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The Glorious Treasure of Christ

"Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are at Ephesus and are faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons and daughters through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, with which He favored us in the Beloved."
Good Morning Beloved,
Welcome to worship this Lord's Day!
We're so glad to have you here.
Almost all of us have at one time or another, experienced rejection, but many of us have not understood its nature or its effects. The rejection you faced may have been something relatively minor, or perhaps it may have been so devastating that it impacted your whole life, as well as all of your relationships. Rejection can be defined as the sense of being unwanted. You desire people to love you, yet you believe that they do not. You want to be part of a group, maybe you feel excluded. Somehow, however, it always feels as though you are on the outside looking in.
Such experiences can leave lasting or even permanent wounds, whether you are aware of them or not. But I want to let you know, I have good news for you! God can heal you from the wounds that come from rejection, help you to accept yourself, and enable you to show His love to others. Before you can receive His help, however, you must recognize the nature of your problem.
Among Christians rejection occurs when love is withdrawn, whether knowingly or unknowingly, the person is denied the right or opportunity to be accepted as they are. Christian rejection could be defined as the absence of meaningful love, and at it’s worst, a wanton disregard of another person and his or her needs.

It is obvious that a universal problem, such as rejection would find its way into all levels of society and its institutions. Since no one but God is capable of giving perfect love at all times and in every circumstance, some lack of love or an imperfect love will inadvertently come into all of our lives. Rejection often occurs early in childhood and the severity of that rejection usually determines the amount of damage sustained.

Those who have been rejected are prone to pass along some form of rejection, especially to those closest to them. Frequently, a child. Until those who have experienced being rejected find the life-transforming love of Christ as the cure, the only long term antidote to rejection, they turn to pursuits which they hope, consciously or unconsciously, which they believe will make them acceptable to themselves as well as others. Often resulting in one failed relationship after another.

Many people, including Christians, attempt to cover up a wound which will not heal, because there is something much deeper inside that is causing it to fester. However, if you will open your heart to the Holy Spirit, He will reveal the source of the problem. If the Holy Spirit’s probe touches a piece of shrapnel, help if you must, but do not resist! Just ask Him to use the necessary means to remove the problem. Then God can apply what is needed to truly heal it.

I can speak from experience here, it often most uncomfortable allowing the Holy Spirit dig deep into the secret places of your soul. However, once He reveals to you the source of your pain, your hurt, you will find yourself in a much healthier place, but you must first allow Him to do so. Try as you may, it will not work on your own. God knows I have tried.

Let us bow our heads in prayer.

Heavenly Father,

Lord, we thank You for this marvelous reminder of Your grace, for the tremendous joy, the incredible peace, for the infinite riches all at our disposal because we are Your beloved children. Father, enlighten us with the glorious truth of who we are, how rich we are in Christ, and we are again in awe of Your glory, Your power. Help us to walk in the Spirit and apply the glorious truth You have prepared for us today. Lord, we pray that You would make known in us and to us the mystery of your will. Then give us the boldness and courage to share it with others.

Father, we pray for those who might not have a sense of their eternal worth, who may not be living with all of the inheritance, touch their hearts, that today they will be moved by Your Spirit to respond to You.
This we pray in Christ's name
Today's Message: The Glorious Treasure of Christ
There are some Christian's who do not seem to understand the riches that they have in Christ. It is almost as though they are starving, just outside the doors of a glorious banquet. 
In what I believe is one of the most profound statements made by Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry, He addressed the concept of "truth." 

He said in John 8:31-32, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly My disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
I frequently contemplate His words in this statement, I am drawn to the fact that Jesus emphatically declares with all authority that true freedom is found in knowing the truth. In these two verses alone, Jesus defines the truth as His teachings. In essence, Jesus is saying, "If I say it, if you obey it, and apply it, you will find freedom!"
Later, Jesus would actually label Himself as "The Truth," in John 14:6, when He said "I am the way, and the truth, and the life." In this statement, Jesus wasn't saying, "I am truthful," or "What I say is true."
Why? Because, it’s not that Jesus Christ is just true in what He says, but in relation to everything and anything else, HE IS THE TRUTH!
Open with me your Bibles to the book of Ephesians chapter 1. It’s a book about inheritance. It’s a book about riches. It’s a book about fullness. It’s a book about being filled with things. It’s a book that tells us about all the riches we have in Christ. I like to call it The Glorious Treasure of Christ the Bible. I invite you to follow along with me as I read to you from this wonderful, rich epistle. Ephesians 1:1-6.
"Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are at Ephesus and are faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons and daughters through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, with which He favored us in the Beloved."

Ephesus was one of the commercial centers of the ancient world. It proudly claimed the proud title, "The first and the greatest metropolis of Asia." Paul's letter to the Ephesians was written from Rome in about 64 A.D. It was about 30 years later, when Jesus wrote a letter to the Ephesians. However, by the time Jesus wrote His letter, in Revelation 2, the church of Ephesus had already left their first love. They were going on with the motions of Christianity, however, they lacking the vital emotion of love. 

Just as the human body receives all of its direction from the head, the church receives its direction from the Lord Jesus Christ. And as the body manifests the person in the world, the church manifest Christ in the world.

One of the essential keys to unlocking the mysteries of the book of Ephesians, is to come to the understanding that it is an epistle built around the concept of the church as the body of Christ. There are a number of metaphors in the New Testament used to describe the church. The church is frequently called a bride, the church is called a family, a household, a kingdom; the church is called a flock; the church is called a building, and the church is also called a vine and branches.

A person who has not found true meaning in his or her identity in Christ, or a life based on mutual love, builds an identity based on performance or conformity to some standard. The concepts of acceptance and identity are so intertwined it is impossible to discuss one without the other. Either a person is accepted as he is or the acceptance received will be based on his appearance, his performance, or his possessions.

Prestige, power, possessions, politics or other exterior qualification become what is used to gain acceptance or substantiate rejection. Being accepted by others or being rejected by others becomes a hidden agenda which is often unrecognized by everyone else involved, including those accepting or rejecting based on some criteria which may be know only to them. 

This humanistic thinking has so permeated society, and more sadly, even the church, where one’s identity is to be found in Christ rather than in possessions, power or performance, that we seek acceptance and identity in relationships and things. When circumstances take away our things and when people withhold their acceptance, life loses its meaning, and an inner and outer destructive pattern progresses. That is unless something or someone, which can help us break that pattern.
Either we find acceptance as a free gift because of our identity in Christ, or we find it necessary to go about trying to earn it. Free acceptance of others in Christ, however, is a matter of grace while the forcing people to earn our acceptance is works. In other words, free acceptance is of the Spirit and the works acceptance is of the law, a manner of life filled with humanistic thinking rather than one of the Spirit. Christianity and man-centered thinking are mutually opposing and contradictory of one another.
People who tend to operate out of the deep buried pain of rejection try to validate their lives in many ways. Rejection can result in either withdrawal from deeper relationships or in an inordinate dependence upon others for acceptance and meaning. To overcome rejection people frequently seek identity and acceptance based on achievement. If they achieve the American dream or the good life they may find fulfillment for a period of time, but the appeasement of the flesh never lasts long. Some seek acceptance through extra-marital relationships. Others seek relief in alcohol or drugs, whether prescribed or otherwise. Others develop unhealthy, often pathological, relationships with others. The drive for acceptance can even lead to immorality.

A life based on earthly values, goals, and interpersonal relationships, often results in an identity and acceptance in things and relationships that are fleeting at best. Identity and acceptance based on these results will ultimately lead to rejection by those from whom acceptance is sought and finally a sense of failure and self-rejection.

The primary results of rejection, however, are most often the inability to receive love from others and further, the inability to communicate love to them. That is why rejection is one of the greatest hindrances to divine love and God’s great work to create people of grace and faith loving. Each time we experience rejection, the potential for doubt and unbelief increases. How can you have faith in life, others or yourself when you believe you are unlovely, incapable or inadequate in some way? The seeds of rejection produce the harvest of failure. This is nothing more than bondage and oppression. Which is precisely what God offers you when you come to Him through yielding your life to Jesus.

Verses 3 through 6, explains God’s acceptance of us in Jesus Christ. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons and daughters through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, with which He favored us in the Beloved."
The NKJV, translates verse 6 this way, "to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved." 

The original Greek word, "apódektos" that is translated here as accepted is very powerful. It is much stronger than mere approval. It means "to make graceful, charming, lovely, agreeable, to surround with favor and to honor with blessings." And in Luke 1:28, the NKJV translates the same Greek word as "highly favored one."
When you come to God through Jesus, you are as accepted and as highly favored as Jesus Himself. Amazing as it may seem, God loves you in the same way He loves Jesus. You have become a member of His own family.

Even though God offers us full acceptance, our taking hold of His love is often blocked by the far-reaching consequences of rejection. Our willingness to overcome rejection by reaching out to God’s love determines whether or not we become chained or misdirected by our rejection. Getting over past rejection is not often easy, but it is possible for every single person who places his or her heart and mind in Christ, who has the power to overcome.

Overcoming rejection is God’s unquestionable will for your life, if you belong to Him. But how do you overcome rejection? Application! You do it by applying large, daily doses of God’s love to your wounded and broken heart and by allowing Him to renew your mind, heal your wounds, until you begin to think like an accepted of God.

It is my firm belief, that the primary result of rejection, is an inability to adequately receive or communicate love. A person who hasn’t experienced God’s love, certainly cannot transmit His love. 

I John 4:19 express this powerful truth in this way, "We love, because He first loved us." Not only did He love us first, but He loves us best! Yes, even when we are unlovable." God's incredible love transcends all boundaries.
The Psalmist David describes God's love this way in Psalm 27:10, "For my father and my mother have forsaken me, But the Lord will take me up."
Beloved, no one knows rejection better than our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! For three and a half years, He had completely dedicated His life to doing good, to forgiving sin, to delivering demon-oppressed people, to healing sickness. At the end of that period, the Roman ruler offered a choice to Jesus’ own people, the Jews. He was willing to release from prison either Jesus of Nazareth or a criminal named Barabbas, who was guilty of political insurrection and murder. In the single most
tragic decisions in all of human history, the people rejected Jesus and chose Barabbas.
How did Jesus handle this rejection? In His response to those who would crucify Him, He prayed for them, asking the Father for their forgiveness in Luke 23:24, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing."
In Closing....
Let Him love you. Experience His love for you. How do you do this? Believe what God’s Word tells you about Him and you. Almighty God, the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe loves you and accepts you in Christ Jesus. He thinks you are worth loving and keeping. Jesus Christ will never leave you or forsake you. Find your identity and acceptance in Him, not the world. He sees all of our faults and is more aware of all of our weaknesses than anyone else, and yet, He loves us.
Don't take my word for it, read and believe what God says to you in His own Words. 
May it be so..
And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name

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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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