Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Not Changing is Not Normal...

You go to church, what once or twice a week?

You figure every good sermon you hear has maybe one or two good applications…at the very least. (That's a random number I know, but work with me here.)

2 applications times 52, that's 104 applications a year.

I know this is pretty silly way to go about it, but what I'd like to get you to ask yourself as you look at the way you approach God’s Word, is simply this: is God's Word slowly, progressively, changing you?

104 specific applications a year.

Are you any different?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, as we've recently recognized new members in our church.

One of the things that we want new members to understand and what we want old members to understand and what we want all of us to understand and what I want myself to understand is that at church, we should be changing.

I want to highlight that, like really strongly, because out there in the world you’ll find that most people don’t.

At least not truly. There may be some external changes, but the core stuff, basically it doesn’t change all that much. And you know, that makes sense, biblically, knowing what we know about what we were like before God saved us. I mean, we were dead in our sins, we were in bondage.

But you know, that’s not true anymore. It’s not true at all.

If we have been saved, we have been changed. We have been made alive, we have been set free, we have been given the Holy Spirit, we are new people. That means, not changing is not normal.

It may be normal in the world for people to stay the same their entire life, but it is not normal in the church. I’m not talking about your personality, I’m talking about your spirituality. It’s not going to be all at once, it’s not going to be easy, it’s not going to be the exact same in absolutely everyone, but it is normal for people who are Christians and who are sitting under the ministry of the Word to be taking what they are hearing in the Word and applying it to their lives and to be slowly but surely becoming more and more like Jesus Christ as a result.

It’s so normal that Jesus uses it as a way to identify what it looks like to be a Christian in the first place. In the end, the reality of your Christianity is not going to be judged by whether or not you merely heard the word; but whether you heard the Word and stayed the same or heard the Word and acted on it.

Matthew 7: “Everyone who hears these words of mine, and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of min and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell and great was the fall of it.”

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