Summary: This is the concluding sermon in the Extreme Makeover Series.
A. I heard a story about 3 co-workers, who were out of town for a convention and they were sharing a suite at a hotel. Their room was on the 75th floor.
1. So, you can imagine their discouragement when, after a long day of meetings, they returned to the hotel and found that the elevators were not working.
2. To get to their room, they were going to have to climb 75 flights.
3. To try to pass the time, they decided to have the first man tell jokes for the first 25 stores.
4. Then the second man would sing songs for the next 25 flights.
5. And finally the third man would tell sad stories for the last 25 flights.
6. It was all going according to plan – the first told his jokes for 25 stories, the second sang songs for 25 stories, but when it was time for the man to begin telling his sad stories he hesitated.
7. He said, “I think I will begin with my saddest story of all. I’m afraid I left our room key in the car.”
B. This story illustrates the reason why many people who are pursing life-change get discouraged.
1. Often, when we are trying to make progress, we take “three steps forward and two back.”
2. Have you ever had that experience? I know I have!
C. Today, as we finish our Extreme Makeover Series I want to say that I really appreciate all the feedback you have given me.
1. Obviously, these messages have been touching a need, and I pray that God will continue to minister to all of us through His Word and the teaching that all of us do from the Word.
2. I pray that all of us can continue to experience significant and lasting life-change.
D. As we start our long journey to freedom, there are two obstacles that we are going to have to overcome.
1. First, as I have said in many of these sermons, we must not travel alone.
2. And second, we must not let discouragement stop us along the way.
3. There are no easy shortcuts to life transformation that is lasting.
4. A makeover of our lives takes time.
E. In the end, we must realize that real life-change is a process not an event.
1. As we make progress in our journey toward Christ-likeness, there will be many stumbles along the way.
2. While we find ourselves sinning less and less, we will never be sinless in this life.
3. One reason that is true is because there are spiritual forces about us that will not cease their attempts to derail our journey to freedom.
4. In Ephesians 6, Paul warns us about these forces and tells us to put on the full armor of God and to be strong in the Lord.
5. Just because we make some progress in overcoming in some areas of spiritual bondage, doesn’t mean that the evil forces will leave us alone; actually, it may mean that they step up their attacks to try to derail our spiritual progress.
6. But, not only do we have to battle against the forces outside of us, we also have to battle the forces within us.
7. We have to win the battle against our own wrong thinking and the evil desires that are within.
8. As long as we live in this world, we will have to battle with the flesh and the mind.