Our Need for Vision

These are my notes from Mateen Elass’ sermon on January 8, 2012, at 1st Presbyterian Church of Edmond. Our focus verse was Proverbs 29:18. The sermon title was, “Go West, Young Man.”

If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; But when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed. (Proverbs 29:18 MSG)

Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law. (Proverbs 29:18 NKJV)

Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint;
but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction. (Proverbs 29:18 NIV)

Consider the history of “manifest destiny” on our nation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manifest_Destiny

Three world views competing for our faith today

1. The new atheism, coming from some scientific circles – no God, no overarching truth or ethics
– groups agree on shared values
– cuts ties between earth and heaven
– fend for yourself mentality
– spawned materialism, a strong vision for many in our country (more is better)
– also spawned hedonism, using the world to satisfy myself and maximize pleasure / comfort

2. Radical Islam
– does believe in 1 God, known as the sovereign one
– God holds all power, demands his creation bows before Him in submission
– holds that all humans will submit to God, all nations will be dissolved into 1 nation to live under Sharia law
– no freedom to dissent or create other laws, since Sharia law is divinely instituted

3. Biblical Christianity
– this is our vision of our church
– God sits on his throne, but our central understanding of God is love rather than a focus on power

Our vision

We need an outward focus
We are called to be ambassadors of Christ and bring his reconciliation

Responses of 3 different workers
– I’m breaking rocks
– I’m earning money to feed my family – I’m building a cathedral

Do we see our work each day in the context of a grand vision which God has for our lives?

MY THOUGHTS: INTERESTING BUT PERHAPS NOT ENTIRELY HELPFUL TO COUCH THIS DISCUSSION IN THE CONTEXT OF “MANIFEST DESTINY.” HOW IMPORTANT IT IS THAT WE BE SAAVY TO THE TRUE CALLING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AND NOT BE MISLED BY THOSE WHO SEEK TO USE MESSAGES ABOUT GOD’S WILL TO PROMOTE POLITICAL CAUSES. (LIKE THE ANNEXATION OF MEXICO.)

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