Summary: From time to time pastors, individual believers and entire churches go through various trials, or sometimes just seasons of boredom and it steals their vision and they have to get it back.
TITLE: VISION FOR THE CAUSE
(I started with Timothy Peck's sermon "Renewing Our Vision" and drove a sermon under it. a few of his elements remain--mostly his points.)
TEXT: 2 Timothy 1:1-10 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, in keeping with the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus, 2 To Timothy, my dear son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 3 I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. 4 Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 8 So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. 9 He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
I. VISION...OR THE LACK OF IT
ILL. A little league coach reminisced about his childhood years playing baseball in little league. He remembered back how during his first year, his coach had called together the entire baseball team for a picnic, and he asked the team, "Who here wants to eventually play major league baseball." Every single hand went up, as every child there dreamed about playing in a major league stadium and hitting the game winning hit. That boy grew up to become a little league coach himself, and the week before opening day his first year of coaching he did the same thing. He had a team picnic, and he asked the team, "Who here wants to grow up and play in the major leagues?" Not one hand went up on a team of twelve kids. He said he could see in their eyes that not one kid on his team believed that he had what it took to become a major league baseball player.
A. Consider the contrast between people who have vision and people who lack vision.
1. Vision is that elusive thing that dares to dream big dreams about the future.
--Vision has been called hope with a blueprint.
--Vision is what an inventor has when he or she thinks outside the box to create something new.
--Vision is what a mother has as she looks at her newborn baby and imagines all that child could grow up to become.
--Vision has a way of ignoring its critics and chasing its dream. It seems deaf to those who say it can’t be done.
ILL. Consider some of these famousless visionless-aries which made incredibly powerful, defining statements which catapulted them high, high into the dim blurry lights of obscurity. Why almost everyone in the world has never heard their names:
-- Thomas Watson, the chairman of IBM in 1943 said, "I think there is a market for maybe five computers in the world."
--Ken Olson, president and founder of Digital Equipment Corporation said in 1977, "There is no reason why anyone would want a computer in their home."
--Consider this Western Union memo from 1876: "The Telephone is has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication."
--Or consider the words of Decca Recording company, when why they turned down signing the Beatles in 1962: "We don’t like their sound and guitar music is on the way out."
--Charles Duell, commissioner of the U.S. Office of Patents said in 1899, "Everything that can be invented has been invented."
2. Fortunately, those with vision are able to march on, even when negativity is being shouted from the rafters
A. Even great vision fades. The flame begins to dim, its passion begins to cool, and its heat begins to dissipate.
1. That’s what was happening to young Timothy, the Apostle Paul’s young protégé.
2. You see, the apostle Paul had sent Timothy to try to salvage a mess in the church in Ephesus. Yet when Timothy got there, he found himself in way over his head.