I’ve Got Rhythm

Duke Ellington, the late jazz musician, composer and bandleader, was once asked to provide a definition of rhythm. “If you got it,” he replied, “you don’t need no definition. And if you don’t have it, ain’t no definition gonna help.” Vision is very similar. Once you have it, you know it; but when you don’t have it, you aren’t sure what it will be like.”

There are many definitions of “vision” and over the next few days I will be recording a number of them. Let’s start today with my favorite. Vision is “foresight with insight based on hindsight.” This definition underscores the important of looking to the future, emphasizes the significance of possessing a keen awareness of current circumstances and possibilities, and notes the value of learning from the past

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Prophetic Vision

When we are talking a vision for a local church it must be a revelation from the Lord to the leader. This vision is then confirmed by the leadership as the details of the vision are shared with them. Once there is agreement and confirmation then the vision is shared with the people.

Proverbs 29:18 states: “Where there is no prophetic vision, the people are discouraged” and so a stated vision is essential for God’s people in the local assembly to be encouraged and even enthusiastic about what God is asking them to be and become as well as do or accomplish in His Name.

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Why Are We Here Anyway?

Every church needs to know why God decided to birth this particular expression of the body of Christ in that place and at that time. Why did God want another church and what specifically is He calling it to be and thus to do.

This begins by first understanding and accepting the basic reason why all churches exist – to glorify Jesus and continue the ministry that Jesus has upon the Earth. Jesus is and must always be the center of the vision for the Church. After all, it is His Church and He is the Head of the Body of Christ, the Church . So, vision always begins and ends with Him.

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Vision Is Vital

It is vital to have a vision. The Bible states that without a vision God’s people perish (Proverbs 29:18). This verse was spoken prophetically in reference to an accurate vision of God. Without an accurate vision of God – His people will perish. So, recently I have presented some adjustments that needed to be made regarding who the real Bible Jesus is.*

This is important because the Bible states that Jesus came to reveal our Heavenly Father to us. And, the Bible states that Jesus is the exact representation of the Father.So, as we come to accurately know the Bible Jesus we come to know our heavenly Father.

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Salt and Light?

When Jesus told His disciples to be like salt and light, He meant those as positive metaphors: salt causes others to thirst for God, while light illuminates truth and shines compassion into dark places of despair. But salt and light can have negative connotations too. Salt stings when rubbed into a wound; light causes people to avert their eyes when someone fails to dim a car’s high beams on a two-lane highway. In a similar way, inauthentic Christians can cause others to recoil from God. Read more

Cosmetic Christians

Cosmetic Christians are those whose skin-deep spirituality looks pretty on the outside but doesn’t penetrate deep enough to change their behavior and attitudes. People are repelled by cosmetic Christians. People today are not looking for perfect people – they are looking for authentic people, real people with real life struggles but who apparently have a better way of handling what they are faced with. People today are looking for disciples of Jesus who have integrity and whose actions line up with their beliefs. Read more

Tired of Doing it Alone?

We often get things in life backwards. We try, we fail, and then we finally pray. But, as believers and disciples of the Lord, we should be following His example and He always prayed first and then acted upon what He heard the Father speak. And, because of this, Jesus never failed. Read more

Sanctified Stupidity

Many believers appear to be having trouble with stupidity. In fact, at times as I speak to people one-on-one, I feel like asking, “How can anyone be so stupid and still breath?” But then, maybe it is simply a demon of stupidity and I simply need to cast it out of people.

What I am referring to is the vast number of believers who simply ignore the Bible and yet think everything will be fine when they stand before the Lord at their personal judgment the second after they die and their soul and spirit leave their body. And remember, you don’t know when your appointed time with death will be so it is good to think ahead, prepare and plan even a bit.

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A Link in the Chain

Remember, when it comes to winning the lost you are simply one link in what is often a long chain. We need to remember this truth when we get discouraged because apparently no one is being impacted by our testimony. As well, we need to understand that all the links in the chain – the beginning, middle, and end – are vital to leading a person to faith in Christ and becoming a disciple. Read more

See and Seize

In John 4 we are told about a conversation between Jesus and a woman drawing water from a well. Jesus asked her for a drink, and she quizzed him concerning why he, a Jewish man, would break the cultural customs to talk to a Samaritan woman. But Jesus wasn’t interested in such mundane matters. He saw an opportunity to turn the conversation toward a much more important topic. Read more