Ps Sheldon Phillips 11th September 2016 ()Sheldon Phillips, September 11, 2016
Part of the Sunday series, preached at a Sunday Morning service
Our position in God.
Story - squash. "Control the T". Chess. "Control the center". It's important to be in position. Driving in the US - if you mistake your position, could end badly. Position is vitally important in our relationship with God. Important for us to know. Look at our position in God.
Position for God's presence
Colossians 1:15-23. At one stage or another we have been far away from God. We were enemies, separated from God, in enmity with God because of our sin. Our brokenness, our broken nature had separated us from God. That was everyone, at some point in their life, was separated from God by their sinful nature. Rom 3:23. Our position was so far away from God, we were his enemies. We couldn't get back into relationship with God by ourselves.
Col 1:22 - yet now He has brought us back as friends. Through Jesus death on the cross, and a result has brought us back to the presence of God. Holy and blameless in God - that is your new position! The way we get the solution is that we need to accept it. Only entered into by us accepting us by faith.
Rom 3:23-25. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. In the past we needed to go to the temple to pray and be in God's presence, but now because of Jesus we have a residence in the King of Kings house! You have access to God! He brought us back not as slaves, but as friends! God doesn't just love you, he likes you! We are part of his family. If we live this out, it can become transformational! We are not far away, but right in the presence of God.
This should cause us to be thankful! Even in a bad week, we have a lot to be thankful for - our position is in relationship with God.
This should cause us to be confident - no matter the season of our lives, with God we will get through what we're going through! There's confidence in knowing that you can hang out with the God of the universe anywhere and everywhere. Occupying the space of God's presence right now! If you need wisdom - God is a god of wisdom who gives liberally. What do you need? Healing? Defence? Someone to tell me how it is? We have that - we have access to God.
vs 23 - you must continue to believe this truth. Don't drift away from the assurance you received -> there will be things that will try to take us out of position away from God. Things that try to take us away from our position in God: Guilt, circumstance, disobedience, etc.
- Guilt: Don't live by feelings, go by God's word. God's word is the same yesterday today and forever. Everything else will change, but God's word won't change. Base your life on the word of God. God wants you to build you up strong.
- Circumstance: good times, bad times can pull us away from God. Look at Psalm 189 - no matter what the circumstance, it doesn't change our position in God. Even if you're going through the rubbish of rubbish - God is there with you!
- Disobedience. Our sinful actions can take us away from God. Doesn't mean it takes us out of relationship with God completely - God says he will be with us all the time. Q: what happens when Christians sin? Our lives are under construction - we've started this journey, and one day we will be completely restored. But we still have this nature in us to sin. It hampers the flow of what God wants to do in our life. God doesn't disown us when we do wrong - he is displeased with us, and it stops the flow of growth in our lives. John 15:4 - abide in me and God will abide in you. We have a responsibility to look after our actions, because it can stunt our growth. He wants us to be strong and mature. God doesn't want us to stay in the same spot where we trip over the same pothole! Don't think you're out of position in God's grace because you struggle. Heb 4:16 - Let us come boldly to the throne of God. God doesn't want you to stay stumbling over the same things. A picture of grace: you're trying to blow out candles on the cake, and you can't do it - as you try to blow, God comes behind you and blows with you. Doesn't mean you can do what you want to do, but empowers you to make smart decisions.
What are the benefits of holding our ground? Defend that position as if your life depends on it! When we do that, stay in position, we begin to grow.
Positioned to produce/grow
Col 2:6-7. When you're in the position of God's presence, you begin to produce. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Draw up nourishment in him, so you would grow up strong and vigorous. It enables you to produce fruit. Our best conditions for our lives to grow, is in His presence. That's our natural habitat. Trees produce fruit - God wants us to be fruitful. Each one of us has a specific purpose and fruit type to produce in your life - he wants you to produce, to be productive in your lives! God wants you to do the thing you were created to do. He has a purpose for you, something that no one else can do.
Our effectiveness, and our fruitfulness depends on our relationship with God. If your fruitfulness has dropped, check your position!
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