Vision

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Our Vision

That I may know him,                                             I must experience Him daily

  and the power of his resurrection,                           I must walk in the Spirit

  and the fellowship of his sufferings,                        I must see Him through my trials

  being made conformable unto his death;               I must live with His passion for my cross.

Philippians 3:10

 

Where there is no vision,                             when I lose sight of the vision

the people perish: …”                                     other people perish. John 3:16

Proverbs 18:4

 

For God so loved the world,

that he gave his only begotten Son,

that whosoever believeth in him

should not perish,          

but have everlasting life.     John 3:16

 

I must be a living demonstration of the Christ life.

 

Write the Vision

Habakkuk, a Minor Prophet, had lost sight of the vision and become bitter because God was going to use the heathen to discipline His people, Habakkuk 2:1. So the Lord tells him to write the vision, verse 2.

Verse 3 looks like a contradiction but what He is saying is that the vision does not come in our time but in His time.

Verse 4 sums up our vision.

Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.

The first part of the verse is pride, the self-life, which is having it my way. The theme song for hell is “I did it my way.” The second part tells me that I must learn His faith from His word and live daily by faith.

Habakkuk 2:1-4

  1. Keeps it clear
  2. Keeps it in your heart with review
  3. Keeps you running on course

Romans 12:1-2

  1. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
  2. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

This is your gauge to test your self. Notice the three levels at the end of the verse.

  1. Good: My faith lines up with His faith. Ephesians 1:9
    1. His faith changed time and eternity.
    2. My faith will change time and eternity.
    3. II Corinthians 5:10 Your conscience reminds you of coming Judgment.
  2. Acceptable: My ways become His ways. Ephesians 5:10
    1. Learn His principles
    2. Learn the commands of Christ
    3. Learn His character qualities
  3. Perfect: His life has taken over my life. Ephesians 4:13
    1. John 15
    2. Philippians 3:12, 15
    3. Colossians 1:28 we are complete when we are done.

Perfect means complete

Our Vision on the path

That I may know him,

   and the power of his resurrection,

   and the fellowship of his sufferings,

            being made conformable unto his death;

Philippians 3:10

 

Our Vision at the end

I havefought a good fight,

I have finished my course,

I have kept the faith:                           II Timothy 4:7

 

To keep our vision sharp and in focus we need to learn our mission.

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Transformation

From Sinner to Son of God

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The Battle is for who will control our mind.

Because our mind directs our will to make decisions and Joy will be the result when the decision comes from the Holy Spirit.

The Battle of the Ages for Believers

Our Flesh has a brain and feelings that remember. They are like the pull of gravity that is constantly pulling us down.

Just as aerodynamics is the power to overcome gravity so Christ gave believers the power to overcome sins.

Our spirit is seated with Christ in Heaven. His Holy Spirit is in believers making perfect information available to make the right decision. The Holy Spirit is a gentleman and will never impose His will over us. We must consistently be in submission to have His perfect will.

Since our Old Man is crucified he ain’t no more so now our battle is with

  1. The world around us. Stand   therefore. Ephesians 6:14
  2. The devil above us.     Submit therefore. James 4:7
  3. The flesh within us.    Sin not therefore. Romans 6:12

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How to communicate in church

Communicating in Church

Begin with the word of God. This will teach the priority of the word of God. This will demonstrate the need to continue to read the word.

Hebrews 5:12-14 is a passage that challenges us from both sides of the issue.

  1. Milk is for babes
  2. Meat is for maturity

Milk was once meat digested by the mature and given to the immature. Meat is only for the skillful in the word and can cut a line between good and evil.

Just like physical babies who must be served spiritual babies need much care. Mature believers entertain and mentor the immature with a goal of seeing them grow. It is a joy to have babies and watch them grow up. When they age but do not grow up something is wrong.

After starting with the word of God give illustrations and examples and conclude with a challenge for life change.

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How to communicate the gospel

Communicating the Gospel

The way to earn the right to speak to anyone is to open or add to a conversation with something you have in common. Paul was a master at finding commonality see I Corinthians 9:22.

At the appropriate time give your testimony and then give the gospel.

  1. Commonality
  2. Testimony
    1. What I use to believe
    2. How that messed up my life
    3. What God said
    4. How God has blessed as I have obeyed
    5. Gospel
      1. God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.
      2. We live in a sin cursed world.
      3. You and I started as sinners and no hope.
      4. Jesus paid our debt on the cross.
      5. Receive His gift of eternal life by faith to become a child of God.

i.      John 3:16

ii.      Romans 3:23

iii.      Romans 5:12, Ephesians 2:12

iv.      Romans 5:8

v.      John 1:12

It is important to communicate that disciplines His children to bring them to maturity. See Hebrews 12:5-11

  1. Children do not come into the family of God because of ignorance. Give them a clear presentation and they will get saved. Everyone must come as a child.
  2. Teens do not receive Christ because of the lies they have been told. Explain the truth that is holding them back and they will receive the new birth.
  3. Adults are held in bitterness. At some point they determined that an all knowing and loving God would not allow “a circumstance” to them. People do not forgive because they don’t understand the:
    1. Sovereignty of God.

i.      Sin came in the world by one man making the wrong choice.

  1. Spirit of Satan.

i.      God did not do the evil but gives each of us has a free will and keeps Satan on a leash.

  1. Sanctification of Man

i.      Freedom from bitterness comes when we forgive God and people.

How well known are you in Hell? Those who communicate the gospel are going to the gates of hell and snatching the lost from the burning Jude 23.

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How to communicate to the world

Communicating to the World

Think scripturally and communicate with character. God declares that success is the result of meditation on His word with a goal of doing what He said Joshua 1:8. That will change your character.

The litmus test for a mature believer is not how much Bible he can quote but how much he lives. Hebrews 11 is God’s hall of faith. The key to the chapter is in verse 8 and the key to that verse is obeyed. Life change takes place when we hear God (Hebrews 11:8) and conform our life accordingly (Psalm 1).

King George and the British Parliament laughed at our Founding Fathers until they learned:

  1. The fundamentals of the faith and to limit their conversation to them when conversing with other denominations.
  2. How to communicate the character of Christ without Bible Thumping.

The Bible is so concentrated that we will be learning it throughout eternity. That is beyond my imagination. God gives us little bits and pieces of His eternal truth so that we can grow and help others now in this life. Because it is so concentrated and because it He opened up a passage we must use simplicity and display personal conformity.

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Man above woman if he submits

I Cor 11 3

The Father is above the Son who created everything. Man is above woman who in most cases is smarter than man. Because of the fall Satan has a place above man unless I submit to the Lord and pray a hedge around me. Now then I am below the Creator, joint heir with the Conqueror, and equal to woman who is smarter but am suppose to lead her. Now then I need to go back and ask for wisdom to accomplish God’s will because I am a worm; Job 25:6.

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Ephesians 5:21

Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. I Peter 5:5

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Marriage is all about maturing, forgiving, and overcoming bitterness

Marriage that stays together

Marriage is a vow made between a man and a woman before God and witnesses. Contrary to popular opinion love does not hold a marriage together. It should begin with two funerals and one wedding ceremony.

16.  For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

17.  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

The above verses in Colossians 1 do not just tell us that God created the atoms and molecules but also marriage and He is the one that holds a marriage together.

Marriage between two believers is the ideal. They will have differences and must settle them by mutual agreement. Jesus tells us that from the beginning there was no divorce. Divorce was created under the law because of the hardness of hearts.

A Hard heart is a root of bitterness against God’s standards. All bitterness is ultimately against God because He allowed the person or circumstance that hurt them.

Consider Joseph:

  1. Joseph’s dilemma started in a deep pit of despair without being able to see the light.
  2. Then Joseph is sold into slavery. During his enslavement he holds onto God’s standards only to be put into prison.
  3. In prison he is forgotten for years by one that he helped.

The question Joseph and every bitter issue in life one needs to settle is do you believe Romans 8:

28.  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

29.  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

A believer must always come to the conclusion that God is in control and that His design is to shape the character of His children to be like His Son’s.

The evidence is overwhelming that Joseph learned this lesson and forgave his brothers because we read in Genesis 50:20

“But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.”

Men do not have the power to pardon sin be we do have the ability to forgive sin. Ultimately to forgive sin is to turn that person over to God not with the attitude “okay God now you get them.” Jesus forgave while hanging on the cross. Stephen forgave while being stoned to death.

The only limit God has on forgiveness is for those who do not receive the forgiveness for their sins. He calls that the unpardonable sin. Put together Matthew 18:22 and Luke 17:4 and you will find that God wants us to forgive beyond our counting ability on a daily basis.

When one walks out on a marriage or a couple agree to divorce; he, she, or they are announcing that they do not fear God. God’s response is found in Ecclesiastes 5:4

“When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.” Your vow was: “until death.”

A daughter of my parent’s best friends when I was growing up married a drug addict that abused her. After about 14 years of her commitment to her vow he converted and now their marriage has been transformed. They have been married 45+ years.

A pastor had a wife whose besetting sin was infidelity. He continued to forgive her but had to change churches often. I don’t know the end of that story on earth but I do know that God continues to forgive the infidelity of His children.

If love does not hold a marriage together what does? The fear of God holds a marriage together, which is just another way of saying the love of God. See 1John 4:12

“No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.”

The idea of being perfected means to grow up into maturity. So in the end it is love that holds a marriage together it’s just not their love for one another but their love for God and their willingness to work out the troubles. See I John 2:19

“They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.”

I am not saying that everyone that walks out on a marriage does not know the Lord but that they are bitter at Him. Marriages are repairable until one makes another vow. One’s relationship with God is repairable until death; Hebrews 9:27

“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”

Marriage is not a war where you look for a more powerful weapon than your enemy. Fight fair.

  1. Do not bring up past resolved issues, stay focused.
  2. Being the leader men does not make you superior. Jesus stepped down and was exalted.
  3. Being the weaker vessel ladies does not mean inferior. Gold is weaker than steel.
  4. The winner is the one that forgives because that is when you are most Christ like.

The hardest person to forgive is you. Just remember if the blood of Christ is sufficient for God it is surely sufficient for you and me.

This is not the final word on marriage. I am hoping for some feed back.

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My Father’s weapons are more powerful than my Uncle’s.

M60 in VMO 6 gunship 1968

This was my powerful long distance weapon when I was in Vietnam. Actually it belonged to my uncle, you know Sam.  It doesn’t have enough power or reach far enough to be of any value in the war I am involved in today. So now I use my Father’s weapons. I recommend that you use His weapons also; I have found them to reach out and change eternity

Father:

  • Because we are your needy children;
    • We ask that you meet our needs for your names’ sake.
    • Because of the enemy of our spirit ruling as the Prince of the Power of the Air above us;
      • We ask that you rebuke the principalities, the powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world, and all spiritual wickedness in high places and put your hedge of protection around us and we will stand in the gap.
      • Because of the influence on our soul by those around us;
        • We ask that you cast down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.
        • Because of our worst enemy that lurks within our flesh;
          • We must keep short accounts and confess each sin,
          • We agree with You that our old man is crucified and then;
  • We ask that you fill us with your Spirit and then we dedicate our bodies as living sacrifices.
  • Because we can do nothing without you and all things through you;
    • We ask that you stir us up by putting us in remembrance of the things that You have done for us and through us and because you want to do even more than we can imagine;
    • We ask for the faith to walk with you and stand with you.
    • Because there are some in our midst that do not know you;

    We ask your Spirit to present grace and draw them to salvation and boldness for us to speak to them.

I use to find happiness in a belt fed weapon. Now I have joy in a weapon that I just call on and He feeds me. Are you in a war? The secret to winning is to take a bigger weapon than your enemy; one that puts fear into him so that he runs when he sees you.

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A Christian without a Vision is Vain.

Vain Christianity

Some without Christ verbally take the Lord’s name in vain. Many believers practically take His name in vain by living void of the vision He purposed for their life.

I remember playing racquetball with Dr. Tom Malone of a church and Bible College years ago in Pontiac, MI. after our game we heard a man take God’s name in vain and I quoted Exodus 20:7 to him.

“Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.”

Tom said later: “Jim that guy was bigger than both of us.” I told Tom that I was quoting God’s word and that He would have to stand up to that man because I did my part. Now this post is a rebuke to believers who live a vain life without Christ’s direction.

“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” Proverbs 29:18

Some believers think that living selfishly only affects their own life. God tells us that a life without a vision sends people around him to hell.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

God does not call every believer to be an evangelist but He does command every believer to do the work of an evangelist. The Great Commission is for every believer.

Did you pray this morning for a divine appointment with someone that the Holy Spirit is working on or for Him to work on someone you want to see come to salvation, and the boldness to speak out?

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What is Revival?

Revival

What we deal with here we will not deal with at the Judgment Seat of Christ. If you think it is difficult to confess your sins to God and those you have offended now and then make restitution in this life just wait until the Judgment Seat of Christ.

If you deal with it now you will not face it later. If you wait until later you will suffer loss, no believers will not go to hell but lose rewards.

After the rapture we will go through the Judgment Seat of Christ. Satan is kicked out of heaven in the middle of the Tribulation. Satan is there as the accuser of the brethren during our judgment.

It always amazes me that people somehow think that waiting until later it will be easier to deal with. Think about it:

  • You will be standing before the Holy and Just God.
  • Satan himself will have all of the reports from his demon horde to accuse and mock you.
  • You knowing that God chooses not to remember anything you have confessed.

If you do not deal with it now you better start thinking of a good excuse to tell God then while that demon voice is laughing and mocking because of his victory in your life. But if you deal with it now then Jesus will be laughing and mocking at Satan.

At salvation we confess that we are a sinner and receive the gift of eternal life by faith in Jesus, John 1:12.

After salvation

  • We confess our sins as God sees them, I John 1:9 and thank Him for forgiveness.
  • We make restitution with those we have offended, Matthew 5:24
  • We claim the cross, Galatians 2:20, Romans 6, John 3:30 and thank Him for our place on the cross.
  • We ask to be filled with the Spirit, Luke 11:13 and thank Him for controlling us.

To walk otherwise is to be presumptuous and carnally minded. The height of presumption is to throw a “grace blanket” over your sins. That is to say: “if I have sinned I ask that you forgive what I did.” That is not confession. To confess is to name your sins the way God sees them.

The Judgment Seat of Christ ahead of time is my favorite definition of revival.

Are you honest? Are you dealing with your sins or putting it off?

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