Summary: So many churches have so many 'irons' in the fire that they simply forget or begin to ignore the 'reason' they are even here... to make disciples! Our vision for 2012 must be focused on the ONE thing God has commissioned us as believers to do... make disc
Date Written: January 3, 2012
Date Preached: January 1, 2012
Where Preached: OPBC (AM)
Sermon Series: New Year’s Day Sermon
Sermon Title: What’s Our Vision?
Sermon Text: Proverbs 29:18 [ESV]
“…18 Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint,[a]
but blessed is he who keeps the law…”
Where there is no VISION the people perish! We must have a focus, a purpose and a drive for our fellowship to flourish within the kingdom of God. We are not here to merely EXIST!
I don’t believe there would be anyone sitting in this room today that would disagree with the premise that for our church to flourish in God’s Kingdom we must be focused on the vision God has for our church…focused on the vision God has for our fellowship!
So the key question is this… What is our vision? Well the vision for Oak Park Baptist church is NOT any different than the vision of ANY other fellowship of believers, and that is to serve God as He has called us to serve Him! Our vision, focus and drive must be FIRST and foremost our OBEDIENCE to His calling!
Ok preacher… I will accept that… but just what is God’s calling on our church? What has God called us to do for His kingdom? And to THAT question I have yet another simple answer! Our calling from God is no different than any other fellowship of believers…our calling is laid out in Matthew 28:18-20 and Acts 1:8… this calling is a CLEAR picture of what God expects of His church!
Matt 28:18-20 [ESV]
“…18And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”…”
Acts 1:8 [ESV]
8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
In those 2 passages the vision of the church is laid out. Our vision and sole focus in our fellowship is found wrapped up in what we know as the Great Commission! We are called to make disciples… that is what we are saved to do…
Our calling FROM God is to go forth into the world and be witnesses FOR Him and tell the world about Him, and make disciples that will follow Him and learn about Him.
This vision can be fleshed out in many ways and we see Christians all over the world doing many different things to accomplish this ONE mission from God to His church…
We see missionaries going to faraway lands and learning about other cultures and others languages so they can fulfill this mission! They have to DO a lot of different things, but their mission and focus is SINGLE SIGHTED… to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with the world around them!
We see people doing acts of ministry all over our nation and throughout the world, in the name of Jesus Christ. They do these acts of kindness as a means to an end… they do not meet needs and provide for the less fortunate for their own satisfaction… but it is done out of love for Christ and out of an obedient heart to be faithful to the mission and focus of Christ on our lives… but it is always done with the goal of sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ!! We meet a physical need to enable us to reach out and meet the even more important SPIRITUAL need in their lives!
There are many ways of being obedient to this calling on our lives, but we need to remember a few aspects about this calling so that we NEVER come to take it our salvation OR our Lord for granted!
The first thing I can see as it pertains to this calling we have from Christ in the Great Commission is that it must be important to us…
God’s Calling Must Be A Priority:
So preacher, if God has called us to make disciples what does this mean for us? Well it means many things, but the most important point to remember is that this calling must ALWAYS be the priority! It must be behind everything we do as a church! NOTHING we do as a church should stray away from this calling! Anything OTHER than this and we are being disobedient and will not be blessed!
I want us to take notice of something in these verses that point out how important this is and why we need to make this command a priority in our lives! Look at v.18 where Jesus says, “…all authority in Heaven and Earth has been given Me…”