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Becoming Like Jesus - Part 2

David Shin

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David Shin

Dr. David Shin is the President of Ouachita Hills College.

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  • August 25, 2018
    11:30 AM
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With me this morning as we ask the spirit to attend this Father in Heaven Lord we thank you for the words of that song in the morning when I rise give me Jesus give us Jesus today a glimpse of your character a glimpse of who you are May the thoughts of our minds in the meditation of our be continually upon the beauty of the character of Jesus Christ for yes the things in his name bless us now as you open this service time this time in our worship service to spend time meditating on heavenly things pray that you would speak to us in Jesus' name amen amen today is our 2nd installment in our 2 part mini Smitty series that we've been titled Becoming like Jesus and let's do a brief review of the last Sabbath study at 2nd Corinthians chapter 3 verse 18 it says but we all with unveiled face be holding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord our being transformed into the same image from glory to glory just as from the Lord the spirit that was the focus of our study last saveth and we indicated that there is this principle in the Bible that by be holding we become changed. That through contemplation we have admiration which leads to our transformation in a man that through contemplation about Jesus it leads to admiration about who Jesus is and unconsciously there is this transformation that begins to happen in our own character and we said that this idea of contemplation is to thoughtfully look at a long time in other words is not just to behold but it is be holding it is to think about to take in to reflect upon to meditate and then to ponder So this is continuous action of beholding and the tense there in the original language is a nonstop beholding and it's a nonstop transforming So we have 2 things that are taking place as we are beholding. We are unconsciously being transformed this is the way that it works as we think about Jesus the natural byproduct is that we are being transformed in character to become more like Jesus and we looked at this quotation from the book desire of ages it would be well for us to spend a thoughtful hour each day notice the word in contemplation of the life of Christ we should take it point by point and let the imagination grasp each scene especially the closing ones as we dust well upon his great sacrifice for us our confidence in him will be more constant Our love will be quickened and we shall be more deeply imbued with his spirit so this idea that contemplation also involves our imagination we are to in imagination go back to the scenes that we see in scripture and as we join Jesus into 70 at the cross in our imagination it leads to a transformation that takes place in our lives and we address this idea of the left brain and the right brain activity the left brain is the analytical it's the logical it is the part that breaks things the part of the brain that breaks things apart and then you have the right brain that is about synthesis is and imagination I spent a lot of money or $40000.00 doing my master the arts degree and we spent a lot of hours which side of the brain do you think we had. Our activities in it was the left side it was in X. a Jesus in analysis in systematic theology and coherence and logic and we need to do that. Amen we need critical thinking Mark Karr knows he went through with it a different time but here we we have this thing of imagination that that is many times missing in our thinking when it comes to scholarly studies and I almost needed some therapy when I got out of the seminary because that side of the brain was was dormant and I found that when I read scripture it was work hard work in analysis and I realized that God is calling me to engage him with all of our brains and men not just left side but the left and right side and the right side involves this emotive. Feeling of entering into the text and it's quite liberating and therapeutic actually that I can open my Bible and say OK I can give the analysis the rest for this morning amen and I can just immerse myself in the experience of the text there is something that happens when we experience the text in this way and we read this quotation from thoughts of the mount of blessing notice the words that she's using let us in what does it say in imagination go back to that scene and as we sit with the disciples on the mountainside enter into the thoughts and feelings that filled their hearts understanding what the words of Jesus meant to those who heard them we may discern in them a new vividness and beauty and may also gather for ourselves their deeper lessons this is an important part of how we read scripture it's not just to be analysis is exit Jesus and critical thinking it is also to involve imagination to enter into this scene to let our emotions enter into the scene and I believe it is when we do this that Jesus goes from a proposition to a person. From a concept to the Christ. Engaging God through our imagination then we look at the example of John the Beloved as the character of the Divine One was manifested to him Jesus saw in his own deficiencies and was humbled by the Revelation John saw his deficiencies correction John saw as own deficiencies and was humbled by the revelation day by day in contrast with his own violent spirit he beheld the tenderness and the forbearance and heard his lessons of humility and patients day by day his heart was drawn out to Christ until he lost sight of self in love for his master the power and tenderness the majesty and meekness the strength and patients that he saw in the daily life of the Son of God filled his soul with a lot admiration he yielded his resentful ambitious temper to the molding of Christ and Divine Love rot in him a transformation of character John had defects. He had a temper he was ambitious but as he beheld the beauty of Jesus it filled his heart with admiration and through this process of imagination it led to admiration which led to his transformation. What is your imagination life like. What is imagination I look it up in the dictionary it's the capacity to produce and notice what it is images and ideas and sensations in the mind without any immediate input of the senses such as seeing or hearing is that right side of the brain and some synonyms for imagination is meditation visualize ation and contemplation and reflection now I want to make a little note here on meditation there was this video I was so excited to share and then things just went downhill after that when I tried it up there. But we need to recognize that there is a fundamental difference in Biblical meditation and transcendental meditation. The video is going to share was a gentleman that was premiered or those an interview that took place and it was shown on T.V. administering television and he had gotten into Transcendental Meditation he tells a story of how he was practicing these techniques to empty his mind and to reach a certain state of consciousness that he says that he experienced something very unique he came up out of his body and had an experience where he talked with and saw a person the just like Jesus just like the photos that you see of Jesus I should say the paintings that you see of Jesus in and he asked him while he was meditating and in this transcendental state he asked him Are you Jesus. And he said no I'm not Jesus I'm an elevated being so they had this communication every time he meditated he would go into this transcendental state and begin dialogue with this being and he said that their relationship if you can call it that developed to the plays where he didn't even have to be in this meditative state this being would talk to him as he went through his day they would have dialogue and engagement and so forth. And he said that later on he went to an evangelical community accepted Christ and found strangely enough that the same practices that he had been doing with this group that was describing to Allister Bailey and these other types of thinkers that the same practices that they were doing was being practice in certain the evangelical community as well. We need to recognize that for every truth there is a counterfeit. And what I believe that this man was actually experiencing was spiritualism he was actually having dialogue with a spirit a being and this is the type of meditation that certain practices are leading to but here is a fundamental difference between biblical meditation in Eastern meditation this is a quotation from Conrad vine He says eastern meditative practices involve the emptying of the mind whereas biblical meditation involves filling the mind with the Word of God fundamental difference reflecting carefully upon God's revelation of Himself in scriptures in the life in the ministry of Jesus Christ and upon God's acts in history including the life of the believed her. Eastern meditation emptying the mind biblical meditation filling your mind with the Word of God Now we need to be very careful here because there is a tendency that when you see something that is leading a certain direction like Eastern meditation that there's a tendency to swing the pendulum and say you know I'm not going to practice meditation at all but I want to show you that meditation biblical meditation is something that is not just optional for the Christian life but Biblical meditation is imperative for the Christian experience here it is from some 77 verse 2 I will also meditate on all your work and talk of your D.D. Psalm 101st 15 I will meditate on your precepts and contemplate your ways Psalm 127 Make me understand the way of your precepts show so shall I meditate on your wonderful works some 1948 my hands Also I will lift up to your commandments which I love I will meditate on your statutes this is just a sample of them last and that leaves for us Timothy Chapter 4 verse 12 meditate on these things give yourself entirely to them that your progress may be evident to all Meditation is a very important part of the Christian experience this is from Christ object lessons page 59 notice which he says merely to hear or read the word is not enough. He who desires to be profited by the Scriptures must meditate upon the truth that has been presented to him gone build bids us fill the mind with great thoughts pure thoughts he desires us to meditate on His love and mercy to study his wonderful work in the great plan of redemption this old welling in the pure atmosphere of holy thought the word here will be what will be transformed by communion with God through the study the Scriptures do you have aspects of your character that you want God to change it doesn't change. By focusing on trying to change that behavior it changes by our imagination you see our transformation is not our responsibility our imagination is our responsibility so through meditation it leads to ultimate transformation meditation is an important part of the Christian experience and this is from our children's story remember the word that we talked about rumination we say that the Kal ruminates chooses food so biblical meditation is to ruminate it is to think about something over and over and over again do you remember when you were in love those initial moments. With your spouse I should say you should always be in love with your spouse but you know I'm talking about during those dating days the initial parts of that dating relationship it's interesting how we're wired because it's this infatuation that takes over us and when we try to study remember in school you try to study and all you can see when you're trying to study that lesson is the face of that person that you're dating in other words that person becomes your meditation when you get up when you go through your day in the evening the thoughts are continually going through your mind and unfortunately because of our sinful nature the meditation the thoughts of man have been going naturally in a certain direction this is in Genesis Chapter 6 or is 5 and God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually What do you think people are meditating on naturally today in the streets of Anchorage What do you think is going through their consciousness there is a certain trend in humanity that without God The trend is downward and here it says that the meditation the imagination of the thoughts was only evil continually and God not only wants a certain X. turn a well I should say this God is not just interested in outward conformity Amen matter of fact he would rather not have that if the thought life is not in accordance But here the battle is really for a thought 2nd Corinthians Chapter 10 verse 5 casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalted itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. In other words the battle of the Christian is for the thoughts now there are certain things that just pop in our heads and the battle is to dismiss and to replace There's a saying that goes you can't keep birds from flying over your head but you can keep them from building a nest in it there are certain things that just pop in there and we're not responsible for those but we are responsible when something pops in there and you're like well let me just think about that for a little bit that's where the problem begins and I think that sometimes we have gone into this area where we say you know what I'm not going to do it but let me think about it a while let me enjoy it in my imagination and the Bible is calling us to this battle of bringing every thought to the obedience of Christ very quickly minister appealing for $91.00 even the thoughts are not to be allowed to run riot they must be restrained brought into captivity to the beatings of Christ let them be placed upon the whole the things that which at 1st seems difficult by constant repetition grows easy until right thoughts and actions become have bitch you will in other words this takes time when the thoughts have been have been running in a different channel it takes time and energy to focus them in another direction very quickly and if you move on what does biblical meditation look like here it is Joshua chapter one verse 8 keep this book of the law always on your lips meditate on it day and night so that you may be careful to do everything written in it then you will be prosperous and successful in other words biblical meditation the thought life of the Christian is that when you wake up in the morning your favorite place that you want to go is to think about Jesus. And as you go through your day your favorite place that you think about the person that you want to think about you think about Jesus and before you go to bed you think about Jesus as well we live in a time that is very challenging I have this slide on the screen is actually a screen shot from a blog that was posted at Harvard University's site of the arts and humanities knows the title here says dopamine smartphones and a battle for your time I want to read a little bit from this post that was put on the Harvard University site it says I feel tremendous guilt amid a. Former Vice President of user growth at Facebook to an audience of Stanford students he was responding to a question about his involvement in exploiting consumer behavior the short term dopa mean driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works he explained in PAP palli happy talk he highlighted something most of all know but few really appreciate smartphones and the social media platforms they support are turning us into bonafide added. These guys are wiring social media with a very keen knowledge of how our brain works and Confession is good for the soul I had to delete Instagram off of my smartphone you know because I'm a photographer and you know it's my hobby it's my stress relief and I would take a picture and then I would posted on Instagram for my quote followers and every like every comment I would get a shot of dopamine. I mean it's just I'm just being real it's like a hit that you get and you know what I found throughout my day I was tapping that Instagram app for my next like my next comment and it's just like this you keep going back to it over and over again and I realized that Instagram had become my meditation and just being real and this is a challenge that we have while it's easy to dismiss the article goes on this claim as a it's easy to dismiss this claim as a hyperbole platforms like Facebook Snap Chat and Instagram leverage the very same neural circuitry used by slot machines and cocaine to keep us using their products as much as possible taking a closer look at the underlying science may give you pause the next time you feel your pocket buzz. That's a nervous laugh there because you know this is reality I used to have a Blackberry remember those before they went extinct they used to call them Crack Berry. Because every time I got an email my Blackberry would buzz. And I had to go in there to check it because I would get up dopamine hit and this is where we are today this is the adult that we face today now these are tools and we need to ensure that we're controlling the tool not letting the tool control us and praise the Lord for my smartphone because I can deposit checks without having to go into the bank I mean there's so many things there's the Bible on there there is does the Spirit of Prophecy but I have a sneaking suspicion that when people are doing this they're not reading the vibe. This error that we're living in where our smartphones are the thing that we reach for 1st in the morning. Now and we think about throughout our day it is always with us and it is next to our bed stand before we go to sleep at night. God is calling us to think about him some one verse 2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord and who meditates on his Law Day and Night this is where God is calling us to to make him the subject of our meditation and you know what. After I get get my aura got my instagram hits or hits a dope I mean I would always have this sense of emptiness that would calm and linger afterwards because in reality I believe that we were all built and made to be addicted to God. And we try to feed that addiction with other things and we always come up vacuous and emptier than before he is the desire of all the ages he's the person that can build that void he doesn't prophets page $85.00 not the infinite this talking about the infinite unfathomable love of God through Christ became the subject of his meditations day and night with all the fervor of his soul he sought to reveal that love to the people among whom he dwelt this is the beauty of meditation Yes it takes effort that effort that ability only comes from God but as we choose to spend time thinking about Jesus he is so beautiful a man. And as we get a clearer and more deeper glimpse of Jesus we can't help but thinking about him and that's the way it works to the place where Jesus is the person that you think about in the morning as you go through your day and in the evening and I want you with me by the grace of God to engage in this 30 day challenge you know one of you know in the purpose of my sermon this is this is it here to 30 day challenge and to make time in the morning put your phone praise the Lord on airplane mode OK I'll still be there when you get back OK put it in another room I have had to do this many times or I just started doing this because I realized the trend of where things go I leave my laptop and my phone at home when I come to church early in the morning to study for my sermon and to spend time in meditation I have to have it out of the building because I'm an addict OK And so I come here and you know what I find that it is so rich put your phone on airplane mode put it away choose a Bible passage meditate on the text use your imagination put the analysis to one side and contemplate imagine the text immerse yourself in the text and journal your thoughts journaling has been transformative to me in my life I have a little journal that I bring with me where I write my notes and pull out of your bulletin I have a little insert there it's on meditation and a devotional life I was in such a rush here that I did not get one does someone have one they can pass to me I'll give it back I promise it's an insert it's a trifold insert on meditation. Here we go to thank you I promise I'll give it back and this is from Conrad vine he's adapted dept at it for this format for this study guide and it has some points on meditation you may be asking yourself How am I to do this on in terms of meditation carve out some time in your morning ask the Lord to get you up early it's amazing how he does this he will wake you up you'll get his angel to tap you on the shoulder and you will get up just make sure you get out of bed and I'm going to look at the bullet points here very quickly about what meditation involves meditation involves a conscious reflection and chewing upon God's revelation of Himself in Scripture nature salvation history and personal experience the purpose of meditation is to grow in Christ likeness to reflect the character of Christ more and more this happens as we grow daily from merely knowing God's word to understanding how to apply in God's revealed will in our own lives meditation may involve the memorization and vocalisation of scripture meditation may involve singing scripture to oneself meditation is to be a continual activity of one's mind and heart meditation may involve the sink defied use of one's imagination to project oneself into the biblical story in order to better appreciate and apply the spiritual lessons within the story journal as we could still last part of the year of our 30 day challenge Journal as you meditate a journal is a diary in which we write about our life with God as we can't separate life from God. When we journal we are not to merely be writing about our life would God but we are to be writing our own lives and how God is present in our lives all you need are a book with blank pages and a pen we can use our journal to write down these bullet points important discoveries from your personal Bible study prayer and time at church with other Christian meetings per request for others and God's answers to questions and problems for God private thoughts and feelings about your journey with God helpful quotations or Bible verses that you want to remember things that you have learned about yourself God in life successes and thanks to God anything else as it relates to your spiritual growth it is completely up to you explore a particular subject related to your spiritual journey for example how does God communicate with me pray constantly be humble and open to God's voice determine to follow where God leads prioritize your life around your time with God Remember your purpose is to reflect Jesus more and more in your character to be more to do and to more fully live God's will for you I remember when I was leading a team of canvassers teenagers going door to door in the countryside of Michigan 10 weeks with 10 teenagers slept in the same room with them ate with them you were there counsellor you were there Dean you were their pastor I mean I just couldn't believe these parents and trusted us to these kids it was exhausting absolutely exhausting and every morning by the grace of God I would get up and walk out to the little playground that's about 2 blocks from the church where we were sitting with my Bible. I look back on those times and I'm just like what a sink sure I was just me and God just communion talking with him every time walking back from that sanctuary in time I was rejuvenated not just spiritually but physically emotionally it was as if I had just been infused with a new life and communion with God is our highest approval it's Amen highest approach it is so profound and so beautiful and if there's anything that the devil wants to do he wants to crowd out our lives with good things important things so in Rob that time with God. Even for the pastor. Even for the pastor you can get so involved in good things that it takes away from that time with God and this is a sermon for me to guard this time with God and man to to guard our time with God in the morning to spend this time with him and to meditate upon Jesus in the morning as we go through our day and before we go to bed at night it's my prayer for us as a community of faith that Jesus and His beauty and his character will become. Our favorite thoughts that we like to think Amen and that by thinking these thoughts we will be transformed into the same image how many of you want that a man how you want to be like Jesus a man but a surprise that is for a father in heaven. We think that you are beautiful that we we thank you that that reflection of your beauty is found in the face of Jesus Christ. And Lord today we want to be hold that beauty we want to be enraptured by the beauty of who you are made that thought be the subject of our meditation and our imagination Father in heaven we pray that you would work in us both to will and to do of your good pleasure and we have no will power our promises are like ropes of sand but we pray that you would create in us today a deeper desire for you help us to fall in love with Jesus over and over and over again help us to think about you over and over and over again Oh Lord let the thoughts of our hearts. And our own meditations be acceptable in your sight O. Lord. Our Christ for us he seemed precious name of Jesus. This media was brought to you by audio 1st a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermons lead to visit W W W audio verse or.

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