Summary: God can and will change your life.
EXTREME MAKEOVER, SPIRITUAL EDITION
C: Change God brings
Th: A People with Purpose
Pr: GOD CAN AND WILL BRING CHANGE TO OUR LIVES.
I. FURY (1-2)
II. CONTACT (3-5)
III. INSTRUCTION (6-8)
IV. CONNECTION (9-16)
V. FELLOWSHIP (17-19)
PA: How is the change to be observed?
• Let God bring the change that you need.
RMBC 21 May 06 AM
1. Have you ever wished you could live those before and after situations?
This has been the premise of the Extreme Makeover shows.
Someone is dissatisfied with their looks and then several doctors, exercise gurus and fashion experts get a hold of you.
You have been changed into someone stunningly beautiful in the eyes of the world.
When it comes right down to it, there are no easy answers to getting the change we desire in our lives.
Even on these shows – it involves operations and changes in exercise, diet and clothing habits.
I do believe this to be true, though, that…
2. Many times what keeps us from changing is our own arrogance.
A woman boarded a plane after a busy week, hoping to get some rest.
But before she could settle in, her seatmate started a long-winded conversation about his business, in¬sinuating that as a woman, she probably wouldn’t understand his job.
After a pause, he then asked her what she did for a living.
With a smile she simply said, "I’m a brain surgeon."
The remainder of the trip was quiet.
Sometimes, we need to take a hard look at ourselves and examine what needs to change.
It takes humility to do that, because we have to face the fact that where we are at this point in time, is not where we ought to be.
But how do these changes occur?
Where do you think the change comes from?
ILL Change: GIVE ME MY CHANGE
A Buddhist approached a hotdog vendor and said, "Make me one with everything." The Buddhist gave the vendor a $20 bill and waited. Finally he said, "Where’s my change?"
The vendor replied, "All change must come from within."
Well, that is the Buddhist philosophy – that change comes from within.
And at first glance, we might agree with that.
But, as Christians, we have discovered that an individualistic attitude toward our ability to change is full of inadequacies.
We are not an independent people.
Rather, we are dependent.
It is a lie when we are told we can do anything we put our mind to.
It sounds nice, but it leaves out someone.
Do you know who it is?
Yes, it is God.
3. God has a certain expertise when it comes to transformation.
In fact, over and over again, He has shown that He can change that which seems impossible.
Do you believe that terrorists can change?
Those that are fanatical and extreme in their beliefs, so much so that they will do violence to people, even to the point of death.
Well, we know that these kind of people exist in today’s world, don’t we?
In the book of Acts, where we have been studying of late, Luke tells us a story about this kind of person.
He was a man that used religion to mask his hatred of those that he did not agree with him.
The change that takes place in this man is so intense and so profound that Luke tells the story three times.
Here is how it begins…
I. FURY (1-2)
But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
Saul was born a Jew, and this heritage has given him a deep love and appreciation for his Jewish faith.
Saul, though, is also a Roman citizen, having been born in Tarsus in Asia Minor.
So, he was well versed in both the Aramaic and Greek languages.
When it came to his faith, this was a man that was passionate about his beliefs.
He was a Pharisee, and knew the Hebrew Scriptures forward and backward.
He was the up and coming star, having studied under the most respected rabbi of the day.
In fact, he was so zealous for what he believed, that if you did not agree with him, he believed you ought to die for your heresy.
And that was what happened in the passage that was just read.
Saul was the apparent mastermind and ringleader of Stephen’s death.
When the cloaks were laid at his feet, it meant that Saul was giving the official sanction to his execution.