Summary: When we talk about real change, we are talking about transformation. Like an artist who takes a blank palette and paints a beautiful picture—the end product in no way resembles the original.
“Keep the Change”
I think we call all agree today that the Bible is an amazing book. 66 books, not written by one man, but 39 written over a period of 1500 years. And there is a thread that runs through the scripture from Genesis to Revelation that carries a common theme---Jesus Christ has come to be the Savior of the World.
We go all the way back to the book of Genesis ad we see that man was created; placed in a garden and then everything began to change. And from that point forward there is this thread; this scarlet thread of redemption that leads us to Jesus Christ. He is called author and the finisher of our faith. And if we trace it all the way to the end of the Bible in the final chapter we find ourselves in the garden again.
It is a book about change. It is a book that tells us how to change so that we can become mature; complete; holy servants of Jesus Christ. Until we are completely free of all; the hurts, habits and hang-ups of this life. Jesus said, “Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires. Paul said, I beseech you therefore brethren by the mercies of God that you present yourself as living sacrifices, holy, acceptable unto God which is your reasonable service and be ye not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you may know what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1-2
When we talk about real change, we are talking about transformation. Like a sculptor who takes a large rock and makes something amazing out of it; like an artists who takes a blank palette and paints a beautiful picture—the end product in no way resembles the original one. Only God can do that. I want us to consider 3 questions this morning.
1. How did we get in this current condition? Well we can blame some of it on our parents.
1. Our inheritance. Did you know that your parents contributed 46,000 chromosomes to make you who you are today? 23,000 apiece. It is the reason you look like you do and may be the reason you do many of the things you do.
2. Our circumstances. The circumstances of how you were raised and what you saw as you grew up.-these things mater—they contribute to your character. To the person you are today. Much of what you learned—both good and bad ---you learned from your parents. As you grew up you learned from watching others---your friends and your teachers. Our circumstances can hurt us or they can help us but know for sure they will impact you in a huge way.
3. Our choices. This is especially important because this is the one area you CAN control. You can’t change who your parents were. You can’t go back and change the environment of your childhood. But you can, with God’s help change the choices you make.
You see we develop some of these hang-ups we have in life by constantly repeating bad choices. You have heard the definition of insanity ---doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results. We have to stop doing that. If you do it long enough it becomes a habit.
2. Now we see how we got in our current condition…now, why does it take so long to turn all of that around?
1. Some of us want to hold on to what is familiar. Even if it’s painful. From my brief work in Child Protection I saw children who were scared and hurting and experiencing abuse yet they would defend the ones who were abusing them. Because it was like an old pair of shoes. They were comfortable. They may have big holes in their soles---our feet get wet but we are used to them. And we have a hard time throwing them away.
2. Some of us have confused our defects with who we are. We have confused our defects with our identity. We say I can’t help it. It’s just the way I am. Now this is one of the differences in CR and other programs that are out there. In AA for instance when individuals open up they begin by saying, “Hi, I’m David and I’m an alcoholic.” In CR we will say Hi I’m David and I and a believer who struggles with alcohol. Do you see the difference? Your primary identity is that you are a believer…a child of God who has been changed. Never allow a character defect to become who you are.
3. 3rd question. How do we change? How do we become the person God intended us to be? Before we answer that let me show you where we are in this process this week.