I read a book back in college entitled, Give Up Your Small Ambitions. That was more than thirty-five years ago. While I have forgotten the contents of the book, the title stuck. Those words challenging me to regularly assess my ambitions.
Today, I am hearing a similar refrain. I am wondering if God isn't saying, "Give up your small vision."
When I posted yesterday's blog, "What Is Your Mission?" a friend and regular reader wrote:
The vision of the Kingdom. This was the single topic Jesus talked about more than any other. I think casting the vision is one of the most important characteristics of the leader; most business books agree. The Kingdom vision I think comes primarily from the father, hopefully shared by the mother and understood by the children.... Once the vision is internalized by all, everyone can pursue their calling, but still live in unity of purpose because they are truly living for the King.
So well said! This morning I am going to Grandparents Day Chapel both as the pastor who is opening in prayer, but more importantly as the grandparent of Asher. I have many things to share with Asher as he grows, but as my friend reminds me -- nothing more important than Jesus' bigger Kingdom vision.
With those words echoing in my mind, I want to share a few words of what Jesus says about the kingdom:
- Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God,and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:14-15
- And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell. Mark 9:47
- And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them.But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them. Mark 10:13-16
- "And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” Mark 10:43
- "Truly, I say to you, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” Mark 14:25
- "Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." Matthew 11:7
- “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls,who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it." Matthew 13:44-45
The kingdom of God is the rule and reign of God in our lives and in our world. It is both now and in the future. It is the pearl of great price. My friend is right. There are many visions that capture us, but none are so grand, so all-encompassing, so life-altering as Jesus' Kingdom vision.
Lord, make your vision mine. May it so capture me that it becomes the vision that captures my children and grand children.