Monday, August 25, 2008

His Mirror

How to Overcome Inferiority and Low Self-Image

(from Breaking Through Life's Biggest Barriers Part III by Chip Ingram) and Selected Scriptures

(This has turned into a full-fledged Bible Study.  Praise the Lord.  Chip Ingram is a well-known Bible teacher.  His first pastorate was Country Bible Church, Kaufman, Texas... my church)

(In reflection, I've never said to myself, "O, geez, I have such a low self-image" nor have I really thought of myself as inferior, but I guess when I think about how I compare myself to the images we are all exposed to, I reckon I feel, well, inferior.  So the following about mirrors is good and the verses are just what I need.  In italics is my response)

Introduction – Mirror Madness!
1. When you look into the mirror, what do you see? 

In the flesh, I see a fat body that I don't like.  In the spirit, I see the temple for the Holy Spirit to live to empower me.

2. When you look into the mirror, what do you say? 

In the flesh, "Why are you so fat?"  In the spirit, "Lord, I give ALL this to You."

3. When you walk in the world, what do you think?  

In the flesh, "Girl, you just don't measure up."  In the spirit, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Distorted Mirrors – Destroy Our Lives
• The Appearance Mirror – My value depends on how I look!
• The Performance Mirror – My value depends on what I can do!
• The Status Mirror – My value depends on what others think of me!

♦ Thesis – Until we see ourselves as God sees us, we are destined to feel inferior.

♦ Get God’s View Of You = Knowledge

You are significant because . . .

• You are (created by God)
Gen. 1:27 - 
27 So God created human beings in his own image.
      In the image of God he created them;
      male and female he created them.

I was created by God in His image. God is Spirit; therefore the most important part of me is my SPIRIT. My body is merely the shell that encases my SPIRIT. It seems from this verse that when God looks at me He sees my spirit, not my body.

Ps. 139:13-14 
13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
      and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
      Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.

Again, God created me and what He created, body and spirit, is marvelous... not junk.

• You are (accepted, loved)
1 Sam. 16:7,

7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

This tells me that the condition of the heart is much more important and that just possibly, if my heart is aligned with my Lord, the rest of me will follow suit, inward and outward.  This verse also warns me that people judge by the outward appearance, but not so with God. He cares about the heart and the heart is what He accepts or rejects.

Jer. 31:3
3 Long ago the Lord said to Israel:
   “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love.
      With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.

First, God loves Israel, "my people."  By the blood of Jesus Christ, I am now adopted into "God's people."  And HE LOVES ME WITH AN EVERLASTING LOVE AND HE DRAWS ME TO HIMSELF!

• You are (temple)

1 Cor. 6:19-20

19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.

The only way I can honor God in my body is to give it ALL to Him. Being submitted to the Holy Spirit within me is the only way to bring honor to my Lord.  I have been bought with a high price:  the blood and suffering of Jesus Christ.

• You are (saved)

Eph. 1:13

13 And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago.

I am saved and the Holy Spirit has been given to me who identifies me as belonging to God.

• You are (God's masterpiece)

Eph. 2:10

10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

I am God's masterpiece! And He created me anew in Christ Jesus for a purpose... to do good and live the life that He has planned for me from before the beginning of time.

Eph. 4:15-16

15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.

As I give all of me to Him, He will see to it that I, His masterpiece, grow more and more like Him.  The 'me' He is perfecting fits into the whole body of Christ (His church) for His purpose.  He has given me spiritual gifts to do my own special work in the body to encourage others to grow.  What a more wonderful thought to focus on!

♦ Believe God’s View Is True = Faith

• Faith is built on God’s Word – Romans 10:17
17 So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.

I desire to give all of me to Him, but I can only do that by faith and I can only increase my faith by His Word.

• Faith grows through mind renewal – Romans 12:2
2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think (renewing the mind). Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Submission to God, giving Him all of me, consists (among other things) of spending time meditating in His Word. What goes into the mind, renews the mind and changes the mind for the better, if it's God's Word. What's taken into the mind and embraced is what controls the heart and the body. The results of a changed and renewed mind will be good and pleasing to the Lord.

• Develop a plan to remove the distorted mirrors of the world with the mirror of God’s Word –

James 1:22-24
22 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like.

I want to surrender to God's word.. do what it says.  I want to replace the 'mirrors of the world' with God's word and promises and truths....

His mirror.

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