Yesterday, I had the opportunity of sharing in church; something that happens once or twice a year since I'm leading worship most of the time.
The message was about being "On the Mark" as if you were to begin a race. "On your mark" is a call to get into position for what you are about to do; "Get set" is a call to prepare yourself mentally and focus on your task; "Go" is the call to do what you have prepared yourself to do.
When runners are set out to run a race, they need to know where the mark is and where they are running to. They need to focus on the goal...getting to the finish line. And, to actually run the race, they cannot let the fear of failure or what people think prevent them from participating in the race.
The same is true in our Christian life. The Apostle Paul refers to our journey as a "race". In this race, we need to to where to begin, focus on the finish, and not be afraid of failing or what people think of us. We are not running for others, but instead for God.
Sunday, I focused on ourselves getting into position to run the race with these three (and not all inclusive) important points to consider:
1. We need to know our Position in Christ.
2. We need to know our Position in the Church.
3. We need to know our Position in the Community.
In Christ, we have a new and special Identity. Humans were created for a relationship with God. Things changed quickly once sin entered the world. Since then, we are all born into a broken relationship with our Heavenly Father. We need to be restored and accept the sacrifice of Christ because it is the only answer to restore that relationship (John 14:6). In Revelations 3:20, Christ says he is standing at the door (of our hearts) knocking. He wants to come in and commune with us. It's up to us to invite him in.
In Christ, we have (already) eternal life (1 John 5:11-13). We need to know our Identity in Christ. We need to know who we are. This is our starting line.
As part of the church, we are called to love one another (1 John 4:7; Romans 12:10). The vision statement of our church declares that each one of is a leader. We need to strive to be the leader God has called us to be in our families, churches, schools, communities, and world.
We need to know our position in the community and remember that we do not belong here (1 Peter 2:11), but are to be the salt and light of the world (Matthew 5:13,14).
Once we know where the starting line is, we can position ourselves on the mark and prepare ourselves mentally to do what God has called us to do.