Summary: In this message, we look at the role HOPE plays in the manifestation of FAITH in our lives.

The title of the message this morning is “Repainting Your Canvas.” How many of you have seen “The Mona Lisa”? I don’t remember the painter’s name, but whoever he was, “The Mona Lisa” was in his mind long before it hit the canvas. Every stroke of “The Mona Lisa” was already up here (pointed to my head).

Most of you know how movies are made right? The first thing the director does is a story board. He would take the movie that has been playing in his mind and put it on a story board so that those who are making the movie can see what he sees.

Now, for years, we have been painting our spirits, stroke by stroke. “I hate that guy.” Stroke. “This person needs to get hit by a bus.” (Laughter) Stroke. “I love my Heavenly Father.” Stroke. My point: we paint the canvas of our spirits by what we think and what we say. So every time you have a thought. Stroke. Every time you say something. Stroke. You are stroking the canvas of your spirit.

For some of you, what you’re going to hear today will be an answer to prayer. It’s going to help you understand why your prayers are not getting answered. Isn’t that wonderful?

We’re going to begin in Proverbs 23. Look at verse 7.

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”

How many of you have quoted this part of the verse? How many of you have heard that part of the verse quoted to you? Have you ever had any say to you the last part of that verse? No. I’m going to lift that verse out of context this morning because “for as a man thinketh, so is he” is true. But so that you can see the context, let’s go back to verse one.

Read verses 1 through the first part of verse 7.

Do you see the context? He’s talking about someone who has evil in his heart.

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.”

We say the first part of this verse without thinking about the setting, the context, in which it is found.

The word “thinketh” means “to act as a gate keeper.” This man is thinking about certain things that may not be in the person’s best interest. We need to be gatekeepers of our thoughts also, making sure that our thoughts are the same as God’s thoughts.

Look in Proverbs 29. Another verse you’re very familiar with – verse 18. Read first part of the verse.

I have had that verse quoted to me but stop right here. People take this verse and say we need to have a vision, we need to develop a vision statement, for our business or for our ministry. But that’s not what it’s talking about. How do I know this? Look at the second part of the verse.

So what is the vision that we must have? The vision, the revelation, of God’s Word in us. Where there is no vision, where there is no hearing from God, the people perish. This verse is talking about God’s Word living in your life because if it’s not, you’re perishing.

We read these two verses so that I could as the question, “What do you see?” Now I want to go to what you must see. Turn to Genesis 1. The verses we are about to read is WHAT YOU MUST SEE. Read first part of Genesis 1:26.

Do you know what’s so fascinating about this verse? In every place of creation, the Bible says “And let, and let, and let.” God spoke things into being. But when it came to man, when it came to us, He got personally involved!

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Read verses 27 and 28.

God said “Let us create man in our image.” He’s giving you a picture of WHO YOU ARE.

Now Genesis 1 came before Genesis 3, did it not? By the time we get to the end of Genesis 3, the man and woman God made, formed and created are no longer in His image. But then, after Jesus rose from the dead, man would once again be in God’s image.

God says listen, “Man is going to look like Me, he’s going to act like Me and everything I would do He going going to do.”

How many of you have really seen that picture of yourself? Think about this. We are exactly like God with one exception – we don’t have deity. We don’t see ourselves where we are. We see ourselves where we’ve been beaten down to. And we know who has been whacking away at us.

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