Today I want to talk about what God is calling us to do as the church. I call this Vision Sunday. My focus today is on Motor City Church, but it is applicable to THE church, the universal church. We are people that are leveraging our influence and our lives and our gifts to bring Jesus the most glory AND MAKE HIM FAMOUS. God has enlisted each of us to be a part of what He wants to do in our cities, our regions & countries, and around the world.
Do you know, we serve the God of the impossible? “God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!” (Ephesians 3:20). Today, we are looking for those who have a heart for God’s house. I call this mindset and action, “IMagINe” It means those who say “I’M IN” on what God is doing and want to show their love for God and His house by telling others, by serving and praying and giving.
This time of the year for my church is an opportunity to dream and imagine what God could do in us and through us. I have a vision for the things God has set before me. What is your vision for 2023? I believe that as we take care of God’s house and make things happen for the Kingdom, God will bless and make things happen for the vision He has given us for our personal lives. As we put God’s Kingdom first, He will add all things to us. As we consider vision today, we need to tune into the thoughts of God. Ask Him “What is my part in this?” What is the next step I need to do to unify with the rest of the church to accomplish what God has for us to do.
Did you know that Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was poured out upon believers, was about harvest? After Jesus was raised from death and ascended to heaven, He poured the Holy Spirit in power upon the believers. Something transitional happens to a believer when they are filled with the Holy Spirit. A boldness comes with the Holy Spirit that enables us to be effective witnesses to our home, to our region, and to our world. We have responsibility in each of these areas. Boldness allows us and helps us to stretch our faith. God is pleased when we use our faith - when we hear, when we believe, when we pray and when we obey. We are saying “I trust you God” when we boldly obey in faith and harvest is the result.
Vision looks ahead, but I have found that the best way to have faith for the future is to look back at what God has done in the last year. Take inventory of what He has done in your life, in your family, through you in your neighborhood and job and in your church. What lives were changed because they knew you? Ask the Holy Spirit to remind you of things you may have forgotten. Revisit your journal or calendar from the past year. Talk to those you walked alongside. Where did you serve? Where did you have a chance to be irrationally generous? Review the blessings God has poured out. Then, allow your faith to stretch forward into the upcoming year.
The Bible says “where there is no vision the people perish.” If you need vision, come see us at Motor City Church. We do not lack vision around here! This year we have seen many say YES to Jesus and because of the vision, people are not perishing. The stories of life change we have heard over the past 12 months have been amazing and I’m really excited about what I believe God is going to do in the life of MCC over the next few weeks as we finish strong in 2022.
There’s also something powerful that happens in the unity of this moment when the church comes together with one vision and gives together for one purpose. It says in Psalms that there will come a commanded blessing when we are unified. As we join together in unity, God sends blessing. This blessing is the blessing of harvest.
Your giving speeds up the fulfillment of the vision. Vision can show you where you’re going, but your giving is like the accelerator that decides how fast the vision is fulfilled. Every person giving makes a difference. It all counts. It’s not equal giving but it’s equal sacrifice. I believe now more than ever it is time for our light to intensify and shine even brighter in a world that is so dark.
Let me close with 2 Corinthians 9:1-15 (NLT). In verse 12, Paul called their giving “service”. This word service in the Greek literally means to be in full-time ministry, like the office of pastor or prophet. “So two good things will result from this ministry of giving—the needs of the believers in Jerusalem will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God” (2 Corinthians 9:12 NLT). Take a $10 bill as an analogy. Paul says when you give, it goes into service. So you can go to McDonalds and get a McFlurry with extra Oreos. Or, you could buy a pair of sunglasses at Target. Or you can call this $10 into the ministry. You can ordain it for ministry, making it as useful as the preacher himself. When you give, you are putting your currency into service, into ministry. So now for most people who will never touch a microphone...who will never preach or go on a platform or travel to South America… they are now in the ministry. Every tither ...every giver ...every generous Christ-follower is in the ministry.
When we make a decision to put our time, talent and treasure to work for the King, Jesus, when we have a heart for God’s house and imagine what we could do and then actually give, amazing things happen. To see vision fulfilled, we need God‘s grace and favor. Declare vision and scripture that supports the vision over your life and your family and your calling. (Yes, YOU have a calling but that’s another message.) Finish strong in 2022 and get ready for 2023, a year of wisdom and favor (the power twins). Get involved in church and if you are in the Detroit or Louisville area, join us on Sundays. Don’t miss the opportunities for ministry in 2023.