standing firm & loving well: clearer vision


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We are only 9 days from Easter Sunday! We pray that God is preparing your heart to experience a fuller sense of resurrection power! Join us this week for our Holy Week services in the St. Johns sanctuary on Thursday and Friday at 7:00 pm. Both Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services are in partnership with Truway Church of the Risen Christ. This Sunday is the end of our Standing Firm and Loving Well series based on the study The Daniel Dilemma. The last sermon is Clearer Vision. Clarity in our lives is important but also difficult. As you read this, can you think of any places in your life where you are struggling with clarity? Perhaps it is where you experience a lot of confusion? Or fear? Clearer vision helps us to find a sense of certainty. It gives a stronger sense of direction. It allows us to feel more confident in our decision-making. Why is it so hard? Because the experiences of our lives often leave a residue of doubt and fear. The realities of life often rob us of trust and we are hurt by the lack of dependability of the people, circumstances, and events around us. God wants to give us clarity. The reason that Jesus came was to prove that God’s promises were true and trustworthy. God wants to infuse our lives with a life-giving power that would inspire King David to say, “You are my light and my salvation, so why should I be afraid!” (Psalm 27:1, NIV) Clarity leads to confidence and hope!  How do we get there? Our scripture this week is Matthew 6:16-25. Jesus reminds the disciples and his listeners that “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light.” (Matthew 6:22, NIV) Being full of light is certainly better than being lost in the darkness. Jesus’ deepest desire for them and us is to be full of light rather than groping in anxiety and uncertainty. These words help us to find the path to a fullness of hope, peace, and joy that can only be found in the clarity of God’s presence. Our continued and most sincere prayer is that you will be filled with an undeniable and transforming light as you read Matthew 6:16-25. 


Matthew 6:16-25: “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?