Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Vision has it's side effects

In case you missed it, this past week we talked about God's vision for Freedom Fellowship. The vision hasn't changed, it's the same as it was when we got started a little over three years ago. In short, God's vision for Freedom (and all churches) begins and ends with lost people. People who do not have a relationship with Jesus are where God's heart is. I prepped something for use in the message that I ended up leaving out for time's sake, but I thought I would share it here. It involves the side effects of God's vision.

If you watch any tv at all you have seen numerous ads for different types of prescription drugs. I have some opinions about our society being over-medicated that I won't get into right now, but the thing about the ads that makes me laugh is the list of side effects. In some of the commercials more time is spent listing the potential side effects than explaining the benefits of the medication. There is a anti-depression medicine that the list of side effects includes: headache, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, and insomnia. If you weren't depressed before taking this drug the side effects will guarantee you'll be depressed once you start. I also heard a sleeping pill ad that said a side effect was drowsiness. Really? Drowsiness? Who would ever think a sleep aid would have that side effect?

If we truly embrace God's vision for His church we may experience the following side effects:

- loss of comfort due to sacrifices made to reach the lost

- loss of income due to practicing the teachings of Jesus in your business

- increased sensitivity to the pain of others

- strange desire to leave home in order to help ease the suffering of strangers

- unexplained joy despite circumstances

- an inability to tolerate selfishness and pretense in other followers of Jesus

- loss of a comfortable church that always does things the same way

- discovery of the true purpose you were created for

Beware! You may experience some or all of these side effects as you pursue the vision God has for you and His church.

1 comment:

Rich... said...

Hi Cliff!

I wanted to let you know that we had a man walk in off the street Sunday morning looking for a ride home, saying that someone had stole his glasses. Jim, Benji, and I were working the parking lot just before your message, when he just seemed to appear. My first inclination was to give the poor guy a ride, but hesitated to do so, partly because something made me not want to leave, and also because Jim took matters into his own hands, and told the man that we couldn't leave until the service was over. When he heard that, he asked if he could go in and sit down, to which I immediately replied, sure, come on in! Perhaps you saw him as you started the message, he was tall and had long thin white hair, and sat in the 3rd to the last row on the far left. Anyway, I was amazed at the message, as it seemed that God had brought that man in for him to hear about the lost son! Then after the service, Brook, who was on that same row, spoke to him, and then called Mark Johnson over, and after a brief exchange, they both prayed with him. It was truely wonderful to watch! When we invited him back he mentioned that he had to appear in court today for public intoxication, so he wasn't sure if he could be back on Sunday. Perhaps the fact that he was "in church" on Sunday will help his case! Anyway, perhaps Mark can tell you more about the man, whose name I didn't catch... Just thought I'd share and say Thanks for having the perfect message!

Rich Jardin