Summary: This sermon reminds us that the survival and growth of the church is predicated upon the knowledge of its God-given vision.
Introduction: No organization will survive without vision. Apart from vision, individuals will perish. Without vision our children will perish. Without vision, communities will perish. Without vision, churches will perish. Without vision, societies will perish. Without vision, lost souls will perish. Without vision, the sick and the elderly will perish. Without vision, the incarcerated will perish. Without vision, we as a people will surely perish. The word perish as used in the text, infers that apart from vision, the people will run wild. It means, a lack of restraint. Our world has gone wild, it is a reflection of a people who are without vision. Someone has said, that vision is foresight with insight based on hindsight. George Barnus said : "vision for ministry is a reflection of what God wants to accomplish through you to build His Kingdom." (not your kingdom) Vision is the God-given ability to see possible solutions to everyday problems of life. John Maxwell defines vision in a three-fold manner; "The ability to see---awareness. The ability to believe---attitude. The ability to do---action." Vision is the ability to see beyond the surface of human potential. It is not what we are but what we desire to become. Vision is a mental picture of a desired future. It is a picture that can be seen of what is not yet, but of what can be. Our present belief ia a reflective of our vision. Where we are in life is directly connected to our vision or the lack thereof. There is a Japanese proverb that says; "Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare." Vision will turn lukewarm, lazy, sleeping church members into red-hot, living soldiers in the grand cause of changing a generation. Vision gives us stability, guidance, joy and excitement. The God-given vision will bring glory to God and fit us into His eternal purpose. A true vision from God is not self-seeking, but praises God and brings glory to Jesus Christ.
I. We Need Vison to Lead Us into Divine Purpose.
We need the God-kind of vision that will enable us to find our self-worth in helping to build the kingdom of God.
A. Pray for vision.
B. Pursue the vision.
C. Ponder our vision.
II. We Need Vision to Empower Our Inward Man. We need the word of God to enliven our vision. True vision is a result of the logos and the rhema word. The logos is the revealed word of God. The rhema is the spoken word of God. The rhema word is the Holy Spirit quickening the logos and transfering it into our hearts. The life-line of vision is God’s word. The church must not simply start at 11:30 sharp and end at 13:00 p.m. dull.
A. Search the scriptures.
B. Sift the scriptures.
C. Share the scriptures.
Our work is to take this vision of Jesus and reproduce it in others, sharing the good news of deliverance.
III. We Need Vision to Keep Us Connected to Each Other.
Vision will place the church on one accord. It gives us the corporate dynamics that was present in the early church. Both: vision and mission are two important components of the church. Mission is the general rule for all churches. Mission includes outreach, fellowship , worship, discipleship and service. But vision is specific to the uniqueness of a specific church. When ever the body of Christ can get on the same page with the Holy Spirit, the church will experience the unlimited power of God.
IV. We Need Vision as a Trampoline for Change. Vision will catapult us beyond the blockades of life.
A. Evaluate our present condition.
B. Enforce the need for change.
C. Energize our efforts.
V. We Need to Know What Our Vision Encompasses. We must have vision to share the gospel. We must have a vision to grow in the grace of God. We must have a vision of a people with a greater respect for God’s church-house. We must a vision of equipping our children to impact youth violence. We must have a vision to change our communities. We must a vision to reach our children with the power of the gospel. We must a vision to build a battle-field to fight off drug problems. We must have a vision to educate our children in a positive way. We must a vision to pray for our brothers and sisters. We must have a vision worship God with our whole person. We must a vision of a greater Bethlehem. We must have a vision of God’s liberating power alive in our church.
VI. We Must Be Mindful of Vision Killers.
VII. We Must Give ourselves Totally to the Fulfilling of Our Vision.