Summary: This is Kickoff Sunday of a new 30 week series called Believe. Material comes from Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, TX via Randy Frazee.
Believe: Towards a Transformed Life
September 7, 2014
An elderly man went to the doctor complaining that his wife could barely hear. The doctor suggested a test to find out just how bad her hearing problem was. He said, “Stand far behind her and ask her a question, and then slowly move up to see how far away you are before she first responds.”
The man, was excited to finally be working towards a solution, he rushed home to find his wife preparing supper. The man stood 20 feet behind his wife and asked, “Honey, what’s for supper?”
There was no response. He tried again at 15 feet, and again, no response. So he moved to 10 feet away asking, “Honey, what’s for supper?” Still no response.
Finally, he was 5 feet away and he yelled, “Honey, what’s for supper?!”
She turned to him and replied, “For the fourth time it’s lasagna!”
So often we assume it’s the other person who has the problem. It’s the other person who needs to do the changing. We tend to point fingers at others. We think, Pastor Michael’s message is for someone else, he’s talking to those heathens on the other side of the church. Too often we miss the point, WE ALL need life change. We all need transformation! And that’s exactly the point. Jesus wants us to focus on changing ourselves, before we can go into the world and think we can change others.
Change, or transformation of our character, is what believing in Jesus is all about. There’s more to it, obviously. But there must be proof of the faith we have in Jesus. We can’t become a follower of Jesus, and have no life change at all. When a person comes to faith in Christ he or she is saying much more than “I want my sins forgiven.” To “believe” means to “trust.” It means you put your life into the life of Christ. And when you do, things change. You change.
The problem is not many people believe with this kind of belief. In the Christian world we see some evidence of lives changed, but too often we don’t see it. We hide the fact that we are followers of Jesus Christ. That’s what I liked about baptizing Troy today. He wanted to world to know he was a follower of Jesus Christ. Now, he needs to take the next step, with our help, to be in the world and make a difference for Christ. But it’s not just for those who are newer to faith, it’s the same for the old timers in the faith as well. Wherever we go, whatever we do, we’re called to make a difference for Jesus. We need to believe that life change is possible.
I was talking to someone the other day, and they told me their grandfather became a Christian and came home and took his cigarettes and threw them out, stopped drinking and that was all because of Jesus. Folks, real change, life change, life transformation is real and att attainable.
So as we begin this journey called “Believe” I want to challenge you to do something right out of the title. I want you to believe. I want you to believe in the source of true life, Jesus Christ. That’s where it all starts, but then I want you to believe, no matter what age you are, believe you can change. Believe you can be transformed.
As we start off I want to share a passage from 2 Peter 1 which gives us a link to what Believe is all about. It’s about Think, Act, Be . . . Like Jesus. Do you want to be different next year in some area of your life than you are right now? Let’s look at parts of 2 Peter 1 ~
You may remember Peter as the brash, quick to speak, hot tempered follower of Jesus. He’s the one who denied knowing Jesus when a little girl pointed him out by a charcoal fire. It wasn’t one of his better moments.
But now, along with Paul, he is one of the two pillars of the early church and he’s writing to some Christians who are on the receiving end of some false teaching. It would be bad enough if these false teachers were attacking his friends from the outside. But the reality is they are inside the church and causing problems by what they’re teaching. Peter believes bad teaching results in bad living, so he begins his writing by reminding them of how their lives can be transformed to be like Christ.
So he begins by saying:
1 Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: