Summary: A sermon on "Blessed Are Those Who Hunger and Thirst" focused on transformation (Taken from John Baker’s Book, Life’s Healing Choices on Choice #5)
Evening Service for 3/22/2009
(Mat 5:6 NIV) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Imagine that you’re in a boat and the autopilot is set for east, but you want to change directions and go west. You take hold of the wheel, and you push and pull with all your might. Finally you manage to force the boat west. As long as you hold that wheel steady by your strength, the boat keeps going west; but soon, you get tired of fighting against the boat’s inclination, and you finally let go of the wheel. Now, you’re heading east- because that’s the direction the boat is programmed to go. But you still want to go west, so you muster up your willpower again, grab the steering wheel, and force the boat west. Yet the whole time you have to struggle and fight because you’re going against the preprogrammed inclination of the boat. So again you give out and...
A. That’s how it is when we try to fight against our own internal autopilot. By our own willpower, we try to force new behavior. We try and try, but soon we get tired… and we let go. We go off the diet, get involved in another unhealthy relationship, start smoking again, go back to gambling, etc. We go back to the way we have always acted.
B. If we want to change, the only way, the only solution is to reprogram the autopilot.
C. We have been working our way through the beatitudes via Celebrate Recovery.
D. Blessed are the poor in spirit- we need to admit that we need help
E. Blessed are those who mourn- we need to accept God’s offer of help
F. Blessed are the meek- we need to overcome our reluctance to rely upon ourselves.
G. Blessed are the pure in heart- we have come clean about our hurts, hang ups and habits to God and to others.
H. Now, we come to the transformation choice. We are ready to submit to God and allow Him to change us. Blessed are those who hunger. Have a desire to change, have a desire to do God’s will and have His way in us.
I. (Rom 12:1 NIV) Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship.(Rom 12:2 NIV) Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.
J. Is renewing our mind easy? Will the changes be easy? Will they happen overnight? Of course not. The promise of this beatitude is that when our greatest desire is to do what God requires, we will be happy.
K. God loves us so many he does not want to leave us the way we are.
Thesis: Cooperate with God in His process of changing us.
I. Where do our character defects come from?
1. Our chromosomes
A. Our mother and father contributed 23,000 chromosomes to our development. From our parents we inherited some of their strengths and some of their weaknesses. Many positive and negative things. Maybe inherited some physical defects, as well as some emotional defects. This explains our predisposition toward certain problems.