I take this to be a measure of my faith in the Trinity that, without regard to danger, I make known God's gift and the eternal comfort He provides: that I spread God's name everywhere dutifully and without fear, so that after my death I may leave a legacy to so many thousands of people...
- Patrick, Confession (Irish, 5th century)
I will cause your name to be remembered in all generations; therefore nations will praise you forever and ever.
- Psalm 45.17
Any pastor or church leader is only as good as his vision. Unless he gazes on what he should and works toward the future, his ministry won't accomplish much for the Kingdom of God. That, at least, appears to have been the attitude of many of the Celtic Christians.
For them, "vision" mattered in two ways: First, the ability to see through to the unseen realm and live continuously in the presence of the exalted Christ. Second, the longing to make a Kingdom impact that would last beyond their lifetimes. They succeeded on both counts.
Nurturing spiritual vision is a key component of the life of faith. Paul longed for the Ephesians to be able to see clearly into that unseen realm, so that the power of it could fill their lives more fully and completely (Eph. 1.15-23). Our psalmists clearly hoped that their prayer, celebrating the exalted Lord they could only see in prospect, would be a source of inspiration and praise for all generations (Ps. 45). This is the kind of vision that advances the Kingdom of Christ.
What is your vision for your life in Christ? Everyone has a vision for his life - you, too. And everyone is, to one degree or another, living in line with that vision. If your vision is small, unambitious, timid, self-condemning, unwilling to risk or learn - well, guess what: What you're experiencing now as the life of faith is as good as it gets.
The problem, of course, is that the life of faith is never as good as it gets; there's always more, so much more than we could ever dare to ask or think (Eph. 3.20). Jesus piled parable on parable concerning the Kingdom of God, enticing us to think big, dream big, and strive big in pursuit of His rule. We are unfaithful to His example if we mire ourselves in puny, small, unproductive visions of what God is calling us to be and do.
Think big. Dream big. Then go for your vision. You can never outpace Jesus, Who calls us to run our race with our eyes fixed on Him.
Today at The Fellowship of Ailbe
Pastors, if you have ever wanted to learn to write, and to have writing as a significant part of your ministry, then an opportunity is coming up for you right after the first of the year. Check out the course, "The Writing Pastor," at our website, and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me.
Pastors and church leaders, looking for a quick and challenging overview of Christian worldview? The course, "One in Twelve," may be just what you need to train and inspire your church members for more consistent Christian discipleship.
In today's ReVision we look at the rehabilitation of narcissism as a new state of normalcy. Great.
Get a mentor, visit the bookstore, check out the blogs, ask a question for the Members of The Fellowship - so much more to do at the website, www.ailbe.org.