Image Conscious

Have you wondered why we need a “Robe of Righteousness” and a “Robe of Righteousness Again?”  Why is it important that we know ” A Different Romans Road?”  Why do we need to learn what it means to “Love Much?”  What are the “Spirit-man Exercises” all about?  And what on earth is the purpose of letting God “Pump You Up!?”  Why are we here at all?  What is our purpose?  Short answer and only answer…to be like Jesus.

Are you shocked?  You shouldn’t be.  As a child of God you are in God’s family.  You are an heir.  You have the authority of Jesus.  You have a human body like Jesus.  You have the Holy Spirit like Jesus.  You have the same Father in Heaven like Jesus.  You carry power that raised Jesus from the dead in the Holy Spirit.  You have been commissioned to do what Jesus did.  You have been directed by Jesus to do greater things than He did.  All the excuses have been removed including sin, bondage, condemnation, guilt, shame, inadequacy, insufficiency and probably a bunch more.  Jesus took all that stuff.

He did what we couldn’t do.  He went to the cross.  He is God and we are not but we have all of what Jesus had for us to be like Him on the earth.  We don’t come from heaven but we are seated there now.  We weren’t born of a virgin but we were removed from the line of Adam and inserted in the line of Jesus.  We weren’t born naturally into Jesus’ family but we were born-again into God’s family.  Our sins have been forgotten and forgiven.  We are in a right relationship with God just like Jesus.  We are set apart (holy) like Jesus.  We are justified like Jesus.  We are sanctified (made special) like Jesus.

We are like Jesus.  We still make stupid human mistakes and make selfish human decisions and choose independent thinking on occasion but we are like Jesus.  Over time being like Him and living His life and being soaked with His presence and being filled over and over with the Holy Spirit and being saved every day from our stuff…we will no longer be just human and even our stuff evaporates…we will be like Jesus.  I think it is time we start acting like it.  I say it is time for us to be image conscience like this:

Romans 8:29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. (ESV)

This isn’t a self-effort endeavor to be the most morally perfect person on the planet.  It is a commission to be patterned after Jesus, to be like Jesus and do what He did.  The greatest obstacle is our thinking.  When we step out of the bushes and into the light there are a bunch of broken thinking patterns left in our minds.  We have such a hard time believing that it is even possible to be like Jesus.  The enemy rolls in and says “don’t you know what you did 10 years ago, yesterday, this morning…?”  God says He forgave and forgot.  We need a renewed mind:

Rom 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God,even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].  (AMP)

But even in that renewing we should know we have the mind of Christ so we should know who God is.  His mysteries are revealed by the Holy Spirit.

1Co 2:16 “ For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. (ESVST)

While we ponder Him and think about the stuff He thinks about we look into His face and are being transformed.  It happens in degrees of power infused goodness (glory) and it is all from Him.  Yay!

2 Cor 3:18 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. (ESV)

We are in our exercise regimen pumping iron in our Spirit-man.  It means we can’t be offended when we declare the goodness of God.  We can’t be rejected when we seek the miraculous goodness of God.  We can’t be hurt when our prayer for healing is rejected.  We have to be “dead to ourselves.”

2 Corinthians 4:11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. (ESV)

Jesus said we will see Him and He will be real to us!  (in the context of this passage our obedience to His commandments are to do His miraculous works).

John 14:21 The person who has My commands and keeps them is the one who [really] loves Me; and whoever [really] loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I [too] will love him and will show (reveal, manifest) Myself to him. [I will let Myself be clearly seen by him and make Myself real to him.] (AMP)

So when we see Him as He is we are transformed even more into His image.  When the power of God in the Holy Spirit reveals Jesus to us that power transforms us:

Philippians 3:21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. (ESV)

2 Peter 1:4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. (ESV)

1 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. (ESV)

1 John 3:2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. (ESV)

As sons and daughters of God we should be elated to call God our Father!

Romans 8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, (ESV)

We are so empowered for success.  Even Jesus said so:

John 14:12 I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, if anyone steadfastly believes in Me, he will himself be able to do the things that I do; and he will do even greater things than these, because I go to the Father. (AMP)

Often the world itself is what opposes us.

1 John 3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. (ESV)

Still we are sons of God.  We are His kids.  We are just like Jesus.  So I say we act like Jesus.  We bring the good news of the Kingdom of Heaven to people.  We bring the glory of God into their lives.  We bring the presence of God into their circumstance.  We don’t bring condemnation, we bring forgiveness.  We don’t bring shame, we bring revelation of a good God.  We don’t bring fear, we bring the love of a God who is love.

All our exercises and robes and character building and identity understanding and capacity for love and spirit-man growth is so we can not only be like Jesus in image but be like Jesus in action!!!  It is time to step out in faith and tell everyone how awesome God really is.  We need to give people a hand out of the bushes.  We need to bring the power of God into the world.  We need to be “God is with us” to all the world.  That is the good news.  That is the gospel.  “God is with us.”  And guess what?  We are Jesus to the world.  We are His image to the world.  Maybe it is time to be a little more Image Conscious.

Yay God!

Lance

Grace Wisdom

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