TEXT: Proverbs 29:18a
KJV - Where there is no vision, the people perish
NKJV & NIV - Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint
RSV - Where there is no prophecy the people cast off restraint
NASB - Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained
Concise definition of VISION - The ability to look ahead and see what is not there yet. Here we are, the first Sunday as well as the first day of 2012. Do you know where you are headed? Do you know what the future of this year holds for you? Do you have a clear word from the Lord to direct your steps this year?
Four Truths Concerning Vision
1) WE ALL MUST OBTAIN A VISION OR WE WILL FAIL - God will continue to deliver the vision for this ministry to the Pastors and to the leadership.
2) THE VISION MUST ALWAYS REMAIN BEFORE US - It now is the responsibility of the Pastors and the leadership to keep the vision before you.
3) WE MUST CONTINUALLY STRIDE TOWARD THE VISION - Each one of you must daily strive to fulfill the vision.
4) WE MUST NEVER GIVE UP ONCE WE HAVE BEGUN TO WALK IN THAT VISION - You must never give up. Today we are the pioneers for the future. If we desire better times and things for our families you and I have to work now.
What is the Lord speaking to us for the days, weeks, and months ahead?
1. YOURSELF - a word to each of you today that is stronger now than ever.
Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
2. FAMILIES - Change is coming to families - our families, our families extended. There is going to be a greater stirring among our families and our families extended. I believe there are going to be numerous changes which take place. Changes of location, changes in size. Unions and even separations. I believe the Lord spoke to me and said that, “While changes challenge us and cause us to worry, fret, and even fear, the changes for 2012 are meant to be good for strengthening the Kingdom of God and your personal faith.” While concerns are inevitable, the conclusion of the matter that pertains to you is for good.
3. Finances - Finances are always a source of concern. Ecclesiastes 10:19 NKJV A feast is made for laughter, And wine makes merry; But money answers everything.
Malachi 3:8-11 NKJV
8 "Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, 'In what way have we robbed You?' In tithes and offerings.
9 You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation.
10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this," Says the LORD of hosts, "If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.
11 "And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field," Says the LORD of hosts;
4. GOVERNMENT - Do not believe the lies of the liberals and especial the liberal press. Yes, this is a critical year. Yes this is a critical time. The design and plan of the enemy is to divide in order to conquer. Instead of fragmenting the government, we need to be aligning with those of the like political structure. Look deep into the issues and the answers. (Be sure to remember the enemy is an enemy full of lies.) Remember the basis for the foundation of this nation. Only 2 nations were founded upon the principles of religious freedoms who looked unto God Jehovah as the beginning and the end. Israel and the United States. Align yourself with those who align with Israel and disassociate yourself with those who shun Israel.
Psalm 33:12-19 NKJV
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people He has chosen as His own inheritance.
13 The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men.
14 From the place of His dwelling He looks On all the inhabitants of the earth;
15 He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.
16 No king is saved by the multitude of an army; A mighty man is not delivered by great strength.
17 A horse is a vain hope for safety; Neither shall it deliver any by its great strength.
18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy,
19 To deliver their soul from death, And to keep them alive in famine.
7 Areas for GROWTH IN REDEMPTIVE LIFE
Once a person comes into contact with Jesus and becomes redeemed, they need to begin to grow in and through Him. Here are seven foundational skills to develop in order to maintain a close walk with the Lord.
First - BIBLE STUDY - memorize God’s Word; meditate on His Word; READ His Word; OBEY His Word.
2 Timothy 2:15 KJV - Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
NKJV - Be diligent, NLT - Work hard, NRSV - Do your best
James 1:22 NLT - And remember, it is a message to obey, not just to listen to. If you don't obey, you are only fooling yourself.
Second - PRAYER & PRAISE - confession, petition, thanksgiving, commitment
1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 NKJV
17 pray without ceasing,
18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Third - STEWARDSHIP - use the Spiritual gifts; serve; give! 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 NRSV
1 Corinthians 14:1 NRSV - Pursue love and strive for the spiritual gifts,
Fourth - WORSHIP - 1 Chronicles 16:29 NKJV - Give to the LORD the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come before Him. Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness!
Express Worship - Hebrews 13:15 NKJV - Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.
Reasons for Worship - 2 Chronicles 7:3 NKJV - When all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD on the temple, they bowed their faces to the ground on the pavement, and worshiped and praised the LORD, saying: "For He is good, For His mercy endures forever."
Fifth - PARTICIPATION IN THE LOCAL CHURCH
Romans 16:5 NLT - Please give my greetings to the church that meets in their home . . . . .
Hebrews 10:25 NLT - And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near.
Acts 2:42-47 NLT
42 They joined with the other believers and devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, sharing in the Lord's Supper and in prayer.
43 A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders.
44 And all the believers met together constantly and shared everything they had.
45 They sold their possessions and shared the proceeds with those in need.
46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord's Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity--
47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their group those who were being saved.
Sixth - SHARE YOUR FAITH - Matthew 28:19 NKJV - "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
How? Through your personal testimony, remembering that God CHOSE us!! 1 Thessalonians 1:5 NLT - For when we brought you the Good News, it was not only with words but also with power, for the Holy Spirit gave you full assurance that what we said was true. And you know that the way we lived among you was further proof of the truth of our message.
When? ALL THE TIME!! 2 Timothy 4:2 NLT - Preach the word of God. Be persistent, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.
Seventh - WALK IN THE SPIRIT Psalm 73:1 NRSV - Truly God is good to the upright, to those who are pure in heart.
Romans 12:1-2 NKJV
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.