Points to Ponder/You are Part of the Plan

by Pastor Dennis Whitmore

I heard a story about an amateur chess player. He had been fairly good at the game, enjoying the strategy and careful thought that goes into outmaneuvering an opponent. One day he was given the opportunity to play several games with a professional chess player. Though this amateur knew several classic moves and strategies, he found that regardless of the decisions he made on the board, the master was able to incorporate those moves into his own strategy. The master was able to see the entirety of the game with all of its possibilities, adjusting, compensating and artfully bringing the game to a conclusive win for himself every time.
This is a good illustration of how God allows us to have free will and yet is Sovereign. No matter what we do, or fail to do, somehow the Master of the universe is able to incorporate our decisions and moves on the game board of life and bring them into line with His purposes. Somehow all things eventually do, or will, work together for good. (Romans 8:28)
There is comfort in knowing that. How many regrets and missed opportunities; how many mistakes and irreparable blunders have we made? Yet our Sovereign God is able to take what we have broken and use it for His greater purposes.
ďThere are many plans in a manís heart, never the less the Lordís counsel - that will standĒ (Proverbs 19:21)
It is always best to seek the Lordís will on a matter before we make a move, but in the end God will work with our imperfections and our good intentions (even if misguided), and His will, will be done.
The purpose of life is not just to find your own personal fulfillment, happiness, peace, and the perfect retirement package. Those are nice by products of life, if you are so fortunate, but there is a greater purpose for which life has been breathed into you. Do you know what it is? Are you actively looking, praying, and asking? Maybe the answer does not seem to be clear or forthcoming. Actually, you may be living in the answer now and do not know it yet. If you know the Lord and have given your life to Him, you have a purpose right there within your circle of influence (at home, work, and anywhere you are.)
Yes you have made mistakes, burned some bridges, and bear the scars of life, but God is the Master. He has a way to redeem who and what you have been and done. If you are ready to face it and confess it, turn from it and turn to the Lord. He can do it.
An angel of the Lord revealed to Samsonís parents that their son, who was not yet conceived, had a special calling from God. Likewise, young Jeremiah was told by God that he had been set apart as a prophet long before he was conceived.
ďBefore I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.Ē (Jeremiah 1:5)
The Master knew Samson and Jeremiah, and others before they were born. He knew them. He has known you.
Examine your life, your choices, your priorities. Do they reveal the life of someone who has a purpose thatís bigger than him/herself? Have you observed the Masterís hand working within and around the person you have become? There is a Plan. Find your place in it. (See Gospel of Matthew 7:7-12)

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Dennis

Pastor Whitmore serves God at the First United Methodist Church in Laurel, MD.