We all experience those “perishable” moments, like cleaning out the fridge and coming across an item we now can’t identify. Then there is mailing the package at the post office and having to answer a long list of questions on the nature of the contents. “Is there anything perishable in this package?”
There are a lot of “perishable” moments in our daily lives. But I want to talk about a non-perishable vision; the one that never fails or withers away. Proverbs 29:18a says, “Where there is no vision the people perish (the people will throw off all restraint)”. We need to maintain a spiritual vision. Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” John 20:1-9 records the events of resurrection day. Peter and John ran to the tomb to see if Christ were there. The other disciple (John) outran Peter and, stooping down looked in and saw the linen clothes lying without Christ in them. The word “saw” here means he saw with the eyes; he noticed. Peter then followed him, and verse 6 says that he saw the linen clothes lying there. This word “saw” in the Greek, means “paid attention to”. Then the other disciple (who had already looked) looked again. The Greek word “saw” here, in verse 8, means he “saw with understanding”. He understood who Christ was, and He is risen: seeing God with our hearts being enlightened.
I was watching a program in which this lady told how in her young life she went to jail. While in jail, she realized that there had to be more to life than this. I don’t know that she is a believer, but the principles are still true. She shared that she began to put a vision board together. On this board, she put things she cut out; pictures, words, goals, and dreams. She put them all around this board. She looked at it every day to remind her of where she was going in her life.
The thought came to me; “What if I made a spiritual vision board?” It challenged me to think of what I would put on my spiritual vision board. I guess this is similar to resolutions, goals, dreams, to do list. But if we put these things where we can see them daily, understand them, this could have a huge impact on our lives! I would see it every day and get a glimpse of what I desire for my spiritual life. I want to be inspired.
My board might look like this: pictures of books to read (if you have ever seen the movie “Emma” by Jane Austin, you know she is always starting but never finishing a book). Sad to say, this is my situation! On the board could be words like memorize Scripture, be more loving towards others, compassion, better prayer life. Then the dreams: a picture of England – I’ve always wanted to go: inspire; to inspire other people around me.
You do not have to make an actual board. Maybe they are just filed away in your mind. But we need a non-perishable vision for our lives. What would be on your board? 1 Peter 1:3 and 4 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who, according to His abundant mercy, has begotten us again to a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead; to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that fades not away, reserved in heaven for you.” This truth is non-perishable!
Whether your board is an actual board, or just a mental picture, we should examine our spiritual vision every day. One of my favorite hymns says it all.
Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
Nought be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best thought by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light
When we say that Christ is the redeemer there is so much meaning in that word. The men and women of the NT and the OT would have know fully the weight of that word and all its culture ramifications. Join Charles & Daniel as they discuss our ‘Redeemer’…
There was no greater model of servant-hood than Jesus Christ. He came to seek and save his own for his glory. He came to serve so that we might know redemption. Join Charles and Daniel as they discuss Christ – the servant…
Danger seems imminent. Those of us who are baby boomers and younger have grown accustomed to what appears to be a safe world. Even though there has been conflict around the world, the United States has enjoyed a large measure of peace and safety in her homeland. This has served to anesthetize us from the terror that is a way of life for much of the world. Even the bombing of the World Trade Center in the 1990s failed to awaken a comfortable and presumptuous generation to the very real possibilities of terror in the West.
But a new century has brought new realities to old assumptions. Acts of terror have become more bold, more vicious, and more frequent. The certainty of their distance is gone, and the possibility of their nearness is with us. Recent events serve to show that any of us may be the recipients of acts of terror. Danger not only seems, but is, imminent.
Western Civilization is in a downward spiral. Her Judeo Christian moorings have been forsaken for a godless hedonism that has led not only to rampant sensuality and materialism but also a moral weakness that dissolves the resolve to stand and fight for survival. Life without conviction leads to a worship of comfort and convenience that results in this lack of resolve. All that matters to the post- modern mind is pleasure. Meanwhile, the barbaric followers of violent religion stand ready to take advantage of the gaping breach in Western Civilization and raise the flag of victory over a society that has died and does not know it.
What is the Christian response? The temptation is to cower in fear and hope for the best or to look to a political savior who will rally some troops and fend off the barbaric hordes. But we must trust and apply the command of our Savior; “Fear not those who can destroy the body only. But fear Him Who can cast both body and soul into hell.” Remember that we are mere pilgrims in this very temporal world carrying a precious word in the Gospel of Christ. Guns, tanks, and smart bombs will not ultimately win the day (though they do have their place). But we must trust our lives to Him who does all things well and pray that He will empower and use us to turn a generation to Him.
For the glory of God,
Winter seems to take a bad wrap everywhere I go. Yes, the temperatures are cold, and when you step outside, the grass is dead, and everything looks bleak. But I like all the seasons: well almost all. Sometimes I would like to skip summer.
I was reading 1 Peter 1:24 the other morning. It says, “For all flesh is like grass, and all the glory of man like a flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls away.” Oh, this is so true. In the flesh we flounder and stumble. Sometimes in our life in the flesh, we wither and fall away. But verse 25 gives me comfort. “But the Word of the Lord endures forever. And this is the Word which by the Gospel is preached unto you.”
In the winter season of our spiritual lives, we cannot escape trials. The blessing comes as we know and realize that “the Word of The Lord endures forever.” The love of God keeps us together. God preserves our soul, yet I have a responsibility, as my Pastor preached today, “to guard myself from losing my perspective on grace.” God’s grace keeps me from being confounded. “Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture; ‘Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious; and he who believes in Him shall not be confounded.” (1 Peter 2:6) When we put our trust in God and His Word, we will not be confused or bewildered.
This is God’s promise to me. When the earthly storms howl, and the seasons of life assault my soul, I know that winter will end, and spring will come. Yes, the eternal spring will come to my soul. The Word of God endures forever. The Gospel makes this all possible. “For the love of Christ constrains us, because we thus judge, that if One died for all, then all were dead. And that He died for all that those who live should not henceforth live unto themselves but unto Him Who died for them and rose again. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yes, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we Him no more. Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things are past away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:14-17)
The seasons of life, with their changes, come and go. But we long for the eternal spring in the presence of our Savior: no more cold and lifeless surroundings of winter trials, but all is life and light.
At Vision4Living Ministries, we talk a lot about the centrality of Christ. In fact, it permeates our conversation. But we realized…we have never done a series on Christology. Join Charles and Daniel the next few weeks as the develop a biblical thinking on the issue of the person of Jesus Christ…because it’s that important…
And it’s finally here! P4C14 audios are now available for you to download and continue to glean and grow from the incredible truths we heard at Passion4Christ Summit 2014. Be sure and share with your friends!
Theme: ‘Providence’ [Oct. 22-26]
Wednesday Evening – Charles Cavanaugh & Dave Teruel
Eternal Perspective: Living Life with Eternity in View
Trials: Asking for Wisdom & Trusting in the Sovereignty of God
Men’s Breakout Session – Micah Cavanaugh
Women’s Breakout Session – Pam Cavanaugh
Thursday Evening – Dewey Novotny & Daniel Cavanaugh
The Faithfulness of God: Prone to Forget His Goodness
Prayer: God’s Complete Sovereignty & Mans Great Responsibility
Friday Morning & Evening – Dave Teruel & Charles Cavanaugh
Temptation: Asking for Wisdom & Trusting in the Sovereignty of God
Thorn in the Flesh: Facing Life’s Griefs with Grace
Saturday Morning & Evening – Dewey Novotny & Dave Teruel
Waiting Upon the Lord: Focus in the Midst of Trouble
The Groaning of Creation: The Goodness of God & the Hope of Man
Sunday Morning – Charles Cavanaugh
Jesus: the Ultimate Answer
The year started with the resolution: May it be Said of Us
It’s the New Year and people are making their resolutions. Statistics say that 80% resolve to be healthier and then the other 20% include sundry other goals and commitments. What are you resolving this year? [Read More of Daniel’s Blog]
2014 continued with a timely reminder that It’s not about winning…
Everyone loves to win. Oh, occasionally you will find the rare person who seems to have no modicum of competition, but that is the exception, not the rule. Lets face it: if you get into an argument with someone you probably did so because you felt you were right and they were wrong. And furthermore, once you are in the argument, you want to win it. [Read More of Daniel’s Blog]
We all enjoyed P4C
And Charles wrote a heartwarming blog [As Time Goes By] leading up to the big wedding.
Over thirty-two years ago I witnessed something both awesome and humbling: my first son came into this world. [Read More of Charles’ Blog]
Pam reflected on the wedding in her blog [The Benediction] with the conclusion: ‘It is all just a memory now, as one friend said to me… The benediction is so sweet. “Praise God from Whom all blessings flow”.’
Micah concluded the year with a powerful reminder in his blog: When Darkness Veils His Lovely Face
“God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.” It sounds so comforting. But how do you tell that to your friend or family member who is suffering through hardship? [Read More of Micah’s Blog]
We are excited for all that the Lord has prepared for 2015 and pray the richest blessings for you and your family in it!
Happy New Year!