ministries.
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