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Have ‘intentional, deliberate, focused, hard pursuit of the most supreme vision of all’comment (0)

November 21, 2013

By Julie Payne

Have ‘intentional, deliberate, focused, hard pursuit of the most supreme vision of all’

"What would it be like if everyone made Jesus Christ their supreme being? … People would say ‘surely God is among you.’ … They would notice a life change in us,” said Cecil Sanders, pastor of First Baptist Church, Headland.

Delivering the first of two convention theme interpretations during the Alabama Baptist State Convention annual meeting Nov. 12–13, Sanders focused on vision as a “life changer.”

“What goes into our eyes determines the course of our lives,” Sanders explained, reading Matthew 6:22–23. “Upon what are we gazing?” 

“Some of you this morning are wounded from enemy fire. And you’re weary. And you’re tired,” he said. “Where is your vision today?”

The “most supreme vision … we could possibly have” isn’t adding a new service or the vision of a new campus, he said. The most treasured vision is what Paul mentioned in 2 Corinthians 4: “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.”

“That’s our vision, that’s our gaze … the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ,” Sanders said.

Examples from Scripture illustrating the significance of vision included Moses absorbing the assignment he was given, Joshua looking at the mighty walls of Jericho, and Peter, James and John on the Mount of Transfiguration, Sanders said.

“The walls (of Jericho) came tumbling down, and it started with a vision of the glory of God in the face of Christ. … [Peter, James and John] see Jesus in a way they’ve never seen Him before. 

“Later as Peter writes to us he says, ‘Look, we didn’t follow cleverly devised tales … we are eyewitnesses of His majesty,’” Sanders added. 

Peter and the apostles became life changers, he said. “They had seen the glory of God in the face of Christ.”

Jesus must be “our supreme gaze,” Sanders said. “Could you imagine what it would look like for a pastor to have as his supreme vision … the Lord Jesus Christ? When he comes (into church) on Sunday morning and stands before the people of God” he would be aglow with the radiance of his Savior Jesus and he would bring heaven and glory to the worship of God’s people.

But this can only happen “if we ourselves are being changed and our eyes are fixed on Christ,” Sanders noted.

Being a life changer requires intentional, deliberate, focused, hard pursuit of the most supreme vision of all — the face of Jesus, he said.

If a person desires to have increased influence, increased impact and increased life change through his or her life, then one “must intentionally go deeper with God,” Sanders noted. 

And in order to go deeper with God, Sanders suggested discipleship leader Richard Blackaby’s concept of “spiritual math.” First subtract something from life — like a habit, time waster or a sin — that will enable a deeper relationship with God if removed. Then add something to life that also will enable a deeper relationship with Him. By following this formula, “you will have more fruit from your branches and you’ll be a life changer,” Sanders said.

“Where should we look? To the enemy or to the greatest vision of all — the glory of God in the face of Christ.”

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