Key Scriptures: Matthew 4:1-11, Numbers 12:6, Acts 9:10-11, Revelation, Acts 10, Proverbs 19:21, 1 John 4:1, Proverbs 3:5-6, Proverbs 15:22, Romans 12:2, Matthew 28:16-20, Proverbs 16:3-9, Matthew 6:33, Ephesians 2:10, 1 Peter 5:8, James 4:7, 1 Corinthians 10:31, Philippians 2:2-4, Luke 14:28-32, James 3:16-18, Matthew 16:25-27, Luke 12:16-21
Guiding Question: What is vision and what does it have to do with our lives?
Introductory Activity: Before class, make your own vision board. Try to have at least part of your vision board include a spiritual perspective. Bring white card stock, magazines, markers, scissors, pencils and glue to class. Explain to students that a vision board is a visual representation of things we want to happen or to accomplish in our lives. Allow students to begin creating a vision board, but nothing should be glued or written in pen or mark on their boards. Have them focus on capturing in pencil on their board some images and words they would like to include. After a few minutes, have them stop and teach the lesson.
Lesson: (Questions for students are in bold italics.) Read Matthew 4:1-11. Have you ever wondered about the vision Jesus might have had for his time on earth? What about God’s vision for Jesus’ time on earth? What hints does this story give us about Jesus’ vision for his time on earth? How did Satan twist that vision and make it into a temptation to sin? How was Jesus able to resist temptation and stay focused on the true vision for his time here?
Jesus didn’t let Satan derail him from God’s vision for his ministry. Jesus had molded his vision for his life to match the one God had for it. When Satan tried to twist it and tempt him, Jesus could see the obvious difference in the two versions. Notice Jesus used God’s words to reject Satan’s temptations.
It’s important to understand that in the Bible there are several ways the idea of vision is used. The first refers to a dreamlike state where God communicated with specific people – generally prophets (but not always) – whom He wanted to deliver a specific message. Read the following verses with examples of these kinds of visions.
- Numbers 12:6
- Acts 9:10-12
- Revelation (no need to read the entire book)
- Acts 10
Although the Bible is a bit fuzzy on the matter, there is no indication that anyone today is actually receiving visions from God.
Another type of vision is what we are talking about in this lesson. It can be a daydream of how we want our future to look, but it’s not a real dream. It’s our hopes and plans for the future. Hopefully, like Jesus, we will learn how to match our vision for our life to that God has for our life.
Read the following verses. What does each verse tell us about the types of plans and dreams we should have and how to make sure they are the same vision God has for our lives?
- Proverbs 19:21
- 1 John 4:1
- Proverbs 3:5-6
- Proverbs 15:22
- Romans 12:2
- Matthew 28:16-20
- Proverbs 16:3-9
- Matthew 6:33
- Ephesians 2:10
- 1 Peter 5:8
- James 4:7
- 1 Corinthians 10:31
- Philippians 2:2-4
- Luke 14:28-32
- James 3:16-18
- Matthew 16:25-27
- Luke 12:16-21
So what happens when we make plans in direct opposition to God’s plans for us? Sometimes we know immediately – often because there are immediate negative consequences. At other times it can take years for the negative consequences to happen that show we took a turn away from God a long time ago.
Read Numbers 22. What can we learn from this story about making sure our plans and dreams – our vision – align with God’s vision for our lives?
Skills Activity: Review the main points of the lesson. Have students look at their beginning of a vision board. After the lesson, what would they change about their original concept? What might God add to their vision board if He were helping with the project? Give students time to complete and share their vision boards.
Application Challenge: Review the scriptures from the lesson. Look at your vision board. Choose one thing that would also be on God’s vision board for you. What are some concrete steps you can take right now to make that piece of your shared vision with God happen? Take that step this week.