Some of the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into their headquarters and called out the entire regiment. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him. They wove thorn branches into a crown and put it on his head, and they placed a reed stick in his right hand as a scepter. Then they knelt before him in mockery and taunted, “Hail! King of the Jews!” And they spit on him and grabbed the stick and struck him on the head with it. When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified. (Matthew 27:27-31 NLT)
Sunday morning coffee (something to think about) Do you know who you are?
“I wonder what God sees when He looks at you. I believe He sees Christ. When God looks at you, He does not see you. He sees Christ. Paul, when writing to the Colossian church, proclaimed that God had chosen to make known a mystery. “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 (Colossians 1:27).
The mystery is that Christ is in you. That is your hope of glory. This suggests, then, that our task is not to get Christ into us, but out of us. Please get this into your minds. What God sees when He looks at you is Christ. Our task is not to get Christ into us, but out of us.
Most of us want to be like Jesus. That’s not what God wants. God wants us to be like Christ. Jesus came to show us what Christ looks like when He takes on human form. But it is Christ that God’s looking at. God sees Christ in you. That’s the hope of glory—Christ in you. Let me explain.
Christ is the image of God. The word image does not mean “a statue of something.” It means “the essence of the being.” Christ is the image of God. That means when God created you, He created you in His image, and His image is Christ. That’s why the Bible never “calls us the Body of Jesus. Jesus was” “the human manifestation of the heavenly Christ. We humans on earth, with all our fallibilities and weaknesses—God pronounces on us: “You are the body of Christ.”
“You have the ability to line up with God.” “Many people die without unveiling their wealth of wisdom. (Sunday morning message).
“Although God calls the wisdom of the world foolishness (see 1 Corinthians 1:20-22), it is still wisdom. It’s a perverted wisdom used by the chief of perverters to blind us to its very foolishness. For who could believe God would use a crucifixion to bring salvation to the world. That is not the way we expect Him to work. We look for miraculous signs and unusual insights to indicate the presence and working of God. What wisdom would choose a poor carpenter to bring the greatest gift the world has ever known? Surely not the wisdom of the world, which looks to the wealthy and the well-educated.
But for those who believe in Jesus Christ, God’s apparent foolishness is revealed as true wisdom.” “The wisest of human thoughts appear puny beside this foolishness of God, and the greatest of man’s strengths pales beside Christ’s weakness. What is a stumbling block or pure foolishness for those who don’t believe in Christ, stands—for the Christian—as a towering source of truth, strength and hope. That is wisdom.” “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness” (1 Corinthians 3:19).” “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him”—but God has revealed it to us by His Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:9-10a).” “You were born with wisdom that literally came out of God.
I know you may find that hard to accept—perhaps you think I am a mad man. But the truth is you’ll be shocked when you understand who you really are. You don’t know what you have inside that you are selling so cheaply. You have God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that you should be using to discover the earth.
None of the rulers of this world understand it, nor have they ever understood it. If only we could understand who we are (and I guess I include Christians, because we used to be there, and we need to find out where we used to be). We keep” “thinking that the life we left behind is better than the life toward which we are headed. We are constantly dipping into the ways and wisdom of the world to try and solve our present situations. But the world does not know the wisdom and potential God has already destined for us. They don’t understand it, because if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord Jesus!
Your eyes can’t see, your ears can’t hear, neither can your mind imagine what God intends for His children. It’s totally beyond what you can understand. If you could see through your eyes what you were created to be, you’d change your life. If you could hear through your ears or perceive through your mind—but the Scriptures say you can’t. Your situation sounds hopeless: No eyes have seen it…no ears have heard it…no mind has conceived it. Your eyes and ears and mind cannot help you understand what God prepared for you before you were born. If they could, you’d shape up!”
We live in a time when listening has become a lost art. It seems that people are more interested in speaking their minds and asserting their right to be heard than they are in hearing what another has to say.
But the Bible tells us that listening is an absolute must for the Christian who wants to be transformed and conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. James tells us, “But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God” (1:19-20). While that’s good advice for anyone to follow in any human relationship, James is speaking specifically about listening to the Word of God.” “Sadly, most Christians tend to speak first, and when they do listen, it’s to everything but the Word of God. Only after they’ve exhausted every other option do they stick their noses in their Bible and find out what God has to say. But God wants us to do exactly the opposite. Instead of looking to human wisdom first, He wants us to be resigned to the truth of His Word, meaning that we accept it as the only absolute truth we turn to when we are seeking answers.
Christians cannot be truly transformed when they’re either too busy listening to themselves or listening to other folks talking. I’ve met with many struggling believers who tell me what their friends have told them, what their families have told them, or what their counselors have told them about their situations. They’re quick to talk and quick to listen to human reasoning and wisdom (as limited as that is), but far too slow to listen to what God has to say” “The apostle Peter wrote, “like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation” (1 Peter 2:2). This is a beautiful word picture of how we are to desire God’s Word. If you’ve ever seen a baby nursing, you know that no one had to teach the baby to crave its mother’s milk. It is an instinctive hunger built into the baby that drives him or her to nurse.
But there is another point we need to take away from this verse. In this context, the word pure refers to completely undiluted. In other words, he is telling us, we as believers need to have a hunger for the absolutely uncon-taminated Word of God. We need a craving for the Word of God alone.
Unfortunately, people throughout the centuries have attempted to dilute the Word of God. They water it down, mix it in with human philosophy and reasoning, leaving a final product that doesn’t have the power to change and transform believers” “While good Bible-based teaching can be beneficial, there is nothing more important when it comes to spiritual nourishment of the believer than the Word of God itself.
Those of us who have eaten candied apples know that they can be a delicious treat. But what may not have crossed our minds as we’ve eaten them is that coating a pure, healthy fruit such as an apple actually dilutes or even counteracts the health benefits we receive from the apple itself. That’s because you’ve added what we all know is an unhealthy food—white sugar—to something God provided in the natural to nourish us.
That is exactly what happens on a spiritual level when we dilute the goodness of God’s Word. When we allow human opinions and input to water down the purity of what God has said to us in the Bible, we are in danger of counteracting or negating what He has to say to us.” “If we want God to completely change and transform us, we must be committed to the truth of the Scriptures. We must resign ourselves to every word of what He has to say through the written Word.”
“Before you can be who and what you want to be in Christ, you must be willing to be fully exposed and fully honest before God about who and what you are right now You can’t come to Him talking, thinking, and acting like everything is right when it isn’t. You can’t come to Him with fake prayers and fake spirituality. You have to be real with Him.” “I’ve talked with many believers who come” “to me and say, “Pastor, my prayers seem stale. It seems like I’m saying the same things over and over and nothing is happening.” When I hear that, I suggest that the reason that person is saying the same things to God over and over is because there are things he or she doesn’t want to talk to Him about.
Instead of getting down with what’s really going on in their lives, many believers come to God spouting what I call “canned prayers.” All they talk to God about is how they want to be blessed, and they do that without dealing with what’s really on their hearts and, more importantly, on God’s heart.
In other words, they are hiding from God because they are coming to Him with a veil over their face.
Nothing about those kinds of prayers has anything to do with our being transformed and conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. On the other hand, coming to” “God being completely open and honest about the things you know are not Christlike—that’s the kind of prayers that move you closer to truly being the new you.
We all need to understand that there is no place we can go and nothing we can do to hide ourselves from God. King David wrote and rhetorically asked, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there” (Psalm 139:7-8).
This means that God already knows everything about you. He knows about all your sin and shortcomings. He knows about the addictions, habits, behaviors, thought patterns, and attitudes that keep you from enjoying intimate fellowship with Him. He knows those things, and He wants more than anything for you to bring them to Him openly and honestly so that He can deal with them.”