Summary: Christianity is not a religion of information, but rather about a relationship with Jesus Christ that results in transformation. God wants us to be transformers!
As the new pastor in town was walking down the street, he saw a little boy straining every muscle to reach the door-bell. He realized the little guy would never make it, although he admired the kid’s tenacity. So he walked up on the porch to help. "Here buddy, need some help?" He lifted the tyke who rang the bell. As he set the child down, the kid took off running and called back, "Run mister! Here comes the lady!"
TRANSFORMATION: to change in condition, nature, or character; convert
- Christianity is not a religion of information, but rather about a relationship with Jesus Christ that results in transformation.
- Change is not about the clothes you wear or your hairstyle – it’s about the heart.
ILLUSTRATION: Why do people like watching makeover shows so much?
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Cor. 5:17).
- To be transformed is to go through a metamorphosis from one thing to another.
- We are new creations now – we are no longer caterpillars – but we need to choose to start acting like butterflies instead of caterpillars!
NEWSPAPER HEADLINE: "Paris Reformed."
(I don’t keep up on celebrity news, but this latest headline caught my eye this week).
"Those three weeks in jail have really transformed Paris. She, like, dates surfers now!"
- Apparently Paris Hilton now parties on the beach instead of in the clubs...? This is NOT what we’re talking about, when we talk about transformation...
QUOTE: “God loves you just the way you are, but he refuses to leave you that way. He wants you to be just like Jesus.” (Max Lucado, Just Like Jesus).
GOD WANTS US TO BE TRANSFORMERS - HOW ARE WE TRANSFORMED?
1. By looking at Jesus.
“Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Cor. 3:17-18).
- God wants us to be transformed – into what? The image of Jesus.
- How does that happen? As we look at Jesus. Study His life in the four Gospels, and then “go and do likewise.”
2. By renewing our minds through God’s Word.
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2).
- you must first DECIDE to be transformed – it doesn’t happen automatically
- How do we do that? By renewing our minds through the Word of God.
QUOTE: “God’s number one purpose in your life is to make you life Jesus Christ. The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to make the child of God more like the Son of God.” (Rick Warren, God’s Power to Change Your Life).
3. By spending time with Jesus.
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5).
How are YOU doing at becoming more like Jesus?
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23).
Loving....... Unloving and unforgiving
Joyful........ Depressed and discouraged
Peaceful.... Uptight and stressed out
Patient...... Frustrated, irritated
Kind.......... Every man for himself
Faithful..... Neglecting commitments
Gentle....... Angry and resentful
Self controlled... Life falling apart
- God wants us to be transformed! To go from being unloving to being loving.
- To go from being depressed and discouraged to joyful, etc.
- This happens as we look to Jesus, renew our minds, and spend time with Jesus.
One time a new pastor came to a church, and he preached a sermon that the people just loved. It was perfect in that it discussed just the right things. The next week he preached the same sermon, and while the congregation enjoyed it, they were a little confused that he gave the same sermon twice.
The following week he preached the same sermon yet again. This time the people moved from confusion to concern about why this guy kept repeating himself week after week. Guess what happened the next week? That’s right - he preached the same sermon. This time the people started getting a bit miffed.