God’s Plan; Our Part
And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. And when you have multiplied and been fruitful in the land, in those days, declares the Lord, they shall no more say, “The ark of the covenant of the Lord.” It shall not come to mind or be remembered or missed; it shall not be made again. At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the Lord, and all nations shall gather to it, to the presence of the Lord in Jerusalem, and they shall no more stubbornly follow their own evil heart. Jeremiah 3:15-17
Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one. Second Thessalonians 3:1-3
Jeremiah paints a sad picture of the spiritual adultery of Israel and Judah, but, against that backdrop, he superimposes the triumph of God’s plan to gather to Himself all nations, redeemed and righteous, before Him. Again and again, the prophets assure us that God will win and His plan will succeed.
When we turn to Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians, we find him diligently laboring to instruct them in the gospel of Jesus Christ and to exhort them to live holy lives. He requests prayer so “that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored.” Paul worked with zeal, discipline, and knowledge. But without God's working in the hearts of Paul's hearers nothing would occur. God's workers must always pray because they need His power.
Think about it
God’s purposes cannot fail for He is sovereign. At the same time, you and I have a part to play. It may be to pray. It may be to go proclaim the good news of life in Christ to your neighbor, coworker, or some unreached people around the globe. God raises up shepherds to feed His people (Jeremiah 3:15) and He gifts each one in His Church to serve (First Corinthians 14; Romans 12:3-8). If you have not done so, find your calling and do your part.
© 2017 John A Carroll Used by permission