Summary: Part 3 God has called us all to have a dream that is larger than us. www.craneeater.com for the video for this sermon.
Living the Dream Text: II Corinthian 12:1-5
Let me qualify my dream, it isn’t a horse, piano, or a plane. The only dream I have is to see this body grow, salvations occur and build the first phase and maybe the second phase of Crane Eater Community Church!
Let me ask you some questions, if you could do anything under the sun what would you do; what is your dream? Are you working at a job you love? If you could do anything for a living what would you do?
Rick Godwin wrote this in his book “Live Full Die Empty.” He writes, “Contrary to popular belief, the wealthiest places on planet earth are not the oil fields in the Middle East or the gold and diamond mines of South Africa. The wealthiest places on planet earth are cemeteries. Buried in cemeteries are books that will never be written, dreams that will never be fulfilled, and ideas that will never be spoken. Everyday people take to their graves their dreams and their passions!”
The first step in the right direction is to place God first. God’s word say’s, Matthew 6:33 Seek first God’s kingdom and all these things shall be added unto you! Philippians 4:19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Christ won’t play second fiddle!)
Let’s look at today’s text, II Corinthians 12:1-4 It is doubtless not profitable for me to boast. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord: 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I know such a man—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— 4 how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
I would say that the Apostle Paul is living his dream! Can you imagine getting to see into the heavenlies while your alive! When Paul arrived back from his Spiritual journey he was so taken back by the whole adventure that he couldn’t even talk about it. In verse 4 Paul uses the word ‘Paradise,’ in Greek it has various meanings, but the three times it’s used in the New Testament it refers to heaven!
There’s considered to be three heavens, first, the atmosphere of the birds and clouds. Second, the sky and starry heavens visible from earth. Third, the highest heaven where God dwells!
Therefore, this is where the Apostle Paul visited. But remember, according to verse 4 it’s not what Paul saw that took him back, but it was what the Apostle heard! This experience probably helped Paul to endure suffering for the cause of Christ!
Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
We sure won’t try to even speculate what Paul heard, but it sure made a big impression on him!
When you begin living your dream for God, it will change your life and other’s!
It safe to say that Paul’s dream didn’t come without a high price. Some say, “He was caught away after he was stoned and left for dead, in Derbe these Jews dragged him out of the city. Some disciples gathered around him and prayed and paul came back to life!” Other’s say, “Paul’s catching away was part of the throne in his flesh!”
Your dream will cost you, but remember, “ Just as the children of Israel grew when they were mistreated in Egypt, you will grow too!”
Others in the Bible have similar experiences; God came down and met Moses on Sinai. Peter, James and John saw Christ glorified on the Mount of Transfiguration. John saw visions of the heavenly throne. Moses and Elijah came down from heaven to meet Christ!
Paul is living his dream. His testimony is so sure, confident and convincing that the Lord of Glory impressed Paul to give it on many occasions. [Every time he gives his testimony it cut men to their heart]!
His testimony brought repentance and salvation, fruit, and Spiritual gifts unto thousands, and now millions because his dream lives on!
When you have a God dream, your dream will outlive you, because it will bring fruit in many other lives!
I Cor.13:12-13 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.