Set Your Vision and See 2020
Topic: Vision Scripture: Habakkuk 2:1–:3
Set Your Vision…and see 2020
So we have returned to our first love, paying attention to details, learning to steward well and give well, while going ALL IN by giving “God all of our sticks” and believing that as we are faithful in the little, God will give us much.
God is not done with this church, God is not done with His CHURCH.
Probably one of the most discouraging and disappointing things that we see as pastors is the lack of faithfulness in the small church and our hearts grieve (and our kids grieve and they notice), but also in the CHURCH at large. What used to be the steadfastness of the American culture in the 70’s and 80’s is now just a back thought for most people.
Remember when nothing was open on Sundays, work was shut down, even midweek services were honored and attended? Faithfully.
It has been recorded that approximately 3,700- 5,000 churches close each year in America.
Even if people do attend church, weekly church attendance is dropping in America at never seen rates. It is alarming. It is disheartening. You almost feel like there is nothing that you can do about it, and at times we have gotten swallowed up in the feeling of hopelessness.
He is not finished with Hope Community Church.
God is not finished with the local Church.
He put our church in our location for a reason.
If our church were to disappear today, would our neighborhood miss us?
We have to be a neighborhood church making a difference.
God desires our church to become a potent force for Him in our community.
Our church has everything God says we need to move forward. Our church has every person we need to move forward. We have everything potential we need to lead forward. We believe in God’s abundance rather than our perceived limitations.
We believe that it is important to walk by vision than by fear, in all of our lives.
It is better to work at your job with vision than with fear. (laid off, less pay, no clients)
It is better to parent with vision than with fear. (what if this happens, or this, or this)
It is better to marriage with vision rather than fear. (how will we make it, 50% divorce rate)
We believe with all our hearts that God STILL HAS a plan and vision for our church!!
We believe with all of our heart that God STILL HAS a plan and vision for your life!!
2 I will take my stand at my watchpost (it’s your stand, it’s your watchpost) and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint.
“Stand upon my watch”: Comparing himself to a watchman (Ezek. Chapters 3 and 33), standing as a sentinel upon the city walls, Habakkuk prepared to wait for God’s answer and to ponder his reply. Habakkuk is speaking in this verse. He is waiting to see what God will say to him. He is not shirking his duties in the meantime. He will still act as the watchman. We see that Habakkuk separates himself from this sinful people. He goes aside, perhaps, to a place in the mountains, until he hears from God. He is expecting God to reprimand him for the questions he asked Him (in chapter 1).
The Righteous Shall Live by His Faith
2 And the LORD answered me:
“Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.
“Write the vision … upon tablets”: refers to the common practice of writing public notices with such large characters on the clay tablets that someone running by could easily read them. If the notice was a warning it would also cause the reader to run quickly to prepare for what was coming.
“That he may run that readeth it”: Perhaps referring;
(1) To clarity of form, so even the one who runs by it may easily absorb its meaning; or
(2) To clarity of content, so that the courier could easily transmit the message to others.
God does answer Habakkuk though. This is telling Habakkuk to write the very book we are reading here. The reason God wanted Habakkuk to write it down, was so future generations could draw from it. Habakkuk is a book that many scholars have drawn from. In the earlier lesson, we mentioned the fact that Paul quoted from Habakkuk. We also mentioned that Martin Luther started the Protestant reformation after studying Habakkuk. Many have been so moved by this little book, that it encouraged them to be workers for God.
3 For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.
“An appointed time” indicates a specific future fulfillment of Habakkuk’s prophecy of the fall of Babylon (see Daniel 5:30-31).
Every person who has a vision of a work God would have him do, could be inspired by these Words. God does things in His time, and not when we think it is time. Notice, in all of this, He explains that sometimes, they do not come to pass at the time of the vision. They may happen weeks, months, or even years later. The vision is for a time God appointed. God reminds Habakkuk that he is to patiently wait on the answers to come. When the appointed time comes, they will not tarry.
4 "Behold, his soul [which] is puffed up;
it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith.
Two opposing characteristics are here contrasted: The proud trusts in himself; and the just lives by his faith.
“The just shall live by his faith” is often quoted in the New Testament in support of the doctrine of justification by faith (see Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38). Thus, this Old Testament prophecy anticipates the New Testament gospel which shall ultimately conquer the nations and bring them to Christ.
In contrast to the proud, the righteous will be truly preserved through his faithfulness to God. Faith is not a one-time act, but a way of life. The true believer, declared righteous by God, will persevere in faith as the pattern of his life (Col. 1:22-23; Heb. 3:12-14). This statement is not just for Habakkuk, but for all of God's people. Our faith in God should not be determined by things we see with our eyes.
Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
Our faith in God is what separates us from the world. The world has no hope. We have hope of the resurrection. Those who have confidence in themselves are not depending on their faith in God to see them through.
In Order to Have a 2020 vision….
1. We are going to have to pray more. No more excuses. No more I’m going let someone else do it. No more sleeping in we have to be awake in prayer.
2. We are gonna have to increase our Outward Focus.
The church leads the member in a systematic way to invite people in the community to church. We have a resource called Invite Your One to help guide churches.
What needs to be done to have a 2020 Vision?
1. Advancement of the Gospel
Restore- Create opportunities for people to know Jesus
Disciple- Create opportunities for people to be discipled
Serve- Create opportunities for people to serve
2. Church attendance needs to increase by at least 30% (175 people end of year)
Encouraging people to show up
Invite on a regular basis
Do one big event as a draw
Consider doing two services
3. Tithing also needs to increase by 30%
4. Reach the needs of our community
Work placement/creating work opportunities
A place of Restoration
Counseling: Budgeting Classes/Break the cycle/Life Coaching/Mentoring/ Accountability/Establishing Value as a person
5. Reaching the Spanish community
6. Care for the Sick and the Elderly
Have a team designated to reach this need
7. Raise up leaders
8. Building addition for more offices, hope restored, small group study classrooms
9. Acquire the entire building complex
10. Increase Outward Giving into the Community