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Christian Bible Study - Bible Studies


Michael Le Sueur
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    If you take notice of the times in your life that you are either tempted or pressured to be something other than yourself, you would be surprised at the continual bombardment that we face each day to put on another face other than our own. The media, peer pressure, fear and phobias, low self esteem, social acceptance in all its forms, the pursuit of money and all that it entails, the desire to attract the oppisite sex, just think about what causes you to create an acceptable image and the list will grow on and on. Make a study of how these things have crept into our imagination. Have you ever imagined all the things that you can be? Can you remember trying to imitate someone else or investing a lot of time and effort pretending to be something that you are not. Trying to walk or talk like others, or wanting to mimic another culture and dress in a way that is really not your style. Images can be like whirlwinds you get caught in and they can spin you for a lifetime. They will even spin your heart away from Christ. In mark 7:6, Jesus confirms that the heart of the hypocrite is far from him. This is a disturbing condition for a person seeking Christ to be in. The conditioning of the Christian has to be true to the heart, the image must be for real.

     Our hearts must be the manger Christ was born in.

     The hypocrite mask their real self while they play a part for the world to see. What the world wants to see can often cause extreme pressure in your mind to succeed very quickly and to perform at levels that you are not comfortable with. Society has really conditioned us to put forth our best picture of ourselves which is often not the real picture of our self. A hypercritical stance toward life and yourself can cause very serious problems. It stands to reason that some cannot handle problems because they don't know who they are or what their purpose is. Our purpose is specifically designed by Christ. Jesus does not generate false-puffed up hypocritical patterns in man, we do that ourselves. In PS.127:1, unless God is the builder of our house- it is plastic. We are not meant to be plastic, just for real. It is in our nature to always try to present a figure, usually a public representation that will cause an impression. This behavior has become a way of life that is woven into the social fabric of society. It has made its "unclear" mark very clear in the business world. We are led to believe that we need image to excel. All that is available to boost our image must be obtained and maintained. Money, clothes, cars and whatever material possessions are considered elite. People no longer find Christ wrapped in swaddling clothes, now he is in silk robes. Success is great, there is no doubt about that, but it is even greater with Christ at the center of the heart. It is here where some loose reality.

     The reason why Christ is so valuable to us is that he is real, he is, present tense in your life,HEB.11:6, and he will reward those who believe that. While man is working on his image, Christ is diagnosing the heart, intently trying to work on you. In MATT.15:3-8, Christ is confronted by the Pharisees on the matter of tradition. The disciple's were accused of eating bread without washing their hands. A trivial matter on the surface, but the Pharisees were surface dwellers, concerned with appearance and image. You can remember how it felt when someone did this to you, just made the matter so much more meaningless than it was while thinking they were making it more spiritual. It's so real to them and so irritating to you. Even with the Pharisees Christ is concerned with the heart and he went to the very heart of the accusation. He told them they were hypocrites-honoring God with their mouth, yet their heart was not even close. They believed that their point of view was the way to live better and didn't want to be responsible for their own false way of thinking. A hypocritical stance towards religion brings with it the same stance towards the values that issue from religion. God's plan for all life is real and obedience to it fashions real results. Jesus was always for real with people and he did not favor hypocrites. The confidence Christ had was in the unseen God. The hypocrite puts confidence in what can be seen, shaped and saluted by men. The disadvantage in this approach is that when we base our thought's on man's thinking we can only go as far as man has gone. Confidence in God will prepare the heart.

     One of the most liberating secrets in life is to discover Jesus, his role in life for you, and then to joyfully live in it. To know that you can come to him in your original-real self. To understand that he loves you as you are and does not check the purity level of your heart to accept you. (2COR.5:20,21). To become acquainted with Christ you need to perceive yourself in fact and truth and also present yourself in the same mode to him and to others. It is very simple to become familiar with facts. This approach will cut through sanctimonious display and strip away pretense and foolish pride. It lays the groundwork for an original new beginning. People get depressed because they don't like the real picture of themselves. That real picture is needed in order to repent. The goodness of God leads you to repent in truth, not in false, temporary familiar display. The real Mc Coy needs to change, what good will it do to change your imagined image? God wants the person he created, not the one you created. The person you created may be very popular with people. It would be wise to consider the consequences of pretending to be something you are not. Pleasing God and men are two entirely different things-world's apart.

     When you spend a lot of time not being yourself a strong impression is left on your intellect. The way you feel, how you speak, your memory and beliefs can become vague or indistinct. You could be heavily influenced by a wild imagination. You could imitate others so much that yourself is lost. This may offer excitement but Christ is not the source of energy, something else is. When something other than the truth is your source, its just not real. (look in ROM.1:21, JER.23:17, 2COR.10:5). History makes a strong case that man left to think for himself will just lean toward evil. Evil has its limits then God will allow no more. The impression of Christ is without limit. We can actually have the image of Christ. ROM.8:29. With him there is no limit as to how we can help ourselves and others. When we mimic the mind of Christ we give ourselves over to the truth. The way we feel, how we think, what we believe as well as how we handle troubles is all filtered through Jesus-the entrance of life. We can really be ourselves and the gifts and talents that God gave us can be accessed in the original. You can use your own without trying to imitate another. When an impression is false the original could be at risk of being lost. Your original true self is never worthless because of the artist who made you. If you feel like your nothing, just give that nothing to Christ.

     Through Christ, we have just cause to be ourselves, to be for real, to confront our sin. We are justified by him and we do not have to put on a show to people or to our gracious father God. Jesus will break us free from the bondage of hypocrisy. We can submit to him as we are, in that sense we don't have to change. Justification does not change us on the inside-it changes God's viewpoint of us. He looks at us through Christ and then declares us justified! Look at ROM.3:22-25. The righteousness of God comes through faith in Jesus Christ. We are all sinners, that should be real in our minds. Only it's wonderful how Christ willfully freed us from the image and penalty of sin , using his own energy to generate justice for all, without price-he is payment enough, we are the benefactors of his matchless gift of grace. That means redemption through him our sins are passed over. Under these conditions we can disown all false conduct and we may as well be for real. You can be who you are and let your life tell the world that I AM sent you.

     Our personality does not have to be manipulated by television, greed or admiration of men. These things will confuse direction and puff up false goals in your life. You can be yourself without puffing up your ego or bank account. To face who you are just deflate your ego and magnify Christ in your true living. We are offered the actual and essential nature of Jesus , he can live in us when our hearts are true. Jesus is the way to be real, the truth to be told and the life to live for you. JOHN 14:6. He is alpha and omega, the complete cycle of life.

  Michael Le Sueur
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Christian Bible Study - Bible Studies

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