Summary: God sees our lives with His unlimited perspective. We are so valuable and loved by our Father.

Today for our message, we are going to play a short game called, “What is it?”

The drawing that is being passed out to you is a view of a part of an item here within our Sanctuary. This past week I came in here and spent many, many hours perfecting my drawing for you. I know what you are thinking, and I do agree with you, I AM INDEED A VERY TALENTED ARTIST. Please take a moment to identify the structure and indicate where this piece fits on that structure.

Okay, who thinks they know what it is?........ This is a drawing of_________.

Why do you suppose it was nearly impossible to identify exactly what my drawing was?

I want you to think about how this experience was like trying to figure out what God is doing in your life by examining a single action or event within your life.

From a distance, the wood panel for the most part is beautiful overall, but it’s not so attractive when you get up close and examine its individual parts. The closer you look at it the more flaws and imperfections you see.

Isn’t our lives much like that as well? We will stare closely at a problem or difficult situation and pass judgment on it. Our perspective is limited to our own experience. However, God sees our lives with His unlimited perspective. He sees how every hardship we face contributes to the soaring artwork that he is creating in our lives, and how this present problem is molding us into the glorious architecture of heaven. Let me show you what I mean. Please stand with me this morning as I read to you God’s Word that is found in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

How you view yourself, the world, those around you and yes even God makes you the person you are. Perception fuels what you believe, how you act and how you re-act to all situations in life. Perceptions even affect those that see us. Others have perceptions of each one of us and those perceptions can determine what others may do in life. This is so very true for others that view us as Christians.

I.How do non-believers perceive you?

A.In most situations, the way people perceive us is what they believe us to be. This is the reason that we as Christians must be so careful about how we live our lives.

Illustration: We have all heard about, and probably know, some people that do not go to church because of the way we behave as Christians. As a professing believer in Jesus, we are under a microscope, our lives are in a fish bowl for all to see and trust me when I tell you, people are watching every move we make. They notice how we act and re-act in all situations.

At our last church we had a new visitor that started coming and shortly thereafter became involved with our Wednesday evening youth groups. Each Wednesday we would have a meal, an adult Bible Study and two separate Youth Groups. One for the elementary age kids and one for the Teens.

This woman was reaching out and trying to get plugged into the life of the church. One evening after our activities were wrapping up she came to me and shared with me that she felt shunned by some of the other members and she felt unwelcomed. I of coarse apologized and brought it up at our next elder deacon meeting.

One of our deacons argued with me and said that we had a very friendly and welcoming congregation and that the lady was wrong in her thinking.

I will tell you what I told him during that meeting and I still believe it to be true.

“Whatever someone perceive is correct to them and it is not for us to debate or go against what someone else perceives about us. It is up to us to graciously correct what we can on our end to help change others perceptions about us. If someone perceives our church as being an unfriendly church that is unwelcoming, then guess what, we are and this is something we must pay close attention to and work on.”

1.We wonder why we as Christians can’t seem to change anything. Why we as Christians don’t seem to grow. Why our churches never grow? It’s because people want to see Christians that act the same way in public as they do at church. They want someone to actually be as concerned for them as the Jesus that they hear us preach about.

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