The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

11/10/2010

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In The Stars?


"God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and how I pray that now at last by God's will the way may be opened for me to come to you" (Rom. 1: 9-10).

The apostle Paul really wanted to visit with the church at Rome. You can tell by today's verse that he had strong feelings for them, prayed for them and wanted to come to them. In chapter fifteen, near the end of the letter he writes; "so that by God's will I may come to you with joy and together with you be refreshed" (V 15). I believe what Paul powerfully implies here is that even with such a thing as a visit, he wants his plans to coincide with God's. Here's the skinny... Many of the things that happen to us in our lives, happen because God is guiding our ways. There are words and phrases that people might use to describe this part that God plays in our lives and you've heard some of them....luck...fate....good fortune...it was in the cards...things just happen....After forty one years of marriage to a wonderful woman, can I really pass off our meeting and relationship as luck? fate? things just happen? God works in our lives in a providential manner. To me it is the absolute coolest thing about God's will. The writer of Proverbs puts it this way; "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight" (3: 5-6). As we seek advice from God about our plans we must make sure that HE is a part of them and that our will is lined up with his. We do this by praying to Him regarding our plans. James put a slightly different spin on it when he speaks of the brevity of life and the folly of planning without Him. "Instead you ought to say, 'If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that' " (4: 15). The clincher for me comes from the pen of the apostle John. "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us---whatever we ask---we know that we have what we ask of him" (1 John 5:14-15). The providential will of God is alive and well! Our prayers are answered when they suit God's will... Have a great day... Make a difference... Love mark Phil. 4:11

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