Summary: This first sermon in my transforming truth series addresses the most fundamental of truths - God loves us. If we get that one on straight, then we will be well on our way.
A. Let me begin by sharing a few simple, practical truths:
1. “A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand.” – unknown
2. “A bulldog can whip a skunk, but sometimes it’s not worth it.” - J. Nowell
3. “A closed mouth gathers no feet.” - Sam Horn
4. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but an onion a day keeps everyone away”. - Cassandra Chatfield
5. “Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in his shoes. That way if he gets angry, he’ll be a mile away and barefoot.” – unknown
6. “Blessed is he that can laugh at himself, he will never cease to be amused.” – unknown
B. Although there is a bit of humor and a grain of truth in many of these sayings, I wouldn’t exactly call them transforming truths.
1. The Bible, however, is full of truth that can have a profound effect on our lives.
2. God’s truths are truly transformational.
3. In John 8:31-32, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
4. Knowing God’s transforming truths sets us free from all the lies of Satan that have held us captive in lives of sin, failure, and frustration.
5. When I say “knowing God’s truths,” I’m not talking about just knowing them in an intellectual fashion, rather I’m talking about knowing them in a personal and practical way.
6. In order for God’s truths to make a difference in our lives, they must be internalized and exercised by faith.
C. Paul explained this process in Romans 12:1-2, when he wrote, “Therefore, 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. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
1. Oh, how desperately we need the transformation of God in our lives!
2. I haven’t yet arrived at maturity in Christ, and as I assess us as a church family, I can see that we have a lot of room for growth.
3. I know that transformation is based on the power of God and His blessed work within us, and we must begin by welcoming God’s good work in us through the Holy Spirit.
4. Are we ready to admit that we need to change and that we are ready to change and that we know that we can’t do it on our own?
5. Are we ready to allow God to show us how we continue to be unspiritual, and that our thinking and behavior are still conforming to the pattern of this world?
6. Are we ready to allow our minds to be renewed by the truth that sets us free?
7. I’m ready and I hope you are also.
D. Today’s sermon is the first in a series that I want us to work through this fall.
1. I’m calling the series “Transformational Truths.”
2. I believe that God continues to work through His Word to bring about transformation.
3. The writer of Hebrews had this to say about the Bible, “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Heb. 4:12)
a. Is that what you experience when you look into God’s Word?
b. Do you feel it spring into action in your soul – illuminating, correcting, convicting and transforming you? It does me.
4. In Paul’s farewell speech to the Ephesian elders in Acts 20:32, he said, “Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.”
5. Throughout the series, I will be trying to do just that – “commit you to God and to the word of his grace” – for it is able to build us up and lead us right to heaven.
E. Today I want us to give attention to a truth that is so basic, and yet it is such a key to being transformed by all of the other truths we might embrace.
1. The first of the transforming truths is – We are loved by God.
2. I am loved by God and you are loved by God.
3. It doesn’t get any more basic than that. It is one of the first truths we try to teach our children – “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”