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)