Summary: This Sermon was preached on graduation Sunday and challenges us all to have a vision in our lives in order to succeed in God.
The Power Of Vision
2 Chronicle 34: 1-8 Luke 2:41-52
One of the most powerful things you can have in your life is a vision of what could be. Why does a young girl swim lap after lap in a swimming pool? She has a vision of winning a state title. Why does a young man run endless sprints? He has a vision of being an all American on the team. Why does a student do all that and then some on each homework assignment or special project. He or she has a vision to be in the top ten of the class. Why is that young worker getting their early and staying late. A vision of getting the next position. Visions will cause us to endure things, that we might otherwise just quit and give up on.
Those of you who recently graduated have accomplished something that many of your fellow students did not. Many of them fell by the wayside because the vision they had for their lives, was not strong enough to keep them from making some poor choices. One of the amazing things about God, is that God is willing to deal with us as individuals. God’s not interested in excuses for why we can not succeed, but rather in our desire to want to make it.
Jesus came upon a man one day who had been paralyzed for 38 years allegedly waiting for a miracle to happen in his life. Jesus asked him the question, “Yo brother, do you want to be healed.” The man, said, “you know these other people are holding me down and keeping me back and before I can get mine, somebody else has already taken it. What’s a brother to do in times like these.” The guy lacked vision for his life. Jesus went ahead and healed him anyways. No sooner than the guy was healed, he turned back to a life of sin, and tried to get Jesus arrested for Jesus telling him, he needed to change his lifestyle.
Your vision can be stronger than the family or the background you came out of. Society will tell you, because you didn’t have good role models you can’t make it. In our reading today, we met one of my favorite kings. King Josiah had a grandfather who was a terrible role model. His grandfather was King Manassah. Manassah was 12 when he became king and reigned 55 years. He was known for doing much evil in the eyes of the Lord. He was more of murderous thug than a king in that he slaughtered so many innocent people, that he filled the streets of Jerusalem with blood.
King Josiah’s father King Amnon followed in his father’s footsteps. He became king at age 22 and was such a rotten king, he only lasted two years. He was murdered in his own home by his home boys who were ruling with him.
That meant Josiah became king at eight years of age. The main difference between him, his father, and his grandfather, was that Josiah had a positive vision for his life. He didn’t look to his father or his grandfather as his example to follow. He wanted to be like the king who had followed the Lord with his whole heart. The bible says of Josiah, “he did what was right in the eyes of the of the Lord and walking in the all the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right of to the left. He had a vision for a better kingdom and a better life and it paid off for him and his people. He was the last good king of Israel in the Old Testament.
I want you to notice his vision started early. At age 8 he had become king. At age 16, he began to diligently seek the Lord. At age 20 he started clearing out the false idols and religions that had crept into the land. At age 26 he began a New Life Center project at the temple to restore it to its former glory. He recognized that he was in the place he was in, not just to uplift himself, but to make a difference for God in the lives of others. If you keep your vision intact between 8 and 26, you will have a much easier time in life later on.
Your graduation is about something greater than you. It’s about a plan that God has to bring about justice and righteousness in this world. Your diploma and your degree is part of the process of equipping you for the ministry of Jesus Christ to make a difference in the lives of others.
So often when we talk about being a disciple of Jesus Christ, we get this fuzzy religious image of people being holy and sitting in a bible study class. But my friends sitting in a bible study class, without living a lifestyle makes discipleship meaningless. I can recall a time as a college athlete when I blew it as a disciple of Jesus Christ.