More Than Appearances

Tuesdays and Thursdays we take some time to reflect on the previous day’s post with the help of some visual inspiration.

According to Jesus, it’s not enough to attend to and keep rules. If any people knew about following rules it was the Pharisees, but Jesus said…

“I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:20

The Pharisees appeared righteous to men, but God is not fooled by appearances.

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. Matthew 23:27-28

You see, rules only deal with the outside, they can never change the inside.

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. Matthew 23:25

The Pharisees and their rule keeping might have worked for appearances, but it’s not enough to appear righteous, we have to be righteous. The good news is….we are! He has made us righteous. The work God has done in making us righteous is a work on the inside. Notice that it’s what is on the inside that has the power to change the outside, for Jesus went on to say…

…first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also. Matthew 23:26

The righteousness we have on the inside will find its way to the outside. For, truly, it is not rules, but righteousness that brings change.

You can read or re-read The Value of Rules that corresponds with today’s image.

Root or Fruit?

Root or Fruit?

My goal to walk in righteousness and bear good fruit had led me to seek out the path to transformation.  This search had brought about a realization of the part that walking in the spirit, renewing the mind, and beholding the glory of the Lord played in transformation.  Although nearly every teaching I heard and commentary I read said differently, from my study of God’s Word I had come to believe that these things had nothing whatsoever to do with my efforts to read the Word, spend time with God in prayer, or meditate on His attributes.  If my doing these things was what finally brought change, thenContinue reading

Your Inner Image

Your Inner Image

II Corinthians 3 ~  How To See the Unseen

In Friday’s post, Beyond Beholding, we talked about the meaning of beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord…seeing the glory of the Lord in us.  But, how do we know what that glory looks like?  Our spirit man, where that glory resides, is an unseen dimension of us.  If beholding the glory of the Lord in us is vital to our transformation, as II Corinthians 3 says, then we need to know how to see the unseen.

It might surprise you, but the way to see your spirit man is actually not that different from the way you see your natural man.Continue reading

Beyond Beholding

Beyond Beholding

II Corinthians 3 ~  The Transforming Secret We’ve Missed in II Corinthians 3:18

As I studied more about the path to transformation, I continued to find more references to the power of the mind.  It might seem as though I’ve belabored this point, but it took me a while to be convinced that there wasn’t more to it than this.  If you’re having the same doubts then maybe my sharing the multitude of evidence I saw in God’s Word will help you as it did me.  Furthermore, looking back I can honestly say that primarily…this change is what brought change. Continue reading

Inside Out

Inside Out

Continued from Monday.

Through the Word of God, I was becoming increasingly assured that transformation did indeed come as a result of ‘renewing the mind’.  Nevertheless, searching to find the exact meaning of this term, I found only repeated explanations that amounted to nothing more than mere self-effort. (Conduct your own search and see what you find.)  According to these commentators it was, once again, entirely up to me.  It was up to me to think godly thoughts, discover God’s ways by reading His Word, and then change my worldly thoughts and attitudes to agree with His.  Once more, I could honestly say I had already done that.  My problem wasn’t that I didn’t agree with God’s ways and thoughts.  I heartily agreed with them.  No, there had to be more to renewing the mind than this.  Surely, if total transformation would come from mind renewal, it had to involve more power than just circling right back around to me and my efforts yet again! Continue reading

Forgetting What Lies Behind

Tuesdays and Thursdays we take some time to reflect on the previous day’s post with the help of some visual inspiration.

They say elephants never forget, and it seemed to be a characteristic of mine too.  Once I realized that having my mind set on the weaknesses and failures of my flesh was separating me from the power to overcome it, well I was determined to stop looking in the rearview mirror!  I distinctly remember the day the Lord said to me, “Forget those things that are behind”.  Not only did it seem to be an insignificant instruction, but more than that, I believed that feeling regret for my sin at least showed that I had some measure of integrity.  However, God knew better.  He knew the power that would be released in my life if I could but dare to forget.

Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  Phil. 3:13

No matter how bad or how big (or how simple or small), don’t let anything in your rearview mirror consume you , contain you, or condemn you.  God never said to regret it…He said to forget it!

You can read or re-read Remember to Forget that corresponds with today’s image.

photo credit: flickr/exfordy