The story has been told of a young girl who was the daughter of one of the royal families of Europe, but had a gargantuan nose that, in her own eyes, destroyed her beauty and resulted in her seeing herself as an ugly person. So her family hired a famous plastic surgeon to change the shape and size of the girl’s nose. He did the work. Then came the moment when he took the bandages off so they could see the results. The doctor saw that the procedure had been a total success. All ugliness was gone. Her nose was beautiful and petite. When the incisions healed and the redness disappeared she would be an incredibly beautiful young lady.
The doctor held up a mirror for the girl to see, but so deeply embedded in her mind was an ugly image of herself, that even when looking into the mirror she couldn’t see change. She broke down in tears and cried out, “I knew it! I knew it wouldn’t work!” It took a total of six months for the girl to accept the fact that she was indeed attractive. Her behavior began to change when she accepted the truth.
A child of God must accept his new identity before there can be any real change. The realization is, “Old things have passed away and behold all things have become new” and we must accept it. (II Corinthians 5:17) Most people focus on the outer man, but God looks at the heart. He works on balancing the inner and outer person in order for them to live in harmony. His emphasis is to change the inside man first so the outer man can truly mirror the nature on the inside.
The wisdom of God knows that when the inner man is healthy the physical body will follow suit. “I wish above all things that you prosper and be in health even as your soul (inner man) prospers” (III John 1:3).
I’m sure that you remember Clark Kent, the mild mannered newspaper reporter, whom nobody expected anything extraordinary. But whenever there was a sudden call for action, far beyond the normal ability of man, Clark would step into a phone booth, strip off his ordinary business suit, and emerge with bulging muscles as Superman. He could do what normally was impossible.
The Word of God teaches us from cover to cover, “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world” (I John 4:4). Sadly, most believers have not seen themselves in this light. Like the young girl who could not see the change in her new image, they are blind to what they have become in Christ.
The change that comes from salvation is not a lottery neither is it a shell game. It is a blood sport. Christ stood out front to take the hits and the beatings for us so we could be changed and completely healed. “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah, 53:5). He arose from the grave for our hope and eternal change. He became ugly, covered with blood to make us beautiful. J. C. is pastor of Joy Christian Ministries W. Sac.
After being included in Oprah Winfrey’s famous book club, James Frey’s Memoir (A Million Little Pieces) quickly sold over 3.5 million copies. But controversy erupted when questions arose about whether the stories contained in Frey’s book were true.
Edward Wyatt writes: “On January 11, 2005, Oprah Winfrey called in to CNN’s Larry King Live. She defended the book and its author stating that the controversy over his truthfulness was ‘much ado about nothing,’ claiming that Frey’s writing was ‘the essential truth of his life.’ Oprah stated: ‘Although some of the facts have been questioned, the underlying message of redemption in James Frey’s memoir still resonates with me. And I know that it resonates with millions of other people who have read his book. It’s irrelevant discussing, you know, what happened or did not happen to the police.’ Reversing herself several weeks later after new information had come out confirming Frey’s dishonesty, Oprah apologized on her own show: ‘I regret that phone call,’ she said. ‘I made a mistake and I left the impression that the truth does not matter. And I am deeply sorry about that because that is not what I believe. To everyone who has challenged me on this issue of truth, you are absolutely right.’”
I’m amazed at the attitude some people have toward truth. Even in some Christian circles there is a lot of talk about how truth is not important. The “Jesus Seminar” folks, for example, tell us that the only important thing is that the myth of Jesus is alive and well. Whether it’s true or not is unimportant.
If you dig into that one long enough you’ll see that the issue of truth is far more important than they suggest. Because, they want you to conclude that the Holy Bible isn’t true, and that all you know about Jesus and Christian faith isn’t based on truth.
Truth is significant. In real life, truth counts. Don’t believe it? Think with me for just a moment. Is it important for husbands and wives to tell each other the truth? Or, can they pawn off any old story that sounds logical? Do you want businessmen to tell you the truth or is it acceptable for them to sell you junk at a premium price? Should politicians be truthful or is it OK for them to say anything so they can be elected into office? What do you prefer: lies or truth?
Truth is invaluable in every human discussion or transaction. If the truth is not being spoken, somewhere along the line it will hurt you. Yes, sometimes the truth hurts but in the long run the benefits far outweigh the lies. The truth is like math: consistent.
Be in the habit of telling the truth because your words convey the content of your character. The truth is rock solid: the same today and forever. Lies mean absolutely nothing except cover-up. When Mr. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man can come unto the Father, but by me,” He declared that we could stake our life on Him; He is solid, dependable truth. J. C. is pastor of Joy Christian Ministries West Sacramento.
An excuse has been defined as the skin of a reason stuffed with a lie. A farmer asked his neighbor if he might borrow a rope. “Sorry,” said the neighbor, “I’m using my rope to tie up my milk.” “Rope can’t tie up milk.” “I know,” replied the neighbor, “but when a man doesn’t want to do something, one reason is as good as another.”
All of us are tempted to make rather ridiculous excuses to others and sometimes even to God. If we would stop and examine our excuses we would discover how ridiculous most of them sound. Someone took the time to collect a few choice excuses that have been given to cops in relationship to automobile accidents: “An invisible car came out of nowhere, struck my car then vanished. I had been driving my car for forty years when I fell asleep at the wheel and had the accident. I pulled away from the side of the road, glanced at my mother-in-law, and headed over the embankment. The pedestrian had no idea which direction to go so I ran over him. Suddenly a tree was there where no tree had been before.” Most excuses are invented on the spot and they are obvious.
Once a Christian was encouraging a friend to become a Christian and his excuse was that he could not understand the Bible. He said, “I would become a Christian but the Bible is too difficult for me to understand.” The Christian then asked him if he understood how clouds picked up water from the sea then deposited it upon the earth in the form of fresh water, snow, ice, sleet, or hail. The friend said, “No! That’s impossible to know.” The Christian replied, “Well, that’s the way it is with serving the Lord. A person can’t understand everything about God or His Word, but we accept Him by faith and enjoy the benefits. The key is to believe Him by faith and to accept Him as your Lord.” His friend got the message and accepted Christ.
An illustration is given us by Jesus: “A man prepared a great feast and sent out many invitations. When all was ready, he sent his servants around to notify the guests that it was time for them to arrive. But they all began making excuses. One said he had just bought a field and wanted to inspect it and asked to be excused. Another said he had just bought five pair of oxen and wanted to try them out. Another had just been married and for that reason couldn’t come. The servant returned and reported to his master what they had said. His master was angry and told him to go quickly into the streets and alleys of the city to invite beggars, crippled, lame, and blind…For none of those I invited first will get even the smallest taste of what I had prepared for them” (Luke 14:16-24). This is a strong message.
Excuses don’t hold water with God. He knows the heart of an excuse. He sees the underlying intent and priority. He’s not deceived by an excuse. He knows that when we want to do something, time or no time or money or no money, we will do it without excuse. J.C. is pastor of Joy Christian Ministries W. Sac.
Pastor J.C. Myers, III
Pastor J.C. founded Joy Christian Ministries in 1992. He was Sr. Pastor at Joy Christian Ministries in West Sacramento, California from 1992-2016. He was succeeded by his 2nd son, Pastor Brandon Myers who had been under his father's ministry and teaching for 39 years.