Summary: God has given us the power to change, so learn to take advantage of it in this sermon about resolutions.
The Power to Change
With the beginning of a new year, people all around the world are making new year’s resolutions, meaning that they resolve or come to a firm decision about something in their life. When you came in tonight I asked you to list one of your new year’s resolutions (have some kids share what they wrote).
Most new year’s resolutions include things like losing weight or exercising. Maybe changing some bad habits like nose-picking or farting in public. But most of these resolutions would involve someone improving in any given area, it would involve a person trying to get better at something or changing in some way, shape, or form.
Now, what happens with most of these resolutions is that the resoluter, or one who resolves, starts strong, he joins the Omni Health and Fitness Center or the Powerhouse gym, she stocks up her purse with Kleenex to use instead of her finger, and every time those gaseous forces start to rumble, he excuses himself to the restroom for a little relief. But after the weeks and months pass by, the resoluter begins to slow down a little. He misses a workout with his personal trainer, she finds that she just can’t get that clean feeling by using a Kleenex, and he lets one slip every now and then. And then one missed workout turns into ten, one picked booger turns to one hundred, and one slipped poot becomes FartFest ’04. I know, I know, it’s gross, but it genuinely illustrates the fact that over time, that new leaf that was turned over is blown every which way by the wind of complacency.
Tonight, we’re talking about Revolutionary Resolutions: The Power to Change, because I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of resolutions slowly becoming a boring routine. I want my decision to change to have a lasting effect, so much so that it becomes a way of life. And for that to happen, we’re going to have to understand first of all, that it can happen.
II. Change Can Happen
In order for change to take place, you have to know that it can take place. Your resolution must shift from “I resolve to try to lose weight and read my Bible more” to “I resolve to lose weight and read my Bible more.” This world is full of people telling you that you can’t lose weight or that you can’t stop drinking out of the milk carton or that you can’t do the thing that you’re wanting to do. But the only way you’ll be able to do that thing that you want to do is to know that you can.
Philippians 4:13 “13I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
If you don’t believe in yourself, no one will. You have to believe that you have the power to change. You have to know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you can change and achieve that thing that you want to achieve.
I’m reminded of the story of a little choo-choo train. We’ve all heard the story of The Little Engine That Could:
We begin with the chugging of a little train on the tracks, attempting to deliver her goodies to all the little good boys and girls.
Chug, chug, chug. Puff, puff, puff. Ding-dong, ding-dong. The little train rumbled over the tracks. She was a happy little train for she had such a jolly load to carry.
She was a cute little red locomotive, happy to be doing her deliveries. We are introduced to all the little toys that she happily carries to the little children on the other side of the mountain. Unfortunately, she gets hung up and simply cannot pull her load up the mountains. The little red engine and the toys are so upset that the children won’t be getting their goodies.
That is, until a shiny new engine comes along. But the passenger engine has no intention of helping the little toy filled train. And he goes on. A freight engine comes next, still another refusing to help. Until the little blue engine comes along. She is happy to help, but is so small that she may not be able to. But she is determined to help.
I think I can – I think I can – I think I can
And she does! All the little toys are ecstatic and thank the little blue engine profusely.
The little engine that could certainly couldn’t if she didn’t think she could, but because she knew that she could, she did.
But what we have is so much more than just this thing called positive thinking, it’s In Christ Thinking. It’s the thinking that says, “Because I’m in Christ and He’s in me, I can do absolutely anything!”