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Summary: There are two possible directions that renewal may take. Renewal can go in the direction of preservation, which is restoration. It is an attempt to restore to the original and maintain the past. We restore old cars, furniture, houses, and many other items

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(This series was used during a capital funds campaign to raise money for repairs and renewal of the facilities.)

Jeff Armbrester

Renewal for Growth

There are two possible directions that renewal may take. Renewal can go in the direction of preservation, which is restoration. It is an attempt to restore to the original and maintain the past. We restore old cars, furniture, houses, and many other items. Or, renewal may go in the direction of growth, which involves adapting and updating. In a word, this renewal means change.

Seeing the Need for Renewal

Matthew 3: 1-10

(Part 1 of 4)

Before renewal can take place, we must see the need for renewal. We must closely examine the cracks and worn places in our lives.

We see the need for renewal of our church facilities. The heating air conditioning systems were worn out and they have been replaced. The ceiling tiles in the narthex and hall were falling down and they have been replaced. The paint is stained with age. The carpet is worn. The roof over the education wing leaks. The shrubbery needs attention.

We look around and see that we need to renew our building. But we’ve decided not just to restore it. We want to improve the building. We have grown beyond the capacity of the building for Sunday School. There are no more rooms available. We need an elevator to assist many who can no longer safely negotiate the stairs. We are almost filled to capacity on Wednesday evenings. We are renewing the building with future growth in mind. These facilities will continue to be a place that conveys beauty, warmth, excitement, and most of all the love of God.

While we’re renewing the building, let’s take a close look at our lives. I’m sure if we look close enough; we’ll see a need for renewal there as well. Let’s take an honest look at ourselves. Many of us may have to stare long into a mirror before we begin to see the real person standing there. Look deep into the eyes. What do you see? Listen carefully to the voice. What do you hear? Look deep within the heart. What do you feel? If we only glance into the mirror, we will not see a need for renewal.

Many times we don’t see the sin within ourselves. After all, we hate sin, don’t we? Or do we?

Several residents in a neighborhood were extremely upset at the reckless and fast driving in their quiet subdivision.

They organized a petition drive and demanded that the police patrol the area with greater frequency and penalize drivers who ignored the speed limits.

The police obliged and immediately ticketed five drivers who ignored the speed limits. All of them were fuming at the fines they received.

It seems, however, that all five who were ticketed had signed the petition calling for enforcement.

We hate sin, don’t we?

At least other people’s sin!

Dr. David Jeremiah

Those five people needed someone else to show the sin in their lives. We are no different. Often we need someone else to point out the ways our lives don’t match our profession. In the scripture reading today we have someone whose message causes us to see our need for renewal.


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