Abundant Life Crusades
|"THE NEED FOR VISION"
(Prov 29:18 KJV) Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
1. Any successful endeavor requires a vision. We must have a vision.
a. The word "vision":
1) Literally means the ability to see things that are visible
2) It also used to mean the ability to see other things
b) "Vision is the art of seeing things invisible" (Jonathan Swift)
2) Without the ability to visualize worthy goals and how these can be realized, very little of importance is achieved
2. In the Lordís work, we desperately need an elevated vision of what it is all about.
a. We need greater goals (what can be done) and greater objectives (How it can be done)
b. Jesus certainly had a great vision: the saving of souls!
(Mat 9:36 KJV) But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
(Mat 9:37 KJV) Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
(Mat 9:38 KJV) Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
(John 4:35 KJV) Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.
c. We need to have visions that are worthy of the "King of kings and Lord of lords"
I. TWO WAYS OUR VISION CAN BE INADEQUATE
a. May be too small concerning what can be done
b. May be too general without any plan for what he can be doing now to make his vision a reality
B. OUR VISION OF THE LORDíS WORK MAY LIKEWISE BE INADEQUATE...
a. We may think too small concerning what can be done
b. We may think too generally about what we should be doing
C. THE PROBLEM OF A VISION THAT IS TOO GENERAL...
2. For example, it is fine to plan:
a. To go to heaven
b. To serve the Lord faithfully
c. To do the work of evangelism
D. THE PROBLEM OF A VISION THAT IS TOO LITTLE...
1. When we do think specifically about the Lordís work, we often fail to set our sights high enough
a. Perhaps we are hindered by our past experience
1) Personal efforts made in the past may have not born fruit
2) Congregational efforts did not seem to go anywhere
b. Perhaps we have been fed a steady diet of defeatism
1) Told by others that people are not interested in spiritual matters anymore
2) Telling ourselves that people are not interested
2. With small visions, many churches and individuals seem content with:
a. Just "keeping house for the Lord" We sing íHold the Fort" when we need to go forth in the Name of Jesus and do the Will and Work of God.
b. With the limited vision of many churches, little is done and little is accomplished
I believe the Lord intends greater things for His church, especially for those servants with a willingness to work (cf. (Mat 13:31 KJV) Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:
(Mat 13:32 KJV) Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.
(1 Cor 16:9 KJV) For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.
(Rev 3:8 KJV) I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
II. WHAT OUR VISION NEEDS
A. OUR VISION NEEDS TO BE GREAT...
1. We need to think we can double in attendance every year
2. We need to spread the gospel to thousands in our community each year
B. OUR VISION NEEDS SPECIFIC ACTION.
(Mat 16:26 KJV) For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
If each person succeeded is just getting one person to come regularly, the attendance would easily double.
2. To spread the gospel to thousands in our community each year:
a. Give a tract to one person per week
b. A congregation of 50 would share the gospel with more than 2500 people per year
C. OUR VISION NEEDS FAITH.
1. Faith in the power of the gospel
a. To save souls - (Rom 1:16 KJV) For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
(Rom 1:17 KJV) For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
b. To produce souls that have been born again - (1 Pet 1:23 KJV) Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
(1 Pet 1:25 KJV) But the word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
2. Faith in the power of the Lord
a. To open doors for His prepared servants (1 Cor 16:9 KJV) For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.
b. To empower His servants wanting to do His will - (Phil 4:13 KJV) I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
(Eph 3:16 KJV) That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
(Eph 3:20 KJV) Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
D. OUR VISION NEEDS BOLDNESS...
1. A vision was displayed often by the early Christians - (Acts 4:13 KJV) Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.
(Acts 9:27 KJV) But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.
(Acts 13:46 KJV) Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.
(Acts 14:3 KJV) Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.
(Acts 19:8 KJV) And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God.
(Acts 28:31 KJV) Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.
2. For which they prayed and solicited prayers - (Acts 4:29 KJV) And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, (Acts 4:30 KJV) By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.
(Eph 6:19 KJV) And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
(Eph 6:20 KJV) For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
3. A vision that has boldness based upon our hope in Christ (2 Cor 3:12 KJV) Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:
4. To say what needs to be said, when it needs to be said, despite the circumstances (1 Th 2:2 KJV) But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.
E. OUR VISION NEEDS PERSISTENCE...
Not losing heart, for we shall reap in due time - (Gal 6:9 KJV) And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
Always abounding, knowing that our labor is not in vain - Many visions are never realized because people give up too soon!
1. Not all "vision" is good...
a. Some have "tunnel vision" - focusing on small and often insignificant problems in the church
b. Some have "visions of despair" - seeing only the negative, never the positive
2. But a vision that has...
a. A grand scope worthy of its mission (saving souls)
b. Specific steps to accomplishing its goal (teaching others)
c. Faith in the Lord and in His word
d. Boldness and perseverance in carrying it out ...such a vision is what the people of God need today!
Is this your vision? Or have you allowed yourself to have "tunnel vision" or a "vision of despair"? How much better to heed the words of Jesus: "Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!" (Jn 4:35)
For more help and info go to www.tonyabram.com or www.abundantlifecrusades.com.
God bless you and yours!