CHURCH OF EXCELLENCE: Vision!
Proverbs 29:18; ; Nehemiah 2:1-18
“Where there is no vision, the people perish.” (Prov 28:18)
God makes it very clear that we are to have a vision of what He is doing in the world.
He’s not just talking about setting goals and going after it, but he is wanting us to see through His eyes what He sees
GOD ALWAYS LOOKS THROUGH EYES OF FAITH! NOT AT WHAT IS…BUT WHAT CAN BE.
God never looks at the checking acount and says, “We can’t afford it.” Instead he looks with faith that with Him all things are possible. GOD DRIVES BEAN COUNTERS CRAZY!
VISION AND FAITH NEED TO WORK HAND IN HAND…VISION SEE’S WHAT’S POSSIBLE, FAITH MAKES IT HAPPEN
God’s story in the Bible is a constant renewal of that vision he has for His people. We have a tendancy to be lazy and become unfocused on the things he is wanting us to do.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A CHURCH HAVE A VISION FROM GOD? FIRST WE LOOK AT NEHEMIAH
I. We need to hear God in a fresh way….GOD TOLD NEHEMIAH HE WAS TO REBUILD HIS TEMPLE!
A. Impossible…he is just the cup bearer to the King
B. But God made it possible by moving the heart of the king…
ILL> fresh bread from the oven is good…stale bread is hard to eat
II. Vision Encourages us….GOD’S HAND WAS ON NEHEMIAH AND THE KING GRANTED HIS REQUEST!
A. when we see God move after we’ve taken that first step of faith we are encouraged to press on!
B. When get that fresh vision from God we are encouraged to move on
III. Vision gives us direction in life on what we are to do
A. Neh knew what he had to do..but had to take action and saddle up his horse and head to Jerusalem
B. It’s not enough to know where we want to go..we have to take a step of faith to see that it happens
ILL> Radio program in Cookeville….TV show in Savannah
IV. The Vision creates momentum
A. As we begin to move and people see the move of God and hook into the vision momentum carries the vision forward
B. People want to be part of a moving, growing something
C. God is moving…God is causing growth…God is giving vision
GOD’S VISION WAS BORN ON PENTECOST WHEN HE POURED OUT HIS HOLY SPIRIT….HE’S STILL DOING THIS TODAY…HE’S STILL CALLING US TO THIS VISION…
HE GAVE US DIRECTION FOR THIS AS HE SPOKE TO THE CHURCH IN PHILADELPHIA WHICH READ ABOUT IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION…
V. FIRST HE SHOWED THEM THEIR OPPORTUNITY
A. They were given the opportunity to bring in a supernatural harvest of souls
IN THE NT AN OPEN DOOR ALWAYS REFERS TO AN OCCASION OF BRINGING MANY INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD
B. NOT ONLY IS DOOR OPEN, BUT GOD IS GOING TO SUPPLY THE RESOURCES THEY NEEDED TO ACCOMPLISH THE TASK!
B. workers – enthusiasm for the task- give them to do whatever it took to get the job done!
ILLUS> Winner of the 2000 Little League World series came from Maracaibo, Venezula. When the team arrived for the series they only had one bat and four of the players didn’t have proper shoes. As word spread a number of American sports manufactors heard and provided them with every kind of equipment they needed to play the game. They could have said, we don’t have the right equipment and had quit early on….INSTEAD THEY WENT IN THROUGH THE DOOR THAT WAS OPENED TO THEM AND WHAT THEY NEEDED WAS SUPPLIED.
IF GOD SETS BEFORE US AN OPEN DOOR, HE WILL EQUIP US TO PLAY THE GAME. HE WILL NOT WITHHOLD ANYTHING NECESSARY FOR A CHURCH TO EVANGELIZE IT’S COMMUNITY!
C. They had to realize it wasn’t in their strength it was to be done…in fact they couldn’t UNLESS GOD WAS WITH THEM!
1. We have to realize it’s not in our streghth or wisdom it’s going to happen anyway…BUT IT WILL IN GOD’S POWER!
2. They had to learn to pray and fast and wait upon God
WE MISS MOST OF OUR DIVINE APPOINTMENTS BECAUSE WE AREN’T LOOKING FOR THEM, BECAUSE WE HAVE NO EXPERIENCE OF THE POWER OF GOD IN OUR LIVES!
We have to experience God first hand…not as a story or a just as a belief…BUT AS A GOD WHO INTIMATELY LOVES US AND DESIRES TO HAVE A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH US!!!
GOD IS NOT A CONCEPT…HE IS A PERSON WHO DESIRES TO HAVE A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH EACH AND EVERYONE OF US!!!!!
D. They were obedient to God’s word…
1. they read God’s word, they taught God’s word, they preached God’s word, loved God’s word and stood by, upon and under God’s word
2. God always blesses people who honor his word by conforming their lives to it
3. Their outreach wasn’t to get more people in their church….but their outreach was to get more people into God’s kingdom…that translated into more folks in the church
WE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY THAT MOST CHURCHES ARE ENVIOUS TO HAVE. More and more people moving in, building houses, having families in record numbers…the new school, the race track…more commercial development in our area.
We are to have a vision to reach out…not to grow our church..not so we can pay our bills…not so we can brag on our growth….but because this the vision of God for us now….to reach out with the love of God to people who need the Lord!!!!!
There was oppostion in the church in Philadelphia, and Nehemiah met with oppostion as well…but they didn’t let that deturb them…they continued anyway..for they new that oppostion to the things of God is straight from Satan
Rev. 3:9 I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars —I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you.
He’s writing about people who are in the group…but due to their opposition to the things of God are going to be stopped after they see our faithfullness and our determination not to be stopped by discouragement, or lack of faith, or anything else the comes against them.
THE REWARD OF A CHURCH WITH A VISION THAT ACTIVELY PURSUES IT IS A CROWN FROM JESUS …OUR REWARDS MAY NOT BE HERE, BUT OUR REWARDS IN HEAVEN ARE JUST AS REAL
Let’s pray for God’s vision…let’s all get on board….let’s go through that open door he has for us RIGHT NOW!!!!
John 4:35-36 Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together.
WE HAVE AN OPEN DOOR…WE HAVE THE HOLY SPIRIT AT WORK IN THE WORLD…WE HAVE ALL THE RESOURCES OF GOD… Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.