Sunday, February 8, 2009

Manifesting His Presence

The last two weeks dealt with the ever present Christ.

This week - manifesting His presence - (making His Presence known in your life)
Our illustration, example, model is Christ John 1:18 John 17:26 John 14:9
Jesus came to reveal God to us.
If He is always with us and in us, there ought to be times when my presence with someone should put them in Christ's presence.

The similarities of the situation are: 1. we have Christ WITH us and WITHIN us all the time.
2. we are His earthly witnesses/representatives
3. As people encountered God in Christ, so should they encounter Christ in us.

The difference is: We're NOT Jesus!! Heb. 1:3 - Jesus was the exact representation of God. He did it all perfect. We, on the other hand, are poor, distorted representatives, but we ARE His representatives nonetheless.
2 Cor. 5:20

We need to approach this with BALANCE.
On the one hand, don't get too mystical or weird with this.
BUT, recognize: A. God often chooses to reveal Himself THRU His people!!
B. You ARE His ambassador.
C. He IS present with you. His PRESENCE is with you. - "Go.... and I will go WITH you!"

So, HOW do I manifest (reveal) His Presence? What should I do?
Answer: You (like Christ) make Him Known.....

I. Through your actions.
A. Proclamation - example: the apostles - they shared information and God revealed Himself. Acts 2:37 Acts 10:44 These were dramatic existences of common occurances.

B. Imitation. "WWJD" (what would Jesus do?)
1 Thess. 1:6 Eph. 5:1 Matt. 5:44-45
Imitate more than His deeds..... ALSO His patience, perserverance, faithfulness, compassion, concern, etc.

C. Obedience - a spectacular example: feeding of the 5,000.
- more common example: Katelyn's baptism this morning

D. Ministry - 1. God's heart revealed in Jesus; ministry - example: footwashing
2. People often experience His Presence in your ministry.

E. Good Works - Matt. 5:16 How often do you do the work and the recipient Thanks God? Why? Because God has worked through you.

II. Through Your attitude - Good deeds can be done in a way that is appreciated, but not warm, inviting, attractive, engaging, etc.
Phil. 2:5 We can't imitate Christ's deeds. BUT, we can imitate the ATTITUDE of Christ.

III. Through your allowance. In other words, by making yourself available and allowing yourself to be used as, if, when, HE sees fit!! Matt. 26:39

and, sometimes -
IV. Through your presence. Just being there in person can manifest Christ to someone.
Example: the little girl afraid during a thunderstorm. When her mother told her that God was with her and would never leave her alone, and she didn't need to be scared, the little girl said, but I need someone with skin on.

WE are God with skin on if Christ is always with us and in us.

Again: don't get too mystical or weird with this, but DON'T overlook, deny, or make light of what God is trying to do IN the world THROUGH you!!

Closing Observations:

#1. Do your part. Whether He chooses to reveal himself through you is His choice and His decision. Your part is DO YOUR PART!!

#2. Make an attempt to reveal Him. Work at recognizing opportunities and taking opportunities.
This doesn't mean a full gospel presentation at every encounter.

#3. Leave the final results to Him.

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