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Restoring Vision
Sunday 13th September


We open in Matthew 6 I want to look at the sermon when Jesus said “store up treasure in heaven” 

 

We are talking about restoring lost vision, keeping sharp and remaining focused.

 

The LORD searches all the earth for people who have given themselves completely to him. He wants to make them strong. 

2 Chronicles 16:9a NCV

 

When we give ourselves to Christ and completely to his service our lives catch his attention

 

Jesus said 'When the son of man returns will he find faith'

 

He is looking for people who are ready, willing and able so that he can bring them into a position of strength.

 

Faith draws the attention of God, faith says I trust in you God, to do what you have promised.

 

The strength God gives us is meant for our daily walk.

 

To Joshua it was a command 

 

“Remember that I commanded you to be strong and brave. Don’t be afraid, because the LORD your God will be with you everywhere you go.”

Joshua 1:9 NCV

 

Giving ourselves to him is easy when we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and keep ourselves sharp he uses our talents and gifts

 

Psalm 121

 

Where it says where do we look for help, the mountains, no our help comes from the Lord.

 

What happens if we loose our focus or our sharpness.

 

When working with an axe or knife the sharper it it the less effort it takes.

 

When we look towards God and his vision 

 

Keep a sharp eye.

 

Matthew 6

 

Don’t store treasures for yourselves here on earth where moths and rust will destroy them and thieves can break in and steal them. But store your treasures in heaven.

 

Your heart will be where your treasure is. 

 

The eye is a light for the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are evil, your whole body will be full of darkness. And if the only light you have is really darkness, then you have the worst darkness. 

 

So I tell you, don’t worry about the food or drink you need to live, or about the clothes you need for your body. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothes. 

 

Don’t have so little faith! Don’t worry and say, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 

 

The people who don’t know God keep trying to get these things, and your Father in heaven knows you need them. 

 

Seek first God’s kingdom and what God wants. Then all your other needs will be met as well. 

 

Matthew 6:19-34 NCV

 

1. The eye is a light for the body. 

 

Our eyes are the window to our soul

 

What we look at can effect us and our mood, even our state of mind.

 

If we look at things that don't please God we fill our heart with things that we develop a lust for and before we know it it consumes us.

 

And if we not careful we loose sight of the good things that come from walking in the light as he is in the light.

 

When we have lost our vision it becomes hard for us to imagine the good things that God has prepared for us.

 

But When our vision is restored we begin to see things as God sees them.

 

So how do we keep our eyes on him

 

“Keep your eyes focused on what is right, and look straight ahead to what is good.”

Proverbs 4:25 NCV

 

Choose not to look at worthless things 

 

Make a covenant with your eyes.

 

When we see all the good in people we see them through the light of Gods word.

 

In the sermon Jesus said don't store up treasure on earth

 

What do we treasure, our bike, our car, our phone, our house.

 

In the story of the sower Jesus spoke of the Cares of this world, deceitful of riches says that the word of God is choked

 

2. Having the right vision

 

I want to look at a couple of examples 

 

First Saul whose name was changed to Paul from the New Testament and then King David and then Elisha.

 

Begin with Saul, before he changed his named to Paul, before he met Christ.  He was someone who relied on his natural sight, his training, his education, his ability to speak and people would listen. He was at the top of his field zealous even in persecution of the Church.

 

He had murderous thoughts in mind, his heart full of hate he set about to destroy the church.

 

However Saul saw Christ in a vision on the road to Damascus, Jesus said to him I am sending you.

 

To open their eyes so that they may turn away from darkness to the light, away from the power of Satan and to God. Then their sins can be forgiven, and they can have a place with those people who have been made holy by believing in me.’ 

 

King Agrippa, after I had this vision from heaven, I obeyed it. I began telling people that they should change their hearts and lives and turn to God and do things to show they really had changed.

(Acts 26:18-20 NCV)

 

The change for Saul began with loosing his natural sight.

 

He lost his self reliance, had to be led into town.

 

Our overconfidence in only what we can see, can blind us to what God is doing if we trust in our own abilities.

 

The transformation in Saul began with a vision.

 

The change of life follows the open eyes.

 

We don't know how blind we are until God opens our eyes.

 

I was Lost and now I’m found and blind but now I see, was dead but now alive.

 

Many people will have had a vision, but Paul added I was not disobedient to the vision.

 

It's important that we have a vision and it's important that we follow our dreams.  

 

The chances are we already have in our hearts what we are supposed to do.

 

It’s not just what we know, but what we do, with what we know.

 

But at times We can loose focus and sharpness and that makes it so hard.

 

What do we do is follow the teachings of Christ and we trust in God for our everyday, and we take him at his word.

 

3. resist temptation

 

The enemy would love to get our focus off what God has said to us, makes us loose sight of what is important.

 

He does this often by Temptation 

 

People say you must have sinned, as you have opened the door to the enemy. But he often comes unwelcome and uninvited 

 

He can come to us, as he did to Jesus, when he tried to get him to focus on what he was lacking.

 

After not eating for weeks,Jesus was hungry and the enemy came at that time to tempt him.

 

The temptation took the form 

 

If you are the son of God ...

 

Did God say?

 

Sowing doubt over exactly what we spoken over him during his baptism 

 

This is my beloved son in whom I'm well pleased 

 

What we lack, and our constant focus on it, can often be a point of weakness in our lives.

 

Which brings us to our next story - Let's look at the life of King david. And when he seemed to have lost his focus.

 

In the spring, when the kings normally went out to war, David sent out Joab, his servants, and all the Israelites. They destroyed the Ammonites and attacked the city of Rabbah. 

 

But David stayed in Jerusalem. One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of his palace. While he was on the roof, he saw a woman bathing. She was very beautiful. 

 

So David sent his servants to find out who she was. A servant answered, “That woman is Bathsheba daughter of Eliam. She is the wife of Uriah the Hittite.”

2 Samuel 11:1-3 NCV

 

David was supposed to be at war, the scripture says it was the time of the year at Kings went to war.  However he sitting at home from bored and goes back to the roof top and he sees Bathsheba taking a bath and things go downhill from there adulatory and murder follow.

 

David, you can image was home for many different reason, we don't know exactly but if we know temptation is at our door, as the old adage says when we fail to plan, then we plan to fail.

 

So what can we do

 

We can plan and prepare 

We can be practical in our approach

 

Saw this acronym recently...

 

Blast

 

  • Bored
  • Lonely 
  • Agitated
  • Stressed
  • Tired

 

These are often triggers for us to sink into things we don’t want to do. But if we know our triggers we can avoid times when we are tempted.

 

Perhaps we are in situations by our lack of vision. 

 

Don’t always blame the enemy, the devil made me do it is not a good excuse. We often get in our own way.

 

“If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; But when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed.”

Proverbs 29:18 MSG

 

Which brings my final point. And our final story during the time of the prophet Elisha. 

 

4. Stay sharp, stay focused 

 

It’s  about the servant of the prophet that lost his axe head. They had a vision for a bigger place yet he didn't keep his axe sharp, and he lost it.

 

The story is in 2 kings 6

 

Elisha’s school of the prophets was growing and now needed to be relocated and expanded. He asked his students for help in supplying the necessary building materials. 

 

The vision is to build.  It's not about the church having a bigger building but building bigger people.  

 

People who are able and willing to press in when others may give up.

 

In our text, one of the students lost control of his axe head. It came loose of the handle and sunk into the nearby Jordon River. 

 

That the axe was borrowed...

 

There so many things we can draw from this story 

 

We realise that all that we have is by the grace of God. Everything that we have belongs to God and we are simply in a stewardship position on caring for what belongs to God.

 

God has given us gifts and talents for the purpose of furthering the cause of his kingdom. 

 

If we do not use these "tools" for the Lord’s work, maybe we have lost our axe head and has sunk into the muddy waters.

 

Just because we are given talents by God doesn't mean we don't need to keep it sharp

 

He was with the vision to build a better and bigger home, but he wasn't sharp.

 

Perhaps he was careless...

 

If the axe had been sharp, it would have plunged into the heart of the tree. A dull axe will bounce off of the tree and fly into the river. 

 

There is a great need each day to prepare ourselves for what God is doing. 

 

When our axe head is met with opposition! If we are not careful, we may literally "fly off the handle!"

 

The fact that we struggle in areas or we have lost our way is not something strange

 

many people face the same problems as we do, however this man asked for help.

 

He showed the man of God where he lost it

 

And there was hope...

 

We need to revisit the place where we "lost it?"

 

Often when we face the trial and remember what God had said to us.  What was the last thing he said. 

 

Can we go back to what we know, go back to basics.

 

May we be reminded that one day we are going to have to report unto the Lord and answer this question: "What have you done with the tools that I have given you for the work of the ministry?"

 

Have you keeper sharp stayed focused?

 

If we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and keep ourselves sharp he uses our talents and gifts

 

But What happens if we loose our focus, our sharpness.

 

The enemy would love to get our focus of what God has said to us, makes us loose sight of what is important.

 

When working with an axe or knife the sharper it it the less effort it takes.

 

When we look towards God and his vision 

 

And if we have lost vision go back to your first love, return to the cross where you first met.

 

It's time to restore vision to restore hope and bring back into place the word of God into our lives 

 

  • Seek first God
  • Treasure things in heaven 
  • Return to your fist love
  • Have your eyes full of light and your life will be full of light
  • Avoid temptation by keeping on track
  • Serve God with joy

 

May God make you more than you are today and may God fulfil his promise to you.

 

If we have lost our vision, like Paul we can get some prayer some help and see again.  

 

Not only will be be renewed in our vision by we will be used by God to build his kingdom when we are not disobedient to the vision, 

 

keep sharp and focused and we will see other people eyes opened and see them turn from darkness to light.

 

Seek first Gods kingdom and seek out Gods plan for your life and see What God does to open your eyes and give you vision purpose and hope. 

 

Thank you for joining us today.

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