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Summary: Yet God given direction for a ministry is not enough. It must be accepted & followed by the people & a plan must be put together to get them toward this God given end. Until the local church commits themselves under God to heed His vision, plan how to ac

PROVERBS 29:18

A VISION FOR LIFE

[Acts 2:38-47 / James 1:21-26]

"Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, but happy is he who keeps the law."

Reactionary directionlessness is a plague that infects individuals and churches alike. They have no accepted, unifying, common purpose. Thus most people and churches are in a maintenance mode that, like crippled ships at sea, are headed nowhere.

Other lives and churches are hindered by going everywhere or anywhere. They are pulled in all different directions. Everyone does their own thing. They are like tides and winds that push and pull that crippled ship at sea, constantly changing is course and moving it in different directions.

Other people and churches are moving but they are moving in the wrong direction. They specialize in some area that fits under the Great Commission but is not the Great Commission. They may be moving but they are only steaming around in reaction to current events or circumstances.

It is imperative that individuals and churches have a vision for where God is wanting to lead them. Yet God given direction for a ministry is not enough. It must be accepted and followed by the people and a plan must be put together to get them toward this God given end. Until the local church commits themselves under God to heed His vision, plan how to accomplish it, and join together to pursue it; they will lack the empowering God gives to His on mission people.

I. THE COMMON VISION.

II. THE COMMON GOAL.

III. THE COMMON PURSUIT.

Verse 18 teaches the need for a ministry based on the revelation of God. "Where there is no vision..."

The mission of every Christian individual and every Christian church is spelled out in the Bible. It is the grand purpose for which Christians and the church exist. Though it is not the intent of this text or message to give a full definition or understanding of it let me give you the basic thought. As a disciple of Christ your life mission is to know, love and serve God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength (Deut. 6:5; Mt. 22:37-39). The mission of the church is to enable as many people as possible to know, love, and serve God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. FBC Bluegrass has defined our Church Purpose by the statement: "Our church exists to glorify God by developing devoted followers of Christ who truly love God, love each other and love people who are lost. [FBC Spring City - "We are surrendered to making fully functioning followers of Christ who share His love with our community and world."]

The Hebrew word for vision (h zôn) used in the Old Testament designates the vision of a prophet. The familiar "where there is no vision" (KJV) may be misleading. The word "vision" is the revelation (h zôn) a prophet receives. [Walvoord, John & Zuck, Roy. The Bible Knowledge Commentary. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1983, S. 968]

The vision therefore first must come out of the written revelation of God. God may have a vision for how to fulfill His revelation, but it must be based on His Word.

A vision for a local church is much more focused and detailed than the revealed mission of the church. The mission of the church is general; the vision is more specific and personalized way God would have a local body fulfill the Church's mission. God will impart the vision to us based on our gifts, abilities, experiences, opportunities, desires, attributes, etc. God customizes the vision to fit who and where we are (Ps. 138:8). God's vision to us will be strategic, inspiring, exciting, and challenging (Ex. 3:11).

The vision that comes out of the mission statement of a local church will [therefore] most likely be communicated by God to the leader in the proclamation ministry. The proclamation's pastor who is abiding fully in God's will must seek what God is saying to Him through His Word and grasp what vision God is seeking to inspire and challenge the church with. This personalized vision once developed with key church leadership must be communicated to the church. The church under God has the responsibility to take up the vision and follow God's leader and leadership to accomplish God's vision for that local church.

When COMPANIES STAGNATE and decline they can point to any number of excuses: recession, interest rates, foreign competition, or unfavorable legislation. But ultimately, the problem can be traced back to one simple symptom –lack of vision or lack of commitment to it.

A business needs vision for its place in the market. That's the ability to see demand for future products and services. Without vision, a business losses focus.

Before FRED SMITH envisioned a nationwide overnight small package delivery system, people relied primarily on first-class mail. The company he founded, Federal Express, is the product of his vision. Now there are many overnight delivery services, but Federal Express remains a leader.

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