Our vision is to help people to experience God’s love in real and relevant ways. To enjoy each others company as a healthy, strong and wonderful community. As a follower of Jesus we desire to live the life He has planned for us honoring Him with the gifts He has given us. Then we want to give back to our world what He has given to us. Or in short, Experience God - Enjoy each other - Live the life - Give back to your world.
OK, this one is a little longer than usual, but I think you will agree it was worth it.
Now let's look at "Live the Life" This quite possibly could be the hardest for people to embrace because it challenges our selfishness. Here's the problem. Most people here in America think that their life is pretty good. Especially here in Palm City. When people have everything that they want. "Why change?" "Life is good!" "It's everything I could have hope and dreamed for?" Remember what God said in Jer 29:11? He said that he has a plan and a future for us. Is the life that we are living the one God has planned for me? Most people I have posed this question to answer very quickly, "Of course it is!" Then when I ask them, "What does God want you to do with this life?" They look at me like a confused German Shepherd.
Bottom line is, we want to honor God with our life and lifestyle. Learning to live the life that He has planned out for us demands that we discover what He has gifted us to do for Him and "just do it!" (my apologies to Nike). It also means that we know how God wants us to live the life He has given to us. To understand that even if the world says something is ok to do - we may not do it because it doesn't please God.
Then there is "Give Back" Before I get into this one, let me explain a little about this process. These steps in our vision are in order as they can and should be experienced. Giving back is about winning your world for Jesus by giving back to them what He has given to you. But you wouldn't have anything to give if you didn't, "Experience, Enjoy and Live" first. Many Christians today faithfully support the work of others who have discovered what I have shared with you without knowing it for themselves. That's just sad (ok it's my opinion, but it's my blog too.)
We give back to God what He has faithfully given to us, because He will give back to us what we have faithfully given to Him. Let me put it another way, You can never outgive God. The question is, " Do you know where you should give it and what you should give?"
I have spoken of the O.E.M. principle before, but let me refresh you memory. O.E.M. stands for Outreach, Evangelism and Missions. Outreach is simply touching someone elses life with compassion. You don't nor want anything in return - you just want to make a difference for a moment or a lifetime. Evangelism is telling/showing someone the Good News about Jesus. Letting them know that there is hope in a hopeless world, that Jesus loves them and really does care about them. You look for relevant and practical ways to let others know. Then there is Missions. Missions is the pinnacle of everything that I have talked about all week. When we invest in a ministry that is either across town, in Florida, across this nation or around this world - it is a ministry that is bringing the message of "Experience, Enjoy, Live and Give" to a people group or a place where we cannot go personally. Then again, we could pick up our own boots and go somewhere for a day or a week and do something to make this happen somewhere.
There's more tomorrow!!