Summary: Sometimes change is difficult!
When you run to Jesus, everything changes!
A few weeks ago (1st Sunday in June) I tried to preach a message entitled “If only I could run away.” In that message I tried to talk about the fact that ‘when you run’ everything changes. In that message I talked about Elijah running from God and not really consulting God on what he should do. Today, I want to tell you that if you run to Jesus, everything will change for the good! Debits in your personal checking account are not always for the good. Credits in your checking account are for the good! So, for a little while this morning, I want to tell you that if you run to Jesus, everything will change.
Sometimes change is difficult!
When the railroads were first introduced to the U.S., some folks feared that they’d be the downfall of the nation! Here’s an excerpt from a letter to then President Andrew Jackson dated January 31, 1829:
As you may know, Mr. President, ’railroad’ carriages are pulled at the enormous speed of 15 miles per hour by ’engines’ which, in addition to endangering life and limb of passengers, roar and snort their way through the countryside, setting fire to crops, scaring the livestock and frightening women and children. The Almighty God certainly never intended that people should travel at such breakneck speed. Martin Van Buren Governor of New York Source Unknown.
Change # 1
What was dead is now alive! V. 1 and V.5
The Apostle Paul knew something about the process of change. He knew what it was like to be dead in trespasses and sins and to be made alive unto Christ. The story of Paul’s conversion is one of the most thrilling stories in the Bible. Found in Acts 9, this story was a life altering occasion for the then persecutor, killer of Christians. As the light beamed its way out of Heaven on to the persecutors pathway Paul became very much aware of the voice of God that said, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” Saul was confronted with the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ and now here in Ephesians, because of 1st hand experience he is saying to us that if we have accepted Christ as our personal Savior then we are no longer dead in our trespasses and sins but we are made alive by Christ Jesus because of the grace that was offered to us by God in Heaven. I don’t know what your experience was like when you got saved but I can tell you that it was the most life altering experience I have ever had in my life. Going to Bible College was a big change. Yes, marriage was a big change. (I mean I never knew that Kathyrn would be such a great boss, but she is...) Having kids was a big change…April 18, 1998 was a big day---1st child Ellie was born. August 21, 2000, was a big day, Jake changed our world. Beautiful little boy---- August 10, 2002, was definitely a big day, there is no one quite as noisy and energetic like Jessica. But let me tell you about Jesus coming into my heart. Old things began to pass away and all things became new. I was once dead in trespasses and sins but then I became alive unto Christ. I was once a sinner but now I’m found was totally blind but now I see!
Change # 1
I. What was dead is now alive! V. 1 and V.5
Change # 2
II. What was worldly is now spiritual V.2-3 (slow down—make yourself understood—please ask questions if you have any)
Paul says “you once walked according to the course of this world.”
What does it mean to walk according to the course of this world? Well, I’m so glad you asked! When we were dead in trespasses and sins we were allowing the world to set our agenda. We were allowing the flesh to take control!
In what ways were we allowing the flesh to take control?
1. v.2 According to the prince and the power of the air.(Satan and evil forces) We were first allowing the devil himself to cause us to march to the beat of his own drum. We were taking our cues from the devil and it was all down hill from there.
2. We conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh and of the mind. Our desires were fleshly and our mind was saturated with that of a worldly approach to life. We set out to fulfill the desires of the flesh. We wanted what we wanted and no one else in the world was going to stop us.
3. Sad fact….this process of following after the flesh is not only present prior to salvation but sometimes creeps into the church among those who call themselves Christian. Paul was writing to the Ephesian Church. He was writing primarily to Christians. Now, let’s bring it home to Fort Scott. Let me explain: I have always made this statement; “People do what they want to do” and I have found that there is another group of people who do what they want to do. Christians do what they want to do as well if they are not continually being filled with the Holy Spirit. Preacher you don’t understand…