Summary: Evaluates where one is in their life.
Which Chair Are You Sitting In Today?
(Commitment, Conflict, Compromise, Forgiveness)
I had the opportunity this week to attend the home going celebration services of Sis. Annette Sproles. Her death last Sunday took me through a range of emotions. Not so much because I was so close to her, many were closer to her that I was, but because of her commitment to Christ. In everything that she went through during her last months, she did not forget who she was and what God had done for her. I also learned this week of a representative in my region that was killed in a car accident. In the message I received, my director shared with us all of the things that he was planning for his family but would not be able to fulfill. However, as she talked about his life, I felt a sense of peace, as I know he too had a love for Christ and is with him now. This week I have reflected on these two individuals and their faith and I was moved to stir your faith in this message.
This morning I want you to think about your life, where you are in your personal relationship with Christ. In front of you are four chairs and I want to know, based on the description that I give you, which of these chairs are you sitting in this morning. I will walk you through a month in the life of Peter and how he moved from each of these chairs. I want you to compare your self honestly with Peter as I walk you through each chair so that you can visualize where you are in your relationship with Christ. Each of us goes through stages in our lives. We have good days and we have bad days, happy and sad times. There are days when our faith is so strong that we can handle anything, then there are times that only the grace of God gets us through. As we look at one week in the life of Peter, think about your situation and see if the chair that you are currently sitting in is the one you want to be in.
A. Chair #1: Commitment
Matthew 16:16-18 “Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Blessed are you Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” (NAS)
The first chair is the chair of commitment. The definition of commitment is “to bind as by a promise”. This is the chair that Peter was sitting in when he confessed that Jesus was the Son of God. Jesus had asked the disciples who were people saying that He was and the disciples gave Him what they were hearing. Then Jesus asked who did they think He was and Peter quickly answered that He was the Son of the living God. Peter was committed. He had been personally recruited by Christ and had sat and listened to all of His teachings. He had witnessed the miracles and had actually done a few of them himself when Christ sent them out as witnesses. Peter had witnessed Christ feeding the multitudes, calm a storm and walk on water. Peter himself had taken a few steps on the water before he realized what he was doing and started to sink. Yes he was fully committed to Jesus. Everything was good and he was doing things with Christ that he had never considered doing. Things were going well for Peter.
It is very easy to sit in the chair of commitment when things are going well, when everything falls into place and is going smooth. You can look around and see the results of your handiwork and know that you are doing something good. As long as things flow smoothly, we can be committed. If you are sitting in the chair of commitment, hold on tight. Do not let the storms of life blow you out of that chair. Do not let anyone pull you out of the chair. Hold on. You will know how strong your commitment is when trouble rises. Lets read a little further and examine the next chair – the chair that Peter also sat in when things started going down hill (according to how he was interpreting his circumstances).
B. Chair #2: Conflict
Matthew 16:21-23 “From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes and be killed and be raised up on the third day. Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” But He turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind Me Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”