Monthly Archives: March 2018

Treasures Within

I grew up in a region of our country where anthracite coal beds formed, because of this there were many different types of rocks around the area.

As a young girl one of my favorite places to go was the community pool and playground because rising up around this area were step-like hills with trees and wildflowers on them. I would love to climb and play on these hills. It was here that I found many “rock treasures.” Among these were: sparkling rocks glittery on the outside; some with quartz crystals attached; some thin and clear like with layers like mica; some striated orange and gray. Of course I found the expected, shale and slate. I always felt like I was finding treasure.

The most amazing find was a small, ordinary looking rock that when cracked open it had beautiful crystal structures inside it. I later found out those rocks are called geodes.

Empty Spaces Transformed
According to an article I read, geodes are rocks that have an empty space inside them.  As it rains or as various water sources flow through pores on the rock to the inside, over time, crystals from the various minerals in the water form and transform the rock into a beautiful and valuable gem.
Purple GeodeDifferent elements can affect the color of the crystal. For example trace elements of manganese can cause a pink crystal, while iron can cause purple. Heat is another factor of change. Heat can cause the purple crystal to turn to yellow or citrine. Geodes are a beautiful works of God.

Treasures Within
Geodes remind me of how God transforms us. In a sense we are God’s true geodes who reflect His glory and His image. God takes my empty soul,my rocky hard heart, my fleshly self and transforms me into His radiance. Consider these truths about what God is doing in us.

2 Cor. 3:18 tells us that God is transforming us from our fleshly self into His image, into the image of His character and glory. The word transform (metamorphoó) means to change into another form. So God is working in us to change our inner fleshly nature into the essence of His character that we would have the same excellence that shines in Christ.

 “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who
is the Spirit.”  2 Cor. 3:18 (ESV)

In Romans 8:29 we read the truth that God is conforming us to the image of His Son.
The word conform (symmorphos) implies a changing to make similar to or the same as. We are being changed from the inside, much like the geode, to be like Jesus. We are being fashioned into the likeness of Jesus character.

 “For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that He might be the firstborn among many brothers.”Romans 8:29

We are self oriented. We are fleshly and prone to follow our fleshly nature. God changes, transforms and conforms us to His image. God fills us with His Spirit, with His nature with His fullness.  This is astounding but it is true. This truth is reflected in several places in scripture.

In Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians he points to this truth in verse 19.
“… so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”  Ephesians 3:17-19

In Ephesians 4:13, Paul points to the truth that the whole church, the body of Christ, is being brought to be the fullness of Jesus. So even in the church with all our different strengths, weaknesses, agreements and disagreements, the goal of God our Father is to bring the church into the fullness of Jesus.

“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians 4: 11-13

Christ in You
These truths deserve more intense study, deep consideration and prayer as to what they mean to us. They express God’s true intention towards us. In closing, consider this:

“. . . the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:26-27

Faith and Authority-The One and Only Series-2

A fierce gale arose upon the sea. The winds where howling and the waves were tossing the sturdy fishing boat around like a toy. Waves were breaking over the boat with such intensity that seasoned fishermen were crying out in fear and panic. The One who was asleep in the stern awakened to cries for help. He stood up in the heaving boat and spoke to the wind and the sea, telling them to be silent and still. Immediately, there was calm.

This account in Mark 4:35-39 provides a glimpse of the emotion and wonder of the disciples as they witnessed the supremacy and the authority of Jesus.

In a recent blog entry, we referenced the supremacy of Jesus Christ as described in Col. 1:15-20, and we looked at snapshots of the power of Jesus in gospel accounts. We are going to look at a few more examples of this to encourage our faith.

His Wonders Lead to Faith
Numerous passages in the Old Testament reveal how important it is for us to sit up and pay attention to the wonders of God. One such passage is Psalm 106:7.

In Psalm 106: 7, the psalmist relates the failure of Israel to “consider” the wonders of God which led them to be unfaithful to God.

“Our fathers when they were in Egypt did not consider Your wondrous works; they did not remember the abundance of Your steadfast love, but rebelled by the sea …” Ps. 106:7

“Consider” means to think about; give attention to; take it into their mind and heart and connect it to their faith. They did not give weight or value to the wonders God performed, and this led them to be unfaithful to God.

It is important for us to look at the signs and wonders that Jesus performed and to connect them to the supremacy of Jesus that we read of in Col. 1:15-20.

For the purpose of this writing we will focus on Col. 1:16-17, which emphasizes Jesus’s authority and supremacy over all things.
“For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”

Authority over Essence
We can read about the signs and wonders that Jesus did in all four gospels. In amazing show of Jesus authority recorded in John 2:1-11, Jesus changed water into wine at a wedding feast at Cana. He changed the essence of water H20 into wine with a basic chemical composition of CH3CH2OH.

In this one action Jesus shows us that He has the power and authority to change the internal natures and or essences.

When I take time to “consider” this wonder, to give it the value and the weight it
deserves, I begin to understand that knowing this truth about Jesus’s authority gives me hope for my life.

The fact that Jesus changed water into wine at a wedding feast 2000+ years ago gives you and me hope. While this sign in itself shows the glory of God and who Jesus is and it was intended to produce faith in the apostles (John 2: 11), it does the same for us; it shows us who Jesus is and produces faith in us. (“But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
John 20:31)

Authority to Change Me
Considering this wonder more deeply shows me that Jesus has the authority to change me. He has the authority to help me make lasting changes in my character that I thought were impossible for me. Weaknesses and failings that I considered were just me, a part of my temperament or a non erasable scar of my life experience.

Jesus changes me into a new creation.
“So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!  All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation…” 2 Cor. 5:16-18

He can change my prideful self into a humble soul. He can change my tendency to be fearful and deceitful into being courageous and truthful.

Scripture uses terms such as transform; restore; regenerate; renew; new heart, new creation, etc. All these are associated with the authority of Jesus to affect the nature and essence of a being or thing.

In fact scripture says that when we believe in Him as the Son of God and step out to obey Him, He begins transforming us into what we were always meant to be in relation to Him.
“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord (Jesus), are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” 2 Cor. 3:18

A Closing Prayer
God, Most High, open the eyes of our heart and help us understand more truly who
Jesus is and to grasp what His power and authority mean to our everyday life and our faith. May we see Jesus for who He is and honor Him.