Sunday AM, October 4th, 2020

“2020 Vision … More”

“Vision That Is Real”

Proverbs 29:18

 

Today we begin a new focus in our annual theme. MORE Vision. But we don’t want just any vision, we want a Vision That Is Real. Let’s read our text to see what God has to say to us about our vision … Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” When it comes to making our vision real, there are three things we must realize.

 

I. Vision Is the Ability to See - Awareness.

Webster defines vision as, 1. The faculty of sight; 2. Unusual foresight; 3. A mental image produced by the imagination; 4. The experience of the supernatural as if with the eyes.

We need to utilize all of this to have a vision that is real. We need to see like Joshua and Caleb did. Numbers 14:6-9, “And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes: 7And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. 8If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. 9Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.”

Is your vision optimistic or pessimistic ? A boy brought home his report card. It was full of bad grades. “What have you got to say about this ?" asked his father. The boy replied, "Dad, look on the bright side ! You know I haven’t been cheating !" Having a vision is more than just looking on the bright side. It is looking on God’s side. Finding the vision God has for us takes time and prayer.

 

II. Vision Is the Faith to Believe - Attitude.

Both the hummingbird and the buzzard fly in our area. All buzzards see is rotting flesh, because that is what they look for. They thrive on that diet. But hummingbirds ignore the smelly flesh of dead animals. Instead, they look for the colorful blossoms of plants. The buzzards live on what was. They live on the past. They fill themselves with what is dead and gone. But hummingbirds live on what is. They seek new life. They fill themselves with freshness and life. Each bird finds what it is looking for. We all do. So what are you ? A hummingbird or a buzzard ?

Satan’s greatest attack on the vision that God gives each of us is our attitude. An attitude that says, "Nobody else cares, so why should I." An attitude that says, "Nobody appreciates anything I do, so let’s see what they do when I don’t." An attitude that says, “If they won’t do things my way, then I just won’t take part.” An attitude that says, “Someone else can do the work for a change, I’ve done my time.” Is serving God to be compared to “doing time” ? Faith is the food that visions live on. Without faith, our vision will wither on the vine.

 

III. Vision Is the Courage to Do - Action.

It is hard for anyone, other than God, to call into question our awareness or attitude alone, but when it comes to action, people can see if there is truly anything there. Putting a vision into action involves people.

One summer morning, as Ray Blankenship was preparing his breakfast, he looked out the window and saw a small girl being swept along in the rain-flooded drainage ditch beside his Andover, Ohio, home. Blankenship knew that farther downstream, the ditch disappeared underneath a road and then emptied into the main culvert. Ray dashed out the door and raced along the ditch, trying to get ahead of the drowning child. Then he jumped into the deep, churning water. Blankenship surfaced and was able to grab the child’s arm. They tumbled end over end. Within about three feet of the culvert, Ray’s free hand felt something--possibly a rock-- protruding from one bank. He clung desperately, but the tremendous force of the water tried to tear him and the child away. “If I can just hang on until help comes,” he thought. He did better than that. By the time fire department rescuers arrived, Blankenship had pulled the girl to safety. Both were treated for shock, but both survived. On April 12, 1989, Ray Blankenship was awarded the Coast Guard’s Silver Lifesaving Medal. The award is fitting, for this selfless person was at even greater risk to himself than most people knew. Ray Blankenship couldn’t swim.

The courage of vision is to say, “Lord if that is you, let me come to you walking on the water.” The courage of vision is to say, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” The courage of vision is to say, “If God be for us, who can be against us.” The courage of vision is to say, “The trials of this life are not worthy to be compared with the glory of the next life.” The courage of vision says, “I’ll hold forth the light of the Gospel for all to see.” The courage of vision says, “Nothing is more important to me than my commitment to my God and my church.”

 

My dear church, I believe the Lord has a vision for each of us today. I know it is easy to get discouraged and to give up on being available to God to be used in seeing the vision come to completion. I also know that unless we are moving in that direction, we cannot be content in life. Vision for ministry is a reflection of what God wants to accomplish through us to build His kingdom.