Summary: This sermon discusses the fact that Christ is the center of God’s plan for the world not us, and the need for Christians to accept their place in His plan.

Finding Our Place

Ephesians 1:18-22, Matthew 5:14, John 8:12, 9:5, 2 Corinthians 3:18

October 14, 2004

I. Last week I mentioned the fact that for centuries humans thought the Earth was the center of the universe, and if we are honest the way we act a lot of the time, makes it look as if we think we’re the center of the universe.

A. God taps us on the shoulder from time to time and reminds us that we aren’t the center of the universe because His Son is.

(Eph 1:18-22 NIV) I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,

B. The Message version of the bible says it this way.

Eph 1:20-22 All this energy issues from Christ: God raised him from death and set him on a throne in deep heaven, in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt from his rule. And not just for the time being, but forever. He is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything. At the center of all this, Christ rules the church.

C. When God looks at what he considers the center of the universe His eyes aren’t on us. When the spot light is shined on the star of the show none of us are going to be blinded.

D. We are appreciated by God, valued by God, and greatly loved by God, but we are not essential. We are not the necessity.

E. The world does not revolve around us, and our comfort is not God’s top priority, and if it is something is wrong. If our comfort is God’s priority in this world how do we explain, death, disease, falling economies, floods, Hurricanes, and earthquakes.

F. I mean if God exists just to make sure we are pleased then shouldn’t everything always be the way we want it to be.

G. Maybe what is needed is a shift of OUR focus in life. Maybe it is time for us to realize that we are not the center of the universe, and God does not exist to make a big deal out of us.

H. Maybe it is time for us to realize that we exist to make a big deal, out of Him. The moon exists to reflect the light of the Sun which is the center of the universe, maybe it is time for Christians to realize that our job is to focus all our energy on reflecting the light of God’s Son.

I. And what would the world look like if we accepted our role, and concentrated our energy on reflecting the light of Jesus to the world around us.

II. Jesus appears to contradict himself in a couple of statements that He makes, but a closer look shows that he doesn’t contradict Himself he is just trying to help us understand our role.

A. In (Mat 5:14 NIV) Jesus says "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.

B. But then in (John 8:12 NIV) it says, When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

C. It seems like He is contradicting himself, but really He’s not, but we have to read one more verse for it all to make sense.

(John 9:5 NIV) While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."

D. Did you catch the explanation? Jesus says that He is the light of the world, but then He says that he is the light of the world WHILE HE IS IN THE WORLD!

E. And that explains his statement about us being the light of the world. He is the light of the world, but he is not IN the world anymore. Ephesians 1 told us that God has seated Jesus at His right hand in the heavenly realms.

F. Jesus’ place is not in this world anymore, but His light is still suppose to shine in this world, so it has become our job to reflect His light to the people around us. We are the light of the world because we are to reflect the light of God’s Son!

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