February 24, 2019
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I believe this will be one of the most Important messages I have shared In last 10 months
Half message Intro laying a foundation the other half the message
Before we get into the substance of what we will explore today, Let’s take a look at who The apostle Paul was before He was Paul. I truly believe it will be important to identify with this man prior to Him meeting Christ so we can realize that just like us He had a past he would rather forget.
Acts 22.3 (NLT) “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, and I was brought up and educated here in Jerusalem under Gamaliel. At his feet I learned to follow our Jewish laws and customs very carefully. I became very zealous to honor God in everything I did, just as all of you are today.
Paul explains to us His ultimate lens change.
Acts 22.4 (NLT) And I persecuted the followers of the Way, hounding some to death, binding and delivering both men and women to prison.
Acts 22.5 (NLT) The high priest and the whole council of leaders can testify that this is so. For I received letters from them to our Jewish brothers in Damascus, authorizing me to bring the Christians from there to Jerusalem, in chains, to be punished.
Acts 22.6 (NLT) “As I was on the road, nearing Damascus, about noon a very bright light from heaven suddenly shone around me.
Acts 22.7 (NLT) I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’
Acts 22.8 (NLT) “‘Who are you, sir?’ I asked. And he replied, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, the one you are persecuting.’
Acts 22.9 (NLT) The people with me saw the light but didn’t hear the voice.
Acts 22.10 (NLT) “I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord told me, ‘Get up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all that you are to do.’
Acts 22.11 (NLT) “I was blinded by the intense light and had to be led into Damascus by my companions.
Acts 22.12 (NLT) A man named Ananias lived there. He was a godly man in his devotion to the law, and he was well thought of by all the Jews of Damascus.
Acts 22.13 (NLT) He came to me and stood beside me and said, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.’ And that very hour I could see him!
Acts 22.14 (NLT) “Then he told me, ‘The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and hear him speak.
This is what Jesus does. He came to RESTORE to us a new lens so that we might see things the way that He does. What happened to Saul now Paul, needs to happen to each of us. And I believe it will happen in many of your lives today!!!
It’s what I like to call – a LENS UPGRADE.
when you get a lens change. You see from a New place. A place of sonship and no longer an orphan mindset.
When upgraded you see how your father sees things.
Jesus said it likes this, “if your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light”
When you get a lens upgrade, You see everything differently.
You see… self, problems, others and most of all you see God differently.
When we get a lens change, we realize there is a whole Kingdom around us and within us that we respond to. We learn that if we really want to interact with God at a high level, we have to learn to think the way that He does.
Example of lens –
Hab. 3.17 (NKJV) Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls—
Hab. 3.18 (NKJV) Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
Hab. 3.19 (NKJV) The LORD God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills. To the Chief Musician. With my stringed instruments.
god does see problems only possibilities
God remembers your sins no more
Relational before functional…
Lens we inherited from Adam = SELF (Im hurt, Im mad, Im unhappy, I need)
So it is important to ask 3 questions –
1. How do I know I need a lens change?
2. How do I get a lens upgrade from God?
3. How do I know if I got a lens upgrade?
Need? – circumstances move you. People move you. Low view of self. Poor view of God = Negativity. There is no negativity in Heaven.
Proof? – Your responses and reactions!
This is why Paul prayed for the church,
Eph. 1.18 (NLT) I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the wonderful future he has promised to those he called. I want you to realize what a rich and glorious inheritance he has given to his people.
When you get a lens upgrade it seems as though what mattered or what was desired in life doesn’t truly matter anymore. Life and the purpose of life take on a new look.
I remember my first upgrade. From death to life. Sports, movies, tv achievement, no longer was of interest.
Phil. 3.1 (NLT) Whatever happens, dear brothers and sisters, may the Lord give you joy. I never get tired of telling you this. I am doing this for your own good.
Phil. 3.2 (NLT) Watch out for those dogs, those wicked men and their evil deeds, those mutilators who say you must be circumcised to be saved.
Phil. 3.3 (NLT) For we who worship God in the Spirit are the only ones who are truly circumcised. We put no confidence in human effort. Instead, we boast about what Christ Jesus has done for us.
Phil. 3.4 (NLT) Yet I could have confidence in myself if anyone could. If others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more!
Phil. 3.5 (NLT) For I was circumcised when I was eight days old, having been born into a pure-blooded Jewish family that is a branch of the tribe of Benjamin. So I am a real Jew if there ever was one! What’s more, I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law.
Phil. 3.6 (NLT) And zealous? Yes, in fact, I harshly persecuted the church. And I obeyed the Jewish law so carefully that I was never accused of any fault.
Phil. 3.7 (NLT) I once thought all these things were so very important, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done.
Phil. 3.8 (NLT) Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I may have Christ
Let read the 1st 7 verses to see 7 new lenses we are to put on as believers.
Eph. 1.1 (NKJV) Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:
Eph. 1.2 (NKJV)Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Eph. 1.3 (NKJV) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
Eph. 1.4 (NKJV) just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,
Eph. 1.5 (NKJV) having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,
Eph. 1.6 (NKJV) to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
Eph. 1.7 (NLT) He is so rich in kindness that he purchased our freedom through the blood of his Son, and our sins are forgiven.