Sermons

Summary: When there is no individual or collective vision, we flounder about accomplishing little in God's Kingdom work.

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A. My experience of getting glasses.

1. Young boy still in elementary school.

2. Loved to sit in the back of the class like normal boys.

3. Couldn’t see what the teacher wrote on the blackboard.

4. I’d leave my seat, slip up through the aisle, write down the material, then return to my seat.

5. I suppose the teacher caught on and she contacted my parents.

6. Mom and Dad gave me the home version eye test.

7. Discovered I was half blind.

8. Went to the eye doctor, got horrible looking glasses that would now be in style, and my blurry world became clear.

9. Then came the stigma of being called four eyes and laughed at.

10. Took one vacation to Cherokee.

11. Walking down the street, enjoying myself, walking backwards laughing at my parents, turned around and ran smack dab into a light pole.

12. Glasses were bent so much they would not stay on my face and there was no place to repair them.

13. The rest of the trip was blurry and unenjoyable.

B. Vision is important but what is vision.

C. Different translations of the word:

1. Where there is no vision the people perish is the familiar version of the verse (KJV).

2. Most other translations use the word “revelation” instead of vision.

3. Perish is also variously translated as run wild, ungovernable, unrestrained, disorderly, don’t accept divine guidance, let loose or left to run loose.

4. “That person has gone wild.”

D. What is revelation?

1. What prophets received from God.

2. God’s revealed will.

3. A word from God.

4. The purpose was so people might know and do God’s will.

E. Some examples:

1. Moses

a. God’s revealed will for him was leading the Israelites out of Egyptian slavery to the Promised Land.

b. The people went but most hadn’t caught the vision.

c. While Moses was receiving the Ten Commandments, they persuaded Aaron to make a gold calf, proclaim it was their god, all because they didn’t know what happened to Moses.

d. When they spied out the land before entering, only two of the twelve spies brought back a favorable report saying they could take the land.

2. Nehemiah

a. Though the cupbearer for a foreign king, God revealed he wanted him to rebuild the walls and gates of Jerusalem, the holy city.

b. Many shared his vision but not all; some opposed him (foreigners and his own people) and others worked but grudgingly.

c. Nevertheless, he rebuilt the wall in 52 days; a magnificent feat.

3. The period of the judges.

a. Before the monarchy was established.

b. God was working through local deliverers to rescue his people from their enemies.

c. Judges 17:6 In those days Israel had no king, so the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.

F. With these examples as a background, what can we learn about vision?

G. We can adopt, promote, explain, and still not completely understand it.

H. The main part says; ______________ Church __________ shall be a church that promotes the growth and multiplication of disciples. We will be focused on providing mission oriented services and relational small group discipleship to people of all ages with an emphasis on increasing the number of young and middle adults.

I. VISION MUST BE INTENTIONAL

A. It must be sought after and prayed about.

1. Our Task Force did this.

2. We looked at the demographics and our twenty year history of baptisms and attendance and then asked God what he wanted from us.

3. God had a vision. He’s been watching our church, but God doesn’t necessarily share what we or the right people don’t ask for.

4. God certainly isn’t satisfied with poor track records but neither does he force his will on us. But there are consequences when we don’t follow or ask him about his will.

B. Nehemiah did this when he heard the discouraging news about the walls and gates of Jerusalem. He fasted, prayed and asked God what he wanted him to do. He asked for a vision.

C. Moses wasn’t excited about God’s vision for him but reluctantly agreed to lead the people out of slavery. And he had to contend with reluctant followers who wanted to leave Egypt but who certainly were not consistent in their obedience to God.

D. God’s vision for us individually, for our church or for the church universal must be sought after and when revealed it must be obeyed and acted upon so strategies can be developed to help us fulfill it.

II. VISION MUST BE GOD GIVEN

A. This was the challenge given to our Task Force.

1. We listened to each other’s vision.

2. At our workshop you heard mine and parts of other team member’s vision.

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