Pastor Rich Knight
Central Congregational Church
May 19, 2019
Acts 2:17
Luke 10:27 

Acts 2:17‘In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.

Luke 10:27He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”


I want to talk to you this morning about using our minds to love God; specifically, using our imaginations. “Love the Lord your God with all your mind.” And one of the great abilities of our minds is the power to imagine. So, Love the Lord your God with your . . . . imagination.

When children say they’re bored, they say:

“There’s nothing to do. I can’t think of anything to do! I’m bored!!!!!”

– We then say, “Use your imagination.”

– When they say, “I’m stuck. I can’t do it.”       We say, “Use your imagination.”

– They say, “There’s no way to do. It’s impossible.”

Again we reply, “Use your imagination!”

We seem to know that children need to use their imaginations. But we forget what a benefit & blessing they can be for us as well. When we get stuck in life it’s our imaginations that get us unstuck.

When we’re stuck we say, “I just can’t imagine what I’m going to do.”

“Do you see any possible solutions?”

“No. I can’t see a solution. I can’t envision what I’ll do.”

Or we say, “I’ve got an idea. I think I SEE a way out of this.  Imagine this!”

Imagining it, seeing it in your mind is the first step to making it a reality.

When an architect is going to design a building, the architect first sees it in his or her mind, and then they begin the process of putting it down on paper. They see it first.

When a diver is getting ready for a dive, the diver visualizes the dive first, and then jumps.

When an ice skater is getting ready for a jump, the skater sees the jump in their mind, and then leaps into the vision.

You see it first. You image it first in your imagination.

Monica Seles was the finest tennis player of her day. Then in 1993 she was in between games while playing a match, and a man came up behind her and stabbed her. She took over two years off. During that time she just could not see herself playing again. The court was no longer safe. She couldn’t see it. Eventually she came back but she never returned to her true form.

Nancy Kerrigan was a champion figure skater. In 1994 she too was attacked in her place of expertise – at an ice rink. At first she cried, “Why? Why?” But she could still picture herself on the ice. She didn’t lose that picture in her mind of Nancy Kerrigan doing what she did best. And she won the silver medal in the Olympics that year. It’s all a matter of what you see, what you can imagine.

Goethe, the German poet once said, “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.”

Maybe Walt Disney said it best . . .

Years ago, I was with a group of people when a woman who had lost her husband about 3 months before said, “I went out to lunch last week with my girlfriends and I actually had a wonderful time. For about an hour I didn’t think about my loss.

I felt lighter, more alive. It didn’t last. I feel miserable now. But boy it sure felt nice to feel like myself for an hour.”

I’ve learned that experiences like that early in the journey of grief are important for a person to get a picture in their mind of what their recovery might look like. They can see it and it gives them hope.


Acts 2: speaks to the power of vision – “In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh . . . . and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.”

Dreams. Visions. Where do they come from? – your mind, your imagination.

Our imaginations can help us in life. They can help us in our faith.


For instance, we can use our imaginations when we pray.

Ex.  Praying for someone with cancer – picture the good cells defeating the bad ones, or the radiation or chemo blasting the bad cells to smithereens.

Ex.  Conflict with someone. Picture in your mind a conversation going smoothly, picture harmony, or picture what forgiveness might look like. Than ask God to make that picture a reality. The point is picture it while you’re praying about it.

Ex. Feeling great stress in your life, spend some time meditating and picturing yourself calm and relaxed. Picture yourself relaxed at work, relaxed at home, relaxed at church.

Ask God to make that picture a reality. (brain studies have shown that the brain patterns that occur when you imagine yourself at a peaceful location are the same as actually being there!)

Another way we can use our holy imaginations is when we read the Bible.

We can use our imaginations to picture the stories in the Bible.

Can you picture Jesus calling the first disciples?  “Come, follow me.”

Can you picture the look on his face?

Can you picture the look on their face when they stood up and nodded, “Yes, Lord, we will follow.”

Can you picture Jesus saying, “Let he without sin casts the first stone.”

Can you see him stoop down and say to the woman, “Does no one condemn you?

“Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.”

Can you picture Lazarus coming out of the tomb?

Can you picture Jesus coming out of the tomb?


One other way to use our imaginations when studying the Bible is to allow our imaginations to place us in the story.

So you’re one of those disciples that Jesus speaks to on the beach – “Come, follow me.”

What were they feeling? What emotions flooded their hearts?

Or, you’re there when a multitude is fed on a hillside with just a couple of loaves and fish.

Or you’re Nicodemus and Jesus says, “I’m coming to your house for dinner tonight.”


I’d like to close by doing two things.


  1. A Guided meditation, putting some of these principles to work.

Please sit up straight. Deep breaths.

Picture yourself walking thru the woods on a narrow but a fine trail.

Tall, tall trees are above you. Green ferns are on both sides of the trail.

You come to a clearing. It’s beautiful, wild flowers everywhere. Warm glow about it.

The whole area has a special feel to it, and you soon see why. Jesus is there. He is seated on a log in the clearing. About a dozen children are with him. Some are seated on the log with him. Others are on the ground listening to him.

One child is seated on his lap and Jesus is hugging this child, and the child is hugging Jesus. It’s an amazingly tender sight.

And suddenly the child leans back and turns around, and it’s you.

You are the child in the arms of Christ.

You are a child of God, deeply loved, closely held and cherished, bathed in the sunlight of God’s love.


  1. Song – I’d like you to listen to one of my favorite songs, “I Can Only Imagine.”

I think it’s a wonderful example of someone using their imagination to picture an incredible moment – their first moments in heaven.

I Can Only Imagine

Written by Bart Millard; recorded by MercyMe

I can only imagine what it will be like, when I walk, by your side
I can only imagine what my eyes will see, when your face is before me
I can only imagine. I can only imagine

Surrounded by your glory, what will my heart feel
Will I dance for you Jesus or in awe of you be still
Will I stand in your presence or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine. I can only imagine

I can only imagine when that day comes, and I find myself standing in the Son
I can only imagine when all I would do is forever, forever worship you
I can only imagine. I can only imagine

Surrounded by your glory what will my heart feel
Will I dance for you, Jesus or in awe of you be still
Will I stand in your presence or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine. I can only imagine

(This song is the most-played song in the history of Christian radio and the best-selling Christian song of all-time. It was also frequently played on secular radio, reaching #5 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary Chart in 2003. The story behind the song was made into a movie by the same title in 2018.)

You’ll find a recording of the song at:


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