Summary: This sermon looks at three catalysts that God uses to transform us. I. God Uses PEOPLE To Transform Us. II. God Uses CIRCUMSTANCES To Transform Us. III. God Uses SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES To Transform Us. (Sermon 2 in this series)
1. Paddle against the current.
2. Sit in the rowboat and go with the flow.
3. Paddle with the current.
If it is God’s purpose for me to be made into the image of Christ I can do three things. I can fight against it. I can sit back and just hope it will happen. Or I can work with God in the process of my transformation. In other words I can be involved in my Christian growth process. I can “grow in the grace and knowledge of my Lord Jesus Christ.” I can clothe myself in “Christ-likeness”. I can “put on the full armor of God.” I can study to “show myself approved”. I can “work out my salvation with fear and trembling”. I can “submit to the leading of the Holy Spirit”. I can work with God to help Him – help me – become more like Jesus. Isn’t that an amazing thought? God is changing me – and He has asked me to be involved in the process. He has asked you – to be involved in your transformation as well.
Do you recall our focal verse for this series? It is found in First Timothy chapter four and verse seven. Let’s look at it together:
“Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.” 1Timothy 4:7 (NASV)
God calls each of us – as Christians – to be transformed into the image of Christ. We are to be involved in the process of becoming more like Jesus.
How does this transformation process happen? God uses three primary catalysts for changing us.
1. God Uses PEOPLE To Help Transform Us.
2. God Uses CIRCUMSTANCES To Help Transform Us.
3. God Uses SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES To Help Transform Us.
It is this third area – Spiritual Disciplines – that this sermon series will focus on. Over the course of the next few sermons we will look into the importance of Bible Study, worship, prayer, stewardship and other Spiritual Disciplines that will help transform you into the image of Christ. But today we are going to focus on the three catalysts that God uses to transform you. Let’s take the first one:
1. God Uses PEOPLE To Help Transform Us
I dare say that all of us sitting here have been influenced by other people. I know of no one who has not been influenced by other people. Your parents – two individuals – were involved in your conception to the human race. They were directly involved in your being here today. Your parents may not have planned you – but God did. He knew when and where you would be born. He knew what gender you would be – how tall you would become – the color of your eyes – the color of your skin - the color of your hair – He even knows every hair on your head. God is concerned about you. He knows every little fact about you. He know you better than you know yourself.
God has even made you to be a part of a community - His church. God said: “It is not good for man to be alone.” God sends people into our lives to have an influence and impact on us – to bring us closer to Him. We all have been influenced by other people – some more than others. If I went around this room today and asked each of you who has had the most impact on your life – I believe each of you would have a story to tell. Each of you would remember someone. Perhaps that person is still in your life – perhaps they are not. It could be a parent, a sibling, a friend, an enemy, a spouse or perhaps even a total stranger. But some person has had an impact on your life – because people have an influence on people.