This past Sunday, Epiphany Sunday, Rev. Stephenson challenged the church to dream for Jesus.

Read: Matthew 2:1-15

In his message, Rev. Stephenson noted three kinds of participants in the passage:

The Dream Giver — God
The Dream Followers — the wise men and Joseph
The Dream Destroyer — King Herod
God still gives dreams, and there are still those who will follow and those whose only desire is to destroy the dreams and the dreamers.
Jesus came with a purpose, to die for sin, rescue those who believe, and call those Believers to share in His death and resurrection saying: Follow Me.

We look at the life of Jesus, his feet walking the one-way dusty road to death. He had to die before anything was resurrected. Mourning precedes the morning; death comes before the dream. We long for the fullness of life, the freedom, the glory, and the joy. But are we willing to embrace the death that must come first?

—Emily P. Freeman, A Million Little Ways

…death comes before the dream… 
Jesus-dreams begin with death. Each one of us must choose whether to die to self, do away with our wants, and follow the Giver of Dreams or choose self-indulgence and a seemingly safe life. Examining our wants may be the first step in determining whether we are willing to die or not.
Rev. Stephenson shared the thoughts of another regarding wants that led to an important question:
Do you want what your wants lead to?

The pastor’s example took us to lunch after worship, and the wanting of pie for dessert. Then he asked, “Do you want what your want leads to?” as he patted his belly behind the lectern.
Our fleshly desires may be in opposition to the dreams He desires to give. To the desires the Spirit has placed in our hearts.
What do you really want?

As we enter the new year, remember the Babe in the manger — God incarnate, emptied of glory, power, majesty — remember why He came — to die for others that they might have life.
Maybe it’s time for us to make room for Jesus-dreams by considering first… what needs to die…
“…For whoever would save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. …” — Jesus
Matthew 17:25 ESV
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