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About-Him.Com Devotional 11-23-2013
Beholding the Image of the Lord
I Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord.
I believe it is fair to say that most of us live far beneath our potential in the Lord. We know there are deeper depths and higher heights to be obtained, but we seem to be satisfied that our sins have been forgiven and that we have escaped hell fire damnation. This is much like the children of Israel in the wilderness. Moses came down from Mt. Sinai after receiving the law, and the glory of God was so great that he had to wear a veil. They recognized the glory of God, but were afraid and terrified of getting too close (Ex. 34:29-35). Actually they traded the glory of God for the sensuous worship of a golden calf (Ex. 17:17-24).
The apostle Paul had a face to face encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus and was struck down and blinded by an intense light (Acts 9:3-22). Afterwards, he had many visions and revelations from the Lord. He was caught up to heaven and saw many things that were unlawful for him to utter (II Cor. 12:1-4) . Yet he did not feel that he had arrived. His desire was to get a hold of the One who had gotten a hold of him (Php 3:8-14). He recognized that he had only scratched the surface. His heart’s cry was, “Oh that I might know Him.”
Philippians 3:9 ¶ And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
O that I might know Him! Jesus, God with us, God manifested in the flesh (Isa. 7:4, I Tim. 3:16). All that I would learn of the invisible God has been manifested in the man Christ Jesus (I Tim. 3:5). In Him I find all the attributes of eternal God. He has been made to us, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption ( I Cor. 1:30). When we receive Him we receive the fruit of His Spirit i.e. love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, and faith (Gal. 5;22).
Often we delve into the epistles to concentrate on doctrine, which should not be ignored, but what good is doctrine if we don’t have an intimate relationship with the doctrine giver? We study prophesy to decipher the future, but what does that profit if we don’t know the One who inspired the prophets? These things are good, but to get a good picture of Jesus I need to read the gospels. John said, “These are written that you might believe and that believing, we might have life through His name (John 20:31)."
When I read of Jesus in the gospels, I see One who lived a sinless life by the power of the Spirit of God that dwelled in Him and controlled His every word and deed (Jn. 14:10). He overcame the severe temptation of Satan by relying on the eternal word of God and saying “It is written (Mt. 4:4)." Surely an example for us? I see One who spoke with authority. In John 7:46, some who had been sent to arrest Him exclaimed, “Never a man spake like this man.” Others marveled at the gracious words that came from His mouth (Luke 4:18-22).
I read in John 8:11 that Jesus spoke to a women taken in adultery, “ Neither do I condemn thee, go and sin nor more.” I don’t believe that this poor women took the Master’s words as a mere suggestion. I believe that the compelling power of His words caused a change and transformation in her life.
In John 4, Jesus was traveling from Judea to Galilee. The direct route was to go through Samaria. The religious folks of the day went miles out of their way to avoid the outcast Samaritans. Not so with Jesus, He felt compelled to go through Samaria. He knew that He would find a sinful women who needed to hear words of life. He promised her living water (Jn. 4:10-11). After her encounter with Jesus, she was never the same again. She returned to the city crying out, “Come and see a man…". Jesus never leaves anything unfinished. I have no doubt that this women found the rivers and wells of living water that spring up to eternal life, that Jesus promised (Jn. 4:14, 7:38). Aren't you grateful that Jesus went out of His way to find you, just as He did for this women of Samaria?
When we read His words in the gospels we find that they have a transforming power. The Sermon on the Mount is unfathomable. Who ever heard of turning the other cheek, going the second mile and praying for your enemies? That’s not the natural thing to do, but our God goes beyond the natural, He is supernatural! Each time that we do these things, something happens. We see ourselves being transformed into His image. See our Life of Christ.
After I read of Him and His Word enlightens my mind, it is necessary to yield to His Spirit and forsake the ways of my flesh. Romans 13:14 tells us to put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof. In other words a sold out commitment to serve and obey the Lord. Our carnal mind is hostile and antagonistic to God and is incapable of being subject to Him (Rom. 8:4,7). However, we are new creations in Christ Jesus (II. Cor. 5:17), we don’t walk in the natural man, we walk in the Spirit. When we walk in the Spirit we are pleasing to God and we do not fulfill the lusts of our flesh (Gal. 5:16).
Jesus is our pattern and we were ordained before creation to be conformed to His image (Rom. 8:29). We are not to be conformed to this evil world, but we are to be transformed (radical change) by the renewing of our minds, that we might prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Rom. 12:2).
Romans 1:17 tells us that we walk from faith to faith and our text above (II Cor. 3:18) states that we go from glory to glory. As we behold the beauty of Jesus, we add to our faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity. We find ourselves being progressively transformed into His image.
If we have these things, we will be fruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (II Pet. 1:5-9). We have put off our old corrupt and deceitful way of living and have been renewed in spirit of our minds. We have put on the new man which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness (Eph. 4:22-24). Our new man is renewed in knowledge after the image of our God our Creator (Col. 3:10).
We recognize that we’ve come a long way and that we still have a long way to go. We won’t be complete until we see Jesus face to face. Our flesh gets in the way here, but no so up there. We are going to be changed and put off this corruptible flesh , and dwell eternally with our Lord (I Cor. 15:53-54, I Thes. 4:17). We see through a dim mirror here, but there, we will see Jesus, face to face (I Cor. 13:12). All of our questions will be answered and all of our mysteries will be solved. Most of all, we’ll be with Him forever!
I Corinthians15:49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
II Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
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Don and Marie Spooner
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