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Celebrating the Vision

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Focal Text- NRSV 4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Take delight in the Lord (RSV, NIV, NAB, Dahood), that is, seek and find in him the source of happiness and joy, and not in material possessions.

Take delight in the Lord (rsv, niv, nab, Dahood), that is, seek and find in him the source of happiness and joy, and not in material possessions.
“Take delight in serving the Lord” or “Take delight in what the Lord has promised you.” It is also possible to say, for example, “The Lord gives you joy. Take delight in it.”
The desires of your heart: what you want the most.
Be Worshipful The Lord Can Be Trusted (vv. 1–11)

Delight in the Lord (v. 4). The word translated “delight” comes from a root that means “to be brought up in luxury, to be pampered.” It speaks of the abundance of the blessings we have in the Lord Himself, totally apart from what He gives us. To enjoy the blessings and ignore the Blesser is to practice idolatry. In Jesus Christ, we have all God’s treasures, and we need no other. If we truly delight in the Lord, then the chief desire of our heart will be to know Him better so we can delight in Him even more, and the Lord will satisfy that desire! This is not a promise for people who want “things,” but for those who want more of God in their lives.

Robert G. Bratcher and William David Reyburn, A Translator’s Handbook on the Book of Psalms, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 1991), 351.
rsv Revised Standard Version
niv New International Version
nab New American Bible
Robert G. Bratcher and William David Reyburn, A Translator’s Handbook on the Book of Psalms, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 1991), 350.
Introduction
• God wants us to have a personal vision for our lives.
• A vision is a personal burden that grows into a mental picture of the way things could be someday. - Andy Stanley
• A vision may not always include the details, but it conveys the big picture.
• The soul never thinks without a picture. - Aristotle
• Vision is the art of seeing things that are invisible. - Jonathan Swift
• To have a personal vision for your life as a Christian, means being yielded to the will of God.
Transition-As we discern God’s vision for our lives, let’s begin with the most essential element, God’s will.
I. Knowing God’s will can help you discern your personal vision. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 2
“For I know what I am planning for you. I am planning good things, not bad things. What I plan to do will give you the future you hope for.”

Prayer is the bedrock of confidence in God. It was in Jeremiah’s day, and it remains a key to seeking God with all one’s heart. God’s promises are freely given, but not all of them can be freely accepted—that is, they have little relevancy to an indifferent people. For those in dire straits, it should come as good news that God knows the future and is committed to the redemption of his people. “Seek and you will find” (Matt. 7:7) is the Lord’s gracious command, not “resign and do nothing.”

Barclay M. Newman Jr. and Philip C. Stine, A Handbook on Jeremiah, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 2003), 592.
Application
A. God’s providential will
B. God’s moral will
C. The counsel of other people
D. God’s Word, the Bible
E. The more familiar you are with the heart of God, the greater the likelihood that God will birth a vision in your heart. - Andy Stanley 1
I. Knowing God’s will can help you discern your personal vision.
II. Having a personal vision enriches your life! Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law. 3
but blessed is he who bkeeps the law.

Everyone has a story about parents who love their children by drawing clear boundaries and enforcing them. My favorite story about such “tough love” comes from a friend who got a call from the police. His underage granddaughter and friends had been caught using fake identification to get into a night club and buy liquor, so he went down to the station. When he arrived, the officer in charge offered to take him to the room where the girls were waiting. “That’s OK,” he said, “let them stew in there a while.” Then he asked the officer to tell him the whole story. After warnings were given and the girls were on their way home, they pleaded with him not to tell their parents, and the reason they had called him became clear. “Oh, no,” came the answer, “everyone’s parents are going to know about this.”

Our stories about parents and children may be like those that gave rise to these proverbs about correcting sons and servants, and by extension, the correction of whole peoples. The leapfrog connection of sons (29:15, 17), people (29:18, 20), and servants (29:19, 21) remind us that we have to face the unpleasant duty of setting limits and enforcing discipline. In doing so, we risk being seen as less than tolerant, indulgent, and encouraging, but we will also be known as people who know the value of boundaries and guidance. As another election day draws near, my television is flooded with ads for candidates who portray themselves either as supporters of education and social welfare or tough-minded guardians who will reduce crime through better law enforcement and prosecution. Why must we be forced to choose between teaching and setting limits?

A. Your personal vision should move you closer to your personal goals.
B. Remove the distractions, which do not align with your vision and goals, and your vision will remain clear.
C. Meditate on God’s Word to ensure your vision is God-focused and not self-aggrandizing.
I. Knowing God’s will can help you discern your personal vision.
II. Having a personal vision enriches your life!
III. Visions which align with the will of God, release us from the responsibility of making the vision work. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 4
In this context it means that his disciples are to make the kingdom of heaven the center of their continual, daily priorities. They have already entered the kingdom of heaven and are to live with that reality, drawing on God’s ordering of their daily lives.19 In doing so they will “seek … his righteousness.”
The NIV Application Commentary: Matthew Contemporary Significance

Materialism is a rampant cancer that is now a worldwide temptation, which consequently produces untold worry in people as to how they will be able to maintain the kind of lifestyle they require.

;
The NIV Application Commentary: Matthew Contemporary Significance

The pursuit of material wealth is a feeble attempt to fill the dark void that can only be filled by a good eye fixed on Jesus as our sole Master and Provider. We will all do well to ask ourselves frequently, “What is the most valuable thing in my life?” And then we should evaluate where we have spent our time, what we have invested our life pursuing, and where we have spent our money. Good accounting—whether of time, relationships, or money—is a good gauge of our values.

Money, wealth, and possessions have at least three primary purposes in Scripture: (1) to give appropriate care for one’s own family and prevent them from becoming a burden to others (1 Thess. 4:11–12; 2 Thess. 3:6–15; 1 Tim. 5:8); (2) to help those who are in need, especially the family of faith (Prov. 19:17; Acts 11:27–30; Rom. 15:25–27; 2 Cor 8:1–15; Gal. 6:7–10; Eph. 4:28; 1 Tim. 5:3–7); and (3) to encourage and support God’s work in spreading the gospel of the kingdom both at home and around the world (1 Cor. 9:3–14; Phil. 4:14–19; 1 Tim. 5:17–18). If we put Jesus at the center of our lives to serve and love him with all that we are and have, we will use appropriately all the blessings of life and avoid the modern idolatry of materialism.

19 Thomas E. Schmidt, “Burden, Barrier, Blasphemy: Wealth in , , and ,” TrinJ n.s. 9 (1988): 171–89, esp. 174–75.
Michael J. Wilkins, Matthew, The NIV Application Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 2004), 299.
A. God protects what He elects.
B. The Holy Spirit helps us focus when living out God’s vision becomes difficult.
C. Living out your personal vision brings peace and immeasurable blessings.
D. Stay close to God, so that you can hear when changes and modifications to your vision need to be made.
Activity
Activity
In conclusion Spend time this week making a vision board or writing a paragraph or two to describe what you want to accomplish in the new year. Be sure to include the steps you will need to take to achieve your personal vision.
Personal Vision Statement:
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
1 Andy Stanley wrote a book and a Bible study series, entitled, Discerning the Will of God. This book shares steps we can use to discern God’s will in a very practical way.
2 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
3 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
4 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
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