Summary: Jesus prayed and relied on the Holy Spirit for every change. Even at the times of Christ’s greatest popularity He knew that only the Spirit produces lasting change
Illustration:Everything continues in a state of rest unless it is compelled to change by forces impressed upon it. Issac Newton, First Law of Motion.
Quote: Few people change on their own. Only the Spirit of God working through the word of God given by the people of God produces Godly changes.
1. Jesus prayed and relied on the Holy Spirit for every change. Even at the times of Christ’s greatest popularity He knew that only the Spirit produces lasting change. Luke wrote, "Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed." (Luke 5:15,16)
Make a prayer list of the areas where you desire to see change and then record the way the Lord specifically answers your prayers.
2. Jesus knew that effective change came as a result of doing the will of God. Jesus said, "I have come not to do my own will, but the will of Him who has sent me." (John 6:38)
Do not think you can produce change outside of the sovereign will and leading of God.
3. Jesus corrected religious authorities that tried to produce counterfeit changes. Jesus told the Pharisees, "You error because you do not know the scripture or the power of God." (Matt. 22:29)
Ask the Lord for the tact, wisdom and timing to point out areas that need changing to people in positions of authority.
4. Jesus knew that godly change must occur both in internal and external. The Lord said, "Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine in new wineskins and both are preserved." (Matt. 9:17)
Ask the Lord for the ability to bring about internal and external changes through the power of His Spirit.
5. Jesus involved obedient people in change by giving them responsibilities in the ministry. "After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. (Luke 10:1-23)
Give people an honest assessment of the challenges they will face. Faith is the victory that overcomes the world. IN the world you will have tribulation but be of good cheer as I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
6. Jesus built relationships with people and challenged them to change on the basis of their love for God. (John 21:15-17).
Help people develop a wholehearted love for the Lord as their primary motivation for change.
7. Jesus emphasized the balance of the letter of the law and the Spirit of the law in His changes. Jesus said, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. The Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath. Mk.2:25 .
Show people how you are speaking the truth in love as you grow in all aspects into Christ. (Eph. 4:15)
8. Jesus gave people hope, encouragement, inspiration and love. He said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matt. 11:28-30)
Give people hope, encouragement and inspiration from His word, your life and your prayers for their blessings.
9. Jesus taught others to avoid hypocritical changes and criticism by saying, "Before you take the speck out of your brothers eye, first remove the log from your own eye." (Matt. 7:1-5)
Leave the judging to God.
10. Jesus taught that change principally begins with each person’s growing in Godly characteristics.(Matt 5:1-14)
Grow in greater love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.
11. Jesus used positive authority in producing change. "Crowds were amazed at His teaching because He taught as one who had authority and not as their teachers of the law." (Matt. 7:28,29)
Teach with power from God. Paul wrote, "I did not come to you with superiority of speech or wisdom but in demonstration of the Spirit and power. So that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God." (I Cor. 2:1-10)
12. Jesus realized that His job was not to change everything in society, economics, politics, or education but He was sent to complete God’s priorities through the Father’s will. Jesus said, "I have accomplished the work you have sent me to do, heavenly Father." (John 17:4)
Focus on doing God’s will in all your changes.
13. Jesus emphasized obedience in producing innovations. He said, "He who has my commandments and keeps them he it is who loves me and I will love him and will manifest myself to him." (John 14:21)