Summary: The Gospel is the power to CHANGE! Here’s how.
16, June 2002
Dakota Community Church
In Many Cases Christianity has been invaded with secular thinking.
He’s a controller – She’s a pleaser
Those two are co-dependant
Abuser and abused –one does the other allows
I come from a dysfunctional family
All of these are legitimate cases that do exist, however:
- We often see them as unassailable walls
- We use them as excuses to do nothing
16I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 17For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith
3His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.
18"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed
The Gospel is the power of God to make changes!
You hold the power! I hold the power!
So, why do so many of us not use that power to change?
1. Some do not recognize the need to change.
1Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Being transformed takes time and consistency
- Life time relationship
- Honesty in prayer
- Not growing in worthiness
- Not comparing self to others
Change is inevitable but growth is optional. Not everyone who grows old grows up!
Are you: critical of others? Negative? A victim? A controller?
Native hunters in the jungles of Africa have a clever way of trapping monkeys.They slice a coconut in two; hollow it out, and in one half of the shell cut a hole just big enough for a monkey’s hand to pass through. Then they place an orange in the other coconut half before fastening together the two halves of the coconut shell. Finally, they secure the coconut to a tree with a rope, retreat into the jungle, and wait.Sooner or later, an unsuspecting monkey swings by, smells the delicious orange, and discovers its location inside the coconut. The monkey then slips his hand through the small hole; grasp the orange, and tries to pull it through the hole. Of course, the orange won’t come out; it’s too big for the hole. To no avail the persistent monkey continues to pull and pull, never realizing the danger he is in.While the monkey struggles with the orange, the hunters simply stroll in and capture the monkey by throwing a net over him. As long as the monkey keeps his fist wrapped around the orange, the monkey is trapped.It’s too bad-the poor monkey could save its own life if it would let go of the orange. It rarely occurs to a monkey, however, that it can’t have both the orange and its freedom. That delicious orange becomes a deadly trap.The world sets traps for you that are not unlike the monkey trap. You hear constantly that if you just have enough money, enough stuff, enough power, enough prestige-then you’ll be happy. Under that illusion people spend their whole lives thinking you must have it all.The call of Christianity is unlike that of the world. The world focus’ on what you and get out of life. A Christian should focus on what they can give.
Are you holding on to an orange?
YOU NEED TO CHANGE – God has given you the power to do it.
2. Some are unwilling to pay the price for change.