Summary: A sermon on communicating vision. This sermon was designed to reinforce the vision of the ministry of Grace at a time when we were contemplating moving to a larger facility.
Introduction: I remember quite vividly the early days of this ministry (Grace Evangelistic Ministries, Qns NY). Some of you who have been with us over the years, no doubt remember how it used to be. I have always maintained, and I guess I always will, that this ministry was birthed as an act of faith. We were in a crisis back then and it took a crisis to springboard us into this ministry. But the small group of people who were instrumental in its start did not have a clearly articulated vision for the future. I myself, as the pastor of a fledgling flock, did not quite know where we were headed. The only thing for certain back then was that God had launched us out into this ministry.
As I look back over those early years I am a bit ashamed to say that the out look I had for this ministry, was quite small. I guess I was a bit afraid of growth and I became comfortable pastoring a small group. I remember making very negative statements about the growth of the church because I did not care for a big congregation but as time passed the Lord changed my small minded mindset. This He achieved through the chastisement of my wife, who never agreed with my small thinking mentality and through a word from Pastor Quamina. I heard him say one day that people who do not see the need for growth in the church are simply saying to all the lost of the world, “you can go to hell for all I care!”
The years passed quickly, the church began to grow and the Lord developed a vision in my heart. I started to see the reason for Grace and with every new family that was touched by the ministry, it became easier and easier to see what God wanted to do amongst us and through us. To day I believe we have a clear picture of the vision of Grace but like any vision it must be communicated to the people. You too must understand this vision and you must buy in to it. You must be able to see how this vision impacts you and your family!
The Prophet Habbakkuk saw the violence around him. He recognized the awful state of the world in which he lived. He prayed about it but he felt that he was not getting an answer. He pleaded with God regarding the burden that he saw but God’s answer was not what he wanted to hear; in fact it was quite the opposite! God told him that the ungodly will rise up and be profitable. The prophet then posed a second set of questions before God; questions which showed the prophets inability to understand the ways of God. He then said that he will set himself on the rampart “and watch to see what He will say to me.” The Lord’s answer came in the form of a command: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” Hab2:2-3
No one likes a complainer; nobody likes a whiner. The problem is we all whine a little bit – some more than others. We look around and we see the state of the world. We see that sin abounds and man seems to be getting mor and more evil as time progresses. So we complain about it.But complaining never solves problems; it takes more than a whiner to effect change.