Monday, December 29, 2014

Extended Vision, 1: Lydia's Story

“One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. After Paul and Silas came out of the prison, they went to Lydia’s house, where they met with the brothers and encouraged them. Then they left” (Acts 16:14, 40, NIV).

The Bible reminds us that without vision, people don’t survive. As we look throughout history, we are reminded that the great survivals and successes of nations, government, churches, and people are linked to those who had vision and were able to share that vision with others. Lydia was a woman with a big vision. She lived in a time that wasn’t quite prepared for her vision, for her leadership, or for what it would one day mean to the world. She was undaunted by societal rules and cultural contexts. She was a worshiper of God. Through her focus on Christ, her vision would be instrumental for many who would one day come to Christ.

It has been said that discipline always follows vision. It can also be said that without vision, we can never have a real vision, only a real imagination. Vision is when you can see what others can’t. Discipline is when you keep going towards that vision when others say you can’t. Don’t be one of those who give into the pressure of the reasons why you can’t do something, shouldn’t do something, or why it is impossible for you to do something. God has placed you right where you are for a reason. He has helped you to see something that is beyond what you have seen before. You have a vision to be a part of something that really matters. Though you may have questions and concerns, and possibly even some fear and doubt, you have chosen to be undaunted. Continue to trust. Continue to see the extended vision God has placed before you.

Extended Reading Option: Proverbs 29:18

Extended Journal Option: Describe some of the “vision blockers” that have been in your life. What are common distractions for you that tend to slow down or try to stop you from reaching what God wants to show you?

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