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.
B. Drive in our day to say that homosexuals are born that way. Only partly true- they may have a predisposition toward this but no one forces them to go down that path. God doesn’t make junk. Because of the fall, all of us have something that is a weakness for us. We could say the same things about alcoholics. This explains why whole families have the same problems. If your great great grandfather had problems with liquor, if your grandfather had the same problem, if your father had the same problem, then there is a high chance that you will have the same problem. Look at families and some don’t go down that path.
D. We have a tendency for a hot temper, but that does not give us an excuse to go out and punch somebody. We may have a tendency toward certain addictions, but that doesn’t give us an excuse.
E. This provides us with some understanding of our weaknesses but not excuses.
2. Our circumstances
A. How we were raised, what we saw when growing up, even our current circumstances, contribute to our character. Learn much from watching others.
B. Much of this from childhood was attempts to protect ourselves, to handle hurt and rejection, and to cope.
C. Much of our current character defects are attempts to satisfy unmet needs. Respect- if we don’t get it one way we will get it in another. Love- if we don’t get it in the right way we will get it in the wrong way. Security- if we don’t get it in God we might get it in the accumulation of possessions.