Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Without a Vision, the People perish.

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

“Vision” here, means what they were to keep looking toward, their goal.

This “vision” was the purpose of Israel in Canaan: They were to show the nations round about them, what it was like to have God, as their God and King.

Deuteronomy 28:9-10 “The Lord shall establish thee a Holy people unto Himself, as He hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, and walk in His ways.

And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee.”

They failed in this Purpose. (Although the Lord promises that Israel will have this one day: Ezekiel 36:25-28)

But why did they fail? Sin, of course, was involved…but the main reason was:

1 Samuel 8:19-20 “…and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us;

That we also may be like all the nations;……”

Because they wanted to be like everybody else!

How often this hinders us in our Spiritual lives!

There should be a “vision” for us, as Christians. A goal or purpose of where we are going in life, and a way of getting there.

There should be something we are working toward:

1) A purpose which we are to obtain through our lifetime.

2)And there should be a goal for today…

Our purpose is given us when we are born again, and this purpose is the same for all. (How much we obtain it, is an individual thing)

It is to be conformed to the image of His Son:

Romans 8:29 “For whom He did foreknow (that means God saw you in Christ Jesus before the world began 2 Timothy 1:9)

He also did predestinate (that means He made full provision for you in grace or power for the work He gives you)

to be conformed to the image of His Son,

that He might be the first born among many brethren (All of us, loving and obeying the Father).”

I have broken down the verse, so we can see what is really being said.

God has purposed, that we might be just like Jesus in our character….

But He has also provided the Holy Spirit, and the grace (the unmerited favor of power, and ability) to do this.

If we actually saw how much the Lord has given us, we would be amazed!

And we just need to obtain it…..first, to want it. Second, to receive it…now.

(Sometimes it depends on what He is asking, doesn’t it?

Sadly, and this has happened to me:

we let the opportunity to have abundant measure of His power….slide.

We hesitate….what will this cost me, to say this, or do this…..and it is gone….we have stifled the Spirit.

It is so silly, we have let go a treasure, for what?

But if we receive it, whether you say, Yes, Lord, please give me this. Or whether you just yield and follow….it is given!)

Then…we are given a place in the scheme of God’s Plan…a calling to fulfill. (Everyone is called as a witness to Christ…we are all called to speak about our Lord)

When I was first introduced to “Deny yourself, pick up your cross and follow Me”, (Matthew 16:24)

I struggled a lot with time: my time, and the time I gave to prayer.

Don’t get me wrong, I prayed….but I had been called to pray, and I had a lot to learn.

At that time, my purpose was to obtain my calling….and my goal for today was to learn the lesson of self-denial. (For “my time” was robbing my efforts.)

Later, it was patience.

How many times has the Lord reminded me about patience.

It is His attribute (look how He puts up with me), and I need to get it into me, by denying myself when I get frustrated, or late.

Or when I want Him to answer my prayer….now, not in God’s time.

You get the idea….we all need to see God’s overall purpose for us….to be conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29).

And then to fulfill for today, our work as His disciples. If we do today, then it is easier to do tomorrow.

When we slip and fall; and we will….as we confess it, He forgives us and lifts us back up, to go on with Him.

The Lord often deals with our besetting sin, first (He did with me)….

Then, with our habits, and attitudes….and onward, till all of us, shows that we belong to Christ Jesus.

Acts 4:13 “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.”

If we remember Peter’s denial of the Lord…not once but three times…we, too, might marvel.

But the answer is….”they had been with Jesus”.

The Holy Spirit reminded them of all they had heard, and learned in the years with Jesus….and when it was needed, they were empowered to use it.

We should all have our “vision” or revelation from God of what He has for us, where we are going with Him, here; and how we are to go…

He has given it in His Word, and will relate it to us personally, by the blessed Holy Spirit.

Know His Will for you….and grow in grace and knowledge.

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