How many have ever
- Pretended to be something you are not
- Felt pressured to behave in a certain way to please others
- Compared yourself or your ministry to someone elses
- Imitated someone else in hope that you would get the same results they get
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
- For we are God’s masterpiece…….
- God has made us what we are for we are his work of art……..
- For we are the product of His hand, heaven’s poetry etched on lives………..
Your life is a product of God’s creative majesty
- A masterpiece
- A work of art
- Heaven’s poetry
The thing that makes a work of art/piece of poetry a masterpiece is
- no duplications
- no imitations.
The Bible does not say you are God’s appliance
- Appliances are mass produced
- Masterpieces are hand crafted
- There is not another one like you
- God has no desire for you to be anything but you
God thought you up, and he knows what you were intended to be
- His desire for you is to be the best you that you can be
- Not a duplication or and imitation of anyone else
God sees the “best version of you,” and he is more concerned with you reaching your full potential than you are.
Significance is about who you are before it is about what you do.
- The most important task of your life is not what you do, but who you become.
- That’s what you will take into eternity.
Jesus very first temptation took place immediately after he was baptized
21 When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. 22 And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”
Immediately after that Jesus is led into the wilderness to be tempted. The devil says to him:
IF you are the Son of God, turn these stones into bread. . . . (LUKE 4:3)
IF you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from the temple. . . . (LUKE 4:9)
In other words:
- Don’t believe your Father.
- Don’t listen to the His voice.
- Don’t trust grace.
- Prove it. Earn it. Make it happen. Make it about you.
- Do something that will prove who you are
- Jesus said, “”
The temptation was to get Jesus to feel as if he had to prove who he was
- by doing something that would set him apart
- and mark as superior to everybody else.
God had just said: You are My beloved Son
God has said about you: You are my handiwork, masterpiece, work of art
There is nothing to prove / compare / imitate / pretend
- You are who God says you are
- Your task is to become the best you that you can be
- The you that God wants you to be.
If you can get this and embrace this – it will liberate you from the need to perform
- It will allow you to rest because of who are.
2 Corinthians 4:6-7
6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts ………. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us
Your “spiritual life” is not about the devotional activities that you engage in.
- It is receiving power from the Spirit of God to become the person God had in mind when he created you — his work of art.
You will change as God helps you to grow into the you he desires you to be
– but you will always be you.
An acorn can grow into an oak tree, but it cannot become a rose bush.
- It can be a healthy oak or it can be a stunted oak — but it won’t be a shrub.
Some people think that the way to maturity & success is to become someone else
- God won’t discard your raw material – He will redirect it
- You will always be you —a growing, healthy you or a struggling, unhealthy you
- God determined your natural gifts and talents.
- God made you to feel certain passions and desires.
- God planned your body and mind.
- Your uniqueness is God-designed.
Before Paul met Jesus,
- He was a brilliant, passionate zealot who persecuted people.
After Paul met Jesus
- He was a brilliant, passionate zealot who sacrificed himself for people.
Imagine a doctor’s office where every patient is told,
- “Take two aspirin and call me in the morning.”
- If I have a headache, that is great advice, but if my appendix has just burst, I will be dead before morning.
Imagine a store that sells only one kind of shirt
- One color, style, fabric, and size
- And makes the same deal on pants.
- There are no “one-size-fits-all” stores, because God made people in different sizes.
The journey of becoming who God wants you to be
- Begins with your spirit, empowered by God’s Spirit.
You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you
The word in-spired, is a Spirit-word that literally means something has been breathed into us.
When your spirit flourishes through the power of His Spirit, you are most fully alive.
- You have a purpose for living.
- You are drawn to become the vessel God wants you to be
- A vessel of honor, fit for the masters use
The temptations we face
- Being The Me I Don’t Want to Be
The me you don’t want to be is when you are trying to be somebody else
- I have learned that I make a very bad somebody else
Imitating Pastor Ray
- The most liberating day was when I stood up in the pulpit
- Spoke like me
- Walked like me
- Acted like me
- Was just me
- Being The Me I Pretend to Be
The me you pretend to be, is the you that tries to convince people you are important while I secretly you fear that you are not.
- When you are growing to be the you God wants you to be, you freed from the you, you pretend to be.
- If you are ever going to become the you, you I want to be, you have to start by being honest about the you, you are.
- Being The Me I Think I Should Be
Each one of us has a me that we think we should be
- It’s usually the you that compares yourself to someone else
2 Corinthians 10:12
For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves, but they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise (NKJV)
………... But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding (ESV)
Henri Nouwen wrote, “Spiritual greatness has nothing to do with being greater than others. It has everything to do with being as great as each of us can be.”
- Being The Me Other People Want Me to Be
The you other people want you to be is the you that follows the agenda that everyone else has for your life
- I have noticed that everyone in my life believes they know what I should be.
- If I spend my life trying to become that me, I will never be free
- Nobody else can tell you exactly how to change because nobody but God knows.
When Nelson Mandela was imprisoned on Robben Island for his opposition to apartheid, he was issued a pair of shorts —not long trousers —because his captors wanted his identity to be that of a boy instead of a man.
- People in power over him wanted him to be an accepter of a racist society.
- Angry people who suffered with him wanted him to be a vengeful hater of the apartheid oppressors.
He became neither of those.
- Even though he suffered in prison, he called his prison “the University.”
- He became increasingly committed to justice and opposed to hate
- By the end of his captivity, even his guards were won over by his life.
- The final official charged to watch him used to cook him gourmet meals.
When he went from Prisoner Mandela to President Mandela, he sought to lead the country to peace through the Truth and Reconciliation.
- By being the he that God desired he should be
Don’t become the me that other people want you to be
- Only God gets the final word on who he made you to be
The Me I Am Meant to Be
God showed the prophet Ezekiel a vision of a valley full of dry bones.
- It was the image of a failure to thrive.
- God asked Ezekiel, “Can these bones live?”
- Ezekiel answered, “You alone know.”
- God did know, and he made them come alive.
Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
Life is the inner power to make something happen.
Throw a rock, and it soon stops moving.
- But put a seed in the ground, and something happens
- It sends out a root, takes in nourishment, and grows up to be fruitful.
- It has life on the inside – the power to make something happen
To be spiritually alive means to receive power from God to make something happen – to have a positive impact on your world.
“Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink…….
Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, “Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing[g] in Him would receive
The way to become the person God made you to be is to live with the Spirit of God flowing through you like a river of living water
- Not in following rules or trying harder
- But receiving the power to flourish as the me God made you to be.
When the Spirit flows in you, you are given power to become the person God designed.
- You become you-ier.
God wants you to flourish with life “so that”
- People can be encouraged,
- The vulnerable can be served
- Music can be written
- Sick people can be helped.
When you fail to become the person God designed
- All the rest of us miss out on the gift you were made to give.
Who Will Drive Your Life?
When you are the driver of a car, you choose the destination, route, and speed.
- The person behind the wheel is the one in control.
Many people find Jesus pretty useful to have in the passenger’s seat when they require his services.
- Jesus, I have a health problem, and I need your help.
- Something hard is going on at work, and I’d like it to be different.
- I’m feeling anxious, and I want you to give me peace of mind.
- I’m feeling sad, and I’d like a little hope.
- I’m facing death, and I want to make sure I’m going to heaven.
To become the you God wants you to be
- It requires you to move out of the driver’s seat.
- And allow Jesus to do the driving
If Jesus is behind the wheel, you are not in control anymore
- When you are not in control
- Jesus can form you into becoming the masterpiece God created you to be.