God’s Plan for Your Life Today


If you love God, and have an innate longing to please him and walk in his ways – no matter how sinful your life presently is – then you belong to the first of the two categories of human beings born since the creation of Adam and Eve.

The first category are people who were predestined – that is, preplanned – long before they were conceived in the womb, to be saved through Jesus Christ, and live forever with him in the Kingdom of God. These people are the ‘children of promise’.  They are born of God’s will. The uniqueness of this category of people is that from birth they have a love of God, or at least they do not have innate hate for God and his ways.

The second category of people are those who are the ‘children of flesh’, born by chance by the will of their human father, or to put it bluntly, they are conceived as a result of the sheer pull of a man’s groins. These children are accursed from the womb, and they are born with a heart that is naturally rebellious against God. Two examples are Cain and Esau. Ponder the following verses carefully:

For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous.   1 Jn 3:11-12

“I have loved you,” says the Lord. “Yet you say, ‘In what way have You loved us?’ Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” Says the Lord. “Yet Jacob I have loved; but Esau I have hated   Mal 1:2-3

The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies.   Ps 58:3

Please try to grasp the awesomeness of this truth: God knew you personally even before the creation of the world. The fact that you are inclined to love God is not accidental but providential; that inclination was put in you even when you were in your mother’s womb.

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you   Jer 1:5

But You are He who took me out of the womb; You caused me to trust while I was on my mother’s breasts. I was cast on You from birth; You are my God from my mother’s womb  Ps 22:9-10 MEV

Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.   Ps 139:16

just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself   Eph 1:4-5

Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.   Ps 139:16

If you love God, it is the absolute evidence that God was speaking about you to the heavenly host and mentioning your name to them even when you were being formed in your mother’s womb.

The Lord hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.   Is 49:1 KJV

You were put on earth for a specific and eternal purpose. Your Creator has laid out a definite and detailed plan for your life, both here in this life on physical earth and in the coming life in the Kingdom of God.

Whatever has happened to you in this life so far – all the troubles, all the sufferings, all the sins you committed, all the failures – happened within God’s specific plan for your life. Not a hair of your head fell to the earth without its fulfilling in some infinitesimal way God’s plan he set for you eons before you were born. Your Father in heaven allowed you to make mistakes, allowed you to fall into sin, allowed sufferings, but only because those failures, sins, sufferings, were molding you and preparing you for the plan he has in mind for you.

The future is already laid out for you. God will ensure that no matter what you do, you will eventually become the workmanship he had planned for you. He will complete the work that he began in your life when you were conceived.

being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ   Phil 1:6

Something awesome is destined for you in this life. And what is that? That before you die, your life will be made complete, perfected, so you are ready to enter God’s Kingdom and begin fulfilling your eternal purpose God destined for you when he formed you in the womb. Nobody, not even Jesus knows what exactly is the position or responsibility your Father has planned for you in his Kingdom. In fact, so specific is God’s plan for his Kingdom that he is preparing, or already has prepared, two people to sit on Jesus’ right hand and his left hand when the Lord returns to earth.

Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Him, saying, “Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask.”

And He said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?”

They said to Him, “Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory.”

But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”

They said to Him, “We are able.”

So Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism I am baptized with you will be baptized; but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared.”   Mk 10:35-40

Whatever you will go through during the rest of your life on earth, literally everything that will happen to you, will be part of the plan God has for you for this life. That includes all the sins you will commit in the future. God is not responsible for the particular sins you will commit, but he is fully responsible for allowing that particular sin to be committed by you, so you can experience the terrible penalty and suffering caused by that sin, and having experienced it, you can repent and grow even stronger than you were before that sin. But if there is an evil event, or a sin, or any other circumstance that will take away in the least from, or do not contribute in some way to, God’s plan for your life, then he will not allow it to happen. What greater assurance can we have of our salvation, of our ultimate success and victory in this life!

Today you are in the right place, at the right time, doing the very thing God has allowed you to do. What’s happening today is happening according to God’s plan. If it is something sinful, then be assured you are going to come out of it spiritually clean sooner or later, and stronger for your experience of that sin.

However, understand this vital truth. God is not creating zombies or robots. Today you can decide whether to facilitate God’s plan for you by yielding sooner to his will in your life, or continue to live as you are in your present state of sin, and after suffering the consequences for a while, yield to him then. If you are wise, you will take the first course. But either way, you are going to end up exactly where God has planned for you in this life. How soon, how smoothly, is all upto you.

Today you can make the decision to make God’s plan for you easier and smoother each day by walking in the path he counsels you to take. This path is shown in the Bible. It’s a narrow path, but it’s the path that will take you soonest and smoothest, and with the least suffering, to the place God has planned for you even before you existed.

Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.   Heb 3:15

Your future is laid out for you. Therefore go forth, child of God, and do all you can to do your little part in God’s plan for you. Keep God’s commandments with all your heart, might, soul and mind. Draw close to God, and your battles against various sin will be won earlier.

Remember, no sin, no evil,  no force on earth or in the heavens will be able to thwart God’s plan for you and his faithfulness toward you. he has for you. Absolutely nothing.

So, go forward, O called of God from the foundation of the world, and live your life to the fullest. All the forces in the universe are with you to help fulfil the plan God has for you.

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?…Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.   Rm 8:31-39

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Jer 29:11  (For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  NIV)

Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.   1 Cor 2:9


Pappa Joseph


Image Courtesy: Jan Tik-flickr.com/photos/jantik



The Supreme Factor in Educating Your Child Successfully


Do you remember at least two of the main history lessons you learned in Grade 6? Or the molecular structure of ethyl alcohol that your chemistry teacher took so much pain to teach you in Grade 8? Or yet, the five kinds of Interrogative Pronoun that your English miss instilled in your teenage brain? I don’t, and I think most of you reading this don’t either. The only knowledge from school that has stood me in good stead in my adult life is learning to read, write and count. Everything else, I mean literally everything else, has served me no purpose at all in my job search and career development.

But the way our primary school teachers and our parents put their whole being into ensuring that we did remember them – by means of tests, exams, grueling homework, and punishments – it did seem to us at that time that if we didn’t remember those historical facts, dates, formulas, and grammatical technicalities, we were doomed for an adult life of failure in a rat-eat-cat world.

I regret to say this: most of those teachers who believed a student’s success lay in mastering schoolbook facts and formulas have continued to remain in the same station in their professional lives as they were when they taught us those now-forgotten lessons. How many of them have risen out of their current workpit to go on to become well-respected educationists in their community or country, or set up reputable institutions themselves? A very few have, but the overwhelming majority of them remained in their mediocre station in life, continuing to pass on quickly-forgotten knowledge each year to a new batch of young vulnerable minds.

It’s not just that what children learn in their schoolhood is forgotten within a few years after they bid farewell to their alma mater; many of the lessons they learn as immutable facts of life today become obsolete by the time they begin their lives as professionals. The grammar rules and language usage lessons become obsolete, the methodologies and technologies are replaced with more innovative processes, insights and solutions that seemed so revolutionary and effective are condemned as inadequate and even dangerous as newer understanding is gained.

So what can you as a parent do to give your child a schoolhood that will continue to be an influential factor all his or her adult life? It’s a profound subject I will cover periodically in my messages. But let me say this now: above all else, instead of focusing on the knowledge that your child is forced to feed on in school today, put your whole mind into ensuring that he or she acquires a love of learning, and a desire and ability to acquire knowledge on their own.

You do it by leading them to interesting experiences; by spending time with them, not by just helping them do homework but by hobbying with them; by never rebuking them for missing facts in textbooks, but praising them for any skill or knowledge they gained on their own through your encouragement and guidance. That’s the supreme gift you can give them during their school days. This is the most important factor in educating your child successfully.

May your children whom you are now encouraging to love learning and acquire knowledge by themselves, fondly remember in their adulthood how wisely you had laid the foundation for them to not only acquire the knowledge and skills for their success in life, but more importantly, to gain the true understanding of how to be a great parent and spouse themselves.


Pappa Joseph




“I’m Not As Steady At Walking”

by John Elliot


I love life’s varied pursuits – flying, scuba diving, skiing, sailing, travel, archeology, hiking, producing videos and computing.

I enjoyed these besides being a husband and father and having a demanding career. Life held so many possibilities, so many activities, so many opportunities.

Pursuing an active life had been second nature to me. With my optimism, good health and eyesight and the many opportunities I had been blessed with, I found new challenges a normal part of life. One day I was responsible for several hundred people in a large region, the next I was disabled and replaced.

But things change

Today I live in a retirement community. This period of my life has brought limitations to my participation in many former activities.

I am not steady enough to fly now and problems with vertigo prevent me from scuba diving safely. Skiing causes trauma to a deteriorated back vertebra, as does carrying a rucksack.

I am not as steady at walking and exercise becomes impossible at times. Some days I have had trouble remembering obvious things, like my best friend’s name or the street I live on – and I am only 38.

Disabled (temporarily I hope) from whiplash in a car accident, I find my physical problems have steadily increased in intensity. They came upon me rapidly and at first I rejected them. I viewed them with contempt as I tried vigorously to fight them off.

My approach mimicked that of others I had seen who had fought encroaching limitations, like some who had been placed in old people’s homes, or friends who had become increasingly deaf or blind, or who had contracted a debilitating disease.

When limitations beset us, we often feel as though we are being drawn into a chasm from which we cannot extricate ourselves. Accident victims despair at the permanence of their physical handicaps. The elderly find it intolerable to lose the sharpness of the 5 senses.

Limitations are confused with lack of personal worth. It is hard to resist bitterness towards the hand life had dealt you. The thrill of former victories can transform into the agony of defeat.

The restrictions you find yourself under add to the trauma. These can be the end of a job. The loss of independently moving about and handling one’s affairs, the loss of the privilege to drive a vehicle and even the loss of personal bodily functions.

Now instead of extending helping hands, you are the recipient of helping hands. Your immediate reaction is to reject them, refusing to accept your restricted state.

How often I have heard the elderly and the disabled tell of their anguish over the limitations that gradually overtake them. I have always tried to be understanding of their plight. Now I am experiencing some of it.

Disability, if striking unexpectedly, whether from aging, disease or accident, can be very unsettling. One moment you are reaching for the stars, then the earth falls away from under you.

Today, as I write, no boss calls to direct what I do or where I go. The pressing day’s activities have been replaced with endless quiet hours to fill.

It reminds me of the retired Navy admiral across the street. One day he directed policy from the top. The next, he was a retired private citizen. How rapid some changes can be.

The real problem

No matter what your limitation, there is only one real problem. Your attitude towards it. You can either be the ‘town grump’ over the disability you have or focus on all the limitations you do not have.

For instance, as the president of a deaf society says, ‘Deaf people can do anything, expect hear’. And, in effect, paraplegics can do anything, except walk; the blind can do anything, except see.

The same is true for you and me. We can do anything, except for the few limitations we have and they often are not totally restrictive. For instance, you are either reading or listening to a tape of this magazine right now.

That means you can pursue a degree or be a counselor to your grandchildren, a big brother to a parentless child, or a volunteer for special services.

A paraplegic has been president of the United States, quadriplegics have written valuable books, among other things. They just removed their biggest handicap – their attitude towards their disability.

Success became reality when they responded to challenges. You and I can too.

I may not be able to drive a car now, but others help me get where I need to go. I cannot work a 12-hour day now, but I can work one or 2 hours.

I may have difficulty with public speaking, but I can write. I am a better listener to others with problems and I have more compassion for and better understanding of the problems so many others face today.

A matter of focus

To focus on your own problems to the exclusion of others’ is destructive. Your condition can be so confounding, so frustrating that it occupies much of your thoughts. Too much in fact, causing you to ignore other important matters of life: interaction with family and friends, or benevolent actions to others facing crises, your personal and spiritual development and your enjoyment of life and the world around you.

I recently realized I had forgotten I was an avid flower gardener. For years I enjoyed raising annuals and perennials. In the frustration of my shackles, I have been too preoccupied to think of such an ‘unimportant’ hobby.

Last week, some blooms caught my eye and I realized I was overlooking some of life’s priorities. I had been overlooking other things too. And other people.

A burden to others?

‘I am just a burden to everyone now.’ Did you ever say that about yourself? We all feel that way sometimes.

Yet, I can tell you who are a burden – people who care only about themselves, or those who intentionally feed off the goodwill of others; or those who are ungrateful, complaining and selfish. Such are burdens to everyone irrespective of their state of health.

Not those elderly who have a story and a smile for children; not those in wheelchairs who help others have a better day; not my nearly deaf friend whose subordinates salute him for making their lives better at work. Nor the person who, even in blindness, added spark to a whole town. No, a giving person is a treasure.

New beginnings

Rather than look back at what we cannot do anymore, how about finding things we can do? I am researching a master’s thesis in archaeology. I have taken up a new form of flying and I often try to fly between the radio masts on top of the World Trade Centre, or under the Golden Gate Bridge. I usually crash, but I did make it once. I fly a computer flight simulator.

If we work around our limitations, life can still be full and rich with purpose and meaning. Life did not necessarily deal us an impossible hand. Oh, it may not be a royal flush, but that just adds to the challenge.

Something else you can do is show off a little. Show your wife or husband, your family, your neighbors what you can do. In so doing, show others an example of how to handle those limitations that eventually come to everybody.


Reprinted by the permission of Grace Communion International.