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Summary: Learn how to affect positive change in your own life with this sermon on the power of your attitude.

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The Winds of Change

How to Have Positive Change in Your Life

12/8/04

I. Introduction

SKIT

Tonight we’re talking about The Winds of Change: How to Have Positive Change in Your Life. How many of you could use a little change? Not the type of change you use to buy a soda. Not changing your clothes or your underwear. Not changing your mind—but change that causes a transformation or transition or something different to occur.

Certainly there are areas of your life that could be better. We haven’t all arrived and our lives aren’t the model of perfection. So change isn’t just something we could use, it’s a necessity if we’re going to live better lives. You’ve heard it before but I’ll say it again: to do the same thing over and over and expect different results is insanity. So if you want different results in your life, you’re going to have to do different things, which in essence, is change. Do you want to have change in your life? Well, where do you begin?

II. The Catalyst of Thoughts

Affecting positive change in your life begins in your thoughts.

Stephen Covey, the author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, says that all things are created twice. The principle is this: there’s a mental or first creation, and a physical or second creation to all things.

One of the habits of highly effective people is to begin with the end in mind.

People use this principle in many areas of life. For instance, before you go on a trip, you determine your destination and plan out the best route. Before you plant a garden, you plan it out in your mind, and maybe on paper. You create speeches on paper before you give them, you envision the landscaping in your yard before you landscape it, you design the clothes you make before you thread the needle, and you plan out a meal before you turn on the stove.

Proverbs 23:7 NKJV 7For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.

Using this principle in conjunction with change may look something like the skit earlier. You need to have good grades to play sports. Your mid-term exam is a determining factor in your English class. How are you going to make a good grade on your exam? Study. Study hard. Play the Rocky theme song if it inspires you while you study. You begin with the end in mind. The end that you want is a good grade and that’s where you begin. From there, you ask questions like: What can I do to accomplish this? What are the risks? What are the rewards? How much is it going to cost?

III. Write it Down

After you’ve answered those questions, it’s time to draw up a plan. If you were building a home, you wouldn’t go straight for the hammer without first designing a blueprint. You create it in every detail before you ever hammer the first nail into place. You try to get a very clear sense of what kind of house you want. Then you reduce it to blueprint and develop construction plans.

And that’s what you’re going to do to cause positive change in your life. Write down the plan.

Habakkuk 2:2-3 MSG 2And then GOD answered: "Write this. Write what you see. Write it out in big block letters so that it can be read on the run. 3This vision-message is a witness pointing to what’s coming. It aches for the coming--it can hardly wait! And it doesn’t lie. If it seems slow in coming, wait. It’s on its way. It will come right on time.

Now, this is more than just writing down a wish list of things you want to change. It’s actually writing down a step-by-step plan with action items and deadlines.

This isn’t something I just made up here. It dates back to before the Flood. You remember Noah’s ark?

Genesis 6:14-16 NIV 14 So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. 15 This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. 16 Make a roof for it and finish the ark to within 18 inches of the top. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks.

God was changing some things and He had a plan. He told the plan to His man, Noah, and Noah most likely wrote it down somehow. And ultimately, Noah built the first cruise ship. Could Noah have built that ship without a plan? No, he had never even seen anything like it before. And maybe you haven’t seen what your life will be like when a certain change occurs, but writing down a plan will not only help you see it, but help you make it happen.

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