By Pastor Steve Kelly / Books /
(adapted from the message series “Vision” by Pastor Steve Kelly)
Vision begins with the Word of God. As culture evolves and changes, the church must always bring every experience, interest or pursuit back to the Word of God. Preaching is great and necessary, but it must be grounded in the Word, and the pastor’s passion for Scripture should be so evident that the congregation has excited anticipation when he/she prepares to read the Word.
We see this enthusiasm on display in the book of Nehemiah. In chapter 8, the prophet Ezra rose to preach and as he opened the Scripture, the people stood and worshipped God. They comprehended just how powerful God’s Word is. Once you understand it’s power, following God’s Word shouldn’t be challenging. It simply requires obedience, and once we follow His Word, we discover knowledge that transforms our lives.
The old adage, “knowledge is power” is so true. How can we know what God’s Word does, if we don’t know what it says? We can’t! We need to consistently pursue Scripture and Christ. It is an ongoing lifelong action that only happens through obedience. God does not require obedience because he wants to be in control, but because He knows what is best for us and only in obedience to Him do we find true joy. Our connection to and love of the Word of God is the source of our vision, and everything we do will come as a result of this revelation and action.
A God vision also requires connection to a local church. It’s critical to our personal growth and the growth of our communities. Vision also requires personal responsibility and strategic generosity. This means that our first fruits, our tithes, go to the local church first. If God’s house does not come first, it is not a God vision. Our attitude toward church should be “What wouldn’t I do/give for God’s house?” Our vision should serve a purpose. If we do not have specific goals to work towards, we need to make some! In Habakkuk 2:2 we read, “And the LORD answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.” (ESV) This not only requires intentional decisions, but it necessitates a dynamic pursuit.
Is there an area you can commit to strengthening your vision this week? Maybe it’s something as simple as showing up to church on Sunday, or maybe it’s thinking about who you can connect with for wisdom and guidance. No matter what, always start with the Word of God. Our lives depend on what is written in Scripture, and you will never go wrong or miss out pursuing God.