Summary: small group series #4

Life change happens best in small groups,

#4 of the core values of Christian community series

Eric A. Snyder, Minister, Farwell Church of Christ

October 27, 2002

A couple of years ago Tammie and I were living in central Ohio we had just bought a house and been there for a few months. Tammie decided that she was going to color her hair. As you can see she went from long and brown to short and blonde. About a week after she did this I was in my back yard and the neighbor came over and he said what happened to your wife. I said what do you mean. He said “I’ve seen you in the car with some blond girl, what happened to your wife?” I said I buried her out back somewhere.

Sometimes there are things that happen and others don’t recognize us, the tragedy happens however when God doesn’t recognize us.

A woman in the hospital who had a near-death experience while on the operating table. She sees God and asks Him if this is her time to die, and He assures her that she has another 40 years 6 months and 21 days to live. She remembers God’s revelation after coming out of the anesthetic, and decides to make the most of her newfound longevity, so she orders a whole series of cosmetic surgeries.

And she gets the works—liposuction, face-lift, tummy-tuck, well you get the idea. She even had professionals come in to change her hair color, an optometrist for contacts, and a Nordstrom consultant for a new wardrobe. After the last operation she walked out of the hospital all dressed up and turning every head she passed. She was so impressed with her own appearance, that she stepped off the curb in front of a speeding ambulance and was killed.

When she got up to heaven she immediately say God and she asked, "What happened, You told me I had another 40 years to live?" God replied, "I didn’t recognize you."

Have you ever wondered if God recognizes you, when he sees you? That maybe your life is not as consistent or as godly as it used to be? Have you ever done something and when It was over thought “that’s not me” or “I don’t know why I did that”.

Do you know why we have thoughts like that? It’s because we know God expects more of us. The truth is that God recognizes us through our relationship with Jesus.

Does anybody here feel like they are the exact person that God wants them to be?

Those of us who are serious about calling ourselves Christians know that the Christian faith is a journey. That there is always room to improve. We know that though it might be painful we have to allow Jesus to mold our hearts, our hands, our heads and our habits. We know that is going to mean changes in who we are as people. Mainly these changes mean correcting character flaws or specific sins in our lives.

If you are here today and you are struggling with a specific sin, have you heard the call of God to change your behavior? The bible reminds us that everyone has sin in their life, we are all flawed. So what’s your sin. What poison has you crippled to the point where you can not grow spiritually?

Dave Stone tells a story about a possum that was in his back yard. He was into everything and making one big mess and so Dave called a friend and borrowed a cage to trap this wild animal. And Dave said I didn’t know what to do so I left some carrots. He said a week later I still hadn’t caught the possum so I called my friend and said you told me to put carrots out and it isn’t working. His friend said Have you been changing the menu? Are you putting and fish out or letus.

That’s what Satan does to us. He wants us to get trapped because of our preferences. So he plays on our weakness. Maybe he uses the course language of friends in the lunchroom. Or if that doesn’t work he might try to make you become greedy or selfish and covet things that are not yours. If that doesn’t work he might make you think you’re smarter than you are and that you are therefore better. Do you see how it works? Satan keeps changing the menu.

So what’s your dish? Is it in the desire of a someone who is not married to you. Or it might be in the words we chose to use, It might not even be the words but it may be the place where we loose our tongue and gossip about something that was said privately or should at least remain private. Or maybe your sin is subtler like arrogance or negativity and your attitude is that everyone should consult you before acting.

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