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Lost In A House Of Mirrors Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
January 8, 2021 1:00 am

Lost In A House Of Mirrors Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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January 8, 2021 1:00 am

Many people are deluded, seeing themselves as they want to, not as they are. One cause of this can be refusing to listen to the honest critiques of others. In this message we find lessons from the book of James on self-perception and on what it means to hear correctly.

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Run with endurance the race is looking to thunder many people are deluded seeing themselves as they want to, as they are one cause of this can be confusing to listen honest critiques of others. Today more lessons from James on self perception and what it means to hear correctly the church in Chicago this is clear. Teaching helps us make it across the elixir you're finding that many people are lost in a house of mirrors. What does that mean daily illustration that I use goes back to the time when I was a boy and we were at this circus and we went into a house mirrors when you looked at one mirror you are very tall. You looked at another mirror when you looked into the mirror you discovered that you are very short and what shall we say, rotunda, and so you had all these different images of who you really were that there many people who live their lives trying to figure out who they really are. Are they the people that their parents thought that they were are they getting their sense of self perception from the world what's happening is why this series of messages is so important and you know, I've also written a book entitled managing your emotions. God's good gifts gone wrong. Now, this book discusses such things as fear, loneliness, anger, disappointment, regret, it ends with talking about sorrow. What I try to do is to help people to see scripturally how emotion should not be ignored but they should be analyzed and then what we want to do is to look at a biblical picture in a biblical prescription on where to go with what we see.

The book is entitled managing your emotions. God's good gifts gone wrong for a gift of any amount. It can be yours. Here's what you do go to RTW that's RTW or if you prefer, call us at 1-888-218-9337 and now let us go to the pulpit of Moody church where we talk about the topic of self perception critical to understanding ourselves.

I want you to know that when a man says he's working through his pain. He may only be finding another way to really hide it because we as men are not very good at vulnerability and openness and so James says we are like the person. If we simply hear the word that goes in and then we turn away from it. Another comment when James says that the person who hears the word of God and he says in verse 22 do not merely listen to the word. You'll notice how often he uses the word. Listen verse 23. Anyone who listens Albany does the word that is used was frequently used for an auditor when auditor is I know that we have tax auditors, but there also auditors in our classrooms have to tell you that one day I took a class from someone and I was an auditor and he did not like auditors and I wondered why. Later on, when I began to teach. I have to tell you I guess like auditors. They really bothered me, because auditors would say we want to come and listen to your lectures you want to do the reading. No want to write the paper know you want to take the exam know where just here in case it's interesting and if you're not interesting.

Starbucks is just around the corner that's an auditor, a person who wants to get in on the goodies, but he doesn't want to do the assignments he wants to hear the word of God, but he does not want to obey it to characteristics of this kind of a passive listener number one. He forgets what he hears. He goes to church. He sings songs, he hears marvelous testimonies and what does he do real turn on the television set in and begin to change everything that has been coming into him and that pretty soon he's forgotten it all. He can't remember it or he might be like some teenagers when I was the pastor of another church here in the city. This is the second church that I pastored some teenagers came to me one time I remember they used to sit in the balcony every Sunday. Fortunately, they'd sit as near as they could to the front there in the balcony, but I used to see them and one day they said you know what we do after you're finished preaching and I said I have no idea, but I'd sure like to know.

They said we get into the car and we turn on the music as loud as we can to deaden told us. Now notice this.

James says that there are people like that they will not accept the word of God, they forget it, but also they are deceived. You'll notice he says that do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourself there in verse 22 that were deceivers from two Greek words par and logins on my part remains alongside of logins on my means to reason so they reason alongside of themselves. We might translate it there beside them because here is where they have all of those rationalizations. All of those protective coverings. All of these reasons why listening is sufficient. After all, they say with some type in church this morning. Don't I support the ministry that gives them. You see an excuse to not deal with the deeper issues of life. I have a question for you today. James is talking about those who listen to the word of God and don't profit but I need to say that there are also those who study the word of God and not profit from it. Why because they don't come to the word of God with the intention of self exposure they do not come by saying I wonder what God is going to say to me today so that I can respond to it. That's not the mindset. They are there to listen. Maybe you pick up a few interesting points, and even to study it and it dissected but not that it might change them.

Here's a warning to you scholars. There is students who take the word of God and dissected like a frog but leave it on the table with no intention of having their dissection really affect their lives.

So that's passive listeners. Let's go on to the active listener. The obedient one, but do where as the text says you'll notice, but the man who looks intently into the perfect law. This is verse 25 it gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it. He will be blessed in what he does.

This is the active listener. He gazes into the perfect law. He looks at this mirror and says to himself, whatever it says and whatever it tells me that I shall do. And by the way, it is the law that brings freedom is a contradiction law that brings freedom.

I thought freedom was to be free from the lie that that was the whole point people today say I don't want to be under the law. I just want to be free.

I just wanted do whatever I want know my friend today.

It is the law that brings the freedom and so please keep that in mind, it is freedom by looking into God's ever. How do we characterize a man like this. Well, there are three different ways that we can. First of all, he is clean. I'm picking this up. Actually in verse 21 worries telling us how to listen to the word of God, therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the old that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you get rid of all of that moral filth he could say sell your television set. Now it's interesting that the Greek word for filth was often used for wax in the ear, and I think James here has got this play on words going because he's talking about being a listener and just hearing the words and then really listening. Remember, Jesus said he has ears to hear, let him hear. Everybody was hearing the words, but there were many people who were not responding. It was not. It was like water on a marble slab. It did not penetrate them.

So what he saying is get rid of the wax in your ear lesson. Listen as the saying goes, read a story about a man who was it a musical Christian musical that was so so powerful that at the end everyone was weeping everyone was. That was thinking about the emotion and the drama of what was happening and he stood up, after it was over and he turned back and there was a friend of his and the friend said hi are you doing what you think about Erica. I think in them there cubs with this guy in the same meeting as I was getting be sitting there all things, thinking about the cubs when you got all this going on. He's not there to hear that there might be a place where you can ask about them there cubs about every weekend. Darrell will confirm this.

I say Darrell Carr.

The compass is doing and I have to keep asking because I always forget you know I say Darrell are they 25 games behind first-place and and then he'll say no, no, that was last week. This week, sit it's 30 game so so the point is that you know there's a certain context in which you can ask that but at a meeting in which the Holy Spirit is present where hearts are being tugged in and where there being turned, I hope that this is the kosher to be able to say this but get the wax out all of your ear ever gone to church and then going home with someone and you say to yourself within the same meeting as I was today hear anything today. Didn't they hear the singing didn't they hear that testimony where where they James says get rid of the filth in your life and you will improve your hearing.

So first of all, he is a clean person. Secondly, he's teachable. You'll notice it says I humbly accept I'm in the last part of verse 21 humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. So were talking about humility. I come to the word of God not to judge it, not merely to hear the words, but I come to the word of God to submit to it because I know there are all kinds of things in my life that God wants to talk to me about and therefore I must look at that mirror and and see what's there for me and so I I come humbly, what is your attitude when you come to church. Do you listen to a sermon saying I wonder if it's going to be interesting.

Sometimes those of us who preach may be interesting.

Some of the times we might not be interesting. Doesn't really matter. We should come to church just like you might be in a courtroom when I will is being read, and you know that your name is included in the will. But you don't know exactly what's been given to you or for that matter what's been taken away. So you're all ears listening for your name doesn't matter whether the guy who's reading. It is exciting and pronounces all of the words ride and whether or not he's a monotone really doesn't matter your ear there take care. His name your name, you come to church like that you come to church thank God I'm here to glorify your name but also to hear my name, I want to be teachable and so you'll notice that he is clean. He is teachable he is obedient. James is in fact what you should do if you really are obedient, you should able to control your tongue and take care of the widows is a very practical application of what obedience me but of course the word does more than that for as dozen that that's only a part of it in Pilgrim's progress. There is a discussion of the mirror called God's word and this is what it says. The man who continues looking into the mirror of God's word sees in it. Things far more wonderful than his own face. He sees not only his filthy garments, not only the spots and stains on his life. He sees in it. Christ, the Christ of the porn crown brow, the Christ of the cross, the Savior who his blood cleanses him from sin.

And so it is there that we get a whole new identity that we are washed and we are redeemed and we belong God and so we think of ourselves differently this past week I was on a flight from Fort Lauderdale to Chicago on United Airlines and it was on time. Let's give them that credit okay and they showed a movie and so I was reading a book and I thought to myself, well I can watch this movie to most movies. You can read a book very easily. Through this I felt was one of those, but I was doing this very well. But then I began to realize you know this movie is really defiling even though it was quote edited for airline use and so I watched a little longer and then I II thought to myself, you know, the pastor of Moody church, no pastor of Moody Church should be watching this movie so I took the headset off and I put it beside me there on the seat that was vacant next to me but then I began to think of what I had said no pastor of Moody Church should watch this movie. That was the wrong thing to say, believe it or not, of course, no pastor should watch it. That's not the point of argument. But what if I were to pastor.

What if I were a businessman who loves Christ and is a member or attender of Moody church or some other evangelical churches wanting to live for Jesus in this polluted world shouldn't be watching it either.

So the real answer is not just because I'm defined in terms of my function because that can change. But the real answer that I should have given his nobody has been redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ and been cleansed by him should be watching this. That's the real answer because we have a new identity as a an identity determines behavior and it determines what we do. Let me give you three words as we boil this down in practicality.

The first word is a light. The first word is like by word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. This series of messages, God willing. If you pray for me and I strongly encourage you to fast and pray for me, this series of messages hopefully is going to take that light of God's word and shine it into our hearts, and were going to see deceptions.

In fact, the next message of the series is titled see and loving it will point out how we really love to be deceived when we want to do something that's going to be painful because we don't have to deal with things such as anger and shame and guilt and all those things if were really thorough so the word light comes to mind. The second word that comes to mind is a love I recognition the fact that we love one another and therefore were all on our journey were all on our way, so to speak. We we don't come to this situation. Thinking to ourselves that somehow we've arrived that gap between who we are and who we project that we are that needs to be closed.

I we need to be willing to deal with those with those inner things because remember, the series of messages is why good people do bad things and sometimes good people do disastrous things and dare I say that you or I could do some very bad things. So we we do it in an atmosphere of love. It's okay to be in progress where it's okay to talk about struggles where it's okay to say that were not there yet and recognizing that that's what the body of Jesus Christ should be like someone has written a book which I have not read but I do like the title. It is cold.

The safest place on earth church should be a safe place. We don't tolerate sin, but we are very very patient were all struggling to be pure in the midst of the polluted world. So the second word is the word love. Let me give you 1/3 word and that is the word life life. If I could summarize it all. Maybe it's the words of Jesus who said Alyssa corn of wheat falls into the ground and dies. What is that death is a death to self.

It is finally ending the blame game. It is ending such things as projecting it as it is, it is demolishing of defenses that we have so carefully built is becoming really really honest as honesty kills us. It slays us. But what did Jesus say when the corn of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it abides alone, but if it dies, it bears fruit. It brings about life. It gives hope it changes us and as a result of that, we suddenly discover that the fulfillment about which Jesus spoke is possible because of last week with running no more games just us and honesty in the presence of God and others. No vulnerability is terrifying.

We recognize that, but I urge you today. Honesty, at least in the presence of God is not try to fool him as sometimes we do not minimize sin but to simply say Lord here I am. This is what your mirror says that this is the answer. There is cleansing there is forgiveness and there's a whole new identity in Jesus and that is the bottom line. One day some people who really were into God's word into the law of the Old Testament law.

They brought woman to Jesus and they said that Jesus hears a woman who's been caught in adultery, in the very act, what you suggest. Moses said to Stoner. You think Jesus said of course of Moses said to it, go ahead with the only requirement that I have is he who is without sin and the idea is he who hasn't committed a similar sin, you cast the first stone. You say and so Jesus wrote on the ground as though he heard them not to and one by one they all left and Jesus said, is there nobody was condemned, you nobody Lord, neither do I condemn you go and sin no more. Change your vocation live differently now that you've been transformed by my awesome power he who looks into the word and immediately goes his way, is not helped by the word. You can be here year after year. You can study at Moody Bible Institute and not helped by the word, the person who gazes into the law continually and says con what's in it for me in the sense I desire the transformation of a lot my life I desired to be as holy as you can make me that's obedience to the mayor and such a man will be blessed in his deeds. So join me on a journey as we look into the human heart try to figure out why. Quote good people sometimes do very bad things. Let's pray in our father, we thank you today that you know us. We thank you that you know all the hidden crevices of our lives. We thank you that you are aware of our deepest needs and we ask today in the name of Jesus that you will bring us to that sense of honesty that willingness to look into your word to be encouraged by its promises but also rebuked by its warnings and we pray all father make us all that we should be for your glory and for your honor now before I close this prayer. If God has talk to you.

What is it that you want him to do during the next eight or nine Sundays. What is it that God has talk to but would you talk to him about that and say God is much as live within me. I'll follow you, no matter the cost. You tell him father for those who want to still be shielded from your penetrating word grant is so got that sense of openness that willingness to say Lord here I am due in me as seems good in your sight.

We pray in Jesus name, amen.

You know my friend. I know a professor who is teaching the Bible for virtually all of his life when he got into his 90s. He said these words, the older I get, I am overwhelmed by two things. First of all, the depth of my sin and the wonder of God's grace and you know you and I don't really experience God's grace the way we should. Until we understand the depth of our sin. And that's why this series of messages is so important.

But I've also written a book entitled managing your emotions. The subtitle is God's good gifts gone wrong. Let me ask you a question. His depression always sinful well in the book.

I quote Martin Luther and none other than Charles Haddon Spurgeon, who wrestled with depression all the time. I want to affirm that it's not necessary for you to feel just right to be spiritual. What we need to do is to recognize that our emotions are a gift of God, they can go wrong.

Also there's a biblical answer. Now I deal with a number of different emotions. A few of them are love, depression, rejection, fear and loneliness, anger, and so forth.

But the point that I'm simply making is this on pointing people toward the Scriptures. What does God have to say about this for a gift of any amount. This book can be yours. It's titled managing your emotions. Here is what you do go to RTW that's RTW or if you prefer, call us at 1-888-218-9337. Should I give you that phone number. Once again, 1-888-218-9337 or you can go to RT W you can write to us running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 running to win subjective is for you to understand God's roadmap for your race of life with fruit for good.

It all began long ago. The first deception bought into by the newly created human race. Next time I'm running to win the saved and loving it hard to enter when losers revealing series on human nature. Thanks for listening, Dr. Erwin loser this is Alister running to win is sponsored by the Moody Church

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