Meaningful Planning

No greater purpose in life is as important as God’s plan for us all. His plan is magnificent in wisdom and it is His purpose that prevails. As recorded in Proverbs 16:3, commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. God has explained to us the reason for sending Christ, a plan for humanity put into motion long ago. The Bible teaches us to plan our work and then carry those plans out with action. Those that move by guesswork without a practical plan are like cars without steering wheels. .. Sooner or later there is going to be a crash.

In anything we do, there should be a purpose. In a grammar lesson in eighth grade Mrs. O’Neill said, “Paul, give me a sentence with a direct object.” Paul replied, “Everyone thinks you are the best teacher in the school.” “Thank you, Paul,” responded Mrs. O’Neill, “but what is the object?” “To get the best mark possible,” said Paul. When we have a purpose, it reduces frustration and keeps us on a steady course. It increases our motivation by making our life meaningful and gives us a future and a hope. We are able to concentrate on a target. Working as a team is easier because there is cooperation to proceed in the same direction.

Many famous people give us examples of how to get things done with a definite purpose. Thomas Edison failed over 9,000 times before he invented the light bulb. Yet from that point forward he went on to receive 1,093 patents, more than any other person in U.S. history. Ray Kroc was 52 years old and in bad health when he started McDonald’s. At its high point, a new McDonald’s was opening every 5 hours somewhere in the world. Christopher Columbus set out to find a better route to China. In so doing, he discovered America.

Planning With Direction

Are you going in the right direction?  There was this tourist that stopped his car on a country road and asked a young boy “How far is it to Smithville?” “Well,” said the boy, “The way you are going, it’s about 24,996 miles, but if you turn around, it’s about four.” It’s important to know what direction you are going.

A good leader must have at one time followed and following the riches of God’s kindness, tolerance, and patience is definitely going in the right direction. Through Christ, we are given the glory of God. Follow God’s will as stated below in the following song.

Shepherd of my soul, I give you full control, wherever you lead, I will follow.
I have made the choice to listen for your voice, wherever you may lead, I will go.
Be it in a quiet pasture or by a gentle stream, the Shepherd of my soul is by my side.
Should I face a mighty mountain or a valley dark and deep, the Shepherd of my soul will be my guide.

Our society faces many challenges and violence seems to be glorified. Have we reached a point where the need to feed our minds with good virtues is equally important as the basic physical need of food itself. To quote Charles Swindoll, “murder lurks in the dark alleys of the mind before it ever comes out of hiding to actually kill its victim. Our minds are where every important battle is first fought. Is there a way to feed young minds of our society with good solid virtues instead of glorifying violence?

The best way is to always let God be a part of our decision and approval process. This includes concerns with our family, business, organization, or job. Read Exodus 27 and notice how God’s insight to the past, present, and future is reflected in the construction and furnishing of the tabernacle. His instructions are perfect and all we need to do is follow His direction.

Planning With a Team

The Disciples of Christ worked together to spread the Good News. Today, the Holy Spirit works with Christians as the Bible states in Matthew 18:20, for where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them. Many scriptures talk about teamwork. As stated in Romans 12:5, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.

Think about God’s creation. A honey bee spends a lifetime producing less than a teaspoon of honey. Yet when they work together with their friends, they produce enough for us to consume as food. Think of ants. The colony of ants work for one … the queen who is most important to them. Just think if we all worked together for the One that is most important to us … Christ our Lord.

In the book “Treasures of the Transformed Life”, John Ed Mathison points out that a winning team is set apart because they’re willing to help each other. The individual members are willing to step back and let someone else with greater skills and abilities step forward to accomplish the task. Because of Christ, the Holy Spirit is given and each individual can provide strengths to build up the body of Christ. Personal performance then becomes team confidence and excellence is the result.

Involve others as you plan out your future. We live in a very complicated world and need to involve others in our plans. There are many people that need to get their work done before we can get our work done. There may be the need to involve a spouse, family members, boss, and co-workers in our plans.

Planning With a Mission

Many times things may seem to get out of control and it is hard to keep composure. There is one thing that all of us can control and that is our thoughts. Our thoughts are greater than our material possessions for they are our spiritual estate. There are some that work to destroy the rich inner thoughts of others. Many tried to convince Thomas Edison that he could not produce a bulb that created light. The most practical way to control our thoughts is to maintain focus on the mission.

Jesus had a mission here on earth which included things like fulfilling the law of Mosses, serving others, giving fullness of life to the sick or needy, and to die on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins. There were many out to destroy the mission of Jesus but he showed composure. He was arrested, challenged, and finally sentenced to be crucified. At any point along the way, He could have chosen to not follow through but He did because of continued focus on the mission.

How do you make decisions? Do you inquire of the Lord? Pray to God with questions and have faith that the Holy Spirit will give you answers. Do you know what the priorities are? Do you listen for a plan, make adjustments if necessary, and take action on doing the right thing? Are you a person that helps in setting priorities?

To help in answering these questions, there are some tools to help plan with a mission. The post Precious Time explained how valuable our time is and presented a tool at this link to help evaluate your daily activities. The tab at the bottom of the spreadsheet has a tab named Precious Time. Continue to review and update these activities.

Added to this spreadsheet is the tab called Daily Time Analysis which has six days set up so you can do an analysis over the next six days by recording how you now use your time. Simply keep this log available throughout your day and record how you used your time. This study should help you determine if there is time spent in your daily routine that is fruitless so you can turn it into productive time.

Other tools to start using to help plan with a mission may include a calendar and task list. This Day with God planning is all about using your time wisely so that your activities produce the greatest benefit to you and your loved ones.

Use a calendar to plan out at least a month or two in advance. Record, appointments, meetings, family activities, blocks of time to exercise, and for enjoyment of life. The calendar helps to make sure you are not committing to more than what can be done.

Also, use a task list to plan for each day. Each day as you read the Bible and pray, record tasks that are crucial for that day. Some tasks have to be done that day because of deadlines or to stay on track towards your mission.

Other tasks are important but could be done within the next few days. Try to accomplish the crucial tasks first and then work on the important tasks as time permits. At end of each day as you retire for the evening, pray about what you would like to accomplish tomorrow, listen, and record the instructions from the Spirit onto your crucial and important tasks list so that you will be prepared to step ahead with a fast start tomorrow.

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About Mark Shields

Mark volunteers as a member of the media ministry team at his church. A few years ago, he started an on-line Bible study guide called “This Day with God Devotional”. He uses this as a tool in his journey through the Bible. We live in a very busy world with busy schedules so this tool has helped him continue with daily Bible reading and study. Each of the studies are designed to help apply our faith in the work place, at school, or at home. Join him on this journey or check in every so often to read his thoughts.
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5 Responses to Meaningful Planning

  1. Pingback: This Day with God Planning | This Day With God

  2. Pingback: Spend More Time on Top Priority Activities | This Day With God

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