Two Defining Views (ours & God’s)

Earlier this year, my senior pastor, Lloyd Rindels, prophesied that 2013 would be a “year of breakthrough.”  I thought I knew what “breakthrough” meant, until I looked it up & found there are two different definitions for the word:

“BREAKTHROUGH”  1.  an act or instance of breaking through an obstacle.   2. a sudden, dramatic, and important discovery or development.   Whoa, that second one really struck me!

One of the greatest “breakthroughs” you can have in your life is to allow God to change how you view everything about yourself and your life–from YOUR perspective to HIS perspective.

Because doing that–living from His Perspective–will forever, change the way you think about yourself, the way you think about God and the way you think about life in general.  Discovering what the Father knows to be true about you, as Paul says in 1 Cor. 13:12,  “TO KNOW, AS I AM KNOWN.”

“God has always known us; now in Christ He invites us to know ourselves even as we are known!” (Francois du Toit, author of the Mirror Bible)

God is excited about your life!  God’s desire is for YOU to know what He knows about YOU.   He wants you & I to see our life the way He does, which is seeing yourself “in Christ,” not having a life of your own.  In Phil 3:9, Paul talks about being “found” in Christ, discovering yourself in Christ.  Turning from your own ways and your own way of seeing things and seeing this Glorious One who has become your life.

Everything God has in His mind about YOU is “in Christ.”  If you see what the Father sees.

When you look at yourself in a mirror, what do you see?  Do you see an average (or perhaps a less than average) man or woman?  Or do you see “the righteousness of God in Christ?”  More than likely you have no trouble seeing yourself as insecure, inadequate, or lacking.  But you have trouble seeing yourself as righteous, holy & blameless.

God sees all things according to the truth.  Jesus came to destroy every lie so that we can know the truth.  The truth of sonship. The truth of new life, a joined life in Christ (1 Cor 6:17).

Joy comes when WE see what the Father sees.  

Isn’t it wonderful knowing that life in Christ is not trying to imitate Jesus?

You talk about “having a sudden, dramatic, and important discovery.”  It’s when you discover, salvation is a union with the Son of God!  Not just a salvation from our sins or from hell. But a salvation from everything that is not Christ.

Let me repeat, everything that God has in His mind about you, today, and how’s He’s always thought about you is: “in Christ”.  You & I think we know ourselves; but we really don’t really know ourselves, until we know ourselves “in Him”.

In Jn 14:20 Jesus said,   “On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.”

God has placed you in Christ and Christ in you!

Without seeing yourself defined by your union with Jesus, you’re going to relate to God, to yourself and other people, with a totally inferior–what the Bible calls ”unrenewed” mind-set.

If you feel frustrated about your life as a Christian, it is a result of not seeing yourself defined by your union with Jesus.

Do you wonder why you still waiver with unbelief and doubt and condemnation?  You’re not seeing yourself defined by your union with Jesus.  You’re not seeing yourself as the Father sees you–in Christ.   JESUS IS NOW YOUR LIFE. Paul says in Phil. 1:21, “for me to live is Christ.”  Have you read Romans 6 & Galatians 2:20?  You don’t have a life anymore!

Christianity is Jesus living His life through you, not you living your life for Him.

Amen?  You may say “amen,” but let me ask you something that might really push your paradigm…

Is Sinless Perfection Possible in this life?  “NO WAY” you say.  “Not in MY LIFE.”  Exactly!!  But we’re not talking about YOUR life.  Did Jesus say to the woman caught in adultery, “go and sin less?”  He told her, “go and sin no more.”   In John 5:14- Jesus said the same thing to the man at the pool of Bethesda!  Jesus knew something about the life of our design that we don’t have sight of yet.  It’s all about understanding that the life the Father revealed in Jesus is the life the Holy Spirit now conducts in you & me!   We must stop seeing ourselves & living as one’s separate; and be seeing & living as one’s JOINED!

At the Cross separation with God was replaced with oneness.  Oneness is not the result of our diligence to get closer to God, but because of His initiative in reconciling humanity to Himself.

Until we see and understand that everything of the Christian life– righteousness, holiness, sanctification, love, joy, peace, etc. is defined by this Person who is now our life, in whom we are joined, we’ll think we need to go out and DO righteousness, DO sanctification, DO holiness. And on & on.

Our carnal, un-renewed mind reads Scripture as things we need to do or shouldn’t do.

But righteousness is not something you DO.  Righteousness is Christ in you!  RIGHTEOUSNESS IS A PERSON.

EVERYTHING of your life & your identity is now IS DEFINED BY HIM!

We see ourselves apart from Christ when God sees us defined by Him, IN UNION with Jesus.

Paul says in Eph. 5 It’s just like marriage–two separate people now merged into one new identity. 

I pray today, you begin to see yourself as the Father sees you!  Joined to Christ.  One with Him!

The Cross of Christ redefines your life!

 

Advertisements

Glad tidings of great joy

Heb 1:1-3a  “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” NIV

When Jesus was born, the God that created the universe and Whom the universe cannot contain, was seen “contained” in a little human baby body!  The invisible God became visible to the eyes of men, not as the appearance of a cloud or pillar of fire, but in a human person!

Have you ever stopped to think how absolutely amazing that is?

God became a man without ceasing to be God!

Jesus came, not as a prophet to simply tell us about God, but as the flawless expression of God.  Jesus is the exact reflection of the Father–His perfect “mirror image.”  Man can no longer make guesses about God or choose their own concepts about Him.

Whatever you may have thought about God, that isn’t like Jesus; isn’t God.

The Apostle John called Jesus, God’s “Word” (Jn 1:1), the “voice” of God, God’s direct “conversation” with mankind. Everything God wants to say is said in Christ.  Not in the sense that God is no longer talking, but everything God wants to communicate is captured in Christ.  What did God say to us in His Word?

“I LOVE YOU.” (Jn 3:16)

The Apostle John also adds this staggering statement, “The Word BECAME flesh.”  (Jn 1:14)  Notice John didn’t say, “put on flesh,” to one day, put down His humanity, and return to His place as wholly God.  The Incarnation was not for God to sample what it’s like to be human. He “BECAME flesh.”  Jesus did not simply endure being a human for 33 years and then, with great relief, returned to being the Second Person of the Godhead.  The Bible says that Jesus is still a man and will always be a man, to exist into Eternity as a man.  The Incarnation was permanent.

God told Moses, that “no man can see Me and live” (Ex 33:20).  John says in his first Epistle, “we saw Him; we touched Him; we talked to Him,” and lived to tell about it!  (1 Jn 1:1)  They didn’t die!  In fact, the revelation of the Father’s love for mankind demonstrated in Christ, filled John and the others with a contagious joy that demanded they share this encounter and joy with others.

1 Jn 1:3-4  “We saw it, we heard it, and now we’re telling you so you can experience it along with us, this experience of communion with the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. Our motive for writing is simply this: We want you to enjoy this, too. Your joy will double our joy!  MSG

That must have been scandalous to many of John’s readers.  Well, the true Gospel (“the glad message of the happy God” 1 Tim 1:11 Rotherham) is still a scandal to those who think God is an unjust Judge, sitting in Heaven, anxiously awaiting to bring judgment upon innocent people.

Let me repeat, whatever you thought about God that isn’t like Jesus, isn’t God.

When the angels declared Jesus’ birth, they announced, “glad tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people” (Lk 2:10).  Jesus is the focus of the “glad message.”

But, the Gospel isn’t just a story ABOUT Jesus.  The Gospel has profound implications for YOUR life. Are you ready for the dawning of a new day in your heart?  Then, I have a “glad message” for you!  Jesus has come, not to give you joy, but to FILL you with Himself, Who is Joy!  Unending Joy!

Who Jesus is; what He came to say, what He came to do–is all about inspiring “great joy” in our hearts!  Joy is what a prisoner experiences on the day he or she is set free.  “Great joy” is that same prisoner being told, they’re not only “free” but they’ve inherited an unending flow of resources that will supply their every need into eternity!  Can you imagine the response of that prisoner?  Don’t you think they would be both laughing and crying tears of joy?

Martin Luther said, “the Gospel is nothing else than laughter and joy”  Catch some of that today!