Vision

Vision: The Art of Seeing the Possibility

A couple of years ago I purchased my first pair of progressive lens glasses. I’m going into my third year with these fancy contraptions and I am still trying to get used to them. I feel like a country boy in the big city, because I’m still struggling to find the “zone” to look through.  Speaking of vision, there is a famous rendering from Proverbs 29:18 that goes like this. “Where there is no vision the people perish.” For years preachers have used this passage to build the case of presenting a clear vision for God’s people to follow. While we all need vision in how to live, this is not exactly the meaning of this passage. After careful study of Solomon’s words, it becomes clear that Solomon is referring to the danger of living without being guided by God’s Word.

Another way of translating this famous passage as followers would be, “Where there is no revelation, people cast off all restraint.”

In other words, if man doesn’t hear and follow God’s Word he will end up doing just about anything and everything. Does that sound like today’s world? It goes without saying that apart from God’s Word, man is in a heap of trouble. We should be extremely thankful that we have the Word of God.

Our church recently adopted a new Mission and Vision statement. Our mission statement is our job description whereas our vision statement is what we desire to be. Central’s mission statement says, “The purpose of CBC is to Live for Christ, Love People, and Make Disciples.” This is what we are supposed to do. Our Vision statement is more of a description of who we need to be. It is our desired outcome. “The vision of CBC is to be a people of acceptance, healing, equipping, and sending.”

What would our church look like if this indeed became our vision? Can you imagine a church that accepted people where they were, helped them to find true healing in the name of Jesus, equipped them to be fully committed followers of Christ, then sent them into the world to help rescue other wounded people by accepting them, helping and equipping them only to send them out too? Are we there yet? Some might think so while others would say certainly not. Still others possibly see a glimpse of this vision. Regardless, this is the type of church we desire to become.

During the next four months, I will be preaching a series of messages that speak about this vision. It’s important to note this is not a vision from a man. It’s not from a convention or from a conference. It comes directly from God’s Word. February’s theme will be “Acceptance.” What does it mean to be a people of acceptance? What does the Bible teach? What examples does Jesus offer? All this and more is in our new sermon series, “Vision: The Art of Seeing the Possibility!”

                                                                                                                                                                               Until the whole world hears,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Pastor Scott

Advertisements

Just Pray


Have you ever asked the Lord to teach you to pray? How can prayer be so simple yet so difficult at the same time? How can deep abiding prayer be the yearning of our hearts at one moment and the next be so resisted? It’s as if our hearts can go from tender and soft then to cold and harsh within seconds. Often the last thing we want to do is pray when we know it should be our first course of action.  While we are at it, why would Jesus tell us not to pray as the pagans pray by repeating something over and over and then give us the example of the Lord’s prayer; only for us to make it the most repeated prayer of all time? Has that ever-seemed kind of strange to you? Listen to what the prince of preachers had to say about prayer.

“True prayer is neither a mere mental exercise nor a vocal performance. It is far deeper than that – it is spiritual transaction with the Creator of Heaven and Earth.” – Charles Spurgeon

When we pray to God, we are entering a spiritual conversation with the very one who created us. Think about it. You get to talk with God anytime you want.  How crazy is that?

During the month of November, we will be unpacking the “Lord’s Prayer” that Jesus gave as an example of how to pray.  We are calling this short 4-part series, “Just Pray!” As we ask the Lord to teach us to pray, He will take us on a journey of reflection, meditation, and beautiful communion. We get to call our very own Creator “Abba” Father. You don’t have to be good at prayer to pray. You don’t have to be a seasoned pro.  You don’t even have to know who and what to pray for.  Just pray! Try it!  Practice it! Talk to Him! But don’t forget to listen.  Listening is as much about prayer as talking.  I would even go so far as to say that listening is more important than talking, especially if you are communing with your Creator.

Listen to the ageless wisdom that E.M. Bounds gives us about prayer.

“Prayer makes a godly man, and puts within him the mind of Christ, the mind of humility, of self-surrender, of service, of pity, and of prayer. If we really pray, we will become more like God, or else we will quit praying.” – E.M. Bounds

If there was ever time we needed the mind of Christ, it is now.  And prayer will help us to attain that very thing.  Let me close with part of poem I put together.  Maybe someday Ryland can put music to it. 😉 I look forward to speaking to you on Sundays on how to “Just Pray!”

Just Pray

When you feel you have nothing more to say…just pray!

When you’re numb and nothing feels the same…just pray!

When answers all but flee away…just pray!

Remember Jesus promises to stay…just pray!

 

Until the whole world hears,

Pastor Scott


The Treasure Principle

From time to time I will get out my very old stamp collection.  When I was a kid my Grandma Walker got me interested in collecting postage stamps by collecting them herself. I must say, I have quite a collection of both foreign and domestic stamps! When my grandma passed away I combined the two collections.  One day I will organize them into something I can pass on to my grandkids…if they have interest. As they say, “one man’s stuff is another man’s treasure.”  Do you have any treasures?

To name a few of the most popular things man treasures would include things like money, jewelry, cars, boats and other personal possessions.  What If God asked you to give away your treasures, would you do it?  Jesus did ask the young rich ruler to do this very thing.  And the ruler walked away with his head down because he knew that his treasures were more important than what he sought from Jesus.

How do you view the treasures you possess?  How do you view the treasures that you seek? Everybody has some type of treasure. And everybody has certain treasures they seek.

Beginning on October 8th and going through October 29th, I will be preaching through a series called  “The Treasure Principle.” In 2001 Randy Alcorn wrote a book with the same title.  Many of our small groups will be going through his curriculum.  On Sunday mornings we will be examining Matthew 6:19-21 where it says,

” Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Within these three verses we see the “Treasure Principle.”  The “Treasure Principle” is simple to understand.  “If you try to store up your treasures just for yourself you will eventually lose them. But if you give them away you will be greatly rewarded in the next life.” Or as Randy Alcorn says in his book, “You can’t take it with you – but you can send it on ahead.”

During the month of October, we will be talking about four aspects of giving.

  • The Treasure of Giving
  • The Spirituality of Giving.
  • The Sacrifice of Giving.
  • The Joy of Giving.

The Bible offers 500 verses on prayer, fewer than 500 verses on faith, and more than 2,000 verses on money. In fact, 15% of everything Jesus ever taught was on the topic of money and possessions – more than His teachings on heaven and hell combined.  Together we will seek the Lord for His guidance and instruction on the treasures He has allowed us to manage for Him while we live out our lives on earth and as we seek to unlock the secret of the “Treasure Principle.”

              In His Grace,

Pastor Scott