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JAMES 1:23-24 – For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.
We interrupt this series on values to bring you this message.
I Corinthians 15:49 – Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.
A few days ago, I was talking to a friend about how our perception of ourselves affects what we believe is true about ourselves. For example, I have this self-image of me from when I was in peak athletic condition.
In my minds mirror, I see me as still being fit, muscular, coordinated, strong, with real strength, not bottled strength. In my minds mirror, I still have long, curly blackish/brown hair, full of waves and curls. In my mind’s eye, I am still wearing 32 inch waist pants.
The mind can be a tricky thing, and can lead me to many false assumptions based on what I think is true. Often, my warped ego guides me to many fallacies and false assumptions.
The other day, I did something I honestly RARELY ever do. I looked at myself in the mirror. My first impression was, “Hey! That’s my Dad! I thought I buried HIM in 2005!” But when I moved, so did the man in the mirror. Then it dawned on my conscious mind, and my ego mind, that is not my dad, but ME!!
It was then I realized why I don’t look in mirrors. I am not that guy my ego told me I am. I am the very image of my Dad.
IN THE BEGINNING
When God created us, we were made in the image of God, meaning we looked like he looks. We were also made in the likeness of God, meaning we used to act as He acted because we saw what he did.
AFTER THE FALL
After the fall, we lost touch with God, and lost what was His likeness. We were not able to return to our glorified state. No work we could expend any effort on would make us righteous in God’s eyes, even though we became self-righteous in our own eyes. The ego can really fool a person.
THEN CAME JESUS
Yes, Jesus is the Son of God. God said so rather loudly at Jesus’ baptism. But it was the Son of Man that faced temptation. It was the Son of Man that asked God to take away the cup. It was the Son of Man that faced God’s wrath. It was the Son of Man that rose from the dead to prove he is the Son of God, too.
The Image of Christ
We are asked to be like Christ, but we, on our own are not capable. The best we can do is try, but we eventually fail. But the scripture says we need to become like Christ. Peter was the first person to prove that, if you don’t keep your eyes on Christ, you will fail in your effort to be just like Jesus. The labor into the rest of Christ likeness was that all Peter had to do was keep his eyes, and faith, on Jesus, and he would have walked on the water, by faith, as he was already doing.
In the Garden of Eden, the wind and waves Adam and Eve faced was the lie that doing something else will make you just like God. They then doubted they were already like God. They took their eyes off the facts, and the truth, and considered a lie, and a false premise based on circumstances. Forbidden Fruit.
If you will consider this, instead, and accept it as fact, instead of believing what you think you apparently see, you will learn that you are already like Christ, if you have accepted His death and resurrection. When Jesus became all your sin, you received, in exchange, all that Jesus is.
“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
II Corinthians 3:18
It is all a matter of what we focus on.
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Just like Jesus died of our sins, voluntarily, we are able to die to ourselves, voluntarily, as we labor into the rest of accepting that, all that Jesus was, we inherited when He arose from the dead. When we keep our understanding on this truth, when we comprehend this exchange, and when we accept it in faith, no matter what we think we look like, you will look to God, like His Son, Jesus, and you will eventually appear to others to have the likeness of Christ, too.
After all, that is why you weren’t raptured the second you believed. You are the only Jesus people will see. When they see Jesus in you, they will want to know what happened to make you this way.
Let’s Be About It!
I love you in the Name of Jesus
David G. Perkins