In Acts 2 we're told the Holy Spirit enables his people to see visions and dream dreams. God's vision gives us insight into his plan for our lives or for his church. In the first century, the Spirit gave the apostles a vision for what the church could become. They gave their lives to realize the vision. They changed the world. God blesses those who pursue his vision.
In the Old Testament God sent the people of Israel from Egypt across the Wilderness to a land he promised would flow with milk and honey. The hope of the Promised Land kept the Israelites united and moving forward. When they reached the borders off the Promised Land, the people selected twelve spies to scout it out, to see if everything was as God promised them it would be. And it was. They brought back stories about the richness of the land and samples of crops the land produced.
But they also told the people it would be hard to take the land. The cities were fortified. The people who lived there were giants who could not be defeated in battle. The spies said they felt like grasshoppers among these giants. As we'll see in Sunday's sermon based on Numbers 13-14, the people refused to go into the land. They grumbled and planned to go back to Egypt. God was disappointed in his people and condemned them to wander in the wilderness for forty years until a new generation would be given the land.
God gives each of us a vision for the work he wants us to do. He may want us to help out in the ministry of the church, or get involved serving in the community, or being his witnesses in our workplaces or neighborhood. We know what we should do. But many Christians refuse to act on the vision because they're afraid of the cost. Some don't want to be bothered. They don't want to invest the time to be trained or prepared for the Lord's work. They're unwilling to make the investment of time and money needed to do the job. The problem is, when we refuse to follow the vision, we spend our lives wandering in the wilderness, never becoming the people he wants us to be. If you've see God's vision for your life, pursue it!
In the same way, God has given First Baptist Riverside a vision. He wants our church to be "growing" (reaching people for Christ), "healthy" (helping people have healthy relationships with God and others), "missional" (serving him where we live), and "enduring" (continuing to serve Jesus in Riverside as we have for the past 143 years). We are on the border of the Promised Land. We have to decide if we will move forward, or stay where we are. The first step in moving forward is the "20/20 Vision for the Future" campaign to raise $600,000 for improvements to help our church be ready for ministry in the 2020's and 30's. Will we do the work and make the sacrifices to meet or exceed our goal? If we pursue the vision, God will bless our church and each of us. If we're don't make the sacrifice, then we'll be left to wander in the wilderness until another generation comes who will be faithful and obedient to God. What will we do?
I hope you'll be in church this Sunday to hear about the vision God has for your life and our church. If you choose to pursue the vision, expect to see God work in mighty ways in your life and at FBR. The message Sunday will be "Trust God." Will we trust God and believe that with his power, we can achieve the vision and reach the goals he's given us? Join us for traditional worship at 9:00 a.m. or contemporary worship at 10:45 a.m.