Presence of God in Us

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Series: Dying to Rise
Text: Mark 6:45-52
Sermon – Presence of God in us.
Good morning. If you’re visiting with us today, you will find a connection card on the back of the seat in front of you. We would love to get to know you so please fill it out and drop it in the collection plate at the end of the service. For those more tech savvy there is also a QR code available. We realize at Life Community that everyone that came in today is in search of something. So…..
To all who are weary and need rest
To all who fall sin and need grace
To all who are troubled and desire peace
To all who are struggling and need God’s presence
This church opens wide her doors with a welcome from the one who give rest, Jesus Christ.
Welcome to church. Let’s stand and worship.
- Read Mark 6:45-52
This week we will be concluding our series in Mark. Throughout this series we have been working towards an understanding of the authentic Jesus.
Most of us have heard about Jesus but knowing about him is not the same as really knowing him. Most of you in this room know about me. You may know my name, what I do for a living, or even activities that I enjoy. But very few know me intimately. The don't have a full understanding of what truly make me who I am. That type of personal relationship takes time. Truly knowing Jesus works the same way. We can know about Jesus but not truly know him. And we must truly know him if we ever hope to fully grasp:
i: His character
ii: His teachings
iii: His miracles
iv: His death and resurrection
If we don't know the authentic Jesus, then we can’t experience him and the overwhelming love he has for us. We will never comprehend why he is so vital. We will be left confused and frustrated when he moves in our lives in unexpected ways.
3. All throughout Mark we see amazement, confusion and even frustration with everyone that encounters Jesus. He contradicts everything that the world teaches.
He is a King yet became Poor to make you and I Rich. A king that came to Serve not to be Served. A king that is Just yet Merciful. A king that is Strong yet Meek. A king that is Bold yet still Humble
4. This is not what we would consider normal.
Even the disciples who walked with Jesus daily were confused and amazed by him. It took time for them to truly know him.
5. A true relationship with Jesus is being embraced by his presence and power to the point that he lives in us, changes us, and empowers us. It means we are completely immersed in God’s glory.
But what is God's Glory and how can we be embraced by it?
(Point 1) The Glory of God
God’s Glory is the reflection of everything he is. His power, love, justice, mercy, and holiness.
In Genesis 2 we can see his glory with creation. Man and woman were created in His image and given life eternal. Placed in a garden of beauty, plentiful and abundant beyond imagining. He walked with them. He provided for them, gave them purpose, and fully embraced them. It was paradise. A life of pure joy without pain, anxiety, fear, or suffering. It was this way because of the unfettered presence of God. Anything in His undiluted presence is beautiful and pure.
2. But in Genesis 3 we see a drastic change. Adam and Eve disobey God.
Through disobedience sin entered the world and corrupted all of creation. Living outside of God’s will carries a heavy penalty, and we can see the cost in. Genesis 3:24
He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed a cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.
3. Adam and Eve are removed from the garden, separated from God's presence, and a fiery sword is placed at the gates. If you recall Micheal spoke about this a few weeks ago. The flaming sword is a representation of God’s eternal judgment. (The price we all must pay for our sins in order to be fully embraced by God again)
4. Our God is Holy and anyone that falls short of his expectation of perfection must face judgment. But how can we endure the sword and live to tell about it?
5. Adam and Eve couldn't, so they had to live in a world that was cut off from the fullness of God’s Glory.
6. The fact is that none of us can endure God’s judgment, yet we still have a deep need for His presence. flip over to (Exodus 33 verses 18-23)
Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord’. And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy, But”, he said, “you cannot see my face, for a man shall not see me and live.” And the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock, and while my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen.”
This is a dramatic change from the garden. Moses wants to see the full glory of God but sin has created a gap between a Holy God and man. The full presence of God is powerful. It's terrifying for all who have sinned. God tells Moses that anyone who looks upon his face will die. Knowing this why did Moses want to see God's Glory? Back in verse 16 Moses knows that in order for the Israelites to be a distinct people, to be complete, the presence of God had to be with them. Do we have any Star Wars fans here today? We won’t count Pastor Jason because most of us have seen his office. Can you imagine Darth Vader without his trademark mask, red lightsaber, and black cape? He’d be a joke right. The power of his presence in the movies would not be distinct without those things. Understanding this need Moses desperately sought the full embrace of God, but he couldn't experience it like Adam in the garden. The sword was still in place and there is a gap between God’s holiness and humanities impurities. So, Moses was placed in the cleft of a rock and had to settle for a small taste of God’s Glory. Anything more and it would have killed him.
7. So where does that leave us?
We still have the deep longing to be embraced fully by God’s presence, to be made whole again with our creator, to be surrounded by his power and overwhelming beauty. We all have a deep seated need that never seems to be filled no matter how hard we try. We desire a life free of pain, worries, anxiety, and suffering. We desire undiluted Joy and peace. But it always seems out of reach.
8. God through his faithful love continues to allow these glimpses to the Israelites through the temple.
9. The temple was built to house the very presence of God.
It allowed people to engage in his presence from a distance without being consumed. The people could sample his glory by offering sacrifices to atone for their sins on the designated day. The people could pray and commune with priests that would be their mediator with God.
10. But could they fully experience his presence as Adam did? (NO!)
They had to follow strict guidelines on offerings and sacrifices, on how they came to the temple, and when they could come. When someone approached in an unauthorized way the presence of God consumed them . In Leviticus 10 Nadab and Abihu, Aaron’s sons. They were consumed by God’s fire for disobeying instructions for sacrifices.
11 Still humanity desperately needs God’s presence.
We are not whole or distinct without it. There is a deep cavern that’s within each of us that desires fulfillment and acceptance. And even though we desire it we can’t obtain it on our own. Why. Because none of us can endure the full weight of God’s judgment. So what can we do about it?
(Point 2) The Glory of God in Jesus
Let’s look at our text in (Mark 6:45-46)
Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray.
There are a few things we need to see in these verses. The word “immediately” is important. There is a reason for this hasty dismissal of the disciples. Flip over to (John 6:15) Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew to the mountain again by himself. Jesus was boldly teaching and had just performed the miracle of feeding over five thousand with nothing more than five loaves and two fish. The people knew about Jesus but they didn't truly know him. They wanted to make him a king but instead Jesus dismissed them and humbled himself before the Father. Jesus is the perfect combination of Boldness and Humility.
2. Like the disciples and all those who heard his teachings and witnessed the miracles we also face a common problem when it comes to the authentic Jesus.
He doesn’t fit our preconceived notions. The disciples and people of that period were looking for the coming messiah as a king that would deliver them from Roman oppression. It was a narrow-minded view of who Jesus is. We do the same today. If we are good, he will accept us, if we serve, he will bless us, if we check all the boxes, we won’t have to endure suffering. We treat God like a cosmic Santa. I've been really good this year so I deserve a blessing.
3. We are all guilty of it. We either walk the path of religion which tells us to do this to get that or we turn completely secular and think we can handle everything on our own. Then suddenly strife, pain, or suffering comes and we are left in a state of confusion and turmoil. Questions are asked like….
Why does a loving God allow suffering? I’m a Christian so why do I struggle? I'm a good person so why is this happening to me?
4. These questions arise because we know about Jesus but not who he truly is. So who is This authentic Jesus?
5. Revelations 5 says He is the lion and the lamb
A perfect balance of Boldness and Humility. Hebrews 4:15 He is strong enough to be weak. John 2:18-21 He is the temple Hebrews 1:3 – He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature Jesus is the Glory of God! His very presence!
6. Now look back at Mark 6:47-51
And when evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night, he came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost, and cried out, for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded,
Did you catch the words “pass by”? This is the same wording used in the Old Testament when God passed by to allow Moses a glimpse of His Glory. Jesus intended to give them a taste of the presence of God. Remember Moses was only allowed a glimpse. A temple had to be built, a veil to shield, and strict guidelines followed just so the people could engage God without being destroyed. A payment was still owed because of sin.
7. But look what happens.
They cried out in sheer terror so He gets in the boat! The very glory of God comes near sinful men in the person of Jesus and they aren’t consumed. It serves them by calming both the wind and their fear. The Son of Man came, not to be served, but to serve.
8. The disciples are painfully struggling against the wind and all of a sudden they are embraced by the full presence of God. Friends This is life altering!
We see these events in scripture and it doesn't have the impact it should.
We still struggle to be moral people, to clean ourselves up, to avoid bad situations. But what ends up happening? Disappointment, frustration, and exhaustion. We may overcome a problem in one area of our lives, but the problem just comes out in another. You might beat one addiction but become addicted to religion. You get religious and become self-righteous. Now you’re a jerk because you look down on everyone else who can’t overcome the same struggles you had. This is why we need the full presence of God in our lives. Through Jesus who is strong enough to become weak. Who endured God's judgment. We can experience His full Glory without being consumed.
(Point 3) The Glory of God in Us.
Doesn’t that sound great? You can experience the full presence of God. But hold on... it gets even better than that...
John 17:23- I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Romans 5:5- God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
2. Do you see that? The very life, love, power, and presence of God is poured straight into your very core!
The power of God that shakes mountains, parts seas, and raises the dead... it can dwell inside you.
3. What does this do for us?
Romans 8:29- For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. Colossians 1:27-29 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.
4. Do you know what this means? Friends We can be.
Just and loving. Bold yet humble. Good stewards and generous. Moral and patient Joyful yet engaged in suffering. This is what it means to be complete. Unbroken. Christ like.
5. Here’s how we can experience this...
We have to accept what he has done for us and it has to become more real with each passing day. We have to see Jesus as the glory of God, who doesn’t stand distant, but comes to us, gets involved in our lives, and fully embraces us. You have to see that Jesus took the fiery sword and died in your place to make you clean before God, so that his glory could not only come near you, but live inside you. All we come to Jesus empty handed. Isaiah 55:1 “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Mt 11:28 - Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. You come to Jesus carrying nothing more than your burdens, starving to be made whole, and desperate for something that can’t be bought or earned. He doesn't care what you've done, how you live, or what situation you're currently in. All he wants is your heart. Call for band-------- If something is missing in your life and your burdens are too great, let us introduce you to the presence of a loving and holy God. A presence that will completely change your life if it becomes real in your heart.
Lets pray
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