It has been said: “Without vision a people perish…” Proverbs 29:18a
Looking at the Hebrew for this verse we come to a more colorful understanding. It could look something like this – “Without REVELATION a people are LEFT ALONE (Lost)”. As Christians we are lost without revelation from God. We need the Holy Spirit to speak into our lives daily, step by step.
The opposite is possibly true – WITH vision a people flourish! Having said this it would be a good time to point out that Vision is not: a Purpose Driven Program, slogan, or motto. Vision is: REVELATION of God’s heart & plans.”Without vision a people perish…”
It has been said that “vision is caught, not taught.” Basically, it’s something revealed by experience and encounter w/God. It’s not something a pastor or leader can impress upon you, but you must take it in with all your heart as you are exposed to it by the Holy Spirit working in your life.
A couple of questions for meditation:
Q: Where did the song come out of?
Q: Do we believe that God is god of this city? of Bratislava?
That God is the Light even in this darkness in BA?
Do we expect God to do even greater things?
Now lets take a look at a very famous text from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.Read: MT 5:13-16
Jesus starts out straight away to let us know that we ARE people who touch and effect others around us positively. It is our characteristic (or at least it should be). It is not a negotiable goal, but a reality to be lived in. v13 we are compared to Salt. And we are told they Salt must be ITSELF. It must demonstrate it’s saltiness, otherwise it is useless. Question: How many time do we simply try to be something other then what God has created us to be? How often do we want to “blend in” so much with the flavors around us that we don’t actually have any “saltiness” of our own?
Yet in v14 we are told that we ARE the “light of the world” + “city on a hill.” That is Jesus’ plan (revelation, vision) for us. I believe this comes out of the reoccurring pattern of the Bible that we are blessed to be a blessing (Gen 12). Verses 15-16 instructs us to shine for ALL to see via “good deeds”. The Greek word used for “good” is literally “BEAUTIFUL”. We are to have beautiful, attractive, pleasing works that lead others to “Praise your Father in Heaven.”
If I could share with you any vision for our church it would be this – to be what Jesus has created us to be – a light to the city around us. This is where we get the name of our church – CityLight. It is directly rooted in this intentional desire to simply shine the light of Jesus to the city of Bratislava.
I’d like to share a story of two churches: the church in Jerusalem (Acts 1-2) and Antioch (Acts 11). You will notice that both of these churches live out the truths from the God of this City video. They believed that God of that City, a Light in Darkness, and in the process of doing greater things. But the church in Jerusalem only took the first step in the vision laid out by the Lord. They had received REVELATION, but didn’t RESPOND fully to it. That fist step took 10 years! But God had ‘Greater Things’ in mind.
Now lets take a closer look at the Antioch church. I believe this would be a great model church for CityLight. In Antioch was see Jews (who were foreigners) not staying in their expat communities, but reaching beyond to the local community being a Light in a dark place. The result was that God did indeed do greater things! The birth of the worldwide, multicultural church started here.
Q: What was this church like? Multicultural (v20), open, accepting, God was working in them (v21), graceful (v23), true to the Lord (v23).
But was this enough? Was the church in Antioch satisfied with just taking one more step forward? No! They wanted to go deeper and further in to the plans of God. Read: Acts 13. The Antioch church could have been content in their blessings, but they desired Greater Things. We see this multicultural church seeking the Lord for Next Steps!
So how did they do it? They had a worship service and were simply asking for REVELATION. How did the Antioch church respond? The immediately obeyed and followed the Holy Spirit. Let’s make the Antioch Church a model for CityLight, our church.
Let us not be Lost, but respond to Revelation! Let us not loose Saltiness, but be a CityLight! God is god of this city! A Light in this darkness! And Greater things are yet to come!.