This week we picked up in our Image is Everything series with part 4, The Son: Image Consultant.
In Scripture we focused on Matthew 4, in which Satan attempts to tempt Jesus in the wilderness.
Pastor Miles shared a story of when he was sixteen years old. He enjoyed math and science in school and did very well in those subjects. He had an opportunity to go to school at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to pursue an education to become an engineer. For the application process he needed a letter of recommendation from a teacher. This was the first time he had a letter of recommendation written for him so positively that wasn't in regards to sports. He was in such awe of what his teacher wrote about him, he decided to go and ask his teacher if what he wrote, was what he really thought about him. The teacher's reply was "yes!" What the teacher wrote about Miles is what he saw in him as his student.
As we talk about our image we must realize that the way that we see ourselves, or the way others see us, is not how God sees us. However, if we base our image upon what we think or others think of us, our image is on shaky ground. Today we looked at how Jesus sees us, and how that impacts our image.
In Matthew 4, we see the Jesus encounter the Devil in the wilderness after fasting for forty days. After forty days of not eating Jesus was hungry. The Devil first came to Jesus asking Him to turn stones into bread. Surely if Jesus was God, He could turn the stone into bread to satisfy his hunger.
However, Jesus' reply in Matthew 4:4 was, It is written, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God."
Clearly Jesus knew who He was. It is vital that as followers of Jesus Christ, we identify our indisputable identity.
Our identity in Christ in unchallengeable!
We looked at pictures of Bugs Bunny, the Road Runner, and Snoopy, and when we see these characters we don't question their identity. It is without doubt. To know and understand our true image is to know who we are in Christ, how He created each of us uniquely, and that He loves us.
In Matthew 4, we see Satan say three "if" statements to Jesus, in which Jesus replies three times with what the Word of God says.
Our moral responsibility is to trust what is written. Jesus knew the Words of God, and was able to answer Satan with the unchangeable reliable Word of God.
Luke 21:33 states, Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
We are spiritually handicap when we do things and go about our lives apart from knowing what God has for us, and what is written in Scripture. God knows us each intimately and has a unique plan for our lives. It is important that we read the unchangeable Word of God and trust in what it says.
The third part of our image in Christ is the authority God has given us to rule over the earth. Trusting in God's Word gives us authority over Satan's influence over our lives. The Devil is a mastermind and no one is outside of his influence.
Like Jesus in Matthew 4, it is vital to know and trust in the authority of God's undeniable Word.
James 4:7 instructs us to, Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
The devil paints a pretty picture when it comes to sin, to lure us in. However, that is when we fail to see the consequences of our actions and choices. We can overcome the influence of the devil with the authority and trustworthy Scriptures.
God's friends serve only Him as their master. Part of understanding who we are in Christ is knowing that because Jesus died for our sins on the cross we can now be God's friends.
This demonstration of love from God is unforgettable. No other religion can claim having a relationship with a loving God such as this.
How can we have so many gods running the universe with so many conflicting views? We simply cannot. There is one true God, and He is our friend!
Stick Close to God
Take advantage of the eternal provision that has been made for you.
God created us to be eternal spirits. We have the hope in this life of eternal life spent with the Lord. It is so important for us to stay close to God, to live, obey, read, memorize, trust, and share His Word.
We ought to give God the same chance with our life that we have given our ego, our sin, and our desires. God knows us more than we know ourselves and He has our best interest at heart. Why not let him reign in your life?
This week our homework is to identify one area of our identity that has been challenged by our life. It is probably a lie about ourselves that is not based in God's Word. Therefore, we need to prayerfully apply the truth of God's word to the lie and receive the victory!