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My God is…Transforming 2 Corinthians 3:17-18

2 Corinthians 3:17-18 – Now the Lord is the Spirit,and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And weSauls-conversion all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

Now the Lord is the Spirit,and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom

This was a very interesting section of scripture, and I encourage you to read the entire chapter of 2 Corinthians 3. The way I understand it, the Spirit of the Lord gives us freedom from living under the letter of the Law. Where before Jesus Christ, living perfectly was the way to be saved. But because of Jesus’ sacrifice for us on the cross, and rising again on Easter morning, we are set free from having to measure up. Living under the law, there is no freedom, and you know you don’t measure up. You seek the Lord with veiled faces, because there is no way that we can come before Him. Only those who have unveiled faces, those who believe in Jesus as their savior, the one who fulfills the law for us, have that kind of freedom.

And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory

As we seek to know God’s glory more, to have all of the wonderment that is God revealed to us in scripture, we are transformed. We change. Now, most people I know are a little leery of change. They like things the way they are, but when you follow Jesus and truly work on getting to know Him (like you would a new friend that you really like or that handsome man in your physics class), things will change.

How do you contemplate things? 

When you really need to contemplate something, really need to know more about it, what do you do? Maybe you research it. You might find experts about the subject. You may even read books on the subject. So many people talk like they know the Lord. They speculate, they postulate and act like they have some innate knowledge of the Lord, but truly (as stated in the verse above), we need to contemplate the Lord’s glory. It’s not something that someone smacks us with and then we know it (like the I could have had a V8 commercials). We need to contemplate God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. How do we begin to contemplate the Lord’s glory? We get to see God revealed through scripture, Bible study, worship, prayer, communion, baptism and relationships. We always refer back to scripture for clarification and guidance. Things start to happen when you contemplate God’s glory. The verses above promise it. It says that those who have unveiled faces (believe in Jesus as their Savior), will be transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

Are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

As we have a deeper, closer relationship with our Lord. As we continue to contemplate His Glory, we will be transformed and become more like Him. That doesn’t really mean that we will become God-like exactly. Think of it this way. When you see a little boy, and he behaves like his dad, you might say, “He is his father’s son.” In the same way as we get to know God more fully, we will truly be Christians. We will be more like our Savior Jesus. We will be more like our father. We aren’t our Father, but our actions reflect our Father. Our behaviors match our Father’s beliefs more and more. We’re a chip of the old block, an apple that doesn’t fall far from the tree, or we may follow in our Father’s footsteps. At any rate, we are transformed. People will begin to associate us with our Father, with our God. We will be a reflection of Him, with ever-increasing glory. But it will not be our glory, it will be His. We will be like the moon. People will see our light, but that light would not be there with out the Son.

Change can be good!

We will be transformed when we contemplate the glory of the Lord. We will be changed. Our behaviors will change, our thoughts will change, and even our friends might change, because we will crave and desire to be closer with the Lord. Being in that relationship will shape all of our other relationships. It will be life changing, but it will be such a blessing!

Are you contemplating something? 

Whatever we are contemplating, that is where our focus is. What do you think about? Do you spend your time obsessing about food? Where to get your next drink? That new outfit you wanted to get before the party on Friday? None of us have perfect God centered thoughts all the time, but whatever we contemplate the most shapes who we become. My boys? I am constantly concerned about the amount of time they spend on video games, because spending so much time on one thing can change a person’s mind. How about my time on Facebook? There are so many things in our world that vie for our attention. So many things that can distract us from God. It takes discipline to begin contemplating and setting your mind on God. Once you do, you are transformed, it becomes a positive habit that is not as easily broken.

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2013 in My God is transforming

 

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My God is…empowering 2 Timothy 1:6-7

fear

God did not make us timid

2 Timothy 1:6-7  For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

When are you timid? 

Maybe you’re not. I don’t think most people consider me timid, but when I enter a room, I can be quite shy. I’ll be looking around for anyone who makes eye contact that I can comfortably go hang by (sometimes for the rest of the night). I’m not very brave in social situations. Not at all timid once you get to know me, but those first meetings (especially if I can’t remember your name) are hard for me. I’m a bit insecure sometimes.

Why are we sometimes timid? 

I think the reason we’re sometimes timid is because we’re looking for our self-worth in the wrong places. We’re looking at getting our self-worth through other people, our work, our money or position. But in the verse above it seems to be related to the gifts God has given us, and we’re to use those gifts for God’s glory.

Power

What do you think of when you think of power? A super hero? Your boss? Your father? I think in reality power for me is security. Feeling comfortable in my own skin and not being affected (as much) by the negativity around me. The definition of power a few places is to be able to produce an effect. Here it is telling us that by the Holy Spirit we are given the ability to produce an effect. We can be effective for Christ.

Love

I’m sure most of us know that the commandments Jesus talked about were about love: Mark 12: 29-31,  “Jesus answered, “Here is the most important one. Moses said, ‘Israel, listen to me. The Lord is our God. The Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your mind and with all your strength.’ (Deuteronomy 6:4,5) And here is the second one. ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ (Leviticus 19:18) There is no commandment more important than these.”” Giving us through the Holy Spirit the ability to love, God is giving us the ability to fulfill His commandments (ok – not perfectly, but without Him, we’re incapable of true love – loving those who don’t deserve it – as Christ loves us).

Self Discipline

Ok – if you’re anything like me being given the gift of self-discipline is like getting socks at Christmas. Useful, but not very exciting. At least it used to be. I’m finding that as I grow up (yes I’m still working at that) I find being self disciplined helps me avoid a lot of self loathing, a lot of over eating, snapping at my family, being selfish (or at least recognizing it) and loads of other sins I would rather not reveal this morning. Being able to have self-discipline also allows me to focus and keep my eyes fixed on the Lord. Still not perfect at it, but learning to daily seek God is a self-discipline.

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God

Practice, practice, practice. Everything we want to be truly good at takes practice, or doing something over an over again. Have you ever fanned anything into flames? I truly try to avoid open fires for the most part, so this hasn’t happened to me very often, but I do watch Survivor (don’t hold that against me) and it’s really hard work for them to get a fire going. After they finally get a spark, they have to fan it into flames to get a fire worth using started. Our faith is the same way. If we leave it alone and don’t tend to it, it will diminish, or even peter out. But if we fan it into flames, by reading the word of God and renewing our mind we will be transformed. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

What are you fanning into flames?

 

 
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Posted by on December 13, 2012 in 2 Timothy, My God is empowering

 

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