For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
Today’s verse is one of those constant contenders for everyone’s “my favorite scripture” designation. It is especially favored by those who subscribe to Prosperity Gospel ideology.
Fact is, God loves God’s children without reservation, and that love comes with some amazing plans for us, loaded with hope and a future that dovetails with God’s great initiatives of grace and mercy in this world.
Sometimes those plans for our future involve plenty, and celebration, and good health – and then we also deal with struggle, and heartache, and loss. We know God is on our side, always! The real question is this, “Are we moving into this future following Jesus, and investing in a life defined by faith and service?”
In our experience this plays out most beautifully in the context of Christian community. We are part of a church family where we do not celebrate, or struggle, alone. God is with us! And God also reaches into our lives through the love and the acceptance and the encouragement of our brothers and sisters.
Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evenings Rebekah and I broke bread and shared our lives with some of the amazing people who are a part of our church family. It is obvious that the plans God has for us are loaded with hope and promise. And we are grateful.
In love, and because of love – DEREK
Here are some images from Saturday evening’s gathering with the “Explorations” Sunday school class, out on a family farm near Wake Forest. What a great bunch of folk!
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.