Change Your Lenses, Change Your Life (part 4)

Welcome to the fourth part of our series on changing your lenses, your perspective of your circumstances, your identity in Christ, and of God Himself. And it is this last item – your perspective of God Himself – that we are going to focus on today. And this is probably going to be one of the most difficult discussions that we have ever had… not because it is difficult to study, but because for many of us (myself included) it requires us to take an honest and hard look at what we truly believe about God; and repenting (changing our mind) regrading our beliefs accordingly.

So join me today, as we have a tough, but necessary discussion regarding changing our lenses of God.

The Sacrifice of Jesus is Enough

When you think of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, what comes to your mind? This is a question that I asked to a group of believers, and most of them had the same couple of answers:
– Forgiveness of sins
– The pain and suffering of the torture

There’s nothing too surprising with these responses. In-fact these are all that is typically mentioned on Sunday’s in most sermons. Many people see the sacrifice of Christ as little more than spiritual fire-insurance. You get a ticket on the Heaven-bus when it arrives.

The sacrifice of Christ becomes something that merely gets mentioned at the end of sermons in order to attracted new converts to the membership of the church, but otherwise it is ignored.

However I’m here today my friend to tell you that the sacrifice of Jesus is much more than simply fire insurance – it is much more than a tool to gain new converts – it is in-fact everything that you need. And it is more than enough to solve every problem.

Jesus’ Payment For Your Emotional Peace

If you have been viewing the studies here for any length of time, you have probably heard me mention that Jesus has made complete redemption available, and that He has made complete provision for your spirit, your soul, your body and even your finances. And indeed we have studied about His provision for your spirit, His provision for your body, and His provision for your finances.

Yet it occurred to me that we had not really explored His provision for your soul (that is your mind and emotions), in quite some time. And this area of His provision is just as important, just as powerful, and just as freeing as the others; and so we will be looking at it today in this study.

Do You See Jesus as a Provider?

The title of today’s study might seem a bit silly at first, but it’s meant to cause us to honestly stop and think. Each of us carries with us a certain perspective of God – a perspective that has been shaped by the events of our life, the doctrines and traditions we have learned, and the general thoughts and feelings that we have on a day-to-day basis.

The question found in the title of today’s study, is one that each of us must ask… Do we actually see Jesus as a provider? – because it is one of the ways which He has clearly revealed Himself. A provider in every single way and sense of the word.

In some cases, there has been push-back against the idea of seeing Jesus as a provider, because they say “it makes God into a genie” – some have felt that it is flat-out wrong to ask God for things, or that it is somehow greedy, selfish or worldly. Others have been taught that God really doesn’t care about provision, because that is too carnal, and God only cares about spiritual things. But again, is that how He has revealed Himself? Is that the picture He has painted Himself as in the scriptures?

Today we will take a look at the picture of Jesus as a provider, as demonstrated in scripture, and see a crucial aspect of Himself, that is sometimes ignored, but one that He wants us to see and receive, as much as any other.

Selfish Prayers Don’t Work! … Or Do They?

If you have listened to the typical “Christian” messages, you’ve probably heard some form of rebuke against selfish prayers. People will typically say things like “You know, God’s not a genie!” – “God’s not here to satisfy you! – He’s Lord and Master!”

Now immediately, I must say that it is true, that God is indeed Lord and Master of all. However, are we truly so ready to accept the idea that God is not the one who satisfies us (in every sense of the word)?
If God is not the one who satisfies us, then who is? Where should we look? If God is not the one who gives to us our needs, wants and desires, then who or what is left?

Do we believe that He wants us to be left unfulfilled and unsatisfied? Is that how a loving Father would treat His beloved children?

Today we are going to answer these questions in the most simple way possible: by looking at Jesus.

The Names of God Show Who He Is (Part 2)

Last week, in part one, we began taking a closer look at the names of God. As mentioned, names carry more of a meaning than what we have come to generally think. That’s why we see God changing the name of people whenever He made a covenant with them, or blessed them; such as Abram to Abraham, or Jacob to Isaac for example.

Given the importance of names, it would therefore benefit us to examine the names which God has given Himself. If He places importance on names, then all-the-more would God then want us to understand the names which He has revealed to s about Himself. After all, He didn’t name Himself for His own benefit, He did it for our benefit, because He wants us to know Him and His character.

So we continue today to look at the names of God and what they show us about Himself, that we would have a deeper understanding and relationship with Him.

Your Father Knows What You Need

Take a few seconds, and think about what you need, right now. Go ahead I’ll wait…

Got it? You may have at some point shared this need with someone. Perhaps a Christian brother or sister. Someone who claims to be a believer in Jesus, and they may have given you this advice, or something similar to this: Oh, just keep praying, just keep pressing in. Just keep at it. You’ll get your answer! Remember that God already knows!

It sounds like good advice, and I’m sure that such advice is given with the very best of innocent intentions, but what does it actually mean? And also, what picture is this advice really painting of God? Well, in this study today, we’re going to explore that, and what it really means when Jesus said that the Father in Heaven, your Father, already knows what you need.

Prosperity and Protection in Christ

I titled today’s study this way, on purpose, after some consideration, because these two things: prosperity and protection, are some of the most often attacked – not just by the world in general, but from inside Christian circles as well. In many places it is considered “radical” or “extreme” to believe in and trust God for prosperity, whether it be financial prosperity, or prosperity of other kinds such as prosperity in your relationships or prosperity in your health (i.e. healing).

There seems to be a disconnect in these areas, because the people that I often speak with, seem to have no real issue believing in a God who can give them eternal life, and save them from final destruction in hell; yet they have great difficulty believing that this same God is able or willing to provide for their temporal needs right now on this earth.

What I want to share with you today, is precisely what Jesus said about the provision, prosperity and protection, which the Father has for you, right now, today. And by seeing this, you will no longer be subject to the doubt that is so prevalent in the world today.

Psalms 91, in the Light of Jesus Christ (part 3)

Psalms 91 is one of the greatest Psalms for those who believe on Jesus Christ, because it is a detailed list showing us all of the many ways in which God demonstrates His love for us – and what the finished work of Christ has given to us, even in this life.

In Part 1 of our study, we looked at the foundation: our personal relationship with Jesus Christ, our connection to Him, our oneness with Him – as mentioned in verse 1.
In Part 2 last week, we looked at the many gifts and blessings that are included in that relationship in verses 2 through 14.

Now today, in this third and final part of our study on Psalms 91, we conclude by completing the circle, as this all returns once again to our relationship with Jesus Christ, our personal connection with Him, as we see the final blessings and marvelous promises for us, found in the final verses of the chapter, verses 15 and 16.

Psalms 91, in The Light of Jesus Christ (part 2)

In last week’s study (part 1), we looked at the foundation of receiving everything mentioned in Psalms 91, by looking at the first verse. If you have not yet seen part 1, I highly recommend that you view that study first as again, it lays the proper foundation for everything that we will be examining today in this study – the foundation of course, is Jesus Christ and His finished work; and the relationship that is possible because of it.

Today we examine the blessings themselves… and hold on tight, because this is a fantastic journey beyond even your wildest dreams. Ephesians 3:20, mentions that Christ is able to do exceedingly, abundantly far above all you can ever ask or imagine – by His power that works in us! And we are going to be seeing exactly what that looks like today, in Psalms 91.