Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Courage! To Face Yourself

Click over to YouVersion for the Bible verses.

------- Mirror...mirror: Courage From the Outside In -------

Looking inside...
I'm good, happy,
everything is great.

                                             On the other hand.
                              I'm a mess, a dork, full of sin.
                                    I see bad habits, tragedy.
                                                  I see past hurts.
                                                       (most of us)

Common responses:
- "I'm OK with me.... I'm not CHANGING."

May be genuine, might be a smoke screen because we don't have the courage to address what we see.

- "I'm just A WORM; I can't CHANGE."

I've tried before to change and I just can't.

- ATTACK: "Don't make me FACE MYSELF."

It's easier to attack the other person than to deal with what they're showing me about myself. If the mirror makes me ugly, it's the mirror's fault

If this is how I feel, imagine how God must feel about me.

How do I get the courage face who we really are inside? We may pretend we don't care, but that's not true. We do care. And so does Jesus.

----- Jesus' Response (John 8:1-11) -----

The woman caught in adultery brought before Jesus by religious teachers. Seeking to trap him, they point out that their law says she must be put to death and then ask what he says.

They had little concern for her worth and were ready to put her to death. They were perfectly happy to use her, to expose her to the world. No compassion, no desire to help. No expression of love.

But whatever Jesus does/writes, he causes her accusers to vanish. Are there none here to condemn you?

"Neither do I CONDEMN YOU."

Romans 8:1

If Jesus doesn't condemn me, then I can't condemn me.

Luke 4:18

Jesus came for those who are down and out - to tell them he came for you. Not to condemn, but to love and lift up. "You matter to me."

Ephesians 2:10

You are part of God's family - a trophy of the best that God's grace can do. "It doesn't matter what the world has said, you are my masterpiece."

To Face Yourself,
Fiercely hold on to the reality that GOD FIERCELY LOVES YOU.

Psalm 139

It's scary how well God knows me. So scary i'd run from your presence, but there's nowhere you aren't. David is in awe. - God loves despite everything he sees inside. And it's freeing.

The day I became part of God's family, the angels threw a party. God is proud of who is making me. We can have courage to face ourselves because we have the confidence that God stands beside you knowing full-well what's inside. He doesn't love you because you are perfect, he loves you because you are his.

He didn't bring you into his family because you are worthy, because you earned it, or because you can earn it in the future. No, it is solely because he loves you.

Isaiah 49:13-16

"Go and SIN NO MORE."

Get on with living, but stop the sinning. You are forgiven, inside and out. Step out in the deep and secure love of Christ and deal with the sin.

No analysis of the why, no list of steps to take, just a simple "That's sin. Stop it." Look at it, admit it, repent of it. Never grow complacent. God calls you to something higher. Courageously say "I will not remain, God did not save me to leave me in my sin."

To Face Yourself,

Never get to the place of saying "Oh, it's not that bad."

Romans 2:4

God's willingness to reach out to you should drive you away from your sin.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

You are not your own. God has invested in you. Hate the darkness, but face it courageously. How?

----- Courage From the Inside Out -----

Face yourself through THE MIRROR OF GOD'S TRUTH.

Like this woman, you are sinful. You may just not have been caught. (Yet.)

AGREE with God. (Confess - he already knows anyway. You know he loves you, you know he hates your sin.)

LEAN on Christ. (He doesn't want you to do this alone - he knows you can't do this alone.)

Go in FREEDOM. (When you know you're not condemned by God, you're free to live for God.)

Imagine a tightrope between two tall buildings 150 feet above the pavement. To walk in Christ is to walk that tightrope. To walk in Christ means there's a massive net SIX INCHES below the tightrope. When (not 'if') you fall, he catches you. You can literally dance on the rope because you know he will never let you fall. Not a license to sin, but the knowledge that it's not fatal.

A thousand times I've failed
Still your mercy remains
And should I stumble again
Still I'm caught in your grace

My heart and soul, I give you control
Consume me from the inside out
Let justice and praise, become my embrace
To love you from the inside out

Our Savior's Baptist Church, Federal Way, Wash.; Pastor Jeff MacLurg; Sunday, January 30, 2011 (his sermon and outline, my notes)
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