Monday, April 29, 2013

Can you see?

Can you See?

Proverbs 29:18(kjv)

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

Most of us who have 2 eyes and can see 20/20 or 20/20 with the help of glasses or contacts know the joy of being able to see. We take the gift of      
sight for granted many times.  It is a gift to be able to see.

Spiritually speaking many people have been gifted to have sight to see what God can and will do in their lives, but they choose blindness instead.  I think if you talk to most people who are physically blind, they would love to have their gift of sight, but cannot. However, can you imagine having the gift of sight and purposely blinding yourself so you cannot see? Yet so many do that spiritually speaking.

God gives us a vision or a revelation for what He has in store for our lives, not only salvation, but also His desire to use us to give, serve, and grow.  He wants us to have vision for His church, His body, so that we may participate in the church growing and being used by God to share the message of Jesus.

Yet, many churches refuse to have no vision and like the proverb, they eventually dwindle, die, and yes perish.  Many individuals have little or no faith or they allow their faith to perish as well because they aren't willing to have vision to see what God wants to give them or do through them.

My point today is that we need to have Vision.  God's Vision. We need to see things through His eyes.  What are His eyes? His Word and His Holy Spirit. When we began to see the world through His eyes we cannot help but be changed and have vision.

God has a great vision for the church and the church body(you and me). He desires to reach the world with his mission or reaching the lost and making disciples.  God wants to use us, His creation, His church body parts, to do His will and we cannot fully serve God if we do not have any vision, or if the church and it's leadership has no vision.

We have to be able to look past our noses and past today to see the bigger picture of what God has in store for us and His church. Oh how we waste so much time, energy , and talent by not having the vision that God has. We don't tap into all the blessings and growth God is willing to give us if we will only open our spiritual eyes.  Just think of how different so many local churches would look if they had God's vision? Instead the stay the same, stick to tradition, become old-fashioned, legalistic, and only inward focused and they are dying both numerically and spiritually because they have no vision, they do not have God's vision.

I want to encourage you today to open your spiritual eyes! See all the things God has in store for you. He's got big plans to use you, your talents, your time, your gifts, and your abilities to serve Him through serving others and serving in His church.  But, you got to be able to see.  I also want to encourage you to open your eyes if you are a minister or leader in your local church, do not let your church die or hold the church back because you lack vision.  As the saying goes, "Lead, follow, or get out of the way."  We need  preachers and leaders who have a vision for God.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Monday, April 08, 2013

Preaching Revival at Athens Church of Christ, Athens, WV

Circle of Trust

Circle of Trust

If you've seen the movie "Meet The Parents" you know  the "circle of trust" that Robert DeNiro''s character Jack uses as he is suspicious of his potential future son-in-law Ben Stiller's character Greg Focker.

But, as I think about that it is true that we need to surround ourselves with the right people and protect ourselves from those who don't have our best interests in mind.  I am not saying we have to isolate ourselves, but I think we need to use "wisdom" and "discernment" in our lives as far as who be befriend, trust, and let into our lives in a close and personal way.

So many people get hurt or allow others to ruin their lives by being too-trusting, naive, being insecure, attention seeking, etc...and it's not healthy to have or want those type of relationships based on those factors.  Whether you are young or old, you shouldn't base your relationships dating, friend, and even family based on the wrong motives or feelings.

We need to have real, sincere, authentic, and healthy relationships in our lives and we should return the favor.  So many times we may let someone into our lives because we are lonely, they are popular, we think being friends with them or dating them will make us more important or noticeable, or even fill a void.  We make friends with certain people for selfish reasons.   It's a two-way street. Sometimes we use people and sometimes people use us.  This is wrong and we need to correct this type of behavior or we will continue having unhealthy relationships. How can we have healthy relationships?

First, understand you are worth healthy and good relationships. God's desire for each of us is to have loving, healthy, trustworthy relationships in our lives.  Secondly, base your relationships on right and righteous motives. Thirdly, be selective of who you trust and allow into your lives.  Fourthly, be the type of friend or partner or relative that you want in your life.

We need to surround ourselves with people that care about us and who are not in our lives for selfish, unhealthy, or wrong reasons and vice versa.  We need to realize we are never going to have healthy or trusting relationships if we ourselves are not in the right mindset and doing things the way God desires for us. God created us for relationship.  God wants a relationship with us and He wants us to have relationships with others, but they need to be healthy, pure, sincere, unconditional, and selfless.

Whether you are young or old, you need to allow and make good relationships. Find people that truly care about you and not who you are or what you can do for them and be that type of person yourself to others.  How many horrible friendships, dating relationships, marriages, or working relationships could have been avoided if we used a little discernment, wisdom, had some self-respect, and use God as your model and example of what healthy relationships should and can be.

You are WHAT AND WHO you surround yourself with.  Be selective and smart about  who you let in your circle of trust.

 Proverbs 12:22niv

The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.