Summary: A biblical look at change for the Christian is encouraging. Scripture teaches that not only is change possible, it is fundamental to the gospel message. Christ’s ministry was a call to move us from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light.
Intro: New Year is a time of new beginnings and more often than not we use this time to make many resolutions about what we would like to change or accomplish. Goal setting has never been one of my strong points. I am a classic type B personality—just ask Bonnie—I was not born with a sense of urgency. But, like everyone else, I desire to change—to become the best I can be for God, for my family, and for the church.
Statistics tell us that over 80% of New Year resolutions are doomed for failure. In the face of that is success even an option? I have to say—YES—and here’s why.
A biblical look at change for the Christian is encouraging. Scripture teaches that not only is change possible, it is fundamental to the gospel message. Christ’s ministry was a call to move us from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light.
(Slides—short and sweet)
Ephesians 2:4-5: In Him we are transferred from death to life
Ezekiel 36:26: Our heart of stone becomes a heart of flesh
John 15:15: We become friends of God instead of His enemies
Romans 6:19: We are no longer slaves to sin but slaves to righteousness
Given such radical changes on a spiritual level, why are changes on a smaller scale so seemingly impossible?
RESOLVING TO FAIL
Is it worth setting resolutions then if only to fail in them at some point? My answer is “YES!”
Setting goals or making resolutions does not produce change in itself. But they can be beneficial if we approach them from a position of weakness. The reality is that apart from God we are powerless to change...
A PART FROM GOD WE ARE POWERLESS TO CHANGE!
Bible -- pursue holiness/godliness [right living]
-- Work hard; the kind of people God wants us to be
-- There are certain things we simply cannot do for ourselves.
For example (Slides)
We can’t save ourselves. We are lost without Christ.
We cannot, without God’s help, make ourselves holy. It takes an act of the Holy Spirit to change you from the inside out.
For lasting change we must come to the point that we say, “God, I cannot do this without you.”
Mark 5 -- woman -- bleeding for 12 years.
Visited many doctors--spent all she had -- not better, but worse.
Heard about Jesus -- went to see him/surrounded by a huge crowd
Through the crowd -- close enough to touch him.
She kept telling herself, “If I can just touch the hem of his garment, I will be healed.” When she finally got near him, she reached out and touched him; immediately she was healed.
Jesus felt the healing power go out from him -- asked, “Who touched me?”
His disciples said, “With all these people pressing in on us, you want to know who touched you?
Jesus kept looking until finally the woman came forward and said, “It was me.” Jesus said,
(v. 34) “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
The healing power -- changed woman’s life -- available to you today.
If you’re struggling/beyond your control
Trying to change your -- more than you can do on your own
Today’s message will help you take hold of God’s power in your life
Woman to take hold of Jesus’ robe and receive his healing power
She first had to let go of some things—standing between her and wholeness.
These same things may be standing in your way, too
You’ll have to let go of them before you can experience his power in your life.
Let’s take a look at three things you must let go of in order to experience God’s power in your life.
1. You must let go of your futile efforts
Woman bleeding for 12 years -- and had tried in vain to be healed
(v. 26) She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse.
To create change in your life, at some point you have to admit to yourself what is and isn’t working.
Thought doctors could heal her -- spending all her money on medical care
Was no better off -- In fact, she was worse
Came to a point where she said, “This isn’t working. I can’t do this on my own. I can’t buy back my good health. I’m completely helpless.”
Harvey McKay, the author of How To Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive, said this: “If you have a problem that money can solve, you don’t have a problem; you have an expense.” Sounds like something a businessman would say, doesn’t it? He has a point, but let me tell you a mistake we often make: We often act as if we can buy off every problem we have, and it just doesn’t work that way. How many husbands have tried to revive their marriage by spending a lot of money on their wife? How many parents have tried to re-connect with their children by giving them a new car or some other expensive gift? Too often our knee-jerk reaction is to throw money at a problem, and more often than not, it doesn’t work.