Refreshing Your Vision For Christ

Refreshing Your Vision For Christ

3I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers.4Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy.5I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.6For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.7For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline8So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.{{more}}He is a newly graduate Bachelor of Theology majoring in Missions under the careful watch of his mentor and the dean who is holding a doctorate in law and philosophy. His heart and mind is full of visions and dreams for his organization and for his church. He is young and energetic though little bit formal and short spoken guy. He used all his theological and theoretical knowledge to deal with all the challenge and problems of leading pioneering missions called the Church of Ephesus. But Pastor Timothy as they called him realized later that it takes more than training and theological knowledge to lead a church. His young age, a deteriorating health and the huge responsibility is gradually fading his vision, killing his passion and eating his energy.Paul had to write his second letter to renew Timothy’s vision for the church. It is good to have spiritual leader who is sensitive enough to feel the need to refresh our vision and help us realign our discourage heart.You may never be a pastor of a church like Timothy. But if somewhere along the way, discouragement finds its way to darken your vision for whatever endeavor you are doing for God, for your family or for your country, so then this message is right also for you. You need to refresh your vision and rejuvenate your heart and mind. God’s purpose for the church is also relevant to the purpose of our lives.Let me give you an example. Angeline is a nurse while her husband is a construction worker. They are happy family as they are both faithful and they love each other and they have two kids. However, they have a dream and it is to build their own house because they are just renting an apartment. Angeline went abroad to help her husband raise the money for their dream house. But while working in one hospital in the Middle East, Angeline met David a handsome Medical Technologist. It did not take a long time and Angeline forgot all about her dream house and a happy family. Her dream had melted because of new found relationship with David. One day, some of her friends informed her husband in the Philippines about her secret relationship and this cause her family to break down. After few months, she received a call that one of her kids died due to Malaria. On that point Angeline realized her mistake and decided to stop her wrong relationship with David. She went to a church for counseling. The pastor told her to renew her old vision for her family. She would have to humble herself; ask forgiveness to her husband and to build her family again. Amen!I do not know on what stage your situation might be today. But this New Year, I encourage you to refresh your original vision for God and for your family before it’s too late. Let us study the word of encouragement of Paul to Timothy to renew his vision for God. God has a vision for the Church and it should be also our own dream for our personal lives as we grow closer in our relationship with God.1. A VISION TO GIVE GLORY TO GOD IN WORSHIP 2nd Timothy 1:3 says, “I thank God Whom I worship with a pure conscience, in the spirit of my fathers, when without ceasing I remember you night and day in my prayers. “ Amen!Worship is more than attending a mass or a worship service. Worship is a way of life. It is how you conduct yourselves and behave even in the secret of your own room as Paul said; I worship with a pure conscience.Worship is the very reason why God created us with the capacity to choose between good and evil. God made us with free Will so that you can choose to love or disobey Him. You are not a robot or a computer which will follow whatever program was installed to it. God will be happier to receive your love and obedience if it is from your own decision to love and obey him and this is what is called worship. Amen!First and foremost, God made us to worship Him. And you will only find the true value and worth of our existence if you fulfilled the very first reason why God created us. That is the very reason why many people in the world are lonely and unfulfilled in spite of their accomplishments, wealth and fame. It is because they failed to discover the meaning and purpose of their lives which is to give glory to God in worship.David discovers the joy and satisfaction of spending time with God in worship. He develops the habit of playing instruments and singing to God even during his youth while he is alone watching his flocks as a shepherd in the desert of Bethlehem. All the time spent with God in worship and his close relationship with God prepare the heart of David for all the coming test and trials in his life before he receive the throne as king of Israel. And even after many ups and downs in the history of his faith in God, he always find himself returning and falling on the hands of God as He discover that the presence of God is the best hiding place and the safest refuge against the enemies. No wonder he was called the man after God’s own heart. In our text, Paul is exhorting Timothy that like David, you can always get the spiritual strength that you need through worship. There is river of God’s Spirit that will flow to refresh your weary and thirsty soul if you will just raise your hands and lift your hearts to God in worshiping Him. In worship, angels can bring the spiritual fire to enliven your dying passion, to recharge your drained hope, to energize your failing strength and enlighten your glooming vision so that you can continue your journey for GodDeclaration: We shall grow stronger through Worship.2. A VISION TO GENUINELY CARE FOR BRETHREN IN FELLOWSHIP2nd Timothy 1:4 says, “Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. Amen!You are living in a lonely world and everyone is looking for somebody who genuinely cares, a place where they can feel they are needed and their value mattered. Yes, the world need a church where its people are opening their hands to say what Paul said; “I long to see you” because your presence filled me with joyThere are five unspoken questions before anyone join a church• Acceptance – Do I fit here?• Friendship – Does anybody have interest to know me?• Value – Am I needed?• Benefit – What is the advantage of joining?• Expectation – What is required of members?No man is an island. You are born for the joy of your family. You are in the church to care for your brothers and sisters in Christ. As your body is composing of many members and every part is dependent on other parts, so you must be united in love in the family of God. There is power in unity. Divided we fall, together we stand. Amen!Declaration: We shall grow warmer through Fellowship3. A VISION TO GROW SPIRITUALLY IN DISCIPLESHIP 2nd Timothy 1:5 says; “I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” AmenOn the above text, Paul is fully convinced that the faith of Timothy’s parents has been successfully passed on to him, a member of third generation. This is indeed a wonderful example of discipleship.From the very beginning, the plan of God is to make us in the likeness of His Son, Jesus Christ. Genesis 1:26 says, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. However, we all know that the original design has been marred by the fall of man. The sin entered the picture and disfigured the image. Amen!In spite of our failure, God in His wisdom has a better plan. He sent His Son and redeems us, sent His Spirit to transform us until we become like clay in the hands of the potter. Yes He will break and mold us according to His will so that we became precious vessel in His sanctuary ready for noble purpose in our lives. God’s ultimate goal for your life on earth is not comfort, but character development. He wants you to grow up spiritually and become like Christ. If you failed to understand this truth, you will become discourage and looser due to some hardship and difficulties that may come into your life in order to change and correct your character. Amen!2nd Corinthians 3:18 says, “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. Amen!Disciple – Someone who is trained to be like his master Discipleship – A process of life’s training that a Christians undergo to build his character and faith so that he can be like Jesus. Amen!Philippians 2:5 says, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.”Declaration: Your Church shall grow Deeper through Discipleship4. A VISION TO SERVE AND USE ALL GIFTS FOR THE MINISTRY2nd Timothy 1:6 says, “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” Amen!2nd Timothy 1:7 says, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” Amen!When God gave gifts and talents, He distributed them distinctively and differently to everyone. My gifts and talents are different from yours. This is to let us know that we need each others. Our gifts were not given only for our own benefit but for the benefit of everyone. Gifts were also given to cultivate and develop. And we can only nurture them buy constant use of it for the benefit of everyone. For this same reason that Paul exhorted Timothy to “fan into flame the gift of God.”God gave the gift of wisdom in management to Joseph. And because of that gift he was able to save Egypt and even his family from 7 years food crisis. God gave gift of interpretation of dreams to Daniel and because of that gift He was able to save the lives of his friends and even other people. What is your gift today that can be useful for others? You may be a good gossiper, well; you can use it to spread the gospel of Christ to many people today instead of talking about the personal lives of other people. Just remember that your talents and gifts are always related to our personal calling from God and you are accountable to God to use them for His Glory. Amen!Declaration: Your Church shall Grow Broader through Ministry 5. A VISION TO SAVE OTHER’SSoul Through Evangelism 2nd Timothy 1:8 says, “So do not be ashamed to testify about your Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.” Amen!Jesus has already provided salvation for everyone who will believe in His name. However, the task of spreading the good news to all people about this glorious salvation lies on our shoulder. And God specially prepared a crown for a soul winner. Aside from that, there is undoubtedly feeling of joy and satisfactions whenever we convince someone to gave and surrender their lives to the Lord. Every time those spiritual children are born in heaven, there are celebrations among the angels and the soul winner become like a hero for them. Amen!Every Christian has a mission. And it is the mission of Evangelism. The captain of your salvation commissioned us to go like a disciplined soldier of God. Go and save people today before they become next victim of hell! Go and preach the gospel to the dying world! Go and become the agent of change in your community! Go and never give up until your task is finish!Matthew 28:19-20 says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” AmenNow you know why you must refresh your vision for Christ! Amen!