B.R.: Luke 8:27,34,35:
Text.: Romans 12:2: And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
INTRO: As I read in my B.R. we find a man that was possessed by devils for a long time. The bible says He lived in the tombs or the graveyard and he wore no clothes. But when he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down and said with a loud voice “What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most High? I beseech thee, torment me not. These devils asked Jesus not to torment them. That word torment means great pain and anguish.
You know it don’t matter how many devils a man or a woman got, when they come face to face with Jesus, something is going to happen. Something is going to change. Things in a man or a womans life will change. It may not happen over night but it will happen. The bible says “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new.” It’s like your somebody else.
1. You begin to talk different
2. Your hang out place is different
3. Your friends are different
“The devil doesn’t want people in Christ, but in the wilderness”.
The bible says that this possessed man was kept bound with chains and in fetters, and he would break the bands and be driven into the wilderness. Jesus is in the business of drawing men and women to himself.
He said “ And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. He doesn’t scatter, but gather. The devil is the one who has people wandering through life, not knowing their real purpose or why their even here. Were here on this earth because:
1. God wants to have a relationship with us.
He wants to show us through his Word that the only thing he desires for our lives is that we Love Him.
The bible says “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first and great commandment. That word strength means the whole strength and capacity of thy understanding, will, and affections.
2. God wants us to love others.
The bible says “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself”. On these hang all the law and the prophets.
He said ``If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also''.
“This possessed man had a transformation, a change!”
The bible says, ”Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.”
Deep down inside, people want God. Even with the devils, this man still wanted Christ. He still wanted a change in his life. He probably was tired of being the devils whipping boy. When people get tired of the way their life is, they will come to God. No:
Will stop a person from coming to God when they have a made up mind. When a persons mind is made up, then God begins to transform them.
The bible says, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God”.
That word conformed means to be or become similar.
In our society, it seems that the world wants our young people to pattern their lives after:
1. Movie stars
Not only our young people, but full grown adults are trying to imitate these people. Christians should pattern their lives after those whose life match up to the Word of God.
It says….”but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,..” That word transformed means to change form; metamorphisis.
Every time I read this about being transformed, I think of Dr. Bruce Banner (Hulk) or Peter Parker (Spiderman).
(expound on the change of the Hulk and spiderman).
God is wanting our minds to be changed from the old way of thinking to be renewed to His way of thinking. That word renew means to make new or fresh again.
When people are truly changed, they want to follow Jesus. The bible says “Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away saying,”Return to thine own house, and show how great things God hath done unto thee”.
He not only went to his house, he went throughout the whole city. When people get something from God, someone else will know it by their testimony to them.
God is still changing people in the world we live in. His instrument is a made up mind. We can make a difference in the lives of men and women in our community if only we act.
Close: One night, at 11:30 pm, an older African-American woman was standing on the side of a Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rain storm.
Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride. Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car. A young white man stopped to help her, generally unheard of in those conflict-filled 1960s. The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance and put her into a taxi cab. She seemed to be in a big hurry! She wrote down his address, thanked him and drove away.
Seven days went by and a knock came on the man's door. To his surprise, a giant combination console color TV and stereo record player were delivered to his home. A special note was attached. The note read:
Dear Mr. James: Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes but my spirits.
Then you came along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband's bedside just before he passed away. God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others.
Sincerely, Mrs. Nat King Cole.
Remember, Jesus wants to change lives.