Perspective: A different way of looking at things


perspectiveAs many of you know, I love taking pictures. Yes, I’m an admitted pictureaholic. I always have my phone in hand which works wonders for capturing and sharing moments instantaneously. I love taking pictures on so many levels.  Photographs can capture the beauty of moments in time and preserves them for later viewing.

Of course my all time favorite subjects for photographing are my children. Besides photographing them, I also enjoy capturing the amazing beauty in God’s creation all around us.  I also love sharing my photos for others to enjoy as well.

One of the things I really love to do when taking pictures is capturing things from a fun and different perspective. It’s giving the viewer a different angle, a different way of viewing things than the normal way. Who likes normal anyways? Not me!

Sometimes it’s fun to get down on the same level of the object i’m photographing. Or to get a shot from high above a subject or from an unusual angle which usually adds a whole new perspective to the shot and gives a whole different feel or dimension to the picture. This type of photography is so fun and so appealing to me personally. Sometimes a different perspective changes our view and gives us a new way to look at things.

Perspective is something we all use daily when viewing the world we see around us.  It’s like we can all see a glass of water at the half way mark and we either see it half full or half empty.  Perspective is all how you view the things in your surroundings.

When I think in terms of perspective and how we look at things, it also reminds me that when I have troubles, obstacles or facing something difficult in my life, what helps is that I see things in proper perspective, which is God’s perspective. Often times changing our perspective on a situation to see things the way God sees them will dramatically effect the outcome or assist in my coping with a given situation in life.

In God’s Word we see God was continually challenging the way people think.  He used parables to explain spiritual concepts.  Jesus could have been factual in his teaching, but he wanted the listeners to think, reason and to challenge them to a new and different way of thinking. This is done by changing our view or outlook and aligning ourselves with the truth of God’s Word. Seeing and then acting from a different perspective results in renewing of the mind.

In Romans 12:2 the words says . . . Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. We can often change our mind by changing our view.  We do this by washing our minds in the Word of God.  Transformed means to be changed and we renew our minds by looking at God’s Word and getting His perspective on things.

In order to see things from God’s perspective, we need to view things through the lens of His Word. Throughout the Bible we see God’s use of unorthodox methods to prove a point, proving His ways are not man’s ways. Man was looking for greatness in the promised Messiah and Jesus entered our lowly world through a virgin birth.  He came not as a King, but as a humble servant. He was persecuted, suffered and died at the hands of his own creation to redeem us and to show us the depths of his great love for us.

It is so essential for us as believers to daily delve into and know God’s Word. This is how we get to know the mind of Christ.  As we read the Bible, God speaks to us through His Word and the Holy Spirit helps give us understanding of who God is and how he wants us to live. Essentially, we gain God’s perspective on life by knowing Him and spending time in His Word and through that process and our relationship with Him, we come to know and understand His will for us.

Discovering what it means to live out our faith will be a lifelong journey.  Our goal should always be to seek out and know God’s perspective which will help us to navigate life and to know and understand His good, pleasing and perfect plan for us.

 

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. Colossians 3:2

And to be renewed in the spirit of your minds Ephesians 4:23

“For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Cor. 2:16

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Identity Theft


identity theft1I was recently perusing my in-box and came across an e-mail from my bank on identity theft. Today, identity theft continues to be one of the fastest growing crimes in America.  Apparently, they even have a whole month dedicated to National Cyber Security Awareness. We all know that identity theft is basically when someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person’s personal information in some way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain. According to the Federal Trade Commission, there are approximate 9.9 Million cases identity theft annually and every minute approximately 19 people fall victim to identity theft.

There are now organizations for victims of identity theft as well as membership services that you can join to protect against identity theft. I’m assuming most of us know someone directly or indirectly affected by identity theft and how it has wreaked havoc on their lives. In the same way identity theft wreaks havoc in the lives of the consumer, it also reminds me of a truth that the enemy of our soul wants to wreak havoc in our spiritual lives. In John 10:10, the bible says . . . the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. It is the same picture of what identity theft does to us, it steals from the real identity to give way to a false identity.  Anytime we believe the lies of the enemy over the truth of what God says about us; we become in essence victims of spiritual identify theft.

I can attest that I was trapped in this state of mind for years. I had let scars from my past shape a false identity of who I thought I was, which most of the time left me feeling defeated, insecure and fearful. I let my identity become who I was based on my feelings and the circumstances of my past. We are not our past, we are not our jobs, nor are we a sum of our possessions. Anytime we let anything other than Jesus shape our identity, it is a false identity. Jesus Christ came to set us free from the power of sin and death and give us a new identity. In John 8:32 it says, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.  God’s word is truth and points us to who He is, so in turn we can know who we are “In Him” and all he has created us to be.

The Bible teaches us that Satan is the father of lies and anytime he can make us believe something about ourselves that is not based on the truth of God’s word, we end up defeated and living a lie. Satan knows the connection between our identity and our behavior.  But he also knows that when we know our true identity is in Christ, it breaks the power of Satan over us.  The good news is that Jesus came to set us free from the lies of the devil. When we make Jesus the Lord of our lives we are given a new identity, the Bible says, that old things have passed away, that all things become new (2 Cor. 5:17).

The way we know and fight off spiritual identity theft is to know who we are in Christ Jesus. It is imperative for the believer and follower of Jesus to read and know God’s word and then apply it to our lives. This is how we mature as believers; through His word, His life-giving spirit continually reveals different aspects of God character to us. Then as we learn we grow in character and are slowly transformed into all that God has created us to be.

We were created in God image and because of his redemptive work on the cross we are a new creation of great worth. We are fully forgiven, fully redeemed, fully loved, and totally accepted by Christ. In Him we are complete (2 Colossians 2:10). So, the next time the enemy of your soul tries to remind you of what you are not, you remind him of who you are and who you belong to (Isaiah 43:1). We thank you sweet Jesus! To you be the glory both now and forever!

Your true identity in Christ:  Romans 3:24 . . . We are justified (declared “righteous”). Romans 8:1 . . . No condemnation awaits us. Romans 8:2 . . . We are set free from the power of sin that leads to death. 1 Corinthians 1:2 . . . We are sanctified (made holy) in Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17 . . . We are new persons. 2 Corinthians 5:21 . . . We are made right with God. Galatians 3:28 . . . We are one in Christ with all other believers. Ephesians 1:3 . . . We are blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ. Ephesians 1:4 . . . We are holy and without fault. Ephesians 1:5,6 . . . We are adopted as God’s children. Ephesians 1:7 . . . Our sins are taken away and we are forgiven.  Ephesians 1:10,11 . . . We will be brought under Christ’s authority. Ephesians 1:13 . . . We are identified as belonging to God by the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 2:10 . . . We are God’s masterpiece. Ephesians 2:13 . . . We have been brought near to God. Ephesians 3:6 . . . We share in the promise of blessings through Christ. Ephesians 3:12 . . . We can come boldly and confidently into God’s presence. Ephesians 5:29,30 . . . We are members of Christ’s body, the church. Colossians 2:10 . . . We are made complete in Christ. Colossians 2:11 . . . We are set free from our sinful nature. 2 Timothy 2:10 . . . We will have eternal glory.