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Delivered By
Brian Winburn
Delivered On
November 18, 2018
Central Passage
Multiple
Description

I hate change. Yet, everyday things are changing in my life. For many the hardest kind of change is the change of the soul or change to our church. How do we pray through change? How do we experience true change of the heart?

below is a copy of the pastor's notes for this sermon

Possible illustrations: Augustine, fought the gospel because he loved lust and his concubine too much.

Prayer should change us! Not our circumstances and not God, but it should change us.

Brother Andrew, the monkey, his broken promise, the invitation that changed it all.

True Change only comes through an encounter with God. The reason that we are not often changed is we are having encounters with God often enough.

Acts 9:3-8 Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. 4And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”5And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 6But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” 7The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. 8Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus.

How does a terrorist go from killing women and children to sharing Jesus with them? How do we go from who we really are, to who we are in Christ? How does an Augustine forsake his fleshly desires for God?

What are the changes that God is bringing in your life?

The Baptist Courier recently noted that churches are going to have to change “even faster than ever before to keep up with the changing community and societal conditions they are likely facing.”

2 Corinthians 3:18-4:6

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 1Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. 2But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

**Becoming like Christ is a lifelong relationship with Him in which He lovingly transforms us daily. If there is no change, there is no salvation. Are you becoming more like Jesus or are you greater than Paul who said that though he had not already obtained it, he pressed on towards the goal.

If you are not being challenge to press on or change, then whom are you following?

Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect

1 Corinthians 6:9-12 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 12“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.

For some we are more need of this prayer than we are willing to admit, because like Paul we do not think or feel that we are doing anything wrong, morally or legally, when in fact our words and leadership is leading others to commit sins against God. Paul never threw a stone, but he incited the mob that did. He used the Name of God and the Old ways.

At first glance I have no need to fast and pray about the need to change, but when I examine it further, there is always the need to become more like Jesus.

SO how is that I leave more former ideals, dreams, and way of living behind for the glory of God.

Recognize the real enemy

V5 For Paul, he needed to see that he was fighting God and not man. His view of this world was different from the reality that God defines this world to be. We must love God more than we love this life.

Refuse to seek the answer before praying

This to me is the hardest. Paul had all the answers, he was beyond his years wise and smart, but here he couldn’t assume he knew what to do. We often fail to hear from God because we are too busy trying to make sure He hears us.

The answer is not within us, but without us. Acts 9:5 Who are you, Lord?

Augustine said “Lord command what you will and grant what you command.”

This is a powerful statement, It accepts our responsibility to be obedient, while giving God the glory, by claiming that without Him we don’t have the strength to obey.

You want to talk about a radical change in how we live. Look at God’s commands and say Yes I will obey, but God I am totally dependent on your power to accomplish your will.

Acts 9:6 Arise and go into the city…. You see we have to be obedient, but while praying Paul is trusting in God’s provision!

Acts 9:10-16 Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” 11And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, 12and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” 13But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. 14And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.” 15But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. 16For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.”

Be sensitive to others

Don’t rely on others, but pay close attention to see if God sends someone who wants nothing to do with this or has no idea what you are going through to bring sight to your problem. This isn’t listening to the normal advice givers in your life, this listening to total stranger or reluctant servant of God.

Focus on your purpose

Our purpose in this life is glorify God by knowing Him as Savior and making Him known to others.

So many decisions are made with the intent of avoiding pain and change, but God says the opposite in v16. I will show him how much he will suffer. For most of us when we see the suffering, we forget about the glory of God that was revealed to us before.

Write out the problem, rewrite the problem, while praying and after praying, write down what God is showing you and telling you do. Create an action plan that is dependent on the power of God and not you. If you can do it without God, then it is your plan and not God’s.

Sin had entangled the life of brother Andrew the same way the wire had. He needed saving, he needed the power of God for salvation.

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