Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Vision Part #1

Taken off the Forth Road Bridge nr Edinburgh this weekend, thought it looked kind of like those cheesy encouragement poster which might say "Vision" then some catchy line under it! I believe that God loves us, but that our purpose on earth is more than to develop deeper relationship with him. There is more of a response required when we know who God is, and what he is calling us to be. After some teaching from Rodger Ellis over the weekend I asked him "what do we do and how do we respond when Visions seem to fail?" His answer was good and it reminded me of some stories Id forgotten. These are some thoughts of my own mixed round with some thing I remember Roger mentioning: Basically Vision is doing something bigger than yourself, encouraging others into purpose, you can be a visionary who inspires other people to do the vision you've been given but I think very often God gives us vision with a mind for us to get on with them. Im becoming more and more fustrated by travelling prophets and visionarys who speak stuff, then run off, now Im sure there doing some great things but to be honest I wish I could nail one down and get them to live out their words sometimes! Vision is not something that exists as a basis for our lives, Jesus is the rock, so failure of vision dosent mean a de-throning of Jesus, or his power. Gods plan will not and can not be hindered by our works, his Final plan is in the hands of the almighty. Vision also dosent need to be something that comes in a massive vision or dream, we can inspired by other people and scripture and just say "this needs to be done, I want to advance the kingdom in this way, and commit to being faithful in completing it. Roger had a great sound bite which stood out for me in his whole response, it was "Even id it dosen't work, when Jesus returns I want to be doing something for him, even if that is making mistakes" He also said that everyone, who has ever had their moment of triumph in vision will have a loads of failures that lead up to them So I think if we keep our eyes on him (God btw not Roger!) then we just need to see the over all plan sometimes, especially when we fail, just knowing it was for God only means we can trust God that if we throw out seeds hes the one who makes them grow or wither (nice biblical type analogy I thought! hehe) I was thinking over these things on the way to Edinburgh on the train, and I thought about a story that Mark Davy once told which has stuck with me (found on ServLife: The First Missionary to Korea By Joel Vestal June 2000 Today in the world millions of people are giving nothing else but their very lives for the sake of the Kingdom of God. The well known Christian martyr, Jim Elliott, wrote, “He is no fool to give up what he cannot keep, in order to gain what he cannot loose.” It has been said that the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church. This is surely true as you study church history. I came across a story that I would like to share with you. The first missionary to Korea, Robert J. Thomas, was ordained on June 4, 1863, at a little church in Hanover, Wales. He and his wife left in July, sent by the London Missionary Society, arriving at Shanghai, China. His wife died soon after arrival. In 1866, having evangelized for a few months in Korea and learning the language, Thomas rode the American ship, General Sherman, along the Taedong River (where the capital of North Korea is today). The Sherman became grounded on a sandbar. The Korean soldiers on shore were suspicious and scared. They boarded the ship waving long, flashing knives. When Thomas saw that he was going to be killed, he held out the Korean Bible to them saying, "Jesus, Jesus." His head was cut off. Twenty-five years after Thomas' death, someone discovered a little guest house in this area with some strange wallpaper. The paper had Korean characters printed on it. The owner of the house explained that he had used the pages of this book do paste on the wall to preserve the writing. Not only the owner, but many of the guests would come in and stay to "read the walls." This was the Bible that Thomas had given to his murderers. Today, it is said that South Korea is over 50% Christian. The largest church in the world is in Korea. I believe it because the heart and boldness of Robert Thomas that paved the way for others to carry the gospel to that land. He was a man not afraid to give his life so others would have a chance to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. 4HisGlory, Liam


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