Summary: A 5 week series on the book of Philippians that parallels a renovation project in the church. This message deals with the foundational changed that need to happen if we are to be revived.
Renovations: Making it New Again
Pt 3 – More than Skin Deep
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.
We have been immersed knee deep over the last few weeks in renovations – here in the sanctuary it’s been about restoring the look with new carpeting and imparting new vigor through the expansion of ministry space with the new platform. It’s been exciting to watch the transformation that has been happening – a dream years in the making coming true day by day.
As we look at this letter to the church at Philippi the Key verse in this letter is 1:6. The master builder isn’t through with you – He wants to impart new vigor, to revive, to restore you to a new condition (how you were made.)
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 in 4 areas of our lives.
The way we think about ourselves: Paul says to do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit.
The way we think about others: Paul says with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourself.
This morning we continue with the two more fundamental shifts:
Renovation requires a fundamental shift in the way that we see God. I am convinced that most of the problems we face in churches today and in life today stem from a faulty view of God. To some He has become the detached force that rules life. To others the Cosmic Cop who ruthlessly administers justice and law. To others the benevolent “sugar daddy” that never says no. The truth is that we have lost a view of God as author, creator, and preserver of life. This topic is so much bigger than the time we have today but let me let it suffice to say that if you want to renovate your life it will start when you see two things about God that Paul says here:
How much He loves you: Have you ever thought about what an incredible thing happened in that stable in Bethlehem? Have you thought about what an incredible gift it is that God came to save us from our own brokenness? Jesus said it this way “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…” Paul says (NLT) “Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God. He made himself nothing;… And in human form he obediently humbled himself even further by dying a criminal’s death on a cross.” I am absolutely floored by a love that died for me, for my brokenness, and did it without any regard to whether or not I would even accept it. Several years ago I was sitting in my office early on Sunday morning when an event happened that changed my heart – I was sitting there when I heard the voice of a little girl outside my door talking with her Pap. “I need to go in there, she said, that man in there loves me.” And in she came. There is something about love that draws us and transforms us. I believe that as we really wrap our minds and hearts around how much God loves us that our lives are transformed and renovated in the process.
How Big God is: Paul says that “At the name of Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord…” There will come a day when everyone understands fully how big God really is. I am convinced that many of our problems today would be solved if we just understood how big our God is. If we began to see God as more than a game we play or a touching sentiment to life. If we began to see the universe founded on His word and life itself founded upon His strength. Friends I am convinced that if we understood the grandeur of God our worship would be different, our lives would be different, our marriages would be different, and our witness would be different. If we really understood who God is all our petty bickering, all our whims of fancy, all our demanding our way, all our nit picking other people would melt away in the power of His presence. If we really believed that life and eternity rest in His presence, that abundance in living rests in His hands, that Peace and wholeness are the gift of His heart – life would change for us. I believe that if these things penetrate our hearts that we would be driven to our knees by the weight of His presence to declare that He is Lord.