“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God,” [Romans 15:5-7]
“…pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you,” [2 Thessalonians 3:1]
“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the LORD,” [Jeremiah 29:11-14]
“I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things,” [Philippians 3:12-15]
“Where there is no vision, the people perish,” [Proverbs 29:18]
When we went to school, we learned that “plural” means “more than one.” When it comes to Jesus, there is no “plural,” there is only One. This is why Jesus said that there is only one Way to God –and that One Way goes through Him. By the way, it’s not difficult to spot a false religion. Christ is unique in His promise to give us salvation first and then help us live up to that salvation during the journey. Every man-made religion claims that, by your own merit, you must earn your way to paradise. While people say, “I can do it on my own,” God says, “My grace is sufficient for you.” C.S. Lewis once arrived at a conference where people were debating what makes Christianity unique from the religions of the world. When asked for his opinion, Lewis said, “Oh, that’s easy. It’s grace.” Grace is the un-human, un-prideful means by which God saves us. Christ already did what we could never do. And if grace truly is unique, then what of the claims of all the religions of the world?
Recently Michael’s Cub Scout den covered the subject of honoring God. However, the Scout manual now defines “God” as any and every version of a god portrayed by any religion. This is a popular philosophy in our day and age; philosophers call it “pluralism,” meaning, “more than one.” Is there really more than one god? Or is there only One True God? We are being conditioned to think that words like “fundamental,” “unilateral or “exclusive” are signs of intolerance and bigotry. I have heard so many hidden messages recently, but I praise God for the discernment that comes from His Word! There is only One God and only One Way to salvation. I know this because grace is so unique. What other god would take our punishment upon Himself? This is a supernatural love that could only come from the heart of our True Creator.
We have a unique and critical Message. Because Christ is the Only Way to the Father, we have to ask ourselves, “How much do I really love my neighbor?” If we have a life-saving message, and yet withhold this critical and urgent information from others for fear that they might reject us, then we may have grown cold and lost the fire that God gave us.
Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish…” The word “vision” here [or “revelation”] is speaking of the Word that God gives us to save us. Often we are told that by looking forward, we are preserved in the moment. Those who love the Lord’s Appearing and long for the transformation that will follow [a future event] purify themselves now. We look forward –and our looking forward is motivated, invigorated, energized and empowered by the Spirit of God. We look back now only to testify to God’s Truth. The guilt of the past no longer has any hold over those who have been purified by the future! We look back to teach others, but we look forward to attain! But don’t look back and long for the world. We need vision that pulls us forward, or we will perish.
Jesus told us to look forward, never back and be trapped. We don’t want to be left out when He comes to get us. He used an unusual story in the Bible –that of Lot’s wife from Genesis 19. He said, “Remember Lot's wife! Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it,” [Luke 17:32-33]. We press on to take hold of what Christ has promised us. Lot’s wife was saved out of judgment –her life was preserved. And though her life had been spared, she longed to go back to the land of judgment –crazy! But our hearts love to try to wander back. This is why we perish unless we have vision.
Focus on what you can accomplish for Christ –not where you have failed. Those who love the idea of being conformed to the glorified likeness of Christ purify themselves, just as He is pure. There is only One Way to the Father. Jesus said, “No one comes to the Father except through Me,” [John 14:6]. He didn’t say this because He’s cruel; He said it because it’s true and He loves us. He wants all people to find the Way to God –the Only and True God. This isn’t a popular message in our age and Christians are tempted to shy away from sounding too exclusive or intolerant. Remember though, it isn’t God who doesn’t tolerate people, it’s people who won’t tolerate God. Christ isn’t exclusive because He’s intolerant, He’s exclusive because He loves people and wants to protect them from destruction. He has a Message that the whole world needs to hear. He has a Message that motivates us to overcome impossibilities.
As we consider the vision that God has given us, we are obligated to dream for the impossible. God is faithful when we are faithful. So let’s pray as we never have before: believing that good vision leads to inevitable results. Let’s build the House of God and facilitate drawing more lives to Christ. Our greatest Commandment is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength –and to love our neighbors. Let’s go do a whole lot of good! Our vision compels us.
On the Solid Rock we stand!