This Easter 2016, we launch a new service time on Saturday at 5:00 pm. With the growing need for an alternative service, we realized that it was time to open up the doors for greater community impact which consisted of lots of young families in weekend sports, increased urban housing development, and an internationally renown university down the street.
Up to this point, I felt God pressing on my heart the need to recast a Vision for Easter preparation and a heightened sensitivity for our community. Our team decided to do a pre-launch of Saturday night service with a Vision Night of Worship. You can WATCH all of the Vision Talk I shared here: Vision Message. May it open your eyes to the things God has for you this Easter Season, or read on with the summary.
SUMMARY OF VISION TALK:
My Big Point: Easter is a time to refresh your vision and see clearly God’s movements in your life. God is asking us everyday, “Do you see anything”? 1) It may be your first step to cross over and see Jesus for the very first time. 2) For many others, like me, it’s stretching of our faith to see him, new every day.
My Big Prayer: I wanted to pray for our church family and all the churches nearby and in the world with these 2 verses –
“Uncover my eyes so that I may see the miraculous things in your teachings.” Psalms 119:18 (GWT)
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.” Eph 1:18 (NASB)
4 EYE-OPENERS WE LEARN FROM THE BLIND
They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?” He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. (Mark 8:22-25 NIV)
From this familiar miracle story, we find 4 Eye-opening lessons from the Blind Man’s encounter with Jesus.
- Friends can Help or Hinder our meeting with Jesus (v.22)
- Clear Vision requires a Personal Encounter with Jesus (v.23)
- We can Experience Jesus in Multiple Ways
- Touch (Matt 9:27-31)
- Spit & Mud (Jn 9:1-41)
- Spit & Touch (Mk 8:22-26)
- Spoke (Lk 18:35-43)
- Jesus Blesses us according to our Faith
VISION NIGHT TAKE-AWAYS
“And [Jesus] asked them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’” Mk 8:29 (ESV)
“And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again.” Mk 8:31 (ESV)
Question: How will you Encounter Jesus this Easter season?
“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light,” Mt 6:22 (ESV)
I want to share 3 prayers for 3 different types of blindness:
- Spiritually Alone
Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Jn 3:3 (NASB)
- Spiritually Broken
“The Spirit of the Lord is with me. He has anointed me to tell the Good News to the poor. He has sent me to announce forgiveness to the prisoners of sin and the restoring of sight to the blind, to forgive those who have been shattered by sin,” Lk 4:18 (GWT)
- Spiritually Dull
“The Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are weighed down. The Lord loves the godly.” Ps 146:8 (NLT)
“Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.” Ps 51:10 (NLT)
Preaching “Let it Go” at Saddleback Church
For the weekend of June 21/22, Pastor Rick reached out with an invitation. He suggested I encourage our church with a life message that God has been showing me these past 10 years. These past 10 years has been so dramatically uncomfortable, faith stretching, and packed with second-guessing decisions, yet in hindsight, it has been intensely Purposeful and Passion fulfilling.
During these years I leaned on a passage in the Bible regarding a man name Abraham from the 12th chapter of Genesis. This first ever recorded conversation between God and Abraham has resonated with my recent life’s journey. And my goal today is to highlight this short exchange with God and Abraham, and then personalize it with crucial inflection points in my life, in HOPES that I can encourage many of you to consider some changes that can bring joyful blessings in your life and those around you.
Genesis 12:1-2, reads,
“Now the LORD said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, and your kindred, and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.’”
Do you trust HIM enough to surrender the known securities of your life for the unrevealed mysteries of God’s blessings for you?
For additional Resources, click here: