2020 Vision for 2020

I realize this may seem corny to some of you, but I hope you don’t miss the significance of this simple idea.

In Acts 20:20 (NET) Paul said: You know that I did not hold back from proclaiming to you anything that would be helpful, and from teaching you publicly and from house to house.”

I’d suggest that if you want clear (20 20) vision in 2020 you need to connect with a church where you are taught the truth of God publicly, and connect with a small group. In a good small group you can experience community and discuss how to apply what you’re being taught & learning from God’s truth & how that should impact all your relationships.

Just a simple idea that could make a significant difference in your life and relationships this year!

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PEACE

If you’re already a follower of Jesus, here’s the help I promised you on Sunday.

Establishing PEACE w/ God doesn’t mean your life will be free from conflict.  Jesus said in this world you’ll have problems, but He will help you overcome them. (John 16:33)

Some of you have been following Jesus for a while, but you don’t have a sense of PEACE in your daily life.

How do you connect with God in such a way as to have peace on a consistent basis?   I don’t have a checklist or formula, but here’s an important key:

To establish consistent peace, you need to grow in your relationship with Jesus Christ.

In Andy Stanley’s book Enemies of the Heart he says to get a changed heart requires effort; sometimes this includes pain and always some discomfort.   In other words, it requires establishing some new habits that may be out of our comfort zone.

Peace is one of the things God develops in us as we submit to Him & depend on Him daily.

Galatians 5:22 calls peace a fruit of the Spirit.   Fruit can’t grow if it’s disconnected from the vine. Peace can’t grow in you if you don’t stay connected to Jesus which takes spiritual disciplines. (John 15:1-8)

We establish PEACE with God when we put our faith in Jesus Christ.  We experience PEACE in life when we grow in our faith and our understanding of who we are in Christ.

There are times I struggle with peace, but when I’m consistent in my spiritual disciplines & remember who I am in Jesus, I experience peace.

A few things that have helped me with my spiritual growth & peace follow…

Every day I need to draw near to God and ADMIT MY NEED.    To become a Christian (follower of Jesus) you had to admit your need for Jesus and make the choice to trust Him.

Now He wants you to grow in the same kind of trust & dependence daily that you exhibited when you put your faith in Him.   You don’t get saved again; you exercise your faith in Christ on a daily basis by depending on Him.

ISAIAH 26:3 NCV says: You, Lord, give true peace to those who depend on you, because they trust you.

I also need to CONNECT WITH JESUS.   I believe the secret to Jesus power, courage & peace was His connection with God the Father.

MARK 1:35 CEV   says:  Very early the next morning, Jesus got up and went to a place where he could be alone and pray. 

One of my life verses has become Psalm 46:10

PSALM 46:10 Msg “Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything.”

When I stop long enough to connect with Jesus & take a long loving look at God, I grow in peace because I remember…

  • I Am Eternally Loved (I don’t have to perform)
  • I Am Completely Accepted because of Jesus
  • I Am Highly Valued because I Belong To God
  • I Am Totally Forgiven (not condemned)

What helps me strengthen my connection with Jesus?   PRAYER.

Honest conversation with God where I talk & listen helps develop PEACE.  I’m good at talking, but I’m still learning to listen which takes time, stillness & quiet.

PHILIPPIANS 4:6-7 CEV  reminds me…Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel.

ENGAGE WITH GOD’S WORD.  To have consistent peace, I need more than a casual or occasional reading of God’s Word.   It means I spend consistent time studying it, reflecting on its truth and applying it in my life.

PSALM 119:165 NIrV  says: Those who love your law enjoy great peace.  Nothing can make them trip and fall.

These two disciplines of prayer and time in the Scripture will make a huge difference in you, but sadly – very few people practice them.

It’s like going to the gym. Some people give up when they don’t see immediate results, but for those who stay with it – results happen.  I’d encourage you to consistently get in God’s Presence and Connect With Jesus through prayer and His Word (the Scripture).

Jesus promised His followers He would be nailed to a cross and three days later rise from the dead.  He kept His Promise!

In John 14:27 NLT Jesus said:  “I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.  

Jesus promised to give us PEACE & He Keeps His Promises…

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Judge Like This And Be Judged Like This

Reading Matthew 7 recently, I couldn’t get past verses 1-5. I spent some time reflecting on these strong words from Jesus about our attitudes toward others. When we judge someone and condemn them because they don’t do things like we think they should or they fail to meet the self-made standards we’ve set up – we start playing God.   Whether we verbalize it or not, this means we perceive ourselves as superior to them, their character, heart and motives.  

This can apply to people (or a group of people) in general, or it can be directed toward someone who offends us. When someone offends us and we refuse to grant them mercy, or love them enough to follow Jesus admonition in Matthew 18:15, we commit our own offense. When we refuse to ask for an explanation or try to get all the facts (Prov. 18:17), and show a lack of genuine love by refusing to give the other person(s) a chance to ask forgiveness (if they did something wrong), we demonstrate pride by assuming we are completely right in our thoughts, actions and motives.   In other words, we wrongly (and sinfully) suggest we have knowledge of and fully understand all the facts, circumstances including the full back-story, and the motives of the person(s) we judge. The essence of sin is refusing to love like Jesus does, and judging others like this smacks of a lack of genuine love.

It’s humbling and embarrassing to admit, but the reason these words impacted me the way they did as I read & reflected upon them is because I’ve been guilty of this hypocritical behavior and violating these words of Jesus. I’ve also known the hurt of being on the receiving end of such judgments.

Maybe these things apply to you too. What’s the wise thing to do? Do your best to make things right in relationships by asking for forgiveness when you’ve had a judgmental attitude or wronged someone, and offer forgiveness when you’ve been judged or wronged regardless of the response of others involved.

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ANXIOUS – Peace of Mind Verse 26

During our series ANXIOUS, I’ll include a passage in this blog every day or so that’s helped me during a time of Anxiety or when I’m troubled. Worship/Praise music/songs help me along with reflecting upon and praying through the truth of a passage of Scripture.

2 Thessalonians 3:16 NET Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with you all.

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ANXIOUS – Peace of Mind Verse 25

During our series ANXIOUS, I’ll include a passage in this blog every day or so that’s helped me during a time of Anxiety or when I’m troubled. Worship/Praise music/songs help me along with reflecting upon and praying through the truth of a passage of Scripture.

Psalm 23 NLT The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.  He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.  He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.  Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.  You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies.  You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings.  Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.

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ANXIOUS – Peace of Mind Verse 24

During our series ANXIOUS, I’ll include a passage in this blog every day or so that’s helped me during a time of Anxiety or when I’m troubled. Worship/Praise music/songs help me along with reflecting upon and praying through the truth of a passage of Scripture.

John 14:27 NLT “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”

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ANXIOUS – Peace of Mind Verse 23

During our series ANXIOUS, I’ll include a passage in this blog every day or so that’s helped me during a time of Anxiety or when I’m troubled. Worship/Praise music/songs help me along with reflecting upon and praying through the truth of a passage of Scripture.

Hebrews 13:5-6 NET Your conduct must be free from the love of money and you must be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you and I will never abandon you.”  So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, and I will not be afraid. What can people do to me?”

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ANXIOUS – Peace of Mind Verse 22

During our series ANXIOUS, I’ll include a passage in this blog every day or so that’s helped me during a time of Anxiety or when I’m troubled. Worship/Praise music/songs help me along with reflecting upon and praying through the truth of a passage of Scripture.

Joshua 1:9 NET I repeat, be strong and brave! Don’t be afraid and don’t panic, for I, the Lord your God, am with you in all you do.”

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ANXIOUS – Peace of Mind Verse 21

During our series ANXIOUS, I’ll include a passage in this blog every day or so that’s helped me during a time of Anxiety or when I’m troubled. Worship/Praise music/songs help me along with reflecting upon and praying through the truth of a passage of Scripture.

John 14:1 NLT “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.”

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ANXIOUS – Peace of Mind Verse 20

During our series ANXIOUS, I’ll include a passage in this blog every day or so that’s helped me during a time of Anxiety or when I’m troubled. Worship/Praise music/songs help me along with reflecting upon and praying through the truth of a passage of Scripture.

Proverbs 3:5-8 NET  Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding.  Acknowledge him in all your ways, and he will make your paths straight.  Do not be wise in your own estimation; fear the Lord and turn away from evil. This will bring healing to your body, and refreshment to your inner self.

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