Topic: Sunday Message Verse: Luke 6:43–6:45, Ezekiel 36:26–36:27
Forging Change is Possible
A three week message series on God's plan for us to experience real, lasting, and meaningful change
Change is Possible
We all have a desire to change, grow, and improve in different areas of our lives--diet, exercise, finances, relationships, spirituality, the list is endless. Unfortunately after our initial bursts of enthusiasm we usually don't see real and lasting change happen, so we give up on trying to change.
The problem isn’t that we believe in change. No, the problem is how we think about change and how we go about trying to make change happen in our lives. Let's take a fresh look at change from God's perspective.
Luke 6:43-45 NIV
43 “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. 45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
Modification versus Transformation
Change isn't just about what we do, it's about who we are. Yet we waste our time messing around with the fruit (trying to change our outward behavior) when we really should be starting with the roots and what’s going on with our heart. It’s the difference between modification (our best efforts) versus transformation (God's miraculous work). Instead of spending all our energy on trying to be thorn bushes that are less prickly, we need to become a different kind of tree. Only God can make this kind of change happen.
Ezekiel 36:26-27 NIV
26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
Justification & Sanctification
Both of these big theological words describe different aspects of how we experience God's salvation through Jesus Christ.
God transforms the kind of tree we are
we are changed because of Jesus
God improves the kind of fruit we bear
we are changing because of Jesus
takes the journey of a lifetime
2 Corinthians 3:17-18 NIV
17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
We need stop chasing after phony and worthless "forged" change, which is about short cuts and quick fixes. Instead we need to be open to God "forging change" in our lives--where the process can be difficult and intense, but the product of God forging change in us is lasting and priceless.
“God loves us just the way we are, but He loves us too much to leave us that way.” Let this be the year when we’re willing to trust God more than ever before and allow Him to forge His loving change in our lives.
Add your private notes...
Real change, lasting change, transformational change is only going to happen when you become a different kind of tree. Pastor Dan
1. What would you like to change or improve in your life in 2018? What are your Top 2 desired changes?
2. Think of a change you’ve made in the past that has lasted. How did it happen? Think of a change you have tried to make that hasn’t worked out. Where’s your “confidence meter” right now when it comes to lasting change happening in your life?
3. Read Luke 6:43-45. What does Jesus mean by the good or evil “stored up” in our hearts? Compare the wording in other versions of the Bible. According to Jesus, how does lasting change happen?
4. What’s the difference between real, lasting changes and superficial, temporary changes? How do we become more aware of the heart changes that need to happen in our lives—and more motivated to make them?
5. Read these Scriptures together. How do they speak to the possibility of real and lasting change in our lives?
* Ezekiel 36:26-27—
* 2 Corinthians 5:16-17—
* Romans 6:1-4—
* Colossians 3:1-10—
Hopevale Church in Bay City
It's here! Our soft launch begins TODAY Sunday, January 14, at John Glenn High School in Bangor Township. Our worship service starts at 10:30 a.m. along with Kids Ministry programs for children birth-K today (elementary aged kids start next week). For more information, check out our website. Let's pray for God's blessing on this new endeavor.