buildingbodies4christ

building on the foundation of Jesus Christ

Archive for the tag “Believe Truth”

The Big Picture

When I worked in the corporate world, one of the things that always came up on my review was the fact I couldn’t always see the big picture. I would get bogged down in details. I am a details kind of person so I couldn’t ever make headway on this weakness. However, I am a great helper. If someone else has the big picture, I am great to help meet those big picture goals. As long as someone else can see, I will be the one to go to in order to get it done. That’s the corporate world, however. In the spiritual world, I can see clearly. Well, most of the time.

One of the things I keep asking God is for more wisdom. These days, it’s hard to know who’s telling the truth. You can’t just go to the internet or the local news channel or read the newspaper unless you know the ones who are behind the scenes writing the information. Everybody has a perspective that may not be coming from the True Source. We all need more discernment in this day and age. I am sorry to say it’s not going to get much better. I hope it will – by God’s grace maybe He will allow another graceful period. I pray for it; however, so far I don’t see it coming. God’s hands may have been taken off of us for good and given over to the “depraved” mind foretold in Scripture.

So what’s the big picture here? One of the most important things I see is the attack made on the family in these last few years. Family is important to me. I love my family as you could probably guess from previous postings. Family is also important to God. God instigated the family concept from the very beginning. The concept of family portrays His family. God created a nation out of one man Abraham; He set forth this concept of His family blessing the earth through Abraham’s ultimate offspring, Jesus. Through Jesus we are adopted into His family when we believe Jesus is God’s Son.

The other day, I heard it said this way by Rice Broocks: “Jesus became a man to live the life we should have lived; who died the death we should have died; three days later He rose from the dead proving He is God’s Son.” If we believe this and have turned back to God (repented) and trust Him daily, we are part of His family. Robert Morris said recently “sinners don’t go to hell. Unbelievers go to hell.” We all sin and fall short of God’s standards. It’s the belief in Jesus that allows us into heaven.

Hell was not made for man; it was made for God’s enemy Satan and his demons. However, Satan has been active in making sure he doesn’t go alone. He distorts the truth and makes us doubt God. He turns our attention to the wrong things and makes us desire the wrong way and lies about the consequences. And we believe him instead of the truth found through Jesus – His way is the best way to an abundant life – everything else leads to death.

Most think it’s an exclusive club – however, God made it inclusive – whosoever will believe – anyone can believe. There is no condemnation for our sins – Jesus came to forgive our sins – Satan condemns us. If we will turn away from our sinful life, through Jesus we can live a life devoted to Him. But Satan makes everything else seem better. Why? Satan’s goal is to become like God; he wants to be worshipped and have his own throne. And right now, he is having a field day. One of Satan’s goals is to go after the heart of the family. If the family falls, everything else is easy pickings.

I watched an interview with Pastor Tony Evans’ children – Priscilla Shirer led the interview with her siblings. It was an interesting conversation. They had their issues with sin, but today they are stronger together because of the battles they faced. My own family had our issues too. And today, we are stronger too. Our family unit is solid because of our deep bound with each other and also of the belief we have in Jesus. He is our rock and our fortress. He holds us together.

When families don’t have this anchor, it’s no wonder they are tossed about like a ship on the wildest ocean. They believe Satan’s lies and families are destroyed because of it. Whatever the person is considering today, if it is not found in Jesus; it’s a lie that will have consequences. Killing the family, having an affair; molesting a child; whatever that lie spoken in the dark will have devastating consequences.

Only Jesus will bring forth life – abundant life. He promised it through His death and resurrection. He paid for sin in full by His blood – His sacrifice so that we could live differently. This is the Good News we need today – as Rice Broocks recently said – it’s Good News because it’s True News. We’re getting so used to fake news when we need to be reminded there really is True News we can count on. Jesus is the Big Picture we need today to bring hope to this worn out and weary world. Know your source of Truth.

Those who are motivated by the flesh only pursue what benefits themselves. But those who live by the impulses of the Holy Spirit are motivated to pursue spiritual realities. For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set controlled by the Spirit finds life and peace. Romans 8:5-6 (TPT)

For when you live controlled by the flesh, you are about to die. But if the life of the Spirit puts to death the corrupt ways of the flesh, we then taste his abundant life. Romans 8:13 (TPT)

Advertisements

Examine the Evidence

In Matthew 16, Jesus posed the question to His disciples. “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” The disciples replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” These were dead men who the people believed had come back to life as Jesus. But Jesus turned the question to His disciples. “But what about you? Who do you say I am?” Was Jesus having an identity crisis or was He just trying to determine their foundation of belief? Were they getting to the truth yet? Peter confessed, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” After living with Jesus for a few years, they finally understood!

So the question is now posed to us, “Who do you say Jesus is?” Some would say Jesus was a good man. Some would say He was a prophet. Some would say He’s a myth; someone designed a religion around this mythical character. But we all have to wrestle with this question because it is foundational to how we live our lives. Let’s examine the evidence for the case of Jesus. Pastor Louie Giglio said in a message recently, “Investigation brings revelation, and we will come to know the reality of Jesus.”

Jesus said He is God – the great I AM. In John 10:30, “I and the Father are one.” Jesus did not die because of the things He did, but what He said about Himself. The Jewish leaders accused Him of blasphemy because of His claim to be God. Jesus claimed it and as proof did miraculous things. Whatever He claimed He backed up with His works. The biblical accounts of Jesus found in the Gospels attest to these works. These were eye-witness accounts of Jesus’ life. The disciples point to Jesus by the way they lived after His death. Something happened that changed their fortitude. At the death of Jesus, they were afraid – hiding from the Jewish leaders fearing that they would be next. However, when Jesus – who claimed that He would die and rise again – did what He said He would do, everything changed.

Jesus was seen after His death. The disciples became empowered by the Truth. The foundation of their beliefs was realized in that moment when they could touch Him and see the nail scars in His hands and feet. It has been noted by historians that each disciple died because of what they believed. They could have recanted and lived; but they died because they knew the truth. John was the only disciple who lived to be an old man. But it wasn’t for the lack of trying to kill him. Many attempts were made, but God allowed him to live so that he could give the revelation of things to come.

But if you don’t believe the Bible, is there other proof of Jesus’ existence? What do we have to point to Jesus’ life – that He was real? Pastor Louie pointed to the Rosetta Stone in the British Museum. It was discovered in Egypt and was dated from 186 B.C. If nothing else, there is a break in history: Before Christ and After Christ. There were many historians from that time period noted the significance of the events that changed people’s lives. Josephus is one of the main historians of that era that notes the Christian religion. There were others too. There was something different about these Christian people.

Pastor Louie noted from Josh McDowell and C.S. Lewis that there were three ways to consider Jesus – he was a liar; he was a lunatic or He is Lord. One of these is the truth, and we have to determine by the evidence given by Jesus’ claims; His actions about His claims; by historical evidence of these accounts; and by changed lives of those who believe. This is foundation truth that will change how we live.

If Jesus is Lord, then that changes everything. Our circumstances can be seen through that lens. If Jesus brings something into our lives, then it is for a purpose. We are told to endure it because it will strengthen our faith. It will give us greater understanding of Jesus’ character during those trials. We can believe what Jesus said about Himself because He proved it on the cross. He loved us enough to die for us and give us eternal life if we just believe He is who He says He is. Examine the evidence and settle the issue in your heart. There is no greater time than in the present. Investigation brings revelation. Settle the matter and live as you believe it is true.

The scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where this was written:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,
that the blind will see,
that the oppressed will be set free,
and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.”

He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue looked at him intently. Then he began to speak to them. “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!” Luke 4:17-20 (NLT)

The Capacity

I like listening to different teachers. I stumbled upon a new teacher on Sunday. I’m not sure of the quality of his message, so I won’t give the person’s name. However, one thing stood out as I listened. “Count it as joy.” It’s not that noteworthy in just a simple statement. The passage in the Book of James (1:2), tells us to count our trials as joy. It seems impossible. But if we have our eyes upon Jesus, and realize that if He has brought us to the trial, then it is for our good. It is a test of our faith, which develops perseverance in us. We’ve heard this before. But what the speaker said about the future was noteworthy.

What if the amount of joy we exhibit here is reflected and experienced there in greater portions? If we practice joy here, then maybe we will have a greater capacity of joy there. Maybe the treasure we store in heaven is more than what we originally thought: i.e. good deeds, giving sacrificially, etc. Maybe it’s how we respond to events as well. The treasure from this life is stored for us to use there. This life is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s our practice field. This life determines our eternity. God has a purpose in our trials. It is shaping our character; character that will be used in heaven. Our gifting here is sharpened for eternity. This life is not all there is. There is so much more than we could ever imagine.

The message made me think of a lecture I heard on brain capacity. Dr. Caroline Leaf, a noted brain researcher, said that we only use only a fraction of our brain’s capacity (something like 6%) here on earth. She believes that we are given the greater capacity for our eternal life. We don’t know what eternity will actually be, but I believe it’s going to be nothing like we imagine it to be.

I heard another message this past weekend about replacement theology (my term). Louie Giglio talked about replacing bad habits with good, although the way to do it was not to take out the bad. His theory was to start with good habits. The good habits displace the bad. This theory points to the “renew the mind” passage in Romans 12. One of the places to start with good habits is to get under the authority of the Bible. Memorize, meditate and let it dwell in us. Our capacity to know God grows as we learn more about Him through His Word.

Another thought came from a message from Clay Scroggins at North Point Community Church. His message was on identity. Events happen in our lives. What we believe about the events shape our identity. We have to replace our beliefs of what we believe about ourselves with the message that God says about us. We become who we believe we are. My pastor says “our past doesn’t shape our future.” It doesn’t define us either. We have to replace the recorder of negativity in our minds with the recording of Scripture (memorize, meditation, dwelling in us) that displaces the negativity.

Events shape us. We can count the event as joy; receive the trial as a test of faith. We can renew our minds by replacing thoughts that are not true by the truth of God. If we are His, then we are not alone in our trials. He never leaves us or forsakes us. We are never separated from His love. His love endures forever. We can replace our mindset with the truth of God, and let it build a foundation in which we can take a stand. The capacity is there to grow us into the new creation we are in the process of becoming. Scroggins said “You can do what God has for you to do when you see yourself how God sees you.” We will achieve what the mind believes – as Henry Ford said “if you think you can’t or if you think you can; you are right either way.” The capacity to change is right in front of us – if we believe it.

It’s time to replace thoughts and renew our minds; our minds are a terrible thing to waste. The capacity is there for much more joy than we could ever imagine. Let’s just get through this next trial with a smile on our faces. God says He’s got this, and He has us in the palm of His hand. No other better place to be. Count on it! I believe Him. Do you?

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12

Post Navigation