by David R. Kelly •
The next two weeks we will look at the MISSION OF GOD—The Big Picture- and dissect Colossians 3:1-11. Let’s start by asking, “Who God is and what He is doing and what you will become? The Mission of God, have you set your heart on it, have you set your mind on it?
—What is God’s overarching mission? Is it just to save souls? Is it just to bless us? Look at verse one in Colossians, What is going on, God has put or seated Jesus king of Kings, Our God is reigning, currently, God’s plan is and has been revealed to us and He is currently unfolding it to us, The Gospel is a vital part of God’s mission. God IS, He is the GREAT I AM, He has been, He is, and HE always will be, I AM is I AM, God doesn’t have a past in the sense of the way we think of it. He is God. God is bringing heaven to earth, His will in Heaven will be done, is being done on earth, will be done on earth, His name will be hallowed in all the earth. He is doing that through the idea of being fruitful and multiplying, God created man, to be an image bearer, to go and fill the earth, subdue it, have dominion over the earth, so that all of creation might worship Him.
Gods mission is somewhat mysterious to us, We know in part what one day we will know in full, The Lord’s Prayer gives us insight into the mission of God.
Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name;
Thy kingdom come:
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil,
For thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory forever.
Here we see God as Father, Holy, kingdom builder, sustainer, deliverer, provider, ruler, all in all. You see God doesn’t operate on a timeline, or at least I don’t think He does, Often we think of God as starting at creation, however God didn’t start, God is the great I AM (always present tense) See God didn’t just show up at the incarnation, He didn’t just show up at the cross, He didn’t just come alive at your regeneration, your conversion, your awakening to Him GOD IS, that’s His mission, God is God,
WHO YOU ARE.—The mirror – who you have been and who you are now
When you look into the mirror you see more than just what is standing before the mirror don’t you. Many of us have inner voices telling us all the if only’s.. if only you had a different hair cut, or maybe if you could get your teeth whitened, or if only… Many of us think about who we have been maybe even with a little pride. Look where I’ve come from, I used to.. we say I used to be this, I used to do that…Then there are those of us that look in the mirror and say one day, one day I’m going to do this, when this happens I’m going to be that and then people will see the real me. But rare is the individual that looks in the mirror and worships not self but God, rare is the individual that says in the quiet places where no one goes, in the inner voice that only they hear, I have been made in God’s image, I was broken by sin, but I have been redeemed, I am being made whole and right now, AND RIGHT NOW…I am in Christ Jesus, who is RULING and REIGNING over every sphere of life, every square inch of creation He is redeeming it all declaring MINE! As His image bearer you should be worshipping your Creator, your Father in Heaven you should be Hallowing His name, making it Holy, in your house and throughout this city and the world. Now how many of you said that to yourself before you walked out the door? Well before you leave church today…I want yall to go in the bathroom and say that…
I am an image bearer, and God is using me to accomplish His mission, in His time, in His way.
Seriously how would knowing who you are in Christ affect the way you live your life, PROFOUNDLY!!
It’s like a football player knowing he is on the football team but not knowing his goal.
Know your goal, that seems simple. But often we forget to look at the big picture and live our lives with purpose, on mission. Many of you know I have the honor of helping with the Tavares Football team, trying to keep 110 young men focused on the ultimate goal of the TAV FAMILY is hard work.
Especially when you are working with teenage guys, it is often more important to live for the moment and never even worry about a goal. Having a goal and achieving it is hard work. It takes preparation, commitment, and often times it takes sacrificing what you’d rather do at the moment to stay on the path to accomplishing the goal you want to achieve.
That’s what I love about football! There are a lot of goals that you can set and meet every day. Every drill, every practice, every game and every season, you can set goals and go and reach them, individually and as a team. I’m going to beat everybody in sprints, I’m going to be the first out to practice and last to leave, I’m going to make 6 solo tackles, I’m going to get 5 int’s this season, I’m going to rush for 100yds every game, it’s going to take three people to bring me down, I’m going to wrap up on every tackle, As a team, we will win every quarter, we will have under 8 turnovers for the year, we will get two takeaways a game, we will make the playoffs, we will never quit.
What is this team’s goal? To prepare in such a way that we are able to win each game we play. You guys have bought into this goal, you have been preparing, you are committed, knowing your goal now becomes the fuel you need to accomplish your goal. Offense we have to put points on the board, accomplish your goal, Defense we must create turnovers and stop them from scoring, accomplish your goal. Knowing your goal means you realize what you have done, what you are doing and what you plan to do is worth reaching the intended goal.
All the hours in the film room, weight room, practice field, now the season is here, we know our goal, don’t let distractions in, remind each other off the field, in the class room, in the hall ways, on the weekends, we have a goal, It is time to accomplish that goal.
Church is like football, we all need to be living on mission, we need to radically align our purposes with God’s purposes HERE ON EARTH. RIGHT NOW, whatever God has called you to be, a student athlete at THS, a teacher, a mom, a dad, policeman, college student, church member, whatever you do should be in line with verse 1 & 2, focused on God’s mission, not only your earthly fleshly, sinful desires- but for a while living out that mission here on earth. WHY? 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. We forget that we are in Christ and God sees us not as we see ourselves.
So how do we live in the moment (the mirror ever before us), and live for God (and at the same time keep the Big Picture in mind,) We have to see the painting in the mirror. We have to see God has restored our brokenness in Christ, and has given us a new standing a redeemed standing, that He has taken our shattered broken lives and given us new life in Christ, we are alive and free and connected and whole, and this broken world isn’t what it’s going to be, God is redeeming this world and everything in it, In Christ we are reconciled to God, we are able to be at peace with who we are, not only reconciled to ourselves but with others in our community, and we are called to reconciled with all of creation.
IN CHRIST…The Mirror and the Painting – who you have been, who you are now and who you will be one day.
3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your[a] life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. 5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you:[b] sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming.[c] 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self[d] with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave,[e] free; but Christ is all, and in all.
Do you see it? Can you hear the Good news? Maybe this is the first time you’ve heard about hope. Maybe you are hurting today, lonely, fearing the future, maybe you feel like God is far off, that you can’t resonate with all this purpose and mission talk. Or maybe you’ve heard it before and well quite frankly you’ve got this life figured out and God can just keep on doing what He’s doing and you’ll keep on doing what you want to do and everything will be fine.
Well here’s the Bad news, If you are not in Christ this morning, if Jesus is not your Lord ruling over you and you don’t believe that He is the God man that came to this earth to sacrifice himself in obedience to His heavenly Father, to take the wrath that is intended for sinners, then I pray the God of mercy and justice should cause you to fall on your knees and repent and believe right now unless you are willing to face the wrath of God by yourself. Verse 4 is impossible outside of Christ, this life, your future, your hope, your everything is futile and will be met with God’s wrath. REPENT AND BELIEVE..
If you are living verses 5-9, repent and believe.
V10 and stand up and look in the mirror and see the picture, but don’t just stand there in knowledge that you are a new creation, being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator…Don’t just be and image bearer, JOIN IN THE MISSION OF GOD, Be who you ARE, but be radically aligned with God’s mission IN CHRIST JESUS. Live knowing Christ is ALL and in all. The preeminence of Christ should drive you to worship no matter who you are or what you do in this life. You have been a sinner, you are now redeemed,(if not I pray so soon,) and one day God’s mission will be consummated into a great restoration, He is making all things new, In the new heaven and the earth you will stand FORGIVEN, ACCEPTED and LOVED, your life will be free and alive and renewed, and you will be reconciled to God, yourself others and all creation. Here we will flourish, we will worship, we will see fully what it means that Christ is all and in all.
So stop looking in the mirror and seeing only brokenness, see the mirror and the picture, see your hope of Redemption and restoration in Christ, but don’t just stand there, GO OUT into the world and be salt and light, live this life to the fullest, multiplying God’s image, subduing and having dominion over creation, so that the whole earth and every tribe, tongue and nation will worship our God.