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Learning to See


(Note: This study is written in "Easy English")

Part One


"If the people cannot see where they are going, they will die." (Proverbs 29:18)

People can see that they are part of a big plan. It is the way that people think; and it is how we are different from animals. When we see a thing, we understand that it has a past and a future, and we often think about that. We try to put it together with a bigger picture of what is happening.

There are times when we do not know what the big plan is. When this happens, we do things without knowing why we are doing them. In a way, we are acting like we are crazy when we do this. (Romans 1:28) People with this problem will, at times, do things like counting pages in a book, or walking around and around the streets without knowing where they are going. Other people with a mind sickness act in an opposite way, where they do not do anything. They become very sad about their lives, because they do not know what they should do. Often they will end up killing themselves. They are like the people in the saying at the start of this study: They cannot see where they are going, and they feel like they want to die. Some of them do kill themselves.

Most people in the world do much the same thing with their lives. (Haggai 1:6) But, because they use their time to make money, the doctors will not say that they are sick.

Some people use their whole lives trying to be good in a sport, and they do not stop to think about why this is important to them, or if it really should be important. They do not stop to ask themselves if this is what life is really about.

Some people use their lives to make their country look good, but they do not look at the bigger plan for the whole world. They forget that adding to their own country often takes away from other countries.

Others work hard to find more people who will join their religion. They finish up fighting with other people who are trying to do the same thing for their religion. These people, too, need to see a bigger plan.

We believe that there is a big plan that will help the whole world, and it will make every part of our lives work together well. Truth can come in many shapes, but all of the shapes will fit together into this one big whole. Sadly, the world today is full of people who cannot see the bigger picture. They are like blind men who argue over the little pieces of truth that they have. (Matthew 15:14)

Five blind men tried to talk about elephants. One touched the tail and said an elephant is like a rope. One touched a leg and said an elephant is like a tree. One touched an ear and said an elephant is like a blanket. One touched the stomach and said an elephant is like a wall. And one touched the nose and said an elephant is like a very big snake. They were all right, but they did not listen to each other to see the whole truth. They were blind to the bigger picture.

If we are honest and humble, we will see that we do not have all of the answers. When we are honest about this, we will learn more than the people who think they know it all, and who do not listen to others because of it.

If you are a leader, ask questions to see if your followers can see the truth that you have been trying to show them. Some followers agree with the group without understanding why the group is doing what it is doing. Many religious groups had a very good reason for starting, but after a short time, people in the group started working for the group and not for the reasons that the group had when it first started.

Jesus talked about an invisible group (or kingdom) that no one can see. (Luke 17:20-21) He said that this was the plan that he was trying to teach us to finish. Today people fight and kill, and they say that they are working for this invisible kingdom. But an honest person can see that they are only working for their religion. The invisible group that Jesus was talking about was not a religion. (John 4:21-24; Romans 14:17-20) If you really want to know the truth, you will not be happy with a little piece of truth from one group. You will want to see more and more of the pieces, and you will want to put them together to help you see the plan for the whole world, and for all of life. (Philippians 3:12-14)

What is your reason for living? Are there some questions that you do not have answers for? Will you listen if someone has answers for your questions?

When you can see that you do not have all of the answers, it is the first step in finding the answers. If you want to see better, the first step is to know that you do not see as well as you would like to see. (John 9:41)

It is good to talk to other people about the questions that you do not have answers for. (James 5:16) You may want to talk to us. We will try to help without saying that we have all the answers.

Part Two


We use the word "vision" for the ability to see. And we use it for a person's plan for the future and their understanding of the present. What you do today should be a part of a bigger plan for your life. In this part of the study, we will tell about what we believe is the biggest picture. This picture will give us the answer to why we are living on this planet. Our little plans can change from day to day, but if they all go toward this one big plan, our lives will be full and interesting.

Our vision starts with a Maker. We do not know how the Maker himself started. Our picture is not that big! But we do know that all of us and the world we live in were made. (Hebrews 11:1-3) The Maker must be smarter than the things that he has made. We believe that he made the world and he made us because he wanted to show his love.

You do not need to have a religion to see this. It is something that people see because it is the way that we think. It is what makes us different from animals. (See Part One.) We see things around us, and we know that they were made by some person or some thing. (Romans 1:20) We see that love starts with God the Maker (and not with the things he made), and that he wants us to learn how to give love and to receive love. (1 John 4:16)

But something is wrong. (We do not understand everything about how and why this happened, but we will say what we do know about it.) It is difficult for us to remember and think about the invisible (spiritual) world and the invisible God that Jesus talked about, because we cannot see God or his world. But we can see the things that he has made. Because of this, people have started to love the things God has made in the way that they should be loving God himself. (Romans 1:21-25) Many people have started to say that the world itself is their god.

People fight to get more and more of the things that God and other people have made, but this, too, does not make them happy. (James 4:1-3)

Many people love the things that they have made, in the way that they should love God. The things we make are called idols. (Acts 7:41) God does not want us to love idols in the way that we should love Him. (Exodus 20:4-6)

There was a time when a country named Babylon controlled much of the world. In this country, there were many idols. But one thing this country is most remembered for today is that they started making little idols out of gold and other expensive metals, and they called the idols "money". (They did not call the money "idols" at that time, but because people quickly learned to love the money the way that they should love God, it was not long before money had become an idol. See Colossians 3:5) The king and other people who controlled the country agreed to give some of the little gold and silver and copper idols (money) to people if they would work hard for the country.

Over the years, people have learned to work harder and harder for money. They fight and kill to get more of it. (James 4:1-3) People have started to think that they cannot live without money. The leaders know that this is not true. They know that the money itself cannot feed them or protect them or keep them warm when the weather is cold; but they do not teach this. They want the people to believe that money can do all the things that God, their Maker, really does for them.

In their hearts, the people know that they are not doing what God wants them to do. They feel guilty, but they do not want to give away their idols and start working for God.

Religious leaders teach about many different things, but they will not tell people to leave their idols and to live by faith in God. They tell the people that if they will obey the rules of their religions, it will make them happy. But the rules that the religions make do not stop the people from loving and working for money in the way that they should be loving and working for God. Because of this, the rules do not make them happy. (Romans 7:10)

We believe that God, the Maker of all things, used his Son, Jesus Christ, to tell us in the strongest possible way that the only way to be happy is to leave all of our idols (Luke 14:33, Matthew 5:3) and to use our time to help and love others. (John 13:35) If we do this, the Maker of the world and all that is in it, will give us all that we need. (Matthew 6:33, Philippians 4:19) We are doing this, and we are more confident after having tried it, that what Jesus said is true, and that it is what our Maker wants us to do. (John 7:17) Our job now is to tell other people about this. (Mark 16:15, Matthew 28:20)

On the whole, the world is blind. It is difficult to get other people to see what we are trying to get them to see, because they cannot see God. (Romans 8:7) But, by believing in Jesus, we will be able to see God, and to help other people to see God. When people see us obeying Jesus, they will be able to see God's love in the loving things that we do. (Matthew 5:16) The greatest love is when we give our lives for others. (John 15:13) If we give our lives for God, some people will start to believe in God again. (I John 3:16) It is not easy to teach other people about love in this way, but God is helping us, and when we work with him in doing this, we know that we are doing the best thing that anyone can do with their lives. (Matthew 7:13-14)

One day Jesus will return to help us teach the world about love. (Acts 1:11) We will be the leaders of the whole world after he returns. (1 Corinthians 6:2) But, before Jesus returns, he says that we will be hated and killed by the idol-lovers. (Matthew 24:9-14) For now, we are giving our lives to God and to others by giving them our time. But in the future, we will be doing it by dying for what we believe.

All of this is our "vision". It teaches us to understand many other things about life and about the world around us. We understand that God and love and the things that we do not see with our physical eyes are much more real than the things we can see with our physical eyes. (2 Corinthians 5:7, 1 Corinthians 2:9) And we are finding true happiness by living our lives for the things that most other people cannot see.

(See also Eternity.)

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