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Summary: Every believer needs to be changed from the inside out and bringing our character to conforming with the character of Jesus.

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You can have a Christ-like Character

Romans 12:1-2

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what He wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”

Intro:

There is a tension within our culture. On the one hand we see the need for and have a desire to change. This is true about certain things, especially concerning ourselves. We’re bombarded with the message that if we were only

slimmer, tanned more, better dressed, more "in style", better looking, better financed, or better perfumed, we would be happier, more satisfied.

The media puts out the propaganda and we buy it. Have you thought it through? Boy, sometimes we’re suckers. Excuse that word. We buy it because deep down inside there is so much we want to change about ourselves. The desire to change for the better is one we all have. I don’t think there is anyone here today that is really – completely satisfied with yourself.

Talking about change: Listen to this - We need to understand that our world is a fast changing world. Change is not necessary bad - in fact change is normal - Change is really a sign of life. Do you know what the medical definition of death is? A body that does not change... During my sermon your body is going to change - about ½ million cells in your body are going to die and be replaced with a half a million new cells during my message time.

Our skin replaces itself every month... Did you know that 70-80% of the dust in your house is dead skin that has flaked off? All that dust on our furniture in the bedroom is my dead skin.

Your stomach lining undergoes a complete change every 5 days; your liver every 6 weeks; your skeleton every 3 months.... your whole body every 5 years for men & 7 years for women.... So you see, change is natural - to not change is to die....

But understand that our world today is in a warp drive kind of change ... Did you know that the digital watch you have on your wrist contains more computing power than existed in the entire world in 1961. Your car? It has more computation power to get down the street than all the computers combined in the Apollo 11 space craft that carried Neal Armstrong to the moon. And the pager they give you at the Olive Garden. Listen; we are now living in a world where it is cheaper, faster and safer to a send a signal over 20,000 miles to a satellite and back again than it is to walk the 20 feet to tell you that your table is ready...

We live in a fast changing world...

It has been estimated that more information has been generated in the last 30 years than in the previous 5,000 years. The average consumer will see or hear 1 million marketing messages in a year - that’s 3,000 per day...

Have your kids ever asked you, “Hey dad, tell me what it was like in the olden days when you had to walk across the room to change the TV channel...” Not long ago people cooked on wood stoves... And when grandma said, “Log On” she meant make the wood stove hotter.” And when she said: download” she meant, “You boys go down & get the firewood off the pick up truck...

When I was born the United Nations had about 60 member nations. There are now 185 nation states in the world, over a 100 of which did not exist when I was born. When I was born, a “crack salesman” meant someone was really good at what he did. When I was born weather forecasting was a joke - well some things never change. I think you get my point - we live in a changing world. On the other hand, there is a real hesitancy to want to change.

We are uncomfortable with the uncertainties that change may bring. Paul is dealing with this issue of change in our spiritual lives. Now one of the criticisms of the church today is that the people in the church are no different than all the other people in the world.

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