Summary: A sermon that discusses the inevitability and necessity of change in the Christian life.
New International Version (NIV)
5 1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.[a] 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them.
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said:
“Wake up, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ
When the train gets to the end of the line on the London underground one of the announcements that is broadcast is.
FINAL STOP, ALL CHANGE PLEASE This is our final stop, all change please.
You can’t stay in your old seat your journey involves change.
I don’t know if you have thought about it but the people who are going to live victoriously in the year ahead are those who lived victoriously in the year behind.
In other words for you to live differently next year it will take a major change in your life.
It is not my job particularly to critique your life but it is yours and the beginning of a new year is a good time to take stock of your life and work out how you are going to live in the year ahead.
If you are a Christian and most people at our two churches this morning will be then you sit under an obligation before God. This obligation is not for grace but as a result of grace and it is Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (NIV)
Your task is to do good works which God created in advance for you to do..
Before I encourage you then to live like that then I want to tell you three things about change.
One change is possible
Two change is difficult and
Three change will be resisted from something deep within you.
There will be a fight to retain the old way of doing things and something within most of us will die to maintain the status quo.
Tim Hansel in his book "When I Relax I feel Guilty," writes some insights of what most people want from God.
"I would like to buy $3.00 worth of God, please. Not enough to explode my soul or disturb my sleep, but just enough to equal a cup of warm milk or a snooze in the sunshine. I don't want enough of Him to make me love a black man or pick beets with a migrant. I want ecstasy, not transformation; I want the warmth of the womb, not a new birth. I want a pound of the Eternal in a paper sack. I would like to buy $3.00 worth of God, please."
If we would be totally honest, the idea of transformation really scares us. That is because we know that such a radical change would be quite uncomfortable. We realize that with transformation comes a major overhaul of our lives and priorities.
So change is difficult the sermon this morning encourages you to change none the less because it is God’s desire for your life.