Our Vision: “to see the NRV filled with the knowledge of the glory of Him”
“Eleven days into our church-wide 21-day fast, on the morning of January 12, 2017 while doing some Bible study and preparation, an unexpected vision was given to me. I saw Tried Stone Christian Center worshiping with abandonment as His glory fell on our church. I knew immediately that this was a sign to our church of what God wants our church to be pursuing, the knowledge of His glory. A phrase was put in my spirit-man “to see the NRV filled with the knowledge of the glory of Him.” – Pastor Eric
This scriptural statement (Habakkuk 2:14) is the basis for how we believe the Lord is using our church. In order to understand what this phrase means we must first understand the significance of the Glory of God. “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, The whole earth is full of His….. (Isaiah 6:3)”
These days, we speak about the glory of God; the glory of God descending in their churches, in worship services, entering His glory, experiencing His glory. But what is His glory? Is the glory the same as His presence? And is the glory, the presence of the Holy Spirit? Do they mean that the Holy Spirit fills their churches tangibly? Do they mean God fills them with His Holy Spirit? What does God’s glory look like?
In the simplest form it looks like Jesus. “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. (John 1:14,16,17)”
In 2 Corinthians 4:6 Paul tells us that it is God Himself “that shone in our hearts to give the Light of the Knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” Christ is the manifestation of the glory of God, as His image. The only true and full manifestation of God’s brightness and glory is “in the face of Jesus” (Hebrews 1:3).
Glory in the Old Testament is the word kabod, the word shekinah appears in the Talmud and other Jewish writings, and means “dwelling” or “settling” and denotes the dwelling or settling of the divine presence of God. When the Old Testament was translated into Greek, the writers used the word δοξα (doxa) for glory; a word which has a much broader meaning and which brought the words kabod and shekinah together.
So in Greek, God’s presence (or dwelling), is synonymous with his glory. And while we often use them interchangeably, His glory seems to denote the tangible presence of God beyond the every day experience. Bob Sorge, author of Glory. When Heaven Invades Earth, defines glory as “the invasion of God’s reality into the human sphere”. Ruth Ward Heflin author of Glory. Experiencing the Atmosphere of Heaven says glory is “the revelation of the presence of God. It is the manifestation of His presence. He is glory. He is everywhere, but glory is the manifestation of that reality … When glory comes down, it’s a bit of Heaven’s atmosphere coming down to us, a taste of His manifest presence.”
Now plug this into our Vision statement: “to see the NRV filled with the knowledge of the revelation of the presence of God.”
In essence, our vision is to help people’s eyes be opened to the very presence of God around them in everyday life, and we believe that this powerful statement is our commissioning.
Core Value: Love
“We believe that love is an action word that manifests itself through devotion, forgiveness, compassion, respect, and obedience to God. By living in love, we fulfill the greatest commandment while growing closer to God and each other. It is the value that undergirds all that we are and all that we do as believers; everything must be grounded in love. We love God first and foremost, others unconditionally, and ourselves soberly.”
In the Greek New Testament, the word for love is agapao (verb) and agape (noun). This is the “Christian love” of the Bible. It means affection, benevolence, good-will, high esteem and concern for the welfare of the one loved. It is deliberate, purposeful love rather than emotional or impulsive love.
Here are a few reasons we believe love is crucial to the church:
- God’s love is important because it proves we are abiding in God (1 John 4:15-16).
- Because love comes from God, loving Him and loving other people are completely interrelated; we cannot have one without the other (1 John 4:7-8).
- The world will know us by our love (John 13:34-35).
Core Value: Sensitivity
“We believe that only through sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s leading will we have a purposeful and eternal impact within our community. Everything we say and do, and every decision we make, will be revealed to us through Him. Sensitivity to the Holy Spirit keeps us honest, humble, holy, dependent, and sincere. We strive to recognize His leading, and to act in accordance with His Word through obedience. Only when our flesh is in submission, will eternal success be achieved.”
We believe that only through sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s leading will we have a purposeful and eternal impact within our community. Why do we care about the eternal? Shouldn’t we be dealing with needs in the here and now?
We would argue that the eternal is what matters most. We are not to ignore temporal needs, but rather prioritize what has the most impact with eternity in mind. This is accomplished only through the leading of God’s Spirit.
Everything we say and do, and every decision we make, will be revealed to us through Him.
Why do we need the Holy Spirit to Lead us? When the army of Israel invaded Jericho, they must have heard God’s voice. The strange battle plan they used wasn’t written in the Law of Moses. And certainly no human being would suggest a seven-day march around a city as the most effective form of invasion! But when God told Joshua His plan and Joshua followed it, there was victory. To walk in victory today, you must do the same. In addition to obeying the written Word, you must be able to hear and obey God’s instructions each day. For example, you may not be facing a military challenge like Joshua was, but you might face something like being offered a job in another city. The written Word of God can give you general direction, but it will not tell you whether to take that specific job or not. You must be able to discern the voice or the promptings of the Holy Spirit. You must be sensitive to His leadings in your heart.
You can be certain that the Spirit will never lead you into doing something that is opposite of God’s written Word. The Spirit and the Word always agree. The Holy Spirit not only is our personal guide, but He only leads us into truth (John 16:12-15). The real question we should be asking is this; Why would we want to do anything without the Holy Spirit’s leading?