FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH
309 East North St. Sidney, Ohio 45365
937-492-4909

Sunday School 9:15am

Sunday Worship Service 10:30am

Scriptures: Numbers 13:1, 2, 17, 21, 25-14:10                                                                                          January 17, 2021

Sermon:       “Live Differently – Vision”                                                                                                                                  Pastor John Young

 

     For the past several weeks we have been considering the subject: Living Life on an Even Keel.  In our first series of messages, we discovered to do so we must: THINK CLEARLY.  Today, I’d like to suggest a second thing we must do in order to live life on an even keel: LIVE DIFFERENTLY.

But don’t just take it from me.  In our text today Joshua and Caleb remind us we must live differently.  I.E. we must have the vision to see beyond what others see.  “How do we do this,” you may ask?  Well, it requires we live by three things:

I.   First—We must live by FAITH.

A.   Turn with me to Hebrews 11.  Here, in v. 1, the apostle Paul reminds us:

1.  That “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).  The key here is in the last phrase: “the evidence of things NOT SEEN.”

a.  Think about this: Faith allows us to see things BEFORE they can be seen!

2.  Paul speaks on this subject again in another passage (turn with me to Second Corinthians 5:7).  Look at what he says: “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”

a.  You see, in the Kingdom of God, FAITH must be our eyes!

1) But here’s how it normally works: Anxiety about our circumstances emotionally ties us in such knots that our lives begin to unravel.

2) Like Peter when he walked on water, we take our eyes off the Lord and become fearful and panic.

3) When this happens, we begin to reason with human logic and then try to do things on our own!

4) This is exactly what the Children of Israel did in our story today.  They saw the giants in the land and forgot it was the Lord that told them to go take it!  Having lost faith, they sought to do things on their own.  Notice Numbers 14:4.

3.  If we are going to live on an even keel we must have vision.  In order to have correct Biblical vision, we must live by faith.

II. That’s not all—We must live by COURAGE.

A. By courage I mean: the ‘muscle of character’ that flexes to give individuals, families, and nations their strength.  Caleb and Joshua were such men!  They were men of vision because they had courage.  They had courage because they walked by faith and not by sight!

B. Review the story with me.

1.  The setting and majority report:

a.  Set free from their bondage to Pharaoh, the Israelites gathered all their belongings and departed in mass from Egypt.

b.  Under the leadership of Moses, they arrived at the edge of Canaan and camped right on the border of the Promised Land.

c.   Moses sent a delegation of spies on a reconnaissance mission.

d.  They returned with all the statistics they needed (Look at Numbers 13:26b-27).  It was certainly a land flowing with milk and honey, but there was a ‘bull behind the barn and bees in the hive,’ so to speak!  Amen?  Look at vv. 28-29.

e.  In the face of these frightening facts, one man of faith had the courage to speak out against the others—Notice v. 30!

2.  The reaction to the majority report:

a.  Notice verse 33!  Can you see the stadium marquee?  “The Grasshoppers verses the Giants!”

1) Who do you think will win?  Prediction: the Grasshoppers are going to get squished—and get squished good!

2) If we make our choices by sizing up the competition, shoe sizes will always win out.

3) As a result, the majority raised a white flag.  Their chant was: “When things look bleak, retreat!”

3.  The Minority report:

a.  Caleb and Joshua, however, raised a different flag—a battle flag!  Their chant was: “When things look bleak, stop looking at THINGS and start looking at GOD!

They had courageous vision!

If you and I are going to live on an even keel, we must be people of vision.  In order to be people of vision we must live by faith, by courage, and….

III. Finally—We must live by VISION.

A. It’s one thing to talk about vision.  It’s another thing to live by it!

B. Vision is the ability to see God’s presence, power and plan in spite of the obstacles before us…and then live like be believe it!

C.  The ABC’s of vision are:

1.  Attitude.  When we have vision, our attitude becomes positive instead of negative and optimistic instead of pessimistic.

2.  Belief.  When we have vision, we have assurance and confidence—not only in God, but also in others and our self.

3.  Capacity.  When we have vision, we demonstrate a willing capacity to be stretched and do greater things than ever dreamed.

4.  Determination.  When we have vision, we develop the determination to stay at it and hold a constant focus on the Lord.

5.  Enthusiasm.  When we have vision, we have the enthusiastic perspective that God is in our corner—fighting for us and not against us!

Conclusion: Would you consider yourself to be a person of vision?  What’s your attitude like?  How’s your confidence?  How stymied are your dreams?  Is your determination to ‘stay at it’ weak or strong?  Finally, are you excited about the future?  How’s your enthusiasm?  Living on an even keel requires living differently.  We must be people of vision (the ability to see God’s presence, power and plan in spite of the obstacles before us).  This takes faith, courage and commitment!

A salesman passed a certain corner each day, and after a week he began to pity a boy who was striving to sell his puppy.  The salesman knew the boy didn't ‘See It Big.’  He had no vision.  So, he stopped and said, "Son, do you really want to sell this dog?"  The boy replied, "I certainly do."

"Well you're never going to sell him until you learn to ‘See It Big.’  What I mean is, take this dog home, clean him up, doll him up, raise your price, make people think they're getting something big, and you'll sell him."

That noon the salesman came by and there was the boy with a puppy that was groomed, perfumed, and beribboned alongside a big sign:  TREEMENNDOUS Puppy For Sale--$5,000.

The salesman gulped and realized he had forgotten to tell the boy about ‘Keeping It Simple.’  That evening he stopped by to tell the boy the other half of the formula, only to discover that the boy was gone, the puppy was gone and the sign lay there with "SOLD" written across it in big letters.

The salesman couldn't believe it.  This kid couldn't have sold the dog for $5,000.  His curiosity got the best of him and he rang the boy's doorbell.  The boy came to the door and the salesman blurted, "Son you didn't really sell that dog for $5,000 now, did you?"

The boy replied, "Yes, sir, I did and I want to thank you for all your help."

The salesman said, "How in the world did you do it?"

The boy replied, "Oh, it was easy. I just took two $2,500 cats in exchange!"

Vision!  Seeing things differently than others