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By Beholding

Mark Howard
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Mark Howard

Director, Emmanuel Institute of Evangelism

Sponsor

Recorded

  • August 4, 2012
    4:00 PM
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our gracious heavenly father full of justice and full of mercy full of grace and truth we thank you that we can come into your presence once more in the Sabbath hours and father we pray that you would shine your light upon us and letting our minds with a picture of your glory father show us your glory today that we may reflect that image to the world we ask and pray this in the name of Jesus and for his sake amen now last night and this morning work where a little bit different in fact I want to touch on briefly last night we talked about the importance of knowing God 's character at the end of time because as were going to see this afternoon that biblical principle is that lightly holding we become changed into the image we behold and instantly you have an incorrect picture that we are beholding will be changed into the image of that incorrect picture and I gave you the example of the Jews in Christ's day that as a people were transformed into a character that was not God 's character what was the character of God they had entertained and so it's it's vitally important for us to understand God 's character and I told you last night it also this morning that the devil has worked very diligently to separate justice or mercy so he can divide God 's people into camps and he can have the justice law obedience camp and the mercy grace love can and never the twain shall meet and we argue back and forth one thinking they are the holy grip the other thinking Denali group and the devil laughing all the way to the bank as the old saying goes and I want you to understand that the character of God is a perfect blend of justice and mercy and what we look at last night and this morning I'm reiterating it because it needs to be reiterated in desire of ages the chapter is finished it talks about the Devils last deception upon the world and upon the Christian church especially in that is that God 's mercy destroyed justice at the cross so that now in an ancient race of obedience to God 's law is not important anymore careful obedience is a thing of the past and weekly trying to flesh that out a little bit last night the problem is that when I had time when permit me to give you all the nuances out that the devil does have a lot of deception and if there's one exception you won't fall cord you think you're on top of the example another deception on it it's just like getting a Baltimore that not being you and give you a little example of something that that I think illustrates the point for those of you who were here last night and how use last night as an example but this happens to me this is happening often in churches I pastored if I get when I give a sermon about God 's grace and about God 's goodness and his unconditional love all your own target pastor you're on target that's exactly what we need and I remember one particular church that I pastored in any time I would freeze on that he graced heavy side of things I have some people and they would say that's exactly what we need but if I get a little bit on the area of character development suddenly I was off the mark and they come up and feel that importance is saying passing on appreciated the message that I don't see how that quite fits in with the mercy and love of God and I just want to tell you something that's a perfect illustration of what I talked about on Friday night some of us just cannot bear hearing messages that tell us that we have a responsibility as Christians something that brings heavy conviction and makes us feel like we have to do something about it we completely requested in this age of grace weather that really is a great centered sermon that because of a perversion of God 's character in our minds as what it is is because we came we have a hard time reconciling we got these days a pastor has the principle of discernment has to be loaded with caveats and parenthetical expressions where we say something anything a hold on a minute I want to understand that I don't mean our same fireworks in Albany is out of school teachers any sensible to hear the speakers here you know you doing anytime to talk about the incident there are many caveats and I'm not saying the same hours isn't through why we have to do that do we really not know that now is because we haven't distortion of the understanding of the blend of justice and mercy the character of God as system evidence of how well the devil has pulled this thing off why because he knows the importance of the development of character it can only be developed with a balanced view of justice and mercy and just a clarify a balanced view of justice and mercy doesn't mean that you might not have an entire message that focuses heavily on mercy or gunfire message that focuses heavily on justice it depends on the ground read Matthew twenty three scribes and Pharisees hypocrites know them all the way through the chapter it doesn't seem very merciful but I can guarantee you something it was it was full of mercy every bit as much of anything else Jesus said that in that case Jesus knew that the most merciful thing he could do was to be just an exercise judgment witnessed here I argue with me so far maybe maybe not but that's irrelevant as we study this morning our service will class it possible that I wasn't called up free the earlier years we don't have enough time for that we really don't millennium universe history and were talking about the importance of character we talked this morning about the fact that the final test is a test of character the marks and forget are symbolic of the character in his forehead because characters are to find out this afternoon is made up of thoughts and feelings it's the thought patterns it's a way we process the final test is a test of character character is going to determine are the outcome of our actions just like we mentioned Peter Wood Peter thought he wouldn't deny Christ in fact when Peter swore he wouldn't deny Christ he still did it why because his character was faulty in this character determines his final actions and no matter what we think we'll do it or not seeking developed to develop Christlike characters are final action may be far different from what we intended to do and that's why this is so vitally important so that the test of the other timeless character and it takes time to build character that's why we talked this morning about the parable of the ten virgins at exactly the point is being made and you can't wake up at the end of time to get character nobody else has built character can you give Eric Eric it will be too late at that time which is why now it's essential so how do we build the character how his character built might be a better way of saying I want to go on the principle with me in the book of second Corinthians second Corinthians chapter three second Corinthians chapter three and were going to verse eighteen granted there's a lot of context here that were not going to be on the delve into but we still get the principle all that were looking for second Corinthians three verse eight seems as but we all with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord are being lot transformed into the same image the same image is why as we are beholding the following I remember reading in fact probably won't even take the time to go there since I also believe the point he made early in elderly re- raises this by beholding me become chain made people heard that some people sell wares at the mile here's where does the Bible doesn't say exactly the same way excessively beholden image and we are changed into the image we behold now in this particular context it says that we are being transformed into the same image from what glory to glory and that's speaking about character and it's important to notice that it's from glory to glory which tells us again a character is not a one-time deal you don't just vote on the wedding garment and its own interest there is done there is a process of time where character is developed from one level of character to another from one stage of growth to another from glory to glory just ask by the new the spirit of the Lord so we are changed transformed into the image we are beholding and that unfortunately is not only work in the positive direction and also works in the negative direction if we're beholding something positive that that image will shape us in for me holding something negative that will save us those things that we spend the most time with will save you know we are the people we spend the most time with will say who we are how many of you have found that to be true okay I don't need to be telling you that most of you have seen that at least to some degree in your life and it works in every aspect of life as it is a not just the spiritual but in reality it's all part of the spiritualism we go next only voluntary like Mike well there's here the Christian life and then here's my secular life I know are you Christian Anderson you get to Jesus I hope all that you know even the Monday is a part of our Christian life somebody holding me become changed I was sure his couple statements year from the pen of inspiration price of the classification of two ninety nine says the people of the world are worshiping false gods and we talked about that this morning not just because they're worshiping veil per se you can worship the God of heaven if you ask people you place on him the wrong attributes of character and your worshiping something else besides God I'm trying to remember how a friend of mine put it he was not innocently playing pastor friend or two who the guy was talking about God and as describing this this no picture this old testament vengeful God picture and the he basically said he was going to go speak at some Christian conference this is friend of mine and I said that as they got to talking and he discovered he said about guy so I don't believe I I don't believe that God exists because you mean you're speaking of some Christian conversation I don't believe the document described exists anywhere in the universe even the he is a believer in God I maybe believe in God there are certain guys I don't believe that an inclusive daughter have anything put on him the wrong characteristics because that God doesn't exist is a figment of man's imagination in a similar thing in other words I make calling Jesus but if I put the characteristics of somebody else on Jesus other than Jesus characteristics is not Jesus is impossible and I made that point this morning that if I can be holding a Jesus that is not the Jesus of the Bible are not to be transformed into Jesus and identity transform into whatever other image and its idolatry if it's not the person of Jesus and that's what I want to flesh out this afternoon the world is worshiping false gods no as in Minnesota say they are to be turned from their false worship not by hearing denunciations of their idols but by beholding something better God 's goodness is to be made known how he are my witnesses saith the Lord that I God to God 's goodness is to be made known and we are a part of making that goodness known as precedent lessons page two ninety nine listen to this next statement from councils of the church page eighty this is by beholding that we become change by dwelling upon the love of God and our Savior by contemplating the perfection of the divine character was a thing to contemplate me ask it this way is contemplation of passing on all that spending some time meditating on by contemplating the perfection of the divine character and claiming the righteousness of Christ as ours by phase we are to be transformed into the same in so again beholding the character of God here's another one and I apologize I lost the page it's countless writers and editors it's a A five eighteen ninety nine it says here Christ does not ask for a man the glorification of their fellow man he does not ask of men that they shall praise the beauty of confidence Goss could price meeting countenance he did not plan to the attention of men should be centered upon he is believed or form or feature the Bible says that he had no former coming which is why it always bugs me to a degree I can understand it to have these machismo pictures of Jesus the chiseled 's law the handsome rugged looks the Bible says there was no former comeliness that you were desiring an outwardly there was no outward beauty and God planned it that way Jesus and had all the outward beauty in the world people can look at him like they look at Saul or David and Stan or Absalom and said wow what a beautiful looking person that got purposely manifested himself inhumanity in a form that there was no beauty or comeliness and lesson he did not plan to the attention of men should be centered upon his view your former feature his design was to draw the attention of men to his virtue of character and he ever met somebody and I don't want to see your hands here where your first impression upon your physical view of them is this person is I don't know undesirable effects when you look at them in your existing unit initially just give on you if you pass thought you know this person is whenever is there a name there not that smart of enough that you know you just had what I learned from this person a something and you think you came to know that person and when you came to know that person you saw in that person something that probably made your shame that you ever thought when you first thought because he realized the treasurer character but me ask you what would you rather have in life you want people to look at you and say wow what a handsome and good-looking girl and then after they get to know you say well at least they look nice and I would you rather have them go away when they get to know you and seeing that virtue of character that's what God wants for us something in that incident in a care facility were taking from here to there that's what it was that Jesus and once people came to see his character it really was irrelevant when he looked like the beauty of his character shown everything else his design was to draw the attention of men do is virtue of character his perfect obedience that might be holding his people may become changed into the same Gloria asking this question when you see a person that you think ladies when you see a woman that you think is a good-looking woman her half-sister is also actress is something what is the initial reaction and humanity what do we want to do when I don't look like them and where we start the outside write the same way guys you see a guy you think it's something you know I good-looking guy many important items on emulate to Auckland what's on the outside when you see something that is when you see solid character is a whole different mindset is a whole different thing you're trying to emulate Jesus didn't even want people to get tripped up it were even possible he could've to on getting in a manner that would have been attractive outwardly and inwardly but people would've initially wasted their time with the outward when he realized you know what really is what I like about this guy is within some just to cut the chase he came with no former coming so that what people would see they would recognize as the beauty and character in that it goes on to say that by beholding his people may be changed into the same glorious image and represent his goodness his mercy and his love to the world by beholding his design is a week to become change now because every deception that I've already talked about that tendency we have only start talking about Jesus and beholding Jesus and we talked to the character of Jesus is returned exactly when and where the first things that come to mind character of Jesus the character of Jesus in fact if you desire heinous because we can talk about the character of God character Jesus with worsening asthma is passionate his passionate love in compassion thank you gentleness honest patient humble me know listen to this statement this is one of the most powerful statements I say that I a lot of them but there are a lot of powerful statements and write a paragraph gospel workers page two ninety says Christian life is more than many take it debate it does not consist wholly in gentleness patience meekness and kindliness these graces are essential but there is need also occurring force energy and perseverance many ask a question did Jesus have occurring did you have for the demon and energy yes those were Elizabeth Carrigan is so often overlooked and so again we looking guy doing any Lake God 's character inviting holding we become changed but it are beholding as a one-sided beholding too often Christians come to laugh moral occurring in the church because they want to be lobbing and so as one pastor once said we have today will master the art of almost saying something dare I say that describe the sermon I heard today we say good things but to walk on we do not say what needs to be said we lack moral courage in a day when the devil is taking this battle to his shy and Guyanese people with moral courage restraints with perseverance incidentally revelation fourteen inebriated in the new King James for example this year the patients of the same but the more accurate reading would be here is the perseverance of the thing the difference is that patients only think of patience patience is very passing patient says all pages of my film I can't when acting up and I'm trying to confidence away and when you need mutations in women telling me to sit down and be quiet patients as passive perseverance is active patients might be waiting perseverance is working while you wait here is the perseverance of the Saints Saints a company I asked him at the end of time they going to have the traits of character honey read on here so you will engage in Hungary the last part again there is also neither courage force energy and perseverance something to as a missionary service are we not blessed spiritless easily discourage anybody here ever to Bible work literature evangelism any kind of missing any kind of ministry I'll be honest there is some kind of ministries today they are very non- self-sacrificing ministries anything is to be acknowledging ministry is not when you really have to yourself in an uncomfortable situation you go out and you're going to buy you if you are given to discouragement is no way you can ever make it as a literature evangelist as a minister his preaching timely truth as somebody who's going out to get the gospel to this generation not that the devil will find you and and and in fact if you seems that you lack that moral courage he knows his mother take much to get a runoff against adopting her legs parted the character of Christ 's moral courage is that perseverance is that that letter to say here in the back to not be easily discouraged some are nerveless spirit was easily discouraged they lack flesh she says they have not goes positive traits of character they give power to do something the spirit and energy to kindle enthusiasm those who would win success must be courageous and hopeful that the press things forward they should cultivate listen carefully not only the passive but the active virtues at best the character were talking about not one-sided character not just the passive virtues but the active virtues and notice it says they should cultivate can anybody think of something in art in our every day in life that would be described as cultivating and my spiritual life here think of a term something something impractical occupational life wearing army what would be cultivating and farming he e.g. anything regarding my parents regarding going up and alleviate that I hated meeting guide anybody hate weeding the garden is a new anybody here to leave the garden love okay one in the back allows cultivation but this is this is called the meaning is something that is is labor-intensive it's labor-intensive sometimes we don't have those certain Americans of their impending is that while coming at this if I don't haven't gotten around them and to cultivate means we should see what the character is an agency to put ourselves in in the Avenue of developing that character patient company not only the passive to be active virtues while they are to give the soft answer turns away wrath they must possess the courage of a hero to resist evil with the charity that endures all things they need the force of character that will make their influence a positive power were talking about beholding the character of Christ once again make sure the character your beholding is the character of Christ and not some modern invention of or counterfeit God 's people today especially need both active virtues you understand statistically that two percent of the church in North America shares their faith in a regular basis two percent as it has pretty severe lack of active Christian virtues what happened in the church that change the world turned the world upside down with swell guy and I are remaining on the latter rain he listened carefully the Raymond Allen Pentecost is still available to you and me we should be doing no less than what we saw them we need the active Christian virtues how do we get it we've got to behold where are we going to behold the glory of God second Corinthians chapter four second Corinthians chapter four look at verse five with me wow look at verse three with me this is just such a great passage verse three of second Corinthians chapter four but even if our gospel is veiled it is veiled to those two are what perishing this means the god of this age has blinded in a whole longer applies here because as I told you were to get in so much give a clarifying statement from inspiration it tells us that character is made up of thoughts and feelings the seal of God the Mark of the beast is in the forehead it's what's going on in the mind character is a matter of the mind it's a matter of the thinking and how the mind works and the God of this world is seeking to blind the minds of people he doesn't want the character of Christ develop and so he is blind in their minds in regard to God in his image and notice that it goes on to say here the god of this age has his mind timbers for the guide is aged blind and who do not believe lest the light of the gospel of the water glory of Christ who is the image of God one now what is telling us that the God of this world does not want you to get a clear view of the character of God lest they would change the way your mind is processing a first we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus the Lord and ourselves your bond servants for Jesus say for it is God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness who has shown where in our hearts noticed to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God where in the face of Jesus Christ where do we behold that perfect picture of glory we behold in the face of Jesus and noticed a very interesting here that this basically tells us that the entire purpose of God was to communicate that glory through the face of Jesus the purpose in giving his son to die on Calvary 's cross we rented this morning the Board of Education was not merely that we could be forgiven I would tell him I said to Don Harvey Kellogg God is not like you enter the kingdom of heaven is the culprit barely pardon but as a conqueror the Lord Jesus wants to restore everything in fact of the great controversy the chapter is facing life records document the judgment it says in that chapter that is Jesus stands before his father seeking the inheritance in behalf of his people he asks his father that the original plan for man's creation be reinstated as if man had never fallen and then he asked for man or a seat on his throne with him that's just incredible absolutely incredible over that one gone is seeking for you and me total restoration that we would experience God 's original intent and plan for humanity and God signed into the darkness he shined into our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of his character in the face of Jesus Christ notice this is pretty poetic language and sometimes we get to talking about these things we talking Imperial terms right where all here somewhere talking about Howard in fact I'm afraid that too often the Christian life becomes more emotional than practical it's all electronic character to talk conceptualizing the most around central glasses look back around all of our ideas of God versus what that really means on his last in practical terms where do we see the face of Jesus don't tell me in your dreams in some vision that you had something sure I have all of the driving along the road because that's what we do with all the light in the knowledge in the face of Jesus I see Jesus in the morning he comes to me and I see them in my minds eye this is not a pulse talking about here because I would sell you something those little pictures we might get our minds I have God that people are getting their people in the news who gone and mass murder people and they said the Lord came to them and told them to do a limit value something that doesn't sit well with some people that is that the place is best see the face of Jesus is in the Scripture that's where we see it all the Scripture on Bible study unless it is so impersonal it's so mechanical estimate that's when people tend to think it's so simplistic amen praise the Lord for hundreds value something with well seeing the face of Jesus and Scripture you don't know what Jesus Yassin I'm not saying we don't see Jesus elsewhere I'm not saying the Holy Spirit doesn't impress our hearts and minds with pictures of Jesus and an understanding of Jesus and who Jesus had any picture we get has got to be tested by Scripture and if those who want to test things by Scripture this worship is more primarily emotional and anything else that are building on a wrong picture of who Jesus is because of weather feelings told them about who you they can reconcile a God of justice and there are certain things that they can't understand why anybody would ever need to be put out of the church for things like this these these just decided things and so they just exclude that from the picture of Jesus that they see and lo and behold the picture of Jesus that they see is not a biblical picture the Bible says by the holding we become change we see the glory of God initiated in the face of Jesus in the clearest expression of Jesus in the face of Jesus is in the where the word became flat we didn't see them in the flesh we see them in the page and Holy Spirit brings it to life and it may sound simplistic and again I praise God for it you want your character chain you need to be spending time in the word of God serious time in the word of God asking the spirit of God to enlighten your mind and letting that word shape your view your thoughts and the way you process things in this life is an azimuth value to change to get attributed to behold ferreting a half-dozen on a hill somewhere oh I don't know some people do that some of this one that cannot match a hangover is somewhere and get into us with not only tell you something if you're not studying Scripture and though I may be preaching to the choir I've been in ministry for a long time in the administration and its you that many of us do not spend much time at all in Scripture in fact I'm I'm I'm shocked at the lack of discernment of God 's people went when Belmont had people coming up with this man come come have people come in your message that I give them and they'll go to another message I hear the same message and delete only the opposite and that's only a matter of the blast area and has been out of the blessing of no clue that they were diametrically opposed because they have no basis of nothing to base it on it was just what was the feeling I got the devil not at work our feelings the issue is an issue of character and that character is revealed in the face of Jesus and we best see the face of Jesus in his word gospel workers page two fifty says the word of God is the standard of character in giving us this word God has put us in possession of every truth essential to salvation thousands have drawn water by from these wells of life yet there is no diminishing of the supply energy to never say when I started out before like you got it is not diminishing of the supply thousands have seen have set the Lord before them and by beholding have become changed into the same image where in the word the context of our statement but these researchers have not exhausted the grand and holy themes thousands more maintained in the work of searching out the mysteries of salvation when we do sell you something the devil at the same time God is trying to transformer characters into him is his image the double-stranded transformer characters into his and Jesus makes an interesting statement in Matthew chapter six I wanted to turn there with me Matthew six starting in verse twenty two Matthew six and verse twenty two Matthew six twenty two Jesus as the land of the body is the what is VI and therefore your eye is your whole body will be full of light but here I is evil or bad your whole body will be told what darkness in the last part in therefore the light that he is in you is darkness how great dark like the darkness into light that is in you is darkness within talking about the length of the body of the items were the sentences for any information and that information shapes the way that we think and filled with either light or darkness and in what we received in that information is darkness but we assuming it's life and collect light if the light that is in you is darkness how great the darkness in the flesh that out for you what that means is that daily talking about the development of character before I comment on leaving the statement of telling them to share with you five testimonies page three ten it says here you should keep off Satan is enchanted ground and not allow your minds to be some way from allegiance to God when I say that there was a study done years ago on the effect of television on and you are two groups of people one group was a group that typically watched very little television probably a couple hours a week maybe the other group was a group of people watched TV every day to three hours they sent them both in front of a TV and measured the brain weights now you know the difference between the beta waves in the alkaloids write the beta waves of the brain waves that are working at work when you're processing information when you're thinking the house always are when you're venting that parasite that's when you're not processing for the person who was a regular TV watcher in the test the brain shifted from alkaline of data in thirty seconds thirty seconds TVs on brain shuts off the person who was not a regular TV watch of the forty five minutes on day one on day to thirty seconds for the regular TV watcher forty five seconds women always a minute three minutes or three minutes for the non- TV watcher Dave three thirty seconds for both just inside three days of TV talk back to stop thinking while he was watching television or those people that control the point I would make in his only makes a point user is not coming on TV in a cell using using people who sings enchanted ground and not allow your mind to be swaying from elitist and gone unreported in practical terms for you as a pastor I run into seven families young people left and right fortunately understanding playing about this go to address university is based on Wednesday one about forty five minutes of processing and say something here is astounding right but everybody else is doing anything to it takes in about three minutes a day three thirty seconds apparently just like everybody else and he given up this solid standards of the Christian faith on Afghanistan for six and a look at the menu I don't know what I'm talking about Ron and Misty 's I'm telling you guys that the devil is constantly working to shape our thinking in it he knows exactly how to do it if he can do it in the TV don't think that that's the only remedy at where so easily swayed by popular opinion and say the most dangerous thing about a face in developing Christian characters Christian culture Christian culture is not Christianity haystacks the sound of maps is not Christianity I don't care if everybody does the understanding women say don't allow your mind to be swayed from allegiance to God thou Christ through Christ rather you may and should be happy they should acquire habits of self-control even your thoughts must be brought in sit into subjection to the will of God and your feelings under the control of reason and religion your imagination was not given you to be allowed to run riot and have its own way without any effort at restraint orgasm rather tasteless I want to talk to my mind when you think about it I've had people tell me those kind of things discovered pops in your mind doesn't mean you're supposed to be thinking about it as we have a responsibility to restrain the thoughts your imagination is not given to be allowed to run right I love that language it is in all adolescent I am I am one of those people and inquisitive mind I'm curious about everything a lot of investing in hybrid interesting I like to find out about adding an alert so you need to know about that you know that we learned a lesson and he that not all knowledge is the knowledge right there is the knowledge that any would've been better off without your mind is not given out to do to run right-handed cellmate without any effort restrain her discipline in the thoughts are wrong the feelings will be wrong and the thoughts and feelings combined make up the moral character so with the illustration of VDI belongs or the darkness that we take you and we can take it in from progresses we could negative from passes we can take it in from France we can figure from the TV and from novels and you name it might does is it because they shape our foundation and explain a little bit when you run into a person who doesn't believe in creation and they say today that it were an atheist doesn't believe in God at all and you try to give them evidences and and and and from science or whatever the challenging to run into is that they have accepted a body of information as truth whether it's true or not an arbiter process everything you tell the five airlines through is unclear to tell them that there is no God you have a hard time convincing them otherwise because of and interpret everything from that foundation that's part of the character building and when we are taking in darkness and calling in life where allowing our minds to be swayed in the only way we can avoid is letting the word of God platform the foundational principles if the word of God is informing those principles that something else is not something becomes the basis that we got everything else by and at that basis is darkness how great is that basis of of what we call truth is really error how great year because truth will find its way and so the thoughts and feelings combined make up the character of the devil is trying to influence our thoughts she goes on to say when you decide that as Christians you are not required to restrain your thoughts and feelings when you are brought under the influence of evil angels and invite their presence and control boundary that again okay let me paraphrase here so you say you want Elizabeth Haley is saying but I just put everything in hand the Lord in August two hundred and eleven and in any year in August I can't restrain my thoughts as his lion is studied with young couple there are not in evidence couple couple and studying within the guy is totally into these online video games he gets on any games with other people and even go home from work to get into the gaming he would go off into a room he went spent time with his newlywed wife I performed the wedding for them he would ignore the kids get into the gaming and any file and start drinking and things went hand-in-hand long and short of it his explanation was just lying and he told his wife like you just love me for being me like he loved me unconditionally how convenient so he can hold onto this half that's what was tearing his life report in any demos coming and going those pathways in his brain is shaping his character by those things so you say that you know what what matters is that I just can I let go and let God is just to I am in constant changes just have to change the economics of giving myself to the if I adopt this idea and as a Christian I'm not required to restrain my thoughts and feelings she says if you if you win you decided us Christians are not required to restrain your thoughts and feelings you are brought under the influence of evil angels and invite their presence and their control invite we invited by not choosing to be I hear I had always been a Christian is no rock 'n roll song comes my mind is odd thing but I'm sure it it says if you do not if you choose not to decide you still made a choice don't think that you can decide something odd was not how many new joinery Switzerland sorry you made a choice not to choose we went hot it sometimes in a Christianity by doing things like that as therefore not making a choice and so it's not my fault that I'm making a choice when I says it is not my responsibility for what I put in my mind and I have no responsibility to film I thought I'm inviting you to think and they control as a scary thought if you yield your fractions and allow your thoughts to run in a jail suspicion down reminding you will be among the most unhappy mortals in your lives failure cancels the parents teachers and students page five forty forces you realize that it is a duty to exercise control over the thoughts and imagination okay so that's my duty to control my thoughts and imaginations what is going to entail it my caveat my parenthetical expression this can never happen without much prayer and I've already mentioned study the word and I'll say it again you have got to have a solid time with God you're going out there with your own gusto in your own power and say okay I'm good at doing this time it's not working that way has on telling you here is saying that when you spent your time and your knees you remember the story of Joshua in the Old Testament with the battle and it does come in Concord Jericho and I hate into the Babylonian garment and hid it under his tenure member that is out Joshua they go in AI and to get one now rightly they may bring down Jericho cuisine is not involved in the conquered Jericho the big fortified city the gondola is a I only get wiped out Josh was perplexed what would happen what happened how when how do we get Jericho and then we get wiped out and they give down he has no prayer session with the Lord and the Lord comes to Joshua and in essence and this is after I paraphrase here is as Joshua yet half on your knees in prayer meetings all over you've got some work you laugh I'm not a sentiment camping a better deal with it I may remember the story when we have been on our knees in prayer with Christ LMI says where to follow that up by living out our prayers it is not a God afraid he'll do everything he given you power to do fireworks and I still balance agility doesn't do the billing and doing in fact the passage and second in in Philippians chapter two is gone working with both the well-to-do of his good pleasure the word there in the Greek God at work within us and where work is aware to energize the thread means it's gone it energizes still willing to do it all in his power and it's all history but it's our choice and we got to exercise choice now we've got the thoughts and feelings and it's arguably you realize of the duty to exercise control over the thoughts and imaginations if I accept that deleted what does that entail everything and I just do not see a movie I want to find when and if I realize my duty to control my thoughts and feeling and I just indicated annual conversation with my friends I feel like I realize my duty to exercise my thoughts for my thoughts and feelings yes or no yes or no not handling in every area of my life I do realize I have a sacred responsibility with the gifts and talents and abilities God has given me to return those talents to him increase not decrease in the next I might have to look for him for strength and a half to connect with him but I got a responsibility to exercise control over those things those choices that I made the choices I made for that for the things I read and the things I accept this truth and the people I spent time with in the conversation by having all of these things every thing that I do the choices I make of what to put on my flight on Louisiana's lifestyle things that you want a weird weird folding and convince our nitpicky and in and restricted it are practical instruction to help ensure that we don't wreck our characters I told does not always live the Christian life and I will now for the rest of this earthly life until my final change have mental baggage of things I put in my brain that I wish I'd never put anybody know what that here yet that that's what guys are trying to restrict us with these lifestyle standards event is just trying to give us the kind of characters we want often times the very things we pray for God has a way of giving us those things that is not how we would expect them to give them I like to remind my church members when the people all the time as a facet on annulling out-of-favor patients and will things going on really rough well no kidding you're the Bible says in a patient's right Romans five versus wanted to tribulation work if patient you know you're asking for anyone got any patients in the Scripture new studies reviewed no change regulations down that's what works the balance patient sometimes where asking God for Christlike characters in the experiences we passed through and the challenges we have made numerous brands may be in marriages and what have you are the very means that God is employing to bring about that character and free decision that we may is going to suck up is going to reap a harvest of character I I know this is heavy stuff people tell me this is heavy stuff but somebody's got to say things I'm not understand with the blood of souls Amanda Vienna time when people come out the new King comes any looking for the wedding garment you don't have it on because I was afraid to tell him any reported on I don't want to be misunderstood if that is to say that what I'm saying here is lead by our own strength is to save ourselves on a rescue if somebody's got to take it wrong because in the most practical terms a non-Christian can understand what I'm saying here that the choices you make you can have to meet up with later in the devil is constantly working to shape our thinking I want to tell you something he knows how to do it from every different angle LMI says in testimony to the church volume one page six twenty four Elizabeth carefully has error is most in accordance with the carnal heart I'm sorry if error is most in accordance with the national heart is taken for granted to be clear when we hear area often sounds more clear than truth when we don't nothing how I feel about all that sounds pretty true errors taken nationally to be clear she said the dental Pond saw era of the people that are older movies and nothing well yeah you heard a lot of good lessons in our present all what are the ethics almost like a great controversy Indonesian Irish no present reaction will be hammering the economy moving out there is a struggle of good and evil people will say a Christian I said I may tell you something the way the movies deal with good and evil is not we got as one of the problems we have with a separate justice and mercy because in the movies was something wrong with you you will not write or even for some or whatever it's always simmering some lessons from that in others Christian overtones yet in your learning lessons are our characters are being shaped the thinking in ways that God did not intend us to think by beholding his character were changed you think the devil does not upon all his ideas in a Christianized way in the media do you think the Bible me as I says the very elect would be deceived you read the Scripture and the time of the end is a time of unparalleled deception God is calling for his people at the end of time to take a renewed interest in his word and Leonard become the foundation of our faith and of a great controversy it tells us that the only safeguard will have at the end of time the only way were in the sermon discernment your balls is from the holy Scriptures and I'm not asking you to embark upon a purely mechanical study of the Scriptures but here's my one a challenge first of all make time for personal devotional a personal devotional life with the Lord they bet that that's one of those timely given that we don't talk about as we know were supposed to doing but how many really good on a regular basis that's questionable in which they were getting on to heaven because I understand the writing and actually because I been idea I love Jesus and he's like my best friend that I never spent I'm serious here I I I want to challenge you today perhaps you have a regular devotional life I'm Italian every Christian struggles here and you'll either struggled with the devil battles this ground part of any ground great controversy five nineteen says Satan well those are all the neglect prayer and searching of the Scriptures will be overcome by his attacks therefore he invents a new marble schemes to occupy the mind he well knows it he knows it better than you know it better than I know it he's attacking us on that point of our personal time with God make every new covenant with God that you are going to spend time with him name the time set the time aside I thought they were before I what time of day you have her devotional time to buy different schedules I'm an addict taking them to tell you this note we often talk about the morning was on the market works does not say that too often people want to give to God than ours and their least attentiveness and alertness and energy so we given the leftovers the reason often times we talk about studying in the morning the Bible talks about how I think of how the Lord wakens me awakens my ear every morning we see evidence in the Scripture of the morning we have morning worship and exhibited in Scripture and again your morning may have been a different time because it works the other my point is that don't get Doctor worst energies in your best set aside time make time for the Lord and in that time felt to him on your knees and say God show me your glory and then in your time in the word have a purpose to see his glory not just some aimless point of studying not just the mere mechanical Peru's love chapters only tells us that oftentimes many chapters careers are not as powerful as a passage that study intellect passes become significant to us but we must behold the glory of God can be changed I think it's safe for me to say that you don't spend time in the Scripture not have that vision of his glory it's got to be based year about speaking in different ways but it's got to be faced and rooted here and it's time for God 's people to renew their commitment to the study of his Word with the purpose of emulating the character of Christ in a limit value when you pray that pairing you study the word with that intention the Lord will bring slots to your mind because his thoughts and feelings that make up the character where you think you have a thought this is to help that person is broken down on the side of the road where you think that thought came from when you're going to go I help someone you speak a word of encouragement some of his down and out income from you that's a large time to develop his character in you an answer to your prayers and day by day he's seeking to transformer characters and when we behold the face of Jesus when we behold the glory of God in the face of Jesus we will be changed I think of the apostle Peter once again who did not realize you are ready of character was so confident in his own religious experiences and the Lord amen all forsaken die for you they are the judgment hall he's confronted once think about here's easier he standing afar off any seeing Jesus going through the process of trial hello it describes ahead she says that he is he's trying to act a different to what's going on that this is his master and I want to be very clear here was full of sincerity when he told Jesus he wouldn't he was full of sincerity but he wasn't for the right kind of character he meant every word that he said when Jesus was on trial everything in Peter was stirred half he was he was so independent that they would treat his master that way they've is finding it because he wanted to act like you knowing he was wrestling inside NASA argue one amazing I don't know the man and you would think you would think that at that moment he was sent that's when I said I would never but then he denied and then a third time some girl all we guys often we lose everything that some girl comes around and somebody got to be cool with you one of them he denies Jesus denies him the third time with cursing and swearing in the Bible tells us that at the moment he denied in the rooster crowed the second time just like Jesus said the moment the rooster began to grow Peter looked over at Jesus and the Scripture tells us that Jesus looked right in the face right into his face I I with his master and Elimite recording in a desire of ages says that while the degrading elves were fresh upon Peter 's Mets and the shrill crowing of the cock was still ringing in his ears the Savior turned from the frowning judges and looked full upon his poor design at the same time Peter 's eyes were drawn to his master in that gentle countenance he read deep pity and sorrow but there was no anger in the sight of that pale suffering face those quivering lips that look of compassion and forgiveness pierces his heart like an error conscience was around memory was an active theater called the mindless promise of a few short hours before they he would go with the Lord to prison and death he remembered his grave understatement solid in the upper chamber he would deny his Lord thrice that same night just declared that he knew not Jesus you now really really realized rather with bitter grief how well his Lord knew him and how accurately you read his heart the falseness of which was unknown even to himself can you get a sense of the he just got done denying him because he was ashamed of then I don't know the man with cursing and swearing in any books and there's Jesus just royalties are the closest disciple one of the three that went with them in all those places that the others didn't get to go in here's one of his closest disciples to to denying him with cursing and swearing and Jesus needs I live you put yourself in Peter 's place there has never denied Christ life maybe you can even think of a time this week when you were ashamed of Christ when Peter looked at Jesus Woody DC he saw sorrow he saw agreed that no anger he didn't see condemnation in Jesus I originally saw he saw disappointment Jesus looked at him I was disappointed because he hoped so much more for Peter he prayed for more prepared but it was Peter 's own choice my friend this afternoon Jesus told Peter I pray for you that your faith fail not Satan desires to sift you as wheat and I prayed for you I want you to know this afternoon Jesus is interceding for us pray for us even now that our faith fail not are we going to disappoint our Lord Peter looked into the face of Jesus Christ and what did he see there he saw the glory of God and in that moment he was changed God help us to see his glory in the face of Jesus God help us to determine that we will not disappoint armoire master I would ask you today that you desire today to recommit yourself to the Lord to work with him and shows him to be your everything did Joseph put on a relevant character the Jews to spend that time with him in his word in prayer to behold him you may be changed into his likeness that when the final test the Lord Jesus will say with joy now blessed of my father and enter into the joy of your lord that your desire today let's have a cigar as the prayer father in heaven father there are so many things more than could be said about character will be no log of the demo was so constantly trying to get us to think that it is immaterial what decisions we made that constantly trying to reshape our thinking and turn us away from beholding the only thing that would transform our characters I pray Lord as you've seen the commitments of your people here today then by your grace to help us to be faithful to follow through with those commitments and to make time to set aside that time to spend meditating on you be holding you looking and seeking for your glory in the picture that she revealed in your words and then beyond your words Lord and the many things that we see in life as we compare them with the word that we would see evidences of your glory so that by your spirit we could be changed into the same image from glory to glory but we know you are promised that in the end of time you will have a people who have your name written and therefore happens here on today is the promise of Scripture here are they that keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus father help us to be among those people help us not to disappoint you we ask and pray this in the name of Jesus before he is a man

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