2016 Theme

                                                Vision for 2016
              Let the World Know that Jesus Saves!
Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”

Our Challenge this year is to faithfully serve the Lord together in 2016 as we continue to tell the world that Jesus Saves.

What if the stock market completely crashes this year? What if the election doesn’t go the way we think it should? What if we continue to have earthquakes in Oklahoma, and record flooding over the banks of the Mississippi and the east coast? What if the federal government continues to take away our God given right to protect ourselves, and to speak out against those who are seeking to tear down our core values of morality, marriage, family, and the life of the unborn? What if terrorist activity continues to escalate and we become less capable of protecting ourselves? What if our world becomes more accepting of false religions, and the deception of the devil, and more and more people become convinced that there is no difference between the God of the Bible and the false god of Islam.

Well no matter what happens this year we need to be careful to keep our commitment to the Lord and His church and do everything we can to let the world know that Jesus Saves.

The word “vision” describes a divine word or a word from God and, not someone’s personal vision or dream.

The word “perish” means “to cast off all restraint or to “let loose”. It clearly warns us that where the Word of God is silenced so that it no longer has an effect on any given situation in our lives, the results are terrifying. This word “perish” literally means that those who are not willing to see a vision from God become unrestrained. Judges 21:25 “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”

The word “law” here refers to the Holy Scriptures, which is the concrete form of God’s revealed truth. Some teach that this verse means that: “We are to be…men and women of vision.” Well that is not exactly the way to interpret this verse! The truth is God gives us His “vision” from His inspired Word. We are to hear and heed His “vision” and then we will be blessed or happy.

The world seeks grand and noble purposes and goals to achieve what they want. People dream up the greatest and most satisfying things in which they can invest their lives. Institutions establish goals and objectives and then organize themselves to achieve them. God’s people should function in a radically different way than the world. We are to be willing to let the Lord arrange our lives around His revealed truth, regardless of whether it makes sense to us. God does not ask for our opinion about what is best for our future, our family, our church, or our country. He already knows!

What God wants is to get the attention of His people and reveal to us what is on His heart and what is His will, for God’s ways are not our ways! (Isa. 55:8, 9). Whenever people do not base their lives on God’s revealed truth, they “cast off restraint.” That is, they do what is right in their own eyes. They set their own goals, arrange their own agendas, and then pray for God’s blessings.

So the vision of letting the world know that Jesus Saves, is revealed to us in God’s Word over and over again. How serious is Jesus about giving the gift of eternal life to those who turn to him in repentance and faith? Jesus said Himself that He had come to seek and to save the lost. He said He had come to give the gift of eternal life to all who believe. It would be a great mistake not take Jesus seriously.

True happiness, is found only through “keeping” or “guarding” God’s Word, then obeying and proclaiming it. True Happiness comes to us God’s Way. We are only truly happy when we have the good fortune of letting the word of God sink down into our hearts and then put ourselves under the hearing and doing of that word. James 1:22 “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”

Without a vision from God there is confusion, disorder, and rebellion; the people are uncontrolled, and they fall into grievous excesses, which can hardly be restrain.

How are we going to accomplish this vision in 2016?
I have come up with four goals that will help us accomplish this vision of letting the world know that Jesus Saves.

1. Set a godly Example of Christ likeness.
John 13:15 “For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.”
1 Timothy 4:12 “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”
1 Peter 2:21 “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:”
Hebrew 12:1-3 “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.”

2. Seek the Lost for Christ sake.
Luke 19:10 “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Luke 14:23 “And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.

3. Search the Scriptures in order not to be ashamed.
2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
John 5:39-40 “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. 40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.”

4. See the opportunities to be salt and light in this world.
Matthew 5:13-16 “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savior, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. 14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
I believe in this vision. If we could focus on letting the world know that Jesus Saves, it would be amazing to see how many people can be saved and transformed by the power of God this year.    Bro. Berry