“And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” (Revelation 22:12)


THE END OF HISTORY as we know it will come with a flurry of the most incredible events ever confronted by humankind. After that, we will enter eternity, which is beyond human imagination.  The apostle Paul said of eternity, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

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Proverbs 16:9 A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.

Key Statement:  Our plans must be born out of a desire to please God and to accomplish His purposes.

To survive in any business environment today without planning is almost impossible.  Analyzing information, arranging data, and forecasting trends are all part of developing a coherent strategy.  Past records, present circumstances, and future assumptions are the vital ingredients of the planning process.


As Christians, it is the future that often troubles us when we are formulating plans.  Since the future is in God’s hands, aren’t we being presumptuous to tread on His turf?  Aren’t we trifling with His sovereignty?

The resounding biblical response is “NO!”  After all, from the lush garden of Adam to the rocky shores of John’s Patmos, the Bible itself is a divine plan of redemption and salvation.  The recording of the Scriptures is the unfolding of that eternal design.

The very lives of major biblical characters reflect the planning process.

The apostle Paul was given a grand goal-to peach the gospel to the Gentiles.  How could he accomplish such a staggering mission? Paul did so by putting together a superlative plan for evangelizing the cosmopolitan cities of his day-Corinth, Thessalonica, Ephesus-and then returning later for follow-up discipleship.

After interpreting Pharaoh’s troubling dreams, Joseph masterminded an innovative agricultural policy that extended for fourteen years.  He thus prevented the death and starvation of millions of Middle East residents.

Our plans must be born out of a desire to please God and to accomplish His purposes.


The Scripture passage that elicits the most confusion for the Christian regarding planning is James 4:13-15: “Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:  Whereas ye know not what [shall be] on the morrow. For what [is] your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.  For that ye [ought] to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.”

Notice that James doesn’t imply that we shouldn’t plan.  What he does say is that we should plan with the overriding understanding that it is God who is in control, not we.  His will is preeminent.   Our plans must be submitted to His sovereignty.  He will not do what we should do ourselves (plan), and we cannot do what only He can (oversee our plans).  We are in a divine partnership with God, but He has the ruling interest.

Numerous scriptures verify that arrangement.  “[There are] many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand”  (Proverbs 19:21).  “The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, [is] from the LORD” (Proverbs 16:1).

Planning is the means by which we express our confidence and faith in a loving and faithful God.  Our plans must be born out of a desire to please God and to accomplish His purposes


As the believer seeks God’s counsel and then ventures out in faith, it is with great excitement that he or she can exclaim,

“Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established”  (Proverbs 16:3).


Read Psalm 52

Proverbs 3:5-6  Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.




Let us see what God can do for us, starting NOW, because: “God’s promises will expire (in the twinkling of an eye) between our last breath and our entrance into eternity.”

FEATURED BOOK: I AM the Promise Keeper





FAILURE-One step forward two steps back- not loving the math?

Always build upon the strong foundation of truth.  Any aspect of life that violates truth is doomed to failure.  It may stand for a season, but eventually it will collapse.

You cannot escape the eternal principle:  “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap”  (Galatians 6:7).

Always build upon the strong foundation of truth.  Any aspect of life that violates truth is doomed to failure.  It may stand for a season, but eventually it will collapse.

You cannot escape the eternal principle:  “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap”  (Galatians 6:7).

Matthew 7:24-27  Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:

And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

Key Statement:  For the believer, every failure can be a stepping stone to success.

Failure is an ugly word.  No one likes it.  Everyone is subject to its attacks.  There are no ideal situations in which failure cannot become a reality.  The first man and women God created were placed in an environment perfectly suited for them.  And yet they failed miserably.  Throughout the Scriptures many of God’s servants suffered failure.  The most successful men and women in history have experienced failure.  Why do some who fail at first go on to succeed while others do not?  Those who eventually succeed are the ones who understand the difference between temporary defeat and failure.  They look beyond life’s occasional setbacks and refuse to be completely undone by the obstacles that confront them.

      How to Avoid Failure

Our text shows us a vivid picture of both success and failure. Two men built a house, one on a foundation of rock, the other on sand.  When the inevitable storms unleashed their fury, one house stood and the other fell.  In this simple parable we find two principles that can protect us from lasting failure in our personal, family, business, and spiritual lives.

FIRST:  Always build upon the strong foundation of truth.  Any aspect of life that violates truth is doomed to failure.  It may stand for a season, but eventually it will collapse.  The truth of Scripture should be our guide in business, as well as in family life.  Detours around truth and honesty lead to disappointing and often surprising failure.

SECOND:  Build for the storms.  They are inevitable.  What you build will be tested.  The consequences of shoddy work, laziness, dishonesty, though well hidden, will unavoidably bring failure tomorrow.  You cannot escape the eternal principle:  “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap”  (Galatians 6:7).

      Why Does God Allow Us to Fail?

The causes of some failures are not quite as clear as others. When we have given our best, why does God allow us to experience failure?

God is not the cause of our failure, though He does allow it. Even though we are His children and want what is best, why do we still experience failure?  We do not always know what is best. Then, sometimes, we allow ourselves to become sidetracked.  Our priorities get out of order; our motivation becomes selfish; Christ is no longer the center of our lives.  Failure is God’s way of getting our attention, humbling us, disciplining us, and bringing us back to Himself.  Sometimes God uses a painful failure to express His fatherly love toward us.

Remember, there is a difference between failure and being a failure.   It is never God’s intention to make us become failures.  However, He sometimes allows us to fail today in order to bring us success tomorrow.  God has planted in your every defeat the seeds of your future success.  Successful people are those who apply God’s remedy for failure:  humbling themselves before Him in repentance, surrendering to His will and His goals for their lives.  For the believer, every failure can be a stepping-stone to success.



Let us get started because: “God’s promises will expire (in the twinkling of an eye) between our last breath and our entrance into eternity.”



“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”Jeremiah 29:11


Fallen man through the sin (eating the forbidden fruit) committed in the garden forfeited the world to Satan. Man’s relationship with God was broken and our image and likeness of God no longer reflects His glory. We are unable to fellowship with God in this fallen state. This separation from God keeps us from experiencing the original purpose, promises and plans of God.


THE PLAN – God’s plan is to redeem us through faith in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.  He created us in His own image to enjoy a relationship with Him and planned our life to be filled with meaning and purpose. This can only be accomplished through redemption through salvation.

THE PERSON – God sent His Son Jesus Christ into the world to redeemer mankind through the Redemptive work on the cross. He needed to Redeem us from sin, restore our broken image and relationship with God. His redemptive work included the “Title Deed to the Earth.”

THE PROPHECY – God needed to prepare our hearts for the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Therefore, He foretold us of the events that would be fulfilled concerning the prophecies of the Messiah.


THE PROMISE – God has promised many glorious things for those living by faith in His Son, our Redeemer.  God’s great love has provided us a way to reunite with Him and live the life he planned for us from the beginning. The Promise to send His Son to die on the cross for us has Principles and Processes we must apply.

THE PRINCIPLES – God’s past workings meet our present response. If the Promise is Eternal Life through His Son, then the Principle of believing in faith becomes the Process leading to our Born-Again experience. With every Promise, there are Principles we must follow which become the Processes for application.

All His commandments, rules, and advice are founded upon Promises and Principles given to us because they are for our own good! Violating any of God’s commandments or His advice violate God’s Principles of life!

THE PROCESS – God’s Processes are the glue that holds together His Promises and Principles. In business “The-Voice-of-the-Process” is more important than The-Voice-of-the-Customer.” For if the process is out of control the product will never meet the customer’s expectations. His Processes allow His perfect will to produce His Purpose in our lives. We the customer seeking Eternal Life must read the blueprints (HIS WORD), to implement His Processes, deploy His Principles, and apply His Promises pertaining to our Purpose in life.


THE PATH – God’s Path is the way of the cross. There is no other way to be saved and no other Person under Heaven to save us. Christ died in our place to redeem us from our sins. If faith we believe, in faith we receive, in faith we are changed. As Christ shed His blood on the cross, we shed our old life by taking it to our cross daily. Faith is believing God’s Word and acting upon it and without faith it is impossible to please God.

THE PURPOSE – God’s Purpose is to bring mankind back into a loving relationship with the Trinity. Forgiveness of sin leads to our Born-Again experience and transformation back into His Image. Restoring our triune nature (Spirit, Soul, Body) is paramount to fellowship with a Holy God. We become the Image Bearer of God as we are Conformed into The Character of Christ. Able to Worship God in True Righteousness and Holiness. Thus, God becomes the True King of Your Heart, bringing Glory to God.

THE PROVISIONS – God’s provisions are vast and powerful. The WORD of GOD is the beginning of wisdom and MUST Be Studied. Scripture tells us that Jesus is the Word, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.” (John 1:1-2). The entire Bible is written about Jesus; Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come—In the volume of the book it is written of Me—To do Your will, O God.’” (Hebrews 10:7).

God’s provisions teach, guide, help, and protect our new life in Christ. His grace, mercy and faith given freely advances our belief. Jesus is our advocate with the Father, the Holy Spirit Teaches, Guides, and Intercedes on our behalf. The Whole Armor of God is made available in the day to day battles of life.


THE POWER – God’s Power is found in speaking the Word of Truth. When Jesus spoke the truth in the wilderness the Devil had to leave. Relying on God’s Truth will set us free. It is alive and an exhorted, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12).

God’s Power is also available in the Holy Spiritwho is our Helper (John 14:16). Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He promised to send a Helper. You now have the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit to provide guidance and empower you to accomplish everything the Lord asks.

THE PRAYERS – God’s Prayers for us expand the volume of Scripture. Read the Book of Psalms and pray them to God for yourself. Jesus gives us guidance on how to pray in The Model Prayer (Some refer to it as The Lord’s Prayer) in Matthew 6:8-13. However, Jesus’ Prayer is found in John Chapter 17, were He Prays for Himself, His Disciples, and for All Believers.

The most important Prayer is the one (Sinners Prayer) that invites Jesus into your heart to forgive your sins. But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:8-10). God’s summation of our Prayer Life in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 is an awesome exhortation! “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”


A life of isolation and indifference to the needs of others is sure to leave little behind.

MATTHEW 5:13-16  Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

KEY STATEMENT:  The more stable and constant our walk, the greater and more lasting is our influence.

For good or evil, we all influence the lives of others.  In fact, our behavior not only negatively or positively affects those with whom we work, live, or play, but can have continuing sway upon future generations.  What is said about Abel can also be ascribed to all:  “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh”  (Hebrews 11:4).

We don’t have to be famous in order to be influential.  Each of us, regardless of position or visibility, can significantly influence others.  A Sunday school teacher in Boston walked into a shoe store one day on another errand when he led Dwight L. Moody to faith in Christ.  Moody became one of American’s most noted evangelists.  Fathers and mothers influence their children who, in turn, instill the same values in their offspring.


Most of us will admit the kind of influence we would desire to have is a godly one-touching others with the genuineness of a Christ-controlled life.  That, of course, is possible only as we cultivate a life of devotion and obedience to Christ-seeking His will, studying His Word, and submitting to the reign of the Holy Spirit. 

When we do, we can influence others for Christ’s sake by implementing the following principles:


Influence begins with giving ourselves.  As ambassadors for Christ, we must be involved in relationships with those we have been called to reach.  Though Jesus withdrew to the desert on occasions, He could usually be found teaching and ministering to large crowds and was constantly surrounded by His disciples.

A life that is oriented to pleasing self influences very few.  We must be willing to take the risk of making contact with our co- workers and our neighbors.  Barnabas took the initiative and influenced Paul.  Paul reached out to Timothy.  Timothy trained others.  A life of isolation and indifference to the needs of others is sure to leave little behind.  The salt must come out of the saltshaker if it is to season the world with godliness.


The heartbeat of influence is compassion.  Someone has rightly said that “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”  The people that most influence us are usually the people who care for us.  Jesus didn’t just spend time with the disciples.  He loved them unconditionally.


The foundation for influence is conviction.  The more strongly held our beliefs are, the more likely we will share them.  There must be compelling conviction for us to rise above our own petty motives of self-gratification.  Paul endured so many physical and emotional sufferings to bring the gospel to the Gentiles because he was solidly convinced that good news was “the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek”  (Romans 1:16).


The linchpin for an influential life is consistency. Faithfulness in the daily rounds of life is the key to a life of lasting influence.  In this way our homes, jobs, and leisure times are all significant opportunities to be spiritual change agents for others.  People tend to look at our lives as a whole. They take the long view.  The more stable and consistent our walk, the greater and more lasting is our influence.