Summary: This sermon discusses the need for change in our lives: From repenting and turning towards Christ to the willngness to step out of our comfort zones to follow Him.
January 23, 2005
Good morning. Let me start by saying that Diana and I could not wait to get back up here. It’s like that old John Denver song: ‘It’s Good To Be Back Home Again.’ And, we do consider this our home now. Thank you for inviting us to be a part of your church.
I want to talk to you this morning about change. Certainly we see all kinds of changes in our lives every day, don’t we? It has been said that we have had more changes in the last 50 years, then in all of history put together before that.
Do we mind having changes go on around us? For the most part, I don’t think it bothers us too much. We are very used to changes, aren’t we? We change the oil in our cars; we make change for dollar bills; we change our clothes every day (or at least I pray we do!), and we even change light bulbs.
Speaking of light bulbs, do you know how many postal employees it takes to change a light bulb? 45. Oh, it only takes one to do the actual changing, but it takes 44 more just to do all the excess paperwork.
Okay, I promise … that’s it on the light bulb jokes. But, you see what I am driving at, don’t you? We have all kinds of change in our lives, and we do not seem to mind too much. That is, until something comes up to show us that we need to change something within ourselves, and in those cases it seems the only thing we want to change is the subject.
You can see that tendency in the many New Years resolutions that we make. Many of us see something in our personal lives that we want to change and we use the New Year as a springboard to kick that change off. But what usually happens? We don’t follow through with that resolution; choosing to forget about it even before we can implement it. Simply said, change is okay as long as it leaves us alone, right?
We are going to be talking about changes in our lives, but first, let us open in prayer.
Here we are, at the beginning of another new year, and all of us has some major changes awaiting us this year. You have a major change in your lives because you are getting a new pastor for your church. It takes a lot to accept a new pastor, doesn’t it? After all, none of you know each other so there is often a period of time similar to a ‘courting period’ that will allow you to get used to each other and accept each other.
During this time, both sides must be willing to make adjustments here and there to accommodate the other. The problem with that is it necessitates us to move out of our comfort zones. And, we sure do like our comfort zones, don’t we?
My wife and I have a major change in our lives this year, too, as we are coming up here so that I can be your new pastor.
Our coming up here means that we are moving away from almost every earthly thing we hold dear. Some of our kids live in Arizona. One of our grandkids lives in Arizona. We pretty much had it made in Arizona. But, had we stayed in Arizona, we would have had to tell God that we did not want to follow His desires for us. So, we sold the house, bid everyone we know good-bye, some through the shedding of tears, and then stepped out in faith to serve the Lord our God.
So, you can see that all of us have some changes that will be occurring this year. And, being brothers and sisters in Christ, it will become necessary that we help each other through these changes - - just like God wants us to.
Have you ever thought any deep thoughts about rubber bands? I have. In fact, I had one of those great big rubber bands that I was going to bring up here, but somewhere along the way, I either mislaid it or lost it. I was going to bring it up here and drape it over this corner of the pulpit, right here, and I was going to just leave it there as a reminder.
Now, before you think I have lost my mind, let me explain what I mean. A rubber band is made for only one purpose. That purpose is to be stretched so it can hold something together. Now, if it is not stretched, it is not fulfilling its purpose at all, is it?
Christians are much like the rubber band. We were put on this earth to be doers of God word. To do that, we must stretch ourselves out of our everlasting comfort zones so that we can be effective. One of the hardest things for us to do, is to get out of our comfort zones, but to be effective for God, we must do it.