Summary: This sermon looks at three areas that God can help you change your life. 1. God’s Power Can CANCEL Your Past 2. God’s Power Can CONQUER Your Problems 3. God’s Power Can CHANGE Your Personality
GOD’S POWER CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE
Did you know that God is in the life change business? He will take that which is broken and fix it. He will take that which is bent and straighten it out. He will take that which is shattered and put it back together. God is in the life change business.
Over the years, as a minister, many people have asked me; “How can I change my life? I really want to change – but I don’t know how? I have tried – but I just can’t do it on my own.”
The truth is folks – people go to seminars and conferences looking for a painless way by which their lives can be zapped and changed by instant self-discipline. People join health clubs with high hopes and expectations but their enthusiasm runs dry after about two weeks. People read self-help books – yet they often find no help at all. The good news is – God has the power to change your life.
The word “power” occurs one hundred and one times in the New Testament (NASB). It is used to describe the most powerful source in the universe – God’s power. It is God’s power that caused the blind to see. It is God’s power that made the lame to walk. It is God’s power that healed the lepers and made them clean. It is God’s power that resurrected Jesus from the dead. It is God’s power that can take us and transform us into the people God wants us to be. It is God’s power that can change lives.
The Greek word for “power” in the New Testament is dunamis. It is the word from which we get our word dynamite. It is powerful – it is explosive – it is life changing. Paul wanted to know this power when he wrote:
“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings…” Phil. 3:10 (KJV)
The Contemporary English Version says it this way:
“All I want is to know Christ and the power that raised him to life.” Phil. 3:10 (CEV)
Yes, the same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead two thousand years ago is available to us right now to transform us – to take our weaknesses and turn them into strengths. What can God’s power do?
1. God’s Power Can CANCEL Your Past
First, God’s power is powerful enough to cancel our past – our failures, mistakes, sins, and regrets. When I say “cancel”, I’m not talking about denying the past as if it never happened. But what I am saying is that with God’s power you do not need to be chained to that stuff. You are given a second chance.
Have you ever gotten halfway through a project and wished you could start over? Suppose you are painting the living room, and you step back and look at the color that seemed perfect at the store. But on the wall – it doesn’t look so perfect. You wish you could start over.
A lot of people feel that way about life: “I’ve made so many mistakes. I wish I could just wipe them out and start over.”
Failures, problems, bad decisions – we have all suffered from them. But some people just can’t seem to let go of the past, and as a result, they let their past limit their present opportunities. They live in a constant state of regret saying, “If only I had done this – if only I had done that. If only I hadn’t made so many mistakes.” They are tormented by painful memories and they can’t seem to get past them.
God says it is unnecessary for us to go around with a heavy load of guilt – hurts and bad memories. In Colossians 2:13-14 God says he has forgiven all our sins and canceled out every record of the debt we had to pay. Colossians says:
“When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision
of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven
us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt
consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has
taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.”
Col 2:13-14 (NASB)
Jesus Christ knows the things we have done wrong but he did not come to rub them in – He came to rub them out.
He did not come to condemn us – he came to change us.
A clean slate is possible! Think in terms of an Etch-A-Sketch. What do you do if you don’t like the picture you have made? You flip it over – shake it a little and start over. You start out with a clean slate.