Summary: A 5 week series on the book of Philippians that parallels a renovation project in the church. This message deals with the beginning of installation putting in the new.
Renovations: Making it New Again
Pt 2 – 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.
How many of you believe that God wants to renovate our lives, our homes, and our marriages even more than He wants to renovate our church? I believe that. How many of you would admit with me this week that we need new vigor, new life, and even repair in our lives?
Let’s continue in our renovation journey through the book of Philippians. Paul writes this letter to a beloved church – not chiding them form mistakes but encouraging them to continue the heart renovation process. 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 one last week we looked at the demolition process – realizing that to renovate 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. Look at chapter 2:1-18 with me.
Folks I told you last week that if God is to renovate our lives and marriages it’s going to take more than a little spackle and paint. Paul shows them that this renovation of life requires some fundamental and foundational repairs. Jesus speaks in Matthew 7:24-27.
In verse 1-2 Paul indicates that renovation requires a fundamental repair of the way we think in four areas of life and living “being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.” He then expounds on each in the verses that follow. This renovation project is about more than skin deep changes – it’s about a foundational shift in the way we think…
Being of the same mind – requires a fundamental shift in the way we think about ourselves. He defines that in the first part of verse 3 “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit”. You know the truth is that we are all at the core selfish beings. From the time of our birth we learn to get what we want when we want it. The reality of daily living is that it pushes and pulls us and feeds the selfish nature within us. All the voices of this broken world are saying “this is all about you. You are the center of the universe.” The truth is that our contemporary western culture has become as narcissistic and self-centered as any in the history of the world. Idea’s of selflessness and sacrifice are messages relegated to the romantic nonsense of fables. Is it any wonder that our marriages are failing at such astounding rates – our children are losing hope – and our churches spend more time fighting than they do loving? How selfish is your life really? The scriptures practically scream to us from beginning to end “this is not all about you.” “This is all about Him.” Satan came to Eve and said “Hey babe it’s all about you.” The problem is that she believed him. Like it or not folks God is the center of the universe not you. Until you begin to shift the fundamental drive of your life to an understanding that He is in control – He is first – He is the center then you will always spend your life chasing your tail trying to catch the wind. I Cor 10:31 says “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” Tell me something – how has all this me living worked out for you? In your pursuit of everything you want have you found peace – wholeness in your heart, your marriage, your children? Or are you still broken and empty inside chasing happiness like the wind. How’s your marriage – how are your children doing – how does your heart feel?
Isaiah comes to find a heart renovation in my favorite passage of scripture – Isaiah 6:1-8 – Here I am Lord – Here’s my marriage lord – Here are my children Lord – I’m tired of being the center of my universe I want you to take that spot.
Maintaining the same love – “regard one another as more important than yourselves” Renovation requires a fundamental shift in the way that we think about others. Jesus says to us “This is my commandment to you that you love one another just as I have loved you. He goes on to say “they will know that you are my disciples by your love one for another.” Fifty times the New Testament uses the words one another or each other. We are commanded to love one another, pray for one another, encourage one another, admonish one another, serve one another, teach one another, accept one another, honor one another, bear one another’s burdens, forgive one another, and be devoted to one another - these are only a few but folks do you get the picture. Let me tell you that renovating your marriage and relationships will take a fundamental shift in how important you see others in your life. What would happen in your marriage if you started to see your spouse as more important than yourself? What would happen in your home if both of you began to look at each other and think – what can I do to make life better for her/him today? What if life wasn’t really about me at all what if life was really about my wife and kids? I got home from church last week after the second service. I changed clothes and sat down and an amazing thing happened. Within a few moments there was a TV tray in front of me with a steaming hot bowl of chili with my favorite cheese on it – the chips and a drink showed up next. Wow, do you know how special that made me feel? You know my wife and kids were tired too – they had just come from doing the same ministry that I was doing yet their thought was of me. WOW! You know what? People in this life like to be special – so turn things around and start letting them know how special they really are.