Ecce Homo = Behold the Man

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We are to use our mind to correctly place our faith.

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Matthew 22:34–40 (CSB)
When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they came together. And one of them, an expert in the law, asked a question to test him: “Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?”
He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”
I remember having a conversation with my dad one time about the issue of faith and the need to get right with Jesus.
In that conversation he quipped something about, if a person wants to believe in a rock, then that rock will be a god to that person.
Boy, I’m not sure he understood just how correct he was in that statement
People have been believing in rocks since the “Stone Age” PUN INTENDED
It looks easy but it’s not, it takes a bit of work.” haha
In fact, people have been believing in many things, not just things made from rocks, but of wood, gold, clay, porcelain etc...
Ever since several centuries after the Flood.
Some have even believed in animals as Gods like as in Hinduism, and others believed in humans beings like Jim Jones, or like David Koresh.

Ive often wondered

What in the world could cause people to believe such foolishness?
How could someone lend themselves over to such an outlandish belief practice, especially some that involve animal or human sacrifices, or even ritual sex acts?
Then this would ultimately call into question our very own beliefs
because We Christians believe that Jesus was born of a virgin and walked on water.
Not only that, but that He rose from the dead!

How could we come to believe in this stuff?

Because somewhere along the line, we were convinced in our MIND!
Something happened that caused us to embrace the idea with our Minds.
When you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you accepted it because you were convinced in your mind that He is the person He claims to be.
The only way to convert someone else is to convince them in their mind
Now, how you were convinced and how to help convince another is another matter and another sermon all together,
Today, I want to talk about what we are to do with the mind
In the words of Pilate when presenting Jesus with a crown of twisted thorns around His head, and a purple robe before the peopled yelled to crucify Him, he said.
“Ecce Homo,” Latin for = behold the man.
Man, a Human being, = of Mind and Soul.
The Mind, What are we to do with it?
One thing is for sure, we aren’t to allow anything to control it.
Not people, ( you should do this or that), not places, (Don’t forget where you come from), and definitely not things, (Drugs, alcohol, or even material things,) or even Feelings!
2 Peter 2.19
While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage
Romans 6:16 (CSB)
Don’t you know that if you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of that one you obey—either of sin leading to death or of obedience leading to righteousness?

Jesus Knew how important the Human Mind is

That’s why He added it in the first most important commandment, as we read in Matthew 22.37
Matthew 22:37 (CSB)
He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command.

The mind is what makes us human.

After all, human means, of Mind and soul.
French philosopher René Descartes in his Discourse on Method (1637) coined the phrase
Cogito, ergo sum, (Latin: “I think, therefore I am)
Scripture disagrees with him. What separates us from the animals is the exact opposite.
“We are because we think
This is why the enemy of life is out to get your MIND!
It could care less about your body, your internal feelings, your history, your family life, your image reputation or even your money.
He wants your mind!
Because he knows if he can attack any of those weaknesses in us, he can use it to control the mind.
2 Peter 2,19
“for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage”
Be it brought in by whatever disguise,
Pride, jealousy, prejudice, hate, even love
Don’t you remember being a young teenager, or how infatuated you were with your young love crush?
It occupied your mind didn’t it?
You probably couldn’t think straight. And if you ended up losing or never gaining the affection of love interest, you couldn’t stop thinking about it. You would stop eating, you would stop going out, you’d be sad and depressed, because that interest is what occupied your mind.
Or ever recieved a bad medical report about yourself or anyone else you care about?
It’s all you can think of.
It takes up residency in your mind!
That’s why it is so important that we protect the mind from every invader, foreign and domestic.

God gave you a mind

That mind is unique to you
Like a finger print is, no two people have the same print, that finger print is how they can identify you because that finger print is unique to you.
Well, so is your mind!
Ever heard of a doppelgänger?
an apparition or double of a living person,
according to Apple Dictionary
I’ve met mine once when I was very little. We actually went to the same school briefly before he never came back again.
We had seen each other in the play ground several times, and recognized we looked exactly alike.
Until one day, it appeared neither one of us could help stopping and staring at each others face. lol
I mean, we were carbon copies. lol
But, He was him and I am me, though we looked alike, we are not the same.
There very well may be a person who looks exactly like you, but there will NEVER be another YOU!
What make you, YOU, is Your mind.
And God said He has a plan for You! specifically in Jeremiah 29:11
Jeremiah 29:11 (CSB)
For I know the plans I have for you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

So we need to take care of it don’t we?

We don’t get another one
That’s it, if you lose this one, only God can bring it back to you.
Friedrich Nietzsche is regarded by some as one of the most brilliant philosophers to date, but we can see here, he is a man who could not retain control of his mind, and lost it as history proves he spent the last years of his life in an insane asylum. He was someone who would not accept the truth of the Lord with his mind, he then lost it.
The parable of the Mad man
“Have you not heard of that madman who lit a lantern in the bright morning hours, ran to the market place, and cried incessantly: "I seek God! I seek God!" — As many of those who did not believe in God were standing around just then, he provoked much laughter. Has he got lost? asked one. Did he lose his way like a child? asked another. Or is he hiding? Is he afraid of us? Has he gone on a voyage? emigrated? — Thus they yelled and laughed.
The madman jumped into their midst and pierced them with his eyes. "Whither is God?" he cried; "I will tell you. We have killed him -- you and I. All of us are his murderers. But how did we do this? How could we drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What were we doing when we unchained this earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving? Away from all suns? Are we not plunging continually? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there still any up or down? Are we not straying, as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is not night continually closing in on us? Do we not need to light lanterns in the morning? Do we hear nothing as yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Do we smell nothing as yet of the divine decomposition? Gods, too, decompose. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science (1882, 1887) para. 125; Walter Kaufmann ed. (New York: Vintage, 1974), pp.181-82
In 1889, at age 45, he suffered a collapse and afterward a complete loss of his mental faculties,
in contrast to Nietzsche we have King Nebuchadnezzar, who eventually did accept the Lord’s power.
Daniel 4:29–37 (CSB)
At the end of twelve months, as he was walking on the roof of the royal palace in Babylon, the king exclaimed, “Is this not Babylon the Great that I have built to be a royal residence by my vast power and for my majestic glory?”
While the words were still in the king’s mouth, a voice came from heaven: “King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is declared that the kingdom has departed from you. You will be driven away from people to live with the wild animals, and you will feed on grass like cattle for seven periods of time, until you acknowledge that the Most High is ruler over human kingdoms, and he gives them to anyone he wants.”
At that moment the message against Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people. He ate grass like cattle, and his body was drenched with dew from the sky, until his hair grew like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws.
But at the end of those days, I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked up to heaven, and my sanity returned to me. Then I praised the Most High and honored and glorified him who lives forever:
For his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
and his kingdom is from generation to generation.
All the inhabitants of the earth are counted as nothing,
and he does what he wants with the army of heaven
and the inhabitants of the earth.
There is no one who can block his hand
or say to him, “What have you done?”
At that time my sanity returned to me, and my majesty and splendor returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and my nobles sought me out, I was reestablished over my kingdom, and even more greatness came to me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt, and glorify the King of the heavens, because all his works are true and his ways are just. He is able to humble those who walk in pride.
Here we see someone who would accept the salvation of the Lord, and his mind was RETURNED

The mind is a tool

God gave us the gift of thought for one reason.
So we could use it to decide for ourselves, to Love Him!
That’s it.
The animals have a brain, they know when its time to eat, sleep, fight, run away, copulate, etc.
But they are not Human, of Mind and Soul.
We have the ability to use our minds to study, and judge the evidence for our unique selves, to come to the conclusion to recognize we are lost without him, and to willfully love Him.

But enemy has been hard at work filling our minds with other things,

so that instead of being in bondage in love to God, we are instead duped into bondage to other things that so easily control us
Wether it be drugs, alcohol, emotional distress, physical issues, what ever, as long as its filled and occupied with anything else other than on God,
For which it was created for in the first place
Even though we are all clamoring around from all of the confusion on who to believe, what to think, who to love, etc.
even with all of the different denominations that permeate Christianity,
Even with all of the worldviews and different religions out there.
Some say to do this, others says to do that.
Some say you can’t eat this, others say you can’t eat that
Some say this is a sin, others say that it isn’t
Who and what should we believe?

Brothers and Sisters That is why you have a Mind

To use it, in order to analyze, compute, to compare, to execute judgement on what the evidence allows you to conclude.
And if you do that, Sincerely
You will no doubt come away with the Revelation that
God does Exist
God indeed created the heavens and the earth in six days,
That we were not descended from Apes,
Jesus, is God and so is the Holy Spirt, three-in-one
Jesus did walk this earth,
Jesus did die on the cross,
Jesus did rise from the dead,
Jesus is alive right now in heaven
& Jesus is coming back just as He promised He would
& just as if you lose your mind without God to restore it you will not regain it
If you lose your life on this earth without God there to restore it, you will not regain it

You are without excuse

Romans 1:18–20 (CSB)
For God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth, since what can be known about God is evident among them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, that is, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what he has made. As a result, people are without excuse.

So it doesn’t matter what you think

about of the world around you. It doesn't matter what prevents you from completely giving in to God,
It doesn’t even matter one iota, how you feel about religion in general
Even if you believe you can use all of the confusion among all the world religions all claiming to be right.
Even if you don’t agree with how the church operates.
Or if you don’t like organized religion, or the sermons, or the way people dress and how they are,
It’s all excuses for the real reason.
You don’t want the truth because your mind is programmed to recognize it, and force you to respond to it either way
To either embrace it, or reject it.
Aldous Huxley
“End and Means”
New York: Garland Publishers, 1938
"I had motives for not wanting the world to have a meaning; consequently assumed that it had not; and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption. The philosopher who finds no meaning for this world is not concerned exclusively with the problem of pure metaphysics; he is also concerned to prove that there is no valid reason why he should personally not do as he wants to . . For myself .. the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation, sexual and political."
p270, 273
You will be held without excuse
Because God gave you a MIND,
He gave you the ability to think through the tough questions, through the tough times,
Wade through the evidence.
Some say, all you need is faith!
I say, how do you determine what to put your faith in?
You use your mind to judge the evidence for yourself.
Then you know in what or whom to place your faith
Christianity is not a BLIND FAITH, no it is a Faith based on evidence,
Only you have to use your mind to get there!
Ravi Zacharias, The Logic of God: 52 Christian Essentials for the Heart and Mind
“God has put enough into this world to make faith in Him a most reasonable thing. But He has left enough out to make it impossible to live by sheer reason alone. Faith and reason must always work together in that plausible blend.”
To use your mind to come to the logical conclusion,
He is God!
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