Summary: A 5 week series on the book of Philippians that parallels a renovation project in the church. This message deals with the kind of change that has to happen for us to be revived.
Renovations: Making it New Again
Pt 4 – It Takes Change
We started last week talking about renovations. The definition of the word is simple:
1. To restore to an earlier condition, as by repairing or remodeling.
2. To impart new vigor; to revive.
In Chapter 1 we looked at the demolition process – realizing that to renovate a life or a marriage or a relationship means to tear out the old worn out, tattered pieces of life so that we can begin the installation process.
Chapter 2 begins the installation process by reminding us that renovation is more than skin deep. It requires a fundamental and foundational shift in the way we think about ourselves, other people, God, and about life.
Chapter 3 deals with the most difficult, the most unsettling, in fact the most terrifying part of the renovation process – the most horrible 6 letter word in the English language – CHANGE. The truth is that Renovation by it’s very definition requires CHANGE and I’m not talking about nickels and dimes. I want you to understand something fundamental with me this morning – Here is the truth that I have shared with you over and over again – “If you always do what you’ve always done you’ll always get what you’ve already got.” Renovation is change – it is change by definition – if you want to be restored, to be revitalized, to be reinvigorated you have to change. If you want your spiritual life to be renovated you have to change. If you want you marriage to be renovated you have to change. As scary and impossible as that sounds – it’s really not.
Look at this passage with me and find the keys to change in every area of life:
Change requires a resetting of our priorities – v 7 – Paul begins this passage with a simple statement of the change in his priorities for life. All the things I used to live for – all the things I used to strive for – all the things that used to be important to me – I found out they were all just rubbish. We have looked at this word before – it’s the word skubalon in the Greek – it means refuse, literally the excrement of animals. Understand what Paul is saying here – his life and all that he held important he found out it was just skubalon. Here is what I want you to understand, if you want to renovate your life spiritually, emotionally, martially – it’s going to take a resetting of your priorities. What is really important to you? Where are you spending your time? Are you getting ahead and buying stuff at the expense of your marriage and children and spirit? So how do you set right priorities – God has to come first – He won’t accept any other place. What He is doing in you and what He wants to do through you. People (your family, spouse, children) come next they are your 1st stewardship. Then you can fill in what’s left with work and play. Make your life count. House next door.
Change requires a resetting of our faith – v. 8b-11 – I have said often that revival will never come to the church until reformation comes to the church. If we want renovated spiritual lives in the church today I am convinced that we need to find Jesus again. We lose Him so easily in liturgies, buildings, symbols, socials, styles and even doctrines. The reality of the church today is that we have lost the personal connection to the Jesus who simply says to us follow me. As Michael Frost writes “It is probably fair to say that we have largely lost touch with the loving, wildly passionate, dangerous, radically merciful, and always surprising Redeemer-Lord. This is the Jesus so powerfully portrayed in the Gospels.” In the midst of trying to get all the theology right and all the performance perfect we have lost touch with the Savior who invites us to know Him and love Him and to be loved by Him. The Savior who rejects the self-righteous piety of the Pharisee in favor of spending time with the broken, the downcast, the left-out, the rejected and the scorned. We have lost the Jesus who invites us to come to Him, to follow Him, to walk with Him, and to know Him in deep personal relationship. We have lost the Jesus who A.W Tozer says “is so vastly wonderful, so utterly and completely delightful that He can, without anything other than Himself, meet and overflow the deepest demands of our total nature…” The Jesus who looks at our weariness and our brokenness and says “come to me … and I will give you rest…” Paul didn’t leave behind all that he knew and held precious for an idea, a concept or a theology – he left it behind for the surpassing value of “knowing” Jesus the Messiah. When we leave the emptiness of religion behind and begin to follow Jesus, to imitate Him, to become like Him life around us begins to change.