Dear Friends,

"By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son
of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with
the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time.
He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures
of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward
." (Hebrews
11:24-26) "We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed,
but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so
that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. With that same spirit of faith
we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who
raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present
us with you in his presence.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though
outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that
far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but
on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
(See 2 Corinthians 4:8-18) "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such
a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the
sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked
out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith,
who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame,
and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
" (Hebrew

How could these men do it? Choose a path that would lead to suffering, disgrace,
martyrdom, and for Jesus, the cross, a criminal’s death, at age thirty-three,
in the prime of His life. They had an eternal vision that went beyond this life
and they knew by faith that God’s plan for their life was worth it and
that God was worthy of all it cost them. "Now faith is being sure
of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
" (Hebrews

As I continue to teach through the Leadership Bible at our Friday Morning Men’s
Fellowship, we recently studied vision, purpose and passion and saw that godly
leaders, businessmen, mothers, students, etc., must have an eternal perspective,
a vision for our life that is eternal and bigger than ourselves (transcendent)
and one that meets both the spiritual and practical needs of others. Our unique
vision, purpose and passion must flow out from God’s ultimate and universal
vision, purpose and passion which is the redemption and restoration of all of
creation to the glory of His Name. "You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your
will they were created and have their being." (Revelation 4:11; Also see
Ephesians 3:1-11) "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first
heaven and the first earth had passed away, And I heard a loud voice from the
throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with
them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their
God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or
mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He
who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!
(See Revelation 21:1-7) God has a passion for a relationship of love and intimacy
with people so much that He gave His only begotten Son because He desired an
eternal love relationship with us. (John 3:16) And in response to His great
love and salvation He wants us to, “Love the Lord your God with all
your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. Love your neighbor
as yourself.
” And the highest love for our neighbor is for him to
know God’s love and salvation and the hope and joy of heaven with Him
and His people. So Jesus commands us to be about this purpose with passion:
"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore
go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything
I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the
(Matthew 22:37-39; 28:18-20)

We must believe that God’s purpose for our life is better than any we
could ever construct for ourselves and that our commitment
to God’s ultimate and universal purpose and His unique purpose for our
lives precedes our discovering His purpose. The Biblical principle
is: commitment precedes knowledge. "If anyone chooses to do God’s will,
he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my
own." (John 7:17) We then discover our unique purpose through intimate
relationship with the Lord. “Personal vision ultimately comes from one
place – intimate communion with the Lord. In marriage, intimate communion
with our spouse can bring conception of life. In spiritual communion with the
Lord, He impregnates us with His vision for our life.” (Sacred
by Doug Banister; Also see John 17:3) Master the Book to know
the Master’s call through hearing, reading, studying, memorizing and meditating
on the Word of God. (Romans 12:2) As we grow in the knowledge of God we come
to know how He made us uniquely, through our personal history with Him (Genesis
50:20; Romans 8:29) our personality, temperament, personal skills, spiritual
gifts (1 Peter 4:10), needed equipping and accountability (Ephesians 4:11-13;
Hebrews 10:24-25) and our calling (Ephesians 2:10). LifeKeys by Kise, Stark,
and Hirsh, is a very helpful book for this process. As we commit to God’s
ultimate and universal purposes in every role and arena of our life, our temporal
activities become opportunities to glorify the Lord and to reach out to others
in our daily life.

  • Daily activities
  • Short-term goals
  • Long-term goals
  • My unique purpose (Ephesians 2:10)
  • God’s universal purpose (Matthew 22:37-39; 28:18-20)
  • God’s ultimate and eternal purpose (Revelation 4:11)

This world is not enough to meet the needs and desires God has given us for He
has “set eternity in our hearts”. (Ecclesiastes 3:11) Solomon
says life under the sun (apart from God’s purposes and the consummation
of all things) is an empty, meaningless life. (See Ecclesiastes) "If
only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men
(1 Corinthians 15:19) As Paul says we “groan” for heaven and the full
redemption of all creation. (Romans 8:18-25)

The big “eternal vision buster” for many: SUFFERING. "He
then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things
and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that
he must be killed
and after three days rise again. He spoke plainly
about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But when Jesus
turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. "Get behind me, Satan!"
he said. "You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of
men." (Mark 8:31-33) Satan’s vision for our life: Look out for #1.
The world’s vision for our life: Look out for #1. God’s vision for
our life: Lose your life for My sake (God’s ultimate and universal purposes)
and you’ll keep it for all eternity; (Matthew 16:25) short-term sacrifice
for long-term gain. God’s promise to us: "But seek first his
kingdom and his righteousness (God’s vision and purposes for our life)
and all these (lesser) things will be given to you as well.
" (Matthew
6:33) If we seek the lesser (temporal) things first, we lose God’s vision
and find that the lesser things don’t satisfy us anyway.

Let us join Paul in prayer asking God to give us a longing to participate in
His glorious vision for a new creation. "I keep asking that the God
of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you a spirit of wisdom
and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the
eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to
which he has called you
, the riches of his glorious inheritance in
the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.
(Ephesians 1:17-19)

Until He Comes,
Len and Kristen

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