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Our weekly newsletter filled with news, updates, and inspiring stories of how God is working in the Bay Area.

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I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.

Ephesians 1:18-19

The world we live in is in need of so much hope. We hear about so much negative, tragic news everyday. When we lack hope in our lives, often times it’s because our eyes are closed… closed to God’s purposes, God’s power, God’s possibilities, and God’s promises.

The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.

Helen Keller

God is calling us to open our eyes, reclaim our purpose, and renew our vision of why each of us is here. Who is God calling you to become?

The Cross: Restoring Our Vision

We have all these great people around us as examples. Their lives tell us what faith means. So we, too, should run the race that is before us and never quit. We should remove from our lives anything that would slow us down and the sin that so often makes us fall. We must never stop looking to Jesus. He is the leader of our faith, and he is the one who makes our faith complete. He suffered death on a cross. But he accepted the shame of the cross as if it were nothing because of the joy he could see waiting for him. And now he is sitting at the right side of God’s throne.

Hebrew 12:1-3 (ERV)

Have you lost sight of why you’re here and what your purpose is?

When God calls you to grow and change, you will feel a certain pressure. But it’s a good pressure, because God’s pressure leads us to a life of impact and love.

Prayer: Turning Pressure Into Purpose

When I kept it all inside,
my bones turned to powder,
my words became daylong groans.
The pressure never let up;
all the juices of my life dried up.
Then I let it all out;
I said, “I’ll make a clean breast of my failures to God.”
Suddenly the pressure was gone—
my guilt dissolved,
my sin disappeared.
These things add up. Every one of us needs to pray;
when all hell breaks loose and the dam bursts
we’ll be on high ground, untouched.

Psalm 32:3-6 (MSG)

Whatever pressure I’m avoiding, ignoring, or escaping from is meant to drive us to God, so he can change that pressure into a passion for him, his purpose, for becoming who he destined us to be.

This happens only through prayer. God can use our setbacks, disappointments, and even our sins to help us develop an intrinsic passion for him and his purpose for our lives. Only through prayer.

Prayer is how God turns our pressure into passion for his purpose. This is what Jesus went through in Matthew 26 when he was preparing for the Cross. He went from being overwhelmed by the pressure he felt about the suffering he was about to experience, to being willing to embrace God’s purpose for him. When we don’t pray, we miss the understanding of what God is doing in our lives. Without clarity, we fall apart, break down, and become cynical doubters.

Pressure is multiplied by the sin we refuse to deal with and repent of.

Pressure: Understand What’s Happening to You

 “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine is stored in new wineskins so that both are preserved.”

Matthew 9:17

Often times when we feel pressure, we’re too busy reacting to it, avoiding it, and running from it that we don’t take the time to understand what God is actually trying to teach us through the pressure.

Most of the pressure we feel has to do with relationships:

  • Teen parents, with your teen
  • Marriages, with your spouse
  • Friendships, with your roommates or c0-workers
  • Dating, with your boyfriend or girlfriend

Do you understand how the pressure in your life is actually God helping you to improve your relationships?

New wineskins means new faith, new convictions, and new vision. We can’t keep saying the same kind of prayers we’ve always said if we have any hope of changing. God is calling us to reclaim our purpose. So where do we start? By refocusing your life.

Refocus Your Life

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

John 9:1-3

It’s interesting how the disciples saw a blind man and focused immediately on who was to blame: the mom, the dad, or himself. They were stuck in the problems instead of focusing on vision for the future. Jesus was different. He saw God’s purpose through everything.

Each of us need to refocus our lives by developing spiritual priorities and thinking about the future: God first, and family right after. Ask yourself: how does my life, my major, my job, and my interests fit into building God’s kingdom and building my family?

“Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.

“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:13-16 (MSG)

Each of us are here for a reason and chosen for a purpose… to make God attractive, turn to God, and help others do the same. God’s purpose is always unique and always makes our ordinary lives extraordinary.

Visionary Life: Living Generously

Decisions for 2014:

  • Share Your Life – who will I involve in my life?
  • Share Your Heart – who will I initiate vulnerability with?
  • Share Your Time – who will I influence spiritually?
  • Share Your Faith – who will I inspire to believe?

Written by

Bay Area Christian Church

This was created by a member of the Bay Area Christian Church team.