INTRODUCTION TO CLARITY

We want to see Jesus clearly. As followers of Jesus, we want Him to be the central focus of our lives and our heartfelt, humble praise. In Psalm 27:4, David expressed a longing to experience unbroken, authentic fellowship with the Lord. Through Jesus we are able to experience that intimacy and see Him active in our lives, families, churches, communities, and world. The writer of Hebrews challenges us to fix “our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12:2). With this singular sense of focus, we will see Jesus with ever-increasing clarity.

As we seek to experience that depth of relationship with God, we each need to spend consistent, intentional time with Him. We need to daily learn who Jesus is, what He has done, and how we are to live in light of what He has done for us. With a proper view of the cross and our sin, the appropriate response should be one of true worship. Our response to Jesus should be passionate and truly transform our lives. Seeing Jesus clearly should never lead to indifference and should fill our lives with purpose, hope, and excitement! As we seek to know Jesus more, we experience more of His power and beauty, and it just makes us want more of Him. How would your life look different if you engaged with Jesus every day?

As each of us commit to personally seek a clearer vision of Jesus, we want to experience the joy found in seeking Him together. The writer of Hebrews encourages us to “consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another…” (Hebrews 10:24-25a). How would the church look different if everyone was on the same journey, with the same mission, reading the same Scriptures, and talking about Jesus together? How different would families look if they had a clear and unified vision of God? How different would our community and the world look if we all truly committed to living our lives together for the sake of the gospel?

This is the vision we hope to accomplish this year. That we would commit to seeking Christ individually and collectively, having a unified vision of knowing and expressing the person of Jesus to Northwest Arkansas and the world.

As we begin this journey and enter a new decade together, may the words of this powerful hymn help inspire us to see Jesus with greater clarity.

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Not be all else to me, save that Thou art–
Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.
Be Thou my Wisdom and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son,
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.
Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine inheritance, now and always;
Thou and Thou only, be first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.
High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

—“Be Thou My Vision,”
translated by Eleanor Hull

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