Looking in the Mirror

December 17, 2013

 

Looking in the Mirror


James 1:21-25

But be doers of the Word [obey the message], and not merely listeners to it, betraying yourselves [into deception by reasoning contrary to the Truth]. 

23For if anyone only listens to the Word without obeying it and being a doer of it, he is like a man who looks carefully at his [own] natural face in a mirror; 

24For he thoughtfully observes himself, and then goes off and promptly forgets what he was like. 

25But he who looks carefully into the faultless law, the [law] of liberty, and is faithful to it and perseveres in looking into it, being not a heedless listener who forgets but an active doer [who obeys], he shall be blessed in his doing (his life of obedience).

 

When we got up and looked into the mirror this morning who did we see?  Did we just see the old earthen man with all his flaws, his wrinkles, his sins, his failures and shortcomings?  Or did we get up and reflect on the mirror of God’s Word and see what He says we are?  Look past that outward man that is perishing and passing away, because there is a new man coming forth and this is the man that we must see and dwell upon.  This man bears the image and likeness of Christ.  This man is renewing his or her mind in God’s Word.  This man looks into the mirror of God’s Word and comes into agreement with all that it speaks of them.  1Corinthians 1:30 says, “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.”  Who we are, is not based on all the trials and tribulations we go through, but we are victorious in them all because of who He is in us.  Romans 8 says, “Even as it is written, For Thy sake we are put to death all the day long; we are regarded and counted as sheep for the slaughter. 37Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us.”  

It is easy for us to behold who God says we are in the mirror of His Word and then turn and so quickly forget what manner of man He says we were.  Look again for a moment, this is who He says we are in Ephesians 1:4-11, “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. 11In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”  It is absolutely awesome when we can see ourselves the way that God sees us in Christ. We can not really see ourselves in this light unless we look with the eyes of faith.  He sees in us so much more than we could ever see in ourselves.  The wonderful thing is that He is the One that is transforming us into that image as we walk in faith and obedience to Him.  It is not up to us to try and perform our way into His likeness, but rather identify ourselves with it.  We have to see that this is now how we are fashioned because we are in Him.  

Why are we so content to dwell on the outer man when there is something so much glorious residing in us?  We are always so quick to believe the natural of what we see, touch, taste, hear and feel, but these things are perishing.  They are temporal.  What God is working in us is eternal.  

Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 10:7, “Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ’s, let him of himself think this again, that, as he [is] Christ’s, even so [are] we Christ’s.”  1 John 4:17 makes this awesome statement, “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he isso are we in this world.” Take another look into the mirror of God’s Word and continue to fix your gaze there, for it will reflect who you really are.  “When Christ, [who is] our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory (Colossians 3:4).”

 

blessings,

kent

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I Shall Not Be Moved

October 16, 2013

I Shall Not Be Moved

Psalms 62:2&6

He only [is] my rock and my salvation: [he is] my defence; I shall not be moved.

When any of us go to build a house or a structure the fundamental issue is to build it on a solid foundation. We not only have to consider the foundation itself, but also the soil conditions of where that foundation is setting. If the soil is expansive it could swell and crack our foundation and our structure. If it is unstable and not solid, it could settle and do the same thing. If the soil is to sandy or shifting, again our house is at risk, so the foundation has as much to do with the soil conditions as it does the footing our structure is built upon.

Spiritually we must use much of the same logic when we make the decision about how to build our lives. We want our lives to be secure and stable. We want our belief system to be solid and basically unchanging. We know that as we mature in Christ and in our understanding that many things will change in the way we think and view things, but there are certain principles and fundamental truths that should not change. They are our foundation. The stability of our whole house rest upon our foundation. We are not moved, because our foundation is not moved. When our house was built that foundation became the fundamental part of our house. It is not separate, but is a key component of the house.

The Word teaches us that Christ is the Rock, the spiritual cornerstone of his temple, which we are. The reason we will not be moved is because of who He is, an unmovable, unchanging Lord and God who is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). When our lives are rooted and grounded in Christ then we become a very stable people because we know whom we are, where come from and where we are going. We have purpose and direction in our lives. We know we have resources that the world does not have, because our strength comes from the Lord. David, in Psalms 62 in verses 7 and 8, goes on to say, “In God [is] my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, [and] my refuge, [is] in God. Trust in him at all times; [ye] people, pour out your heart before him: God [is] a refuge for us. Selah.” David had come to know, as we must, that life can be very unstable and undependable, but God is not. Our stability and security is in Him who is our strength and our refuge.

Many of us are prone to compromise concerning our faith and the values we get from God’s Word. If we continue down this path without correcting our course and getting back on spiritual track then our house starts to lean and deteriorate. It is not because our foundation is bad, but because we have left it and started building on unstable ground that is sure to bring us to a disastrous and destructive end. Where are you building your house and your life today? Is it built on the uncertainty and instability of the world or have you made the stand that, “I shall not be moved”. Is your confidence, faith and reliance solely upon the Lord and His strength, life and faithfulness as your foundation? We know there is not a problem with Christ the foundation, so if something is moving, shifting, settling, falling, check what your foundation is. Jesus gave us the parable in Matthew 7:24-27, “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” It is not what we hear and know that makes for a sure foundation, it is what we “do with what we hear and know” that determines if we stand or if we fall.

Blessings,

kent

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