Catch up on any ‘The God With A Plan‘ programs you may have missed here.
THE GOD WITH A PLAN
#11 – Air Date Week of 11/13/2017
The Potter and the Clay
This Week – Many scholars say that Jeremiah 18:1-12 is the most famous of all the passages in this book of the Bible. Others would say it is one of the top three! Regardless, it’s an important statement for your life and mine. Simply put, God is the “potter” of my life; I’m simply the clay or material formed! That’s a scary thought for some; it means God is in charge of my life from start to finish. To some that is comforting; to others it is downright offensive.
Monday (11/13) – We begin with a true story of a man who did a back-flip off of the bar at a tavern. He sued the bartender and won a $5,000.00 judgement! He contended it was the bartender’s fault. We talk about the spiritual lesson of that story that involves our disobedience to the God who made us! The text will illuminate your thinking on that as well. He’s the potter; we are they clay.
Tuesday (11/14) – People resent this scripture about God being the “potter” and my being the “clay”. You may privately resent that thought line. Why? It’s because that it means that God is in charge of my life. The potter has full control and discretion over the clay. That’s just an unacceptable concept to many if not most people. We like to think that we are both the potter and the clay. We are in charge of this thing called my life!
Wednesday (11/15) – What part does “brokenness” play in the life of a minister? We talk about that today. We then share a story about a box of broken pottery pieces (from Israel) that meant absolutely nothing to me for years. Then I took it to a professor of archaeology who explained each piece in terms of history. God can take the broken pieces of your life and mine and do even more with them than the professor did!
Thursday (11/16) – We share the story told by Chuck Swindoll about a young man who came into a church sanctuary late at night, probably under the influence of drugs or alcohol. What he did, what he wrote, and what he prayed to the Lord God almighty may be something you and I need to do! God can hear you regardless of your level of sobriety right now! He’s the potter; we are the clay!
Friday (11/17) – We close in a special way today. We tell the story of a young man who was told he has terminal cancer by his doctor. He goes home to tell his father that he loves him, something he admits he has never done before. What happens next in the story will grab your heart; it did mine. We close with the song, “Change My Heart, Oh God!” You may never sing that song in the same way again!
THE GOD WITH A PLAN
#10 – Air Date Week of 11/6/2017
Jeremiah 17:9-10, 24:7
This Week – Most people have heart trouble, but not necessarily physically. The Bible says more about our hearts than anything else! It really does. The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah speaks of the deceptive nature of your heart and mine. Your heart, Biblically speaking, is the part of you that thinks, feels, decides, and desires. It’s also the part of you that the Holy Spirit of God connects with in spiritual matters. That just may happen this week!
Monday (11/6) – We begin by talking about what happens in a flood, as happened in Florida and Texas after the recent hurricanes. Flooding occurs on two levels. Visibly it occurs on the surface. But it also occurs beneath the surface in the miles of underground conduits and tunnels. Your life is like that is well with your heart. Jeremiah says that your heart is “deceptive above all things”. So is mine. Listen to what he says about our hearts.
Tuesday (11/7) – We cannot understand our own problems, let alone other people’s problems. That’s why Jeremiah says our hearts deceive us! We’ve all made rational decisions that we thought were correct, just, and understandable. There was only one problem. We were wrong. “Rational thinking” can be just as mistaken as “emotional thinking”.
Wednesday (11/8) – We conclude a story begun yesterday about self-deception that happened in the cockpit of an airliner that resulted in a crash. The pilots believed things that they shouldn’t have believed; then they didn’t believe things that they should have believed. Sounds like what happens in people’s lives, doesn’t it? That’s happened in your life and mine!
Thursday (11/9) – We go through the book of Psalms and briefly look at some of the thoughts connected to the heart. You not only will be surprised to hear them, they will speak to what’s going on in your life today in 2017. Psalms speaks of the “wounded” heart. If you’re 30 years old or above, you probably have a wounded heart. Listen to today’s program about this issue!
Friday (11/10) – The good news of this message is contained in Jeremiah 24:7 that talks about God giving people a “new heart”. You may be praying for someone to change their ways. Maybe you need to pray that God gives that person in your life a new heart. What about you? Do you need a new heart? Let Him work in your life in this way! God is in the “heart business”. He really is, He’s God!
THE GOD WITH A PLAN
#9 – Air Date Week of 10/30/2017
This Week – What do you remember about your parents from your childhood? Some people have warm and loving memories; others have horrible and disturbing memories. Most have something in between. The prophet Jeremiah says in our passage that we study this week that even the children of God’s people “remember the idolatry of their parents”. If you’re a parent, what spiritual memories do your children have?
Monday (10/30) – Have you ever used the phrase, “his or her guilt was written all over their face”? It means that their sin or misdeed was obvious for all to see. Jeremiah says the sin of God’s people was “engraved on the tablets of their hearts!” And then the most embarrassing accusation of all, given by the prophet: “even their children remember their idolatry!” Children have spiritual memories, not just vacation and camping memories!
Tuesday (10/31) – Children tend to walk in the fears of their parents. If your parents constantly worried about money issues, you probably do also. If your parents were always concerned about illness and disease, you probably are as well. What memories do your children have about your relationship with the living God? Maybe you would be surprised to find out. What are their “faith” memories?
Wednesday (11/1) – We talk about the “cost” of sin in our lives. We live often with the consequences of forgiven sin. What does that mean? We can be forgiven, yet still living with the consequences or fallout of what we have set in motion. You know that is true, experientially! So do I! Sin always has a price tag! Sometimes, a hefty price tag! Aren’t you thankful for God’s forgiveness?
Thursday (11/2) – We share a story about the origination of GPS systems in automobiles. Originally created for military uses, it moved on to rental cars, and now is probably in your car and mine. As a believer in the Lord God almighty, we have a “GPS”: it’s called the word of God. We also have the Holy Spirit of God that indwells in every believer. We have “direction” for our lives, we really do!
Friday (11/3) – We close with a true story of a woman who described her life being involved in radical politics, alcohol, drugs, sexual promiscuity, and new age thinking. Those were her words! Her story of trying to save her marriage and coming to Christ will touch your heart in a powerful way. I still get choked up when I hear this story. You just may as well!
THE GOD WITH A PLAN
#8 – Air Date Week of 10/23/2017
Cause and Effect
This Week – Have you ever used the phrase, “cause and effect”? It refers to the consequences of what we do, say, or set in motion. Everything we do or say has consequences. The prophet Jeremiah says, “Our sins testify against us!” Does that make you think or give you pause? It does me. That’s what we talk about this week on CrossHope.
Monday (10/23) – We begin with a major story or illustration of the late broadcaster Paul Harvey entitled, “If I Were the Devil”. It just may be his most famous piece of programming/writing. It describes the United States of America years ago when it was aired the first time in 1979, let alone in 2017. Listen and see what you think about its application to this country today!
Tuesday (10/24) – The behavior of God’s people was so bad, He tells Jeremiah to not even pray for the people. Can you imagine the Lord telling someone like Billy Graham to not even pray for the United States of America? How bad do you think it would have to get in this country for the Lord to do something like that? If we’re not there now, when do think that day would possibly come?
Wednesday (10/25) – The description given of God’s people is amazing in Jeremiah 14. This is the strongest passage in the book quoted thus far. Their sin testified against them! Their backsliding was great. We explain that “backsliding” simply means to turn your back on the Lord. Ever had anyone turn their back on you? How did you feel? Have you ever turned your back on the Lord?
Thursday (10/26) – God’s people wandered from the Lord. That’s another way of saying that they were practicing idolatry. Most people know what the phase means when someone says, “he or she wandered away from their marriage.” You don’t have to be a theologian to figure that out. People do that with the Lord God almighty all the time. We don’t have idols today; we simply drive them, live in them, and wear them!
Friday (10/27) – We tell the unpleasant story of how doctors in the early 1800’s performed autopsies, then actually examined pregnant women and delivered babies without even washing their hands! One doctor spoke up to the medical community about this practice being responsible for deaths of many women to what was called, “childbed fever”. What he told the doctors of his day has spiritual application to us in 2017! It really does!
THE GOD WITH A PLAN
#7 – Air Date Week of 10/16/2017
Life Isn’t Fair!
Jeremiah 12:1-2, Psalm 73:1-28
This Week – If you haven’t asked the question recently, you will! “Why do people who reject the Lord and His word seem to succeed, and have health and wealth?” Your second question is this. “Why do the people who try to follow the Lord and His word seem to face illness, struggle, and defeat?” That’s one of the oldest questions in the Bible, including the 7th message in our series from Jeremiah. This message will deal with this issue in your life and mine.
Monday (10/16) – We begin by referring to the oldest book in the Bible, in terms of when it was written, where Job talks about questioning why people who ignore the Lord seem to succeed. He even notes that their children are “dancing in the streets with tambourines.” We all wonder why life doesn’t seem fair. You may have wondered that recently. We then read from the text in Jeremiah where the prophet says he has an issue he needs to discuss with the Lord. It’s about life’s fairness or lack thereof!
Tuesday (10/17) – We reflect on the most famous passage of all in the Bible about life’s seeming unfairness: Psalm 73. The author is a man named Asaph who says he envied the wicked. We then share the most important sentence of the message. Don’t base your opinion of God solely on the distribution of heath and wealth. Base it on the cross!
Wednesday (10/18) – Have you ever had the wrong perception of a person? We all have and do. We tell the story of a corporate psychologist who shares about being with a group of multi-millionaires and billionaires who would be perceived as living charmed lives. And yet many of them struggled with addictions, depression, and conflict. I close with a story of a friend of mine who was murdered in Chicago years ago. To my knowledge, his murderers were never caught. Life isn’t fair, is it?
Thursday (10/19) – Life isn’t fair in many ways in most people’s lives. We share a story told by Dr. Leroy Lawson of Mesa, Arizona. It hopefully will speak to your life about unfairness and God’s power no matter what happens. We quote an observation of Dr. Henry Blackaby about God working through you to minister to people. God will use you if you are available to Him! He really will, even in a life that isn’t fair!
Friday (10/20) – You may have resentment toward people, toward a company, a school, a college. You may feel that you have been cheated or deprived in some way. And maybe you have! Again, don’t base your opinion of the Lord on the distribution of health and wealth. Base it upon what happened on the cross of Christ. That will change how you look upon a life that is fair or unfair!
THE GOD WITH A PLAN
#6 – Air Date Week of 10/9/2017
Whose Life Is It?
Jeremiah 10:23, Proverbs 16:9, 19:21
This Week – Do you use a “Day-Timer” or calendar to schedule things in the life? Many people do. After years of using them, the temptation for all of us is to think of our time on this earth as “ours”. But is it really? What we study this week in Jeremiah just may change your thinking. It has for me! What perhaps we used to think of as ours and ours alone is something that belongs to the Lord God Almighty! It’s called your life and mine.
Monday (10/9) – My most vivid college memory is going into a fellow student’s dorm room in the middle of the night, to see him literally planning out the rest of his life on paper. I was truly in awe, because I was only worried about what I would eat for breakfast the next morning. But there it was right in front of me, 5 years ahead, 10 years ahead, and 15 years ahead and beyond. Life didn’t go as he planned, or for that matter how you and I may have planned. Jeremiah as something to say to you and me today!
Tuesday (10/10) – We share a powerful story of a minister friend of mine who was the father of a son with major birth defects and complications. Many Sundays, he would enter the pulpit not having slept for one minute! He was up all night in his son’s room that looked like a hospital room at the local children’s hospital. You need to hear his answer to the question, “What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned from this experience?” It just may change your thinking about something in your life.
Wednesday (10/11) – You just may be offended by this next sentence. There is no room in the Kingdom of God for “control freaks”. Nowhere will you find that concept endorsed or lifted up in scripture. That’s what we discuss today on CrossHope. God can use rejection, disappointment, failure, and even grief in your life and mine to bless us. Why? Because He is God, you and I are not!
Thursday (10/12) – Dr. Robertson McQuilkin was a college president Columbia, South Carolina many years ago. His story of his wife developing Alzheimer’s disease will speak to the deepest part of your being. How he came to terms with her illness actually speaks to Jeremiah’s admonition to you and me. We are either living in submission to the will of God or we are living in slavery to our own wills! Listen to his story today!
Friday (10/13) – We talk about changes that need to happen in your life and mine. What do you do when you are convicted about the direction your life is going? Do you just continue on with business as usual or do you stop and make the necessary adjustments in order to change course? We are not the authority on anything; the Lord is the authority on everything! It takes courage to change; it also takes the power of God!
THE GOD WITH A PLAN
#5 – Air Date Week of 10/2/2017
Boasting in What?
Jeremiah 9: 23-24
This Week – Everyone boasts about something, some more than others. But did you know that God’s word says that everything we boast about can fall under one of three headings? The prophet of God known as Jeremiah says that men and women can boast in “what and whom they know”, they can boast in “what they do or have done”, and thirdly in “what they have or possess.” Jeremiah gives us an alternative for boasting in your life and mine!
Monday (10/2) – We open with an illustration about children boasting in the typical things children boast in. And yet boasting doesn’t stop at the age of 12. It goes on into our 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s and beyond! You may know retired people who boast! We introduce the text where Jeremiah gives the real source of boasting in your life and mine. It may just surprise you!
Tuesday (10/3) – Jeremiah begins with this phrase: “This is what the Lord says.” He’s not giving his opinion or spin; He is sharing the Word of God with His people. He begins with pride in knowledge of people and earthly wisdom. Has that ever impacted your thinking? Paul in Corinthians says that knowledge puffs up the person who possesses the knowledge. Then Jeremiah talks about people boasting in their strength, meaning boasting in what they do and what they have done.
Wednesday (10/4) – The third boasting has to do with the big one: Money! It’s the temptation to boast in what we have or will have. Have you ever been tempted to boast in what you have or what you plan on getting? We all have. Jeremiah then transitions into what we are to boast in. In a word, we are to boast in the Lord in that we understand and know Him! What a concept!
Thursday (10/5) – Jeremiah says it’s possible to both understand intellectually, and know experientially the Lord. I share an illustration of how that works. It’s a story about an older cousin of mine who was a doctor who lived with the disease polio. He understood the disease intellectually because of medical training. But, he knew it experientially because he lived with it! We can understand and know the Lord!
Friday (10/6) – Jeremiah tells us that the Lord delights in three things: kindness, justice, and righteousness. People who know the Lord, people who understand the Lord delight in what He delights in. Does that make sense at all? We close with a silly little story that you make think is even “stupid”. But you will remember it tomorrow and even days from now when you’re tempted to boast in what you know, what you’ve done, and in what you have! Don’t believe that? Listen to this story today!
THE GOD WITH A PLAN
#4 – Aired Week of 9/25/2017
The God Who Speaks (And the People Who Don’t Listen)
Jeremiah 6: 10-15
This Week – Some people are deaf or hard of hearing. Others are deaf by choice. They choose not to hear or listen. You may be married to such a person! According to Jeremiah, God’s people had “ears that were closed so they cannot hear.” God’s people refused to listen to the word of the Lord because they found it offensive. Has the Bible ever offended you?
Monday (9/25) – We begin by quoting a professional counselor, Steve Arteburn who believes many of our problems are caused by a refusal to hear and heed the word of God in our lives. What about your life? Have you ever refused to listen or accept something that God said in His word that spoke to something going on in your personal life? We all have!
Tuesday (9/26) – The word of God actually does two things: it draws people and it repels people! Both! The same message from the word of God can draw someone closer to the Lord; it can also “run someone off”! In the ministry you see it all the time. We share a story of a woman who was so “offended” by my reading of a scripture at a wedding; I honestly thought she might assault me!
Wednesday (9/27) – Jeremiah says that the prophets and priests were “dressing the wounds of God’s people as though they were not serious.” He was talking about covering up their sin. We share a serious illustration of a neighbor many years ago who shot himself in the chest. All I knew to do was to cover the wound with a folded cloth as a compress. But he needed surgery. We cover the wounds (sins) in our lives, but we need spiritual surgery!
Thursday (9/28) – We quote a quiz by Steve Arteburn that covers some of the issues that you, your spouse, your children, or parents deal with in life. It’s a quiz about the “unhealed wounds” in your life. One man hearing this said it described the last 30 years of his life! Maybe it will do the same for you. We tend to reproduce that which we don’t resolve. Read that last sentence again!
Friday (9/29) – We close by looking at verse 15 of Jeremiah 6 that talks about people who “don’t know how to blush”. What does that mean? Some people not only don’t listen to the word of God, they simply don’t care what they say or do! We all know people like that. They refuse to hear what God has to say, their ears are closed, they find the word of God offensive. Sound familiar?
THE GOD WITH A PLAN
#3 – Aired Week of 9/18/2017
The God of Truth
Jeremiah 5: 1-5
This Week – Whenever someone tells me that personal honesty or integrity really isn’t that big of a deal in 2017, I think of the passage we study this week. It is Jeremiah 5 where God says He’s actually looking for men and women who do two things: they deal honestly and seek the truth! It must be important to Him. He then says if Jeremiah can find one person who does those two things; He’ll spare the city of Jerusalem. That’s no small thing!
Monday (9/18) – We begin with a piece of writing written years ago by Zig Ziegler, a motivational speaker from Texas. He wrote about marrying the “wrong” person or being the “right” person. Someone reading this right now needs to hear what he said. It just may speak to something you are going through in your marriage today! It really will.
Tuesday (9/19) – Isn’t it amazing that God says He’s looking for honest people on the earth? Actually He says He’s looking for just ONE! You may be the only honest person where you work or go to school. You may be the only honest person in your family! This may surprise you, but you may be the “ONE” in your marriage that is truthful. Don’t give up being the ONE!
Wednesday (9/20) – If you’re looking for a mate in life, a good starting point would be to find someone who deals honestly and seeks the truth! Why? Because that is what God is looking for! Verse 2 says, “The Lord’s eyes are looking for truth.” The ultimate definition of the word truth comes from Jesus who said, “I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life.” Seeking the truth is to seek Jesus!
Thursday (9/21) – According to one author and his survey, most people lie routinely to their spouse, their parents, and to friends and associates. We tell the dramatic story of a cab driver from San Francisco who had a passenger who left her purse in his cab with $1,800.00 in cash in an envelope! What this cab driver did will amaze you! It may speak to your honesty or lack thereof.
Friday (9/22) – We quote a counselor who talks about what it takes to have honesty in your marriage and family. This is not just important, it may be crucial to the success or failure in your marriage! This can actually change someone’s life and marriage today, just by listening to this part of the message. If the Lord was and is looking for people who deal honestly and simply seek the truth, what does the Lord see in your life and mine?
THE GOD WITH A PLAN
#2 – Aired Week of 9/11/2017
The God We Forget!
Jeremiah 2:5-13, 31-32
This Week – Have you ever forgotten a birthday or an anniversary that you shouldn’t have? Do you remember the feeling you had? More than that, do you remember what your forgetting did to the other person? God, speaking through the prophet Jeremiah says, “My people have forgotten me, days without number!” Forgetting a birthday is one thing; forgetting the Lord is something totally different!
Monday (9/11) – We begin with a story about Bear Bryant, the late great football coach of Alabama. It’s about a television commercial he did for a southern phone company and the reaction of his viewers. It will bring a smile to your face and a tear to your eye. It introduces the second chapter of Jeremiah that talks about the forgetfulness of God’s people regarding the Lord who saved them and delivered them. Have you every forgotten what the Lord has done in your life? We all have!
Tuesday (9/12) – In verse 5, Jeremiah says, “This is what the Lord says!” He doesn’t claim authority on his own; rather he claims “delegated” authority. Most preachers can take a lesson from this. Any spiritual authority we have comes from Him; it’s not inherent with us. Many people claim their own authority in telling people how to live. That’s arrogance. We can only ultimately share what the Lord says through His word.
Wednesday (9/13) – Jeremiah says that God’s people preferred water from a broken cistern to the living water of a spring. It’s a great analogy of even today. We reject the Lord and choose the second rate or the temporary. In verse 32, God says that His people had forgotten Him days without end! In a sense, God was saying He had lost track of the time of forgetfulness. We use a humorous wedding story to illustrate this point.
Thursday (9/14) – We share a great story by Dr. Scott Peck who tells of being a “self-proclaimed” Boy Scout when he was a boy. He had the Boy Scout handbook and the official Boy Scout hatchet. But that’s all. Many people have a Bible on the coffee table, and a framed copy of scripture on a wall plague. Having the accouterments doesn’t make us a scout or a faithful follower of Jesus Christ. Isn’t that right?
Friday (9/15) – We close with a powerful story told by my favorite preacher, Ben Haden of years ago in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He tells of being called to the hospital in the middle of the night to a man facing death. He pledged faithfulness to the Lord from that day forward, if God would just spare his life. His pledge was quickly forgotten. But we can’t judge him; we have done similar things. It’s called forgetting what the Lord has done!
THE GOD WITH A PLAN
#1 – Aired Week of 9/4/2017
The God Who Won’t Leave You Alone!
Jeremiah 1:4-9, Ephesians 2:10