Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Planning for Success

by Rev. James Wong

Do you have a plan for 2011? Did Jesus have any idea about planning? Did he know anything about planning for a project development? Did he know anything about war plan? Sure he did! Listen to what he said:

28If one of you is planning to build a tower, he sits down first and figures out what it will cost, to see if he has enough money to finish the job. 29 If he doesn't, he will not be able to finish the tower after laying the foundation; and all who see what happened will make fun of him. 30 'This man began to build but can't finish the job!' they will say.” Luke 14:28-31 (TEV). No one can start building anything without first sitting down and do the necessary planning. Failure in a building project here is most likely due to a lack of planning.

31 “If a king goes out with ten thousand men to fight another king who comes against him with twenty thousand men, he will sit down first and decide if he is strong enough to face that other king. 32 If he isn't, he will send messengers to meet the other king to ask for terms of peace while he is still a long way off.” Luke 14:31-33 (TEV). This is about figuring out the war plan. If the enemy is too strong, it is more sensible to talk about peace rather than war.

The above two illustrations that Jesus spoke about refer to the cost of being his disciples. To follow Christ, they must count the cost, and to count the cost is to sit down and figure out the ‘sacrifices’ involved. The process of figuring out the cost is known as planning. Here are some wise words from the Bible concerning the importance of planning.

1. You are responsible to do your planning. "We should make our plans, counting on God to direct us.” Proverbs 16:9 (LB). Without planning we are just drifting. It is like sailing a boat without a rudder in the ocean. You must make the necessary plan for your life and then count on God to direct you. Let him have the final say.

2. A plan helps you to think ahead. "A wise man thinks ahead, a fool doesn't and even brags about it." Proverbs 13:16 (LB). It is wise to plan ahead and if you do not have a plan, it is most likely that you have not seen the importance of planning. Be wise.

3. A plan provides you with a clear direction. “An intelligent person aims at wise action, but a fool starts off in many directions.” Proverbs 17:24 (TEV). A plan helps you to focus in a clear direction and the Bible calls this ‘wise.’ Thus a person without a plan is a fool heading for many directions. Plan carefully where you are heading.

4. A plan leads you to success. "Any enterprise is built by wise planning, becomes strong through common sense, and profits wonderfully by keeping abreast of the facts." Proverbs 24:3-4 (LB). Plan your work and work your plan. If you don’t plan, you are planning to fail. Plan for success today so that 2011 is a year of fruitfulness.

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