Posts Tagged ‘Vision’


Jesus rebukes His disciples for their unbelief

Mark 16:14-18 Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at table, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

The disciples were reclining. They were at ease in their unbelief. They were more concerned about their bellies than they were their hard hearts. Jesus rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart. They had refused to believe the report that Jesus was risen and alive!

The disciples were allowing a fleshly thing to cloud a spiritual reality. Their focus on what was in the past hardened their heart to what was true in the now! This is true of Christians today. We feed our hearts on what God has not done or failed to do. Whenever we dwell on what has not happened, we foster the atmosphere for the spirit of offense and bitterness to arise and then thrive. When we dwell on what has not happened, we legitimize unbelief. We even excuse unbelief as normal. So we promote a sense of justification for not believing God.

Jesus rebuked that attitude in His disciples. He rebukes that attitude now! That attitude and thinking has to die! Christians are at ease in their unbelief. They are reclining at the table of fleshly attitudes and thinking. While we feed our bellies, the world is crying out for spiritual truth that will change their lives. While we are content in our unbelief our neighbors are crying out for something worth believing in.

Too often the Church focuses on keeping people from “sin” instead of taking people into their destiny with the power of the risen Christ. Churches that provide excuses for falling short of and not believing the power of Christ are merely promoters of “religion,” for God’s Word says religion is “form without power!” (2 Tim 3:5)

The area of our greatest unbelief is in our prayers. So much of the content of our praying is for things we already possess in Christ, but fail to believe. So we labor to ask God for things we already have. We expose our unbelief through our boring prayers. We fail to ask God for things we do not possess because we fail to believe what God has given us. No wonder prayer is laborious and cursory to most Christians. No wonder there is a prevailing attitude that their prayers never reach the ceiling! Our prayers are often exercises in unbelief!

Churches are to be houses of prayer. The God purpose of prayer is to produce JOY in the experience of the believer.

John 16:24 Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

Prayer is not to twist God’s arm, or to make us seem more spiritual. Prayer is to encourage our belief in the reality of Jesus. Jesus wants prayer to take us into fullness of JOY! JOY is the currency of Heaven! God reserves JOY as the reward for the suffering. Christ endured the cross for the JOY that was set before Him. The reality of Christ will deposit the currency of heaven in our lives. JOY is the currency of Heaven! JOY is the result of prayer! Jesus says to all faithful servants who live with His power in their lives, “Well done…enter into the joy of your master.” (Matthew 25:23)

God wants us to feast on belief in the power of the Name of Jesus. Prayer is designed to be a breakthrough into His heavenly JOY! Prayer is the expenditure of belief in return for the heavenly currency. If we pray only for that which we already possess, we will never experience the breakthrough of JOY. We will never discover the riches of God’s heavenly currency!

Never allow our prayers to contradict what God has already promised. Our unbelief closes heaven’s resources to us. Closed heavens are between our ears. Failure to know JOY is between our ears! We limit our God because our unbelief does not want to take hold of His power and JOY, even when He is standing in front of us with outstretched arms!

This is why Paul prayed so fervently for us:

Ephesians 1:18-19 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might…

Paul saw Jesus, saw His power, and saw that power in His life. Paul experienced JOY even in prison, even in the stockades, even holding flotsam in the middle of the ocean. Paul’s eyes were opened and his heart was on fire for the realities of Jesus Christ! He could see the greatness of the power within Him, the same power that raised Jesus from the grave.  Paul never reclined in unbelief after that vision.

Our Vision should FIRE our Heart!

Christians have no excuse for not seeing the same vision. The vision is there for all to see. If we fail to believe, the hardness of our heart is exposed.

When Jesus was baptized, Matthew writes, “immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him” (Matthew 3:16). The picture is of the heavens being divided, rolled back, suddenly exposing the power of the heavenlies, and allowing the Holy Spirit to descend upon Jesus. Stephen saw the heavens rolled back and gazed upon the Glory of God and His Son. The truth is that the heavens have been opened to all Christians! The Holy Spirit has been given to all Christians. The Glory of God is for all Christians. We have the Holy Spirit living within us, a gift from our Savior!

Our Father is jealous for us to know the power of the Holy Spirit within us. He earnestly desires us to belief and experience His JOY!

James 4:5 Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”?

We live under an open heaven. The heavens are rolled back revealing the Power of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit lives in every believer, but his POWER is not upon every believer. Luke 4:1 says that Jesus left the Jordan River full of the Holy Spirit. But he did not have the POWER of the Holy Spirit until He believed the Word of God in His confrontation with Satan in the wilderness.

Are You Aware of the Power within You?

The Holy Spirit is in us eternally, but His POWER is not opened to us unless we believe. When we allow the wilderness of this world to influence our believing, we fail to see the power of the Spirit. We fail to influence the wilderness around us. We fail to alter the environment around us. Men who believed in the POWER of Christ influenced the environment into which they were placed. Stephen had a profound effect upon those angry men. Paul had an astounding effect upon prisoners, towns people, and even hardened Roman Soldiers.

Christians must learn how to “host” the presence of God such that He is always before us, influencing the environment of every place we step into. What we are conscious of, we are positioned to manifest. What we are aware of, we are able to release. If we are not conscious and aware of the POWER of God within us, we will never be able to influence those around us. The Gospel is not a ministry of words. The Gospel is the ministry of Power because of the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  The Gospel is the ministry of releasing the presence of the Holy Spirit in the whole earth. We will never release that which we are unaware of.

A woman who had struggled for years with an issue of blood made a “demand” upon Christ. In desperation she reached out among the throng to touch the “hem of His garment.” She made a demand for her life. In spite of all the people pressing around Him, Christ was so aware of the Spirit’s presence that He instantly knew when a demand was made to which the Spirit responded. If we are not intensely aware of the Holy Spirit within our lives, we will have nothing to offer those around us who are desperately seeking power for their lives. They are overwhelmed, they are needy, and we have no life-giving power to offer them.

A demand was made upon Peter. Peter confessed he had no silver or gold, but Peter was intensely aware of what he did possess. Peter had life in Christ, and He was willing to share that POWER with the beggar at the gate. Peter said “what I do have I will give you.”

Write a HUGE Check with Heavenly Currency!

Peter knew a heavenly currency that the world knows nothing about. Peter wrote a HUGE check because he knew what he possessed (Acts 3:6). Most Christians can only write tiny checks because our unbelief has obscured what we possess.

We live with such ignorance of what we possess. We possess the very “Kingdom of God.” The one who freed us from our sins, at the same time made us a Kingdom, Priests to His God and Father (Rev 1:6). Jesus said “the words that I speak to you are spirit and life.” (John 6:63)

John 6:63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

Jesus, being the very logos (word), spoke the Spirit and Life where ever He journeyed. When Christ spoke, His words became the Spirit and brought LIFE to those who believed. When we believe in the Words of Christ, and speak them into the world, we impart the Spirit to our environment, and we impart LIFE to those who believe.

We are Kingdom builders through the POWER that is in us. This Kingdom is not in food or drink, but is righteousness, peace and JOY in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17).

When we are aware of the power that lies within us, and we exercise that power in faith, we are building the Kingdom by bringing people to the LIFE in Christ. We are dispensing the heavenly currency of JOY to those around us.

When you are handing out money, people stop and demand some. When you are handing out JOY, joy that this world is so hungry for, people will stop and demand it. The communities around the disciples took note of what they were handing out. They took note of where they went. They even brought the sick and lame into the streets to catch the shadow of Peter and be healed (Acts 5:15). Note: Your Shadow will always release what overshadows you! Peter was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit!

An unbelieving, defeated group of Christians will never see life brought to the dead in sin. They will never see miracles of God. Unbelief and defeat produces inward focused Christians, prone to depression and discouragement. When we turn inward we become a dead sea. An inward focused Christian is a dead Christian. An inward Christian is self-absorbed and self-centered. We need to be pre-occupied with who Christ is! With what Christ can do! We need to constantly release Him into every circumstance we encounter. We release His POWER by faith!

Don’t allow disappointments to obscure Revelation

So much of “Christianity” is based upon disappointment rather than revelation. We fail to see the Glory of God or the Power of His Son. Stephen saw the revelation in the midst of a downpour of stones. Paul saw the revelation in the midst of a hateful heart. John saw the revelation in the midst of loneliness and exile. The Revelation of Christ changes our environment. It changes our heart! Rather than being disappointed in what God fails to do for us, we need to focus on all that God has done for us!

Jesus said that if you see Him, you have seen the Father. So Jesus is the revelation of the nature and power of God. Jesus said that “all power” had been given to him in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18). His power is the basis of us going into the world. If we do not know His power by revelation, then we will be powerless if we go into the world. We will be overcome by the world!

Christ is in us as a River
Let Him Flow!

Powerlessness is inexcusable and unacceptable. The Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is in you and he wants out. He is not in us as a lake, or a ‘dead sea’, but rather as a river. Rivers flow from. The nature and power of God becomes ours as a believer. We have to believe in our own conversion! We have to believe in the POWER that was given to Jesus and was given to us!

As Paul prayed, the Lord is releasing a spirit of wisdom and revelation so that we can actually rise to who He says we are! We cannot afford to rest in unbelief, nor can we afford to think thought that God never thinks about us. We must learn to meditate on the things the Holy Spirit can say “AMEN!” to.

Paul wrote that in order to serve God acceptably, our minds (that thing between our ears) must be renewed so that our lives are transformed. Our minds must come under the influence of the Holy Spirit. We must learn divine perspective in order to live the divine life.

This renewing of our mind can only come from a divine encounter with the POWER of God. We must see the revelation of Christ as the POWER in our life. Any creed or teaching that does not take us to the person of Jesus in a divine encounter will only make us more “religious.” It will only equip us to argue, not bring life into our environment.

When our beliefs line up with the POWER of Christ in us, we can take the Gospel into our communities without limits, without baggage that weighs it down and renders it powerless. We must have the experience of the Gospel that changes our lives, changes our thinking and makes us intensely aware of the divine POWER within us. Only then can we dispense the currency of heaven to those joyless souls around us.

(Inspired by Bill Johnson of Bethel Church)


Harriet Tubman said: “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world”.

  • You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” C.S. Lewis
  • “Dreams are illustrations… from the book your soul is writing about you.” Marsha Norman
  • “Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.”
  • “Dreams are like stars…you may never touch them, but if you follow them they will lead you to your destiny.”
  • “The inability to open up to hope is what blocks trust, and blocked trust is the reason for blighted dreams”. Elizabeth Gilbert

Nearly two thousand years ago a solitary man hung on a cross, suspended between heaven and earth. His crucifixion was the manifestation of a dream that God had before time began[1]. That dream to restore mankind to God[2] resulted in God Himself being born as a defenseless baby in a forgotten manger, to parents of no standing or reputation[3]. That baby dreamed dreams not of success, not of comfort, not of adventures, but of a horrible death, death on the cross. Instead of visions of fame and riches, he had visions of the floodgates of the sins of all humanity being opened upon Him[4]. Instead of dreams of the love of his father and mother, his dreams were of becoming the vilest creation in the universe, and becoming forsaken by his Heavenly Father[5].

As Jesus hung on the tree, Scriptures says “He became cursed for you and me”[6]. While He became cursed for us, He was beloved by His Father[7], because he was being obedient[8], and He was acting on His Father’s behalf[9]. Jesus had come to earth to set things right. He had come to restore righteousness and justice[10] to a world in the grip of an evil overlord who was bent on enslaving man for himself. He had come to take back this world from satan and from sin, and return God’s Justice to the world[11]. When Jesus ascended to heaven in view of over 500 witnesses, He was holding a huge IOU signed by God[12]. That IOU gave Jesus ownership of the world, of the nations[13] and of all those who trusted in Him as their Savior.

God wrote an IOU to His Son, a huge IOU, and some day Jesus will return to claim it!

The Father is delaying the return of Christ[14] so that more people can be redeemed from the curse. He is delaying the return so that the Bride of Christ can be prepared[15]. Moreover, here we are on the cusp of a new year. Will this be the year our Lord returns to claim His IOU? Will this be the year the vision of Isaiah comes to pass?

Isa 43:19  “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert”.

God will do a New Thing, and when it springs forth, the way through the wilderness will open up, and there will be rivers running in the desert.

As we stand on the crest of a new year, I believe God wants us to listen to what His plans are. Behold, God wants us to give ear to Him!

Isaiah 42:8-9 “I am the LORD; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols. Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them”.

We are so pre-occupied with our life, our problems; our interests that we fail to look to God and see what He is doing. Most of the time we walk around so absorbed with what we have going on, that we lose our sense of God and His plans for our lives. Only when we are in a real bind do we look heavenward and call for a lifeline!

God has been challenging me of late. He has challenged me to lift up my Eyes[16] and Dream, Dream of What He wants to do. I Have A Dream for 2011.

Solomon described the type of church I want to pastor:

Proverbs 14:11 The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: but the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish.

In order to flourish and thrive, we need to focus on our Almighty God; we need to focus on what His plans are for our church and for our lives. We need to be focused on Him!

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

We need a vision of God, a vision from God, and that vision will grow out of our love for God’s Word.

We need to be little Samuel’s, and say, “Lord, Speak, for I am Listening!” The reason Samuel was born was to restore the Word of the Lord to Israel:

1 Samuel 3:1 Meanwhile, the boy Samuel served the Lord by assisting Eli. Now in those days messages from the Lord were very rare, and visions were quite uncommon.

We need to have visions from God. We need to have messages from God! We need the Power of God’s Word in our lives and in our church! But He will not speak if we are not listening and willing to obey!

We need to be like Isaiah, that when we look into God’s face and we hear Him say, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”

We need to stand and say, “Here am I! Send me!”

When we are dreaming alone it is only a dream. When we are dreaming with others, it is the beginning of reality. – Dom Helder Camara

I do not want to dream alone, so would you listen carefully and share in my dream?

I HAVE A DREAM

Ninety Nine Score years ago, the Son of God, in whose church we stand today, canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. That momentous decree disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities, and shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross. (Colossians 2:14-15) The cross has become a great beacon of hope to billions of souls who have been enslaved by sin. Resurrection morning was the joyous daybreak that ended centuries of captivity to satan.

However, one thousand nine hundred and eighty years later, billions still are not free. Mankind is sadly crippled by the manacles of sin and the chains of satan.

One thousand nine hundred and eighty years later, multitudes are enslaved.

One thousand nine hundred and eighty years later, mankind languishes on a lonely island of spiritual poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity.

One thousand nine hundred and eighty years later, mankind finds himself an exile in God’s own country.

Therefore, we have come here today knowing this world is in a shameful condition.

Our only Hope is that someday Jesus Christ will return to cash in the IOU he gained on the cross. When Christ blotted out our sins by nailing them to the cross, He was signing a promissory note that every man woman and child could be heir to. That note was a promise that all men, by faith, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of eternal life, liberty from sin and the pursuit of God.

It is obvious today people of this world have failed to take this promissory note by faith. Instead of honoring a risen Savior, people have accepted a bad check from Satan, a check they believe promises freedom, but in reality enslaves them to sin and condemns them to hell.

But we refuse to believe that the dream of our Savior is faded and forgotten. We refuse to believe that he has insufficient power to reign over a defeated satan.

We refuse to believe that the bank of Heaven is bankrupt and without resources to bring men to salvation.

So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom in Christ and the security of justification before God!

We have come to this hallowed place to remind ourselves of the fierce urgency of now!

This is no time to engage in the luxury of complacency or to take the tranquilizing drug of apathy!

Now is the time to make real the Promises of Jesus Christ!

Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of indifference to the sunlit path of God’s Redemption Power!

Now is the time to lift our neighbors from the quick sands of sin and selfishness to the solid rock of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Now is the time to make redemption a reality for all of God’s children!

It would be fatal for this church to overlook the urgency of the moment. This freezing winter of mankind’s sinfulness will not pass until there is an invigorating Prairie wind of forgiveness and freedom from sin. Two Thousand Eleven is not an end, but a beginning.

Those who hope that the people of Pleasant Prairie will be silent and apathetic will have a rude awakening this year. There will be neither rest nor tranquility until we have freed our enslaved neighbors all around us. The whirlwinds of the Holy Spirit will continue to shake the foundations of our community until the bright light of Jesus Christ emerges in glory!

However, there is something that I must say to each one of us who stand on the warm threshold that leads into the Heavenly palace. In the process of winning souls for Christ, we must be conscious of our testimony for our Savior. We must be careful not to satisfy our thirst for God by drinking from the cup of self-effort.

We must forever conduct our struggle in the power of the Holy Spirit of God. We must not allow our passion for the lost to degenerate into selfishness and personal distractions.

Again and again, we must look upon Him who is invisible and rise to the majestic heights of walking by faith. The marvelous Holy Spirit must engulf our church and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, and cause us to rise up with the wings of eagles. Our freedom is inextricably bound in the freedom of the Spirit. We cannot walk alone!

As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always press toward the mark of the high calling in Christ Jesus. We cannot turn back, we cannot turn aside, and we cannot be distracted. Some of you are asking, “When should we be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as one man remains the victim of the unspeakable horrors of sin.

  • We can never be satisfied, as long as our brothers, backslidden with sin, turn their backs on fellowship with God’s saints.
  • We can never be satisfied as long as the needs of our neighbors go unmet because of our callousness and selfishness.
  • We can never be satisfied as long as children are stripped of their hope and joy by parents who fail to teach them of their loving creator God, and the Savior who died for them.
  • We can never be satisfied as long as our neighbors think there is nothing beyond the grave but darkness.
  • We can never be satisfied knowing our neighbors will face the judgment of God without our Savior Jesus Christ and be cast into the lake of fire for all eternity.

No… no…, we are never satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until salvation rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have faced great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from personal tragedies. Some of you have been battered by the storms of tribulations and others have staggered through personal trials of faith.

May we remember God’s promise: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!” When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you”!

I encourage you to count all things as loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and to keep pressing toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. May all your trials be the means of knowing Jesus, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death. Every trial and tribulation you endure is more precious than gold!

Let us go back to Belton, go back to Peculiar, go back to Cleveland, go back to Freeman, go back to Raymore, go back to your homes and neighborhoods, knowing that the salvation of your neighbors, of your children, of your grandchildren can and will be achieved through the power of the Holy Spirit. May we never wallow in the valley of despair or defeat.

I say to you today, my friends, even though we face difficulties in the year ahead, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the quest of the Son of God.

I have a dream that one day “All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name. For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God”. Psalms 86:9-10

I have a dream that one day throughout our nation God will put His laws into our minds, and write them on our hearts, and He will be our God, and we shall be His people. (Heb 8:10)

I have a dream that one day the nations of this world, nations sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of persecution and oppression, will be transformed by your throne, “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne. Unfailing love and truth walk before you as attendants”. (Ps 89:14)

I have a dream that my children, their spouses and our grandchildren will one day dwell in the New Jerusalem because their names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life!

I have a dream that each of you and each of your loved ones would enjoy the mansion that Jesus is building for you, because your hearts have embraced Him as your personal Savior.

I have a dream that Pleasant Prairie will be a place of giving people because we trust in the power of God to generously provide all we need. We will always have everything we need and plenty left over to share with others.

I have a dream that God will say of our church, “They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.”

I have a dream that Pleasant Prairie will be known as a house of prayer for all peoples, and that all who enter here will sense the Joy of God’s presence.[17]

I have a dream that Pleasant Prairie will be a place where husbands learn to love their wives and wives learn to respect their husbands.

I have a dream that Pleasant Prairie will be a place where children can come and find Jesus Christ and grow in His grace and His Word.

I have a dream that Pleasant Prairie will be a place for Families to be strengthened as they grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

I have a dream that Pleasant Prairie will be a people of God’s Word, and to God’s Word they turn daily for it is our bread of life

I have a dream Pleasant Prairie will send out gospel teams ministering to the needs of our neighbors in the Name of Jesus Christ.

I have a dream that Pleasant Prairie will send out gospel teams to Africa and Asia and wherever the Lord burdens our hearts to go!

I have a dream that the folks of Pleasant Prairie will simply be willing to GO!

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith with which we enter 2011. With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of uncertainty a stone of precious Hope.

With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of sin and selfishness into a beautiful symphony of the Spirit’s Power.

With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to witness together, to stand up for Jesus Christ together, knowing that our Savior will be returning soon!

This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning,

O for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer’s praise, the glories of my God and King, the triumphs of his grace!

My gracious Master and my God, assist me to proclaim, to spread through all the earth abroad the honors of thy name.

He breaks the power of canceled sin, he sets the prisoner free; his blood can make the foulest clean; his blood availed for me.

And if Pleasant Prairie Baptist is to be God’s church, this must become true. So let the freedom of the Gospel of Christ ring from Pleasant Prairie Baptist Church.

Let the freedom of the Gospel ring from the front yards of Belton.

Let the freedom of the Gospel ring from the hilltops of Peculiar.

Let the freedom of the Gospel ring from the rooftops of Raymore!

Let the freedom of the Gospel ring from the backyards of Cleveland!

Let the freedom of the Gospel ring from every hill and valley of our great nation. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we proclaim the freedom of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, when we let it ring from every village and every town, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black and white, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and in the words of Psalm 98,

Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. The Lord has made known his salvation; he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations. He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

And one day, when we finally behold the precious Lamb of God, “every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God our Father!” and we will sing a new song as Jesus claims His IOU!:

“You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for you were slain, and have redeemed us to God by your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth.”

And we will finally be able to shout:

“Free at last! Free at last! Thank Christ Almighty, we are free at last!”


[1] 1 Pet 1:19-21

[2] 2 Tim 1:9

[3] Phil 2:6-8

[4] Isa 53:10-11

[5] Mark 15:34

[6] Gal 3:13

[7] Matt 12:18

[8] Heb 5:8

[9] John 17:21

[10] Ps 37:6

[11] Isa 53:10-11

[12] Rev 5:1-5

[13] Ps 2:8

[14] 2 Pet 3:9

[15] Rev 19:7

[16] Isa 60:4

[17] Isa 56:7

Additional Verses which form the foundation for the Dream:

1 Peter 1:19-21 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

2 Timothy 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

Philippians 2:6-8 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Isaiah 53:10-11 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

Mark 15:34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—

Matthew 12:18 “Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.

Hebrews 5:8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.

John 17:21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

Psalms 37:6 He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.

Revelation 5:1-5 Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”

Psalms 2:8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

Revelation 19:7 Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready;

Isaiah 43:19 Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

Isaiah 42:8-9 I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols. Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.”

Jeremiah 2:13 “For my people have done two evil things: They have abandoned me— the fountain of living water. And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all!

Isaiah 60:4 4 Lift up your eyes all around, and see; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from afar, and your daughters shall be carried on the hip.

Proverbs 14:11 The house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the upright will flourish.

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

1 Samuel 3:10 And the Lord came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.

1 Samuel 3:1 Meanwhile, the boy Samuel served the Lord by assisting Eli. Now in those days messages from the Lord were very rare, and visions were quite uncommon.

Jeremiah 11:14 “Therefore do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer on their behalf, for I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their trouble.

Jeremiah 6:10 To whom shall I speak and give warning, that they may hear? Behold, their ears are uncircumcised, they cannot listen; behold, the word of the Lord is to them an object of scorn; they take no pleasure in it.

Isaiah 6:8-9 And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.” And he said, “Go, and say to this people: “ ‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’

Colossians 2:14-15 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

Hebrews 12:26-29 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.

Luke 11:4 and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.”

Isaiah 40:31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

1 Thessalonians 1:5 because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.

2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

Philippians 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

2 Corinthians 5:7 for we walk by faith, not by sight.

Isaiah 35:6 then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert;

Isaiah 43:1-2 But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you.

Philippians 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

Philippians 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

1 Peter 1:6-7 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Psalms 86:9-10 All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name. For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God.

Hebrews 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Psalms 89:14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.

Revelation 20:15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Revelation 21:27 But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

John 14:1-3 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

2 Corinthians 9:7-9 You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. As the Scriptures say, “They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.”

Isaiah 56:7 these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.”

Ephesians 5:25-28 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

Ephesians 5:33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Mark 10:14-15 But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”

2 Peter 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

Matthew 4:4 4 But he answered, “It is written, “ ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ”

Mark 16:15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.

Matthew 28:19-20 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Luke 3:5-6 Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough places shall become level ways, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’ ”

Hebrews 10:25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

Psalms 98:1-4 Sing a new song to the Lord, for he has done wonderful deeds. His right hand has won a mighty victory; his holy arm has shown his saving power! The Lord has announced his victory and has revealed his righteousness to every nation! He has remembered his promise to love and be faithful to Israel. The ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God. Shout to the Lord, all the earth; break out in praise and sing for joy!

Romans 14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

Philippians 2:10-11 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Isaiah 45:23 By myself I have sworn; from my mouth has gone out in righteousness a word that shall not return: ‘To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear allegiance.’

Revelation 5:8-10 When he had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders prostrated themselves before the Lamb. Each of them had a harp, and they had golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. They sang a new song and these are the words they sang, “You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for you were slain, and have redeemed us to God by your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth.”


Isaiah VisionIn the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. Isaiah 6:1-8

Isaiah did not have a vision until Uzziah died. Uzziah was a man of flesh, of fleshly means, of fleshly confidence. And until the flesh is dead, we cannot see a vision from God! When Isaiah saw his vision, he cried out three simple short words:

  • WOE – a word of confession

  • LO – a word of cleansing

  • GO – a word of commission

woe is meIsaiah’s Vision was Three-Fold

  • It was an upward vision-he saw the Lord
  • It was an inward vision – he saw himself
  • It was an outward vision – he saw the world
  • It was a vision of height – he saw the Lord high and lifted up
  • It was a vision of depth – he saw the recesses of his own heart.
  • It was a vision of breadth – he saw the whole world.
  • A vision of Holiness – Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts:
  • A vision of Hellishness – I am undone
  • A vision of Hopelessness – who will go for us?

Isaiah before throneWhere there is no VISION the people perish, but you can say where there is no PASSION the church perishes, even though it is full of people.

  • A Vision without Passion soon becomes a distant memory..
  • A Passion without a Vision becomes an emotion that fades away.
  • A Vision united with a Passion will produce a Light that fadeth not away.

A Vision of Hell will produce a Passion for the Lost.

Richman in HellJust think of the rich man. He was in Hades, he saw hell, and he wanted someone, anyone to run and tell his brothers about hell. No man lives beyond his vision. Your life will only have as much significance as whatever your focus is on. If you are only focused on yourself, you will be significant only to your self. If because of a VISION from God you focus on the needs of others, you will be significant in ministering to others.

We don’t need to pray for sinners to have a vision of Hell, they simply need a vision of the reality of Calvary as seen by the way we live our lives.

We need to see a Holy God! We need to tremble before Him. We need to let that Vision burn in our souls and ignite a Passion for Righteousness, a Passion for Jesus, a Passion to reach out to those trudging on the road to Hell. Each one of us has an appointment with God. He awaits us in eternity. We had better be at peace with Him here and be in the center of His will NOW!

In chapters 1 through 5 Isaiah has a lot of woes for a lot of people. But in chapter 6 he sees God and sees himself as God sees him and cries WOE is ME! Satan loves to get us looking at other people and all their problems. But God’s Holy Spirit wants us to look at God and realize we are so far from Him!

Its me, its me O Lord, in need of prayer!

Chagall_Bible_Vision_IsaiahIn your soul there are many”rooms“. Are there secret rooms in your life that are shut off from God’s Holy Spirit? Are there rooms where the Holy Spirit is not welcome? Is there a room cluttered with unclean pictures? Are there any skeletons hanging in your closets? Can you invite the Holy Ghost to walk down the corridors of your thought life? Can you invite him in to see the hatred in your heart toward others. Can you invite Him to listen in as you speak evil of others?

isaiah lipsThere are three people living in each of us:

  • the one we think we are,
  • the one other people think we are,
  • and the one God knows we are.

Unless we are desperate to pursue after the Righteousness of Christ, we can be so easy on ourselves and so hard on others. Self loves self. Too often we hide ourselves from ourselves lest the sight of ourselves should sicken ourselves. Let us invite the searching eye of God to locate this corrupted, stinking self in us. Let it be torn from us and be “crucified with Him, that henceforth we should no longer serve sin (Rom 6:6).

It does no good to call sin by another name. You can criticize someone for having a devilish temper, but say that yours is only righteous indignation. You can criticize someone for blatant gossip, but excuse your own negative words about someone as “prayer concerns.” You can excuse your not speaking to a brother or sister or father or mother because of their “ungodly influence and lifestyle” yet God sees your Judging heart and says your are guilty of ungodly pride and un-forgiveness.

The Holy Spirit will neither spare us nor cheat us if we will expose ourselves to His infallible scrutiny.Jesus touches eyes

In Mark 10:51 Jesus asked the blind man “What wilt thou that I should do unto thee?” He replies “Lord, that I might receive sight!”

Let us pray for sight-upward, inward and outward. Then like Isaiah, as we look upward, we will see the Lord in all His Holiness. As we look inward, we will see ourselves and our need for cleansing and power. As we look outward, we will see a world perishing and in need of a Savior.Hell Fire burns for eternity


clouds-over-american-economyDuring a recession, it seems there is a cloud that obscures the future, and that is the case in this recession. Gloom and Doom is the theme in the news each and every day. Everyone seems to have their own idea of what America should do. The problem with this particular recession is that it is so bad, so deep. Economists admit they don’t know what to do, because this particular type of recession has never happened before. Thankfully, we have new leadership. and our new leader has a vision which he believes is right for this particular time in America. Obama’s Vision: Only Government Can End Economic Woes. barrackobama_change_2Obama believes that only the U.S. Government can bring victory against the economic enemies that threaten America’s way of life. He is taking his vision into uncharted waters, and sink or swim, he will try to get passed the largest government economic stimulus package in history. I pray that it will succeed. But I think in the long run, it will result in further economic and political turmoil.

envision_logoI went to a workshop on the “Vision of a Leader” yesterday. It was very good, and centered upon Nehemiah and how he received his vision to rebuild the temple. One point of the session was that visions must be identifiable. You must be able to see the result, or else it is to vague and nebulous. In Nehemiah’s case, the vision was easy to see. Everyone gets excited about building things. New is was the rage in America. Entire cities of homes and shopping districts cropped up because people moved to a “new” area. At one time people were buying and selling homes like clothes. The days of “NEW” may have passed for a while. Recycle, reuse, economize, thrift, bargain, and value are the terms we now embrace in the “Deep Recession America”. They say car sales are down becasue people aren’t buying new. People are opting to keep their cars longer. Besides, the cars of today are built much better than they were. This represents a dramatic shift in the thinking of the American Consumer. “New” is out, “Value and Preservation” are in. Perhaps this will signal a change in American Moral Values. Perhaps people will return to the  Old Reliable Bible. Perhaps they will see the value of older churches, even the faith of their grand parents. Maybe we will learn that we don’t have to have “New” to be better.

At no other time in America has our leader’s vision been so important. The problem will be getting his vision through Congress. He says “no earmarks” but what will they say? The problem I see is that there are people in Congress that view their position as an entitlement. They see themselves as little ‘kings’ of their own domains. Will Obama have the tenacity to push his vision through their little ‘kingdoms’.

I have discovered that small (less than 150) churches DO NOT respond to “vision” style pastors. They are not leadership driven, in the sense of following a pastor. The reason is because the faithful people view the church as “their” church. They take ownership very personally. So a pastor may have a vision, but unless he can get his “key” people to believe it is THEIR vision, he will be frustrated in trying to accomplish it. This was really tough for me coming from the business world and owning businesses. I was use to getting my vision done. If anyone didn’t follow my vision, I fired them. I discovered that doesn’t work in churches. (No, I did not try to fire anyone!)

holy_spirit explosive blastI don’t think pastors that are filled with the Spirit and following closely after God lack for vision. What they do lack is how to get fleshly people with fleshly focus to see that God speaks to them and God expects them to follow Kingdom thinking and living too. Unfortunately there is no blast from the Holy Spirit that immediately ignites the minds of fleshly followers. A Pastor soon realizes that even his deacons and “entrenched” members sometimes follow a fleshly agenda. He will become frustrated unless he learns how to preach and teach to first of all restore to God His proper place in the church and in his people’s hearts. And then he must learn to build a consensus of vision with his “key” people. In a small church, the “key” people are those that secretly control what suceeds or fails.

Visions are great and are often the result of a special movement of God. But Pastors live in the hum drum reality of Christians who have not learned to walk in the Spirit.

mind of ChristObama may learn the hard way that Congress, even a Democratic one, will seek to control his vision. Small churches often do the same thing to Pastors. This is how America works, and someday Christ will have to rule with a rod of iron, because men’s hearts are sinful and wicked. A wise Pastor or leader must realize this when seeking to accomplish his “Vision”. Even Nehemiah had to think like a wily fox to get his people to follow his vision. Let’s pray that Congress and our churches “have a Mind to work”. With churches I pray they put on the mind of Christ. He had to lay aside all His ‘earmarks’ in order to accomplish God’s Vision. May His mind be the mind of America.