Change Is Good

 

So I’ve changed…..Big deal!!.  Who hasn’t??  We get older, larger,  grayer, fatter, thinner.  Change is inevitable, right?  For all the things that change for us……. as people, we seem to resist it……… almost instinctively.  Why? I don’t know!!  I have needed to change, wanted to change, been told to change but none of those things ever…… produced a change.  Time, life, jobs, and experience have all changed me.  All these things are external forces.   So I can’t seem to change myself, outside of outward appearance (and that’s limited) but those things don’t constitute significant change.  I have been taught it’s up to me to change or that I had to do certain things in order to see the change.  That always leads to a ( here I am again)circular frustration has led me to believe some similar circular theology.  We are just going around the same mountain coming back to the same familiar ground and it’s comfortable and obviously someone must like it because we keep doing it.  We sit on pews and listen to the same preachers say the same things and the results are shamefully the same.  If I think right, talk right, live right.  If I come to church faithfully,  commit willingly,  play nicely, give liberally, vote……………..nu uh not happening!  The gospel is not political …..and if yours is….. it isn’t the gospel.  

Frustration is all this ever leads to.  Feeling inadequate, unworthy, unholy, unrighteous.  But I’m learning that it’s not about me.  I can’t do it.  I can’t fix it.  I can’t will it!  I can’t pray myself changed, or fast myself changed, or give myself into change.  The only thing I can do is believe that……I…..am….. changed.  Jesus did the work.  I don’t need to reinvent a wheel.  I just need to believe that  He took my sin, my shame, my curse,and my sickness on the cross.  We are saved unto good works not by them.  So I began to believe the stuff the Bible says about me.  It says I’m righteous,  I’m healed, I’m favored, I’m blessed with every spiritual gift.  It says I’m anointed, appointed, washed, and purged.  It says that the God of the Universe is my father,  that I’m His heir and a joint-heir with Jesus.  It says Jesus died my death and I died with him.  But it works when I choose to BELIEVE it!!!  Belief is the key.  I can read it, study it, understand it and even have it revealed to me but if I never believe it then what good has it done me?

The Bible says amazing things that are not preached in most church’s.  Most preaching is focused on keeping you exactly were you are.  Going around that mountain just like the children of Israel.  Israel didn’t have it bad………. they had a cloud and pillar.  They had manna, great clothes, and awesome shoes.  But they were not where they were supposed to be …….and……. you should ask honestly if you are in the wrong place too.  Are you trying to get back to where you were or trying to figure out where you are.  It feels familiar and strange all at the same time.  There just enough food to keep you coming back…… but honestly…….. it’s the same food you been eating for a long time.  It will fill you up but it fails to satisfy.  Theres a cloud there and even a occasional fire but it’s not anything you haven’t seen before and you have become accustomed to it.  It’s predictable and maybe even planned.  If you are paying attention you will begin to see it.  We fasted this time last year,  we had a teaching series like this before,  same dinners, same outreach, more of the same.  The children of Israel must have seen the same stuff over and over too.

But Jesus is your land of plenty.  He’s the bounty.  He’s the fullness and the greatness.  But most of the spies have come back with a bad report.  They’ve all seen the same land.  Jesus is awesome.  Most of the church is convinced…… He’s just to big to obtain.  They will tell you how awesome He is and even show some of the fruit but will focus your attention on the giants.  He’s just to big to really have all of Him.  It’s just too great to believe we can walk in that kind of promise while on earth.  So most of what we get comes after we leave.  Won’t we have a time when we get over yonder!!  But wait… Jesus said, ‘I have come that you might have life and that more abundantly.” John 10:10  I don’t think he was talking about eternal life here.  He wants us to have life now, abundant life.  I want it.  I will believe I have it…… until the evidence of it shows up in my present reality.  I’m tired of the only hope we have in the church being in the future.  I want it now.  I believe the gospel is now, faith is now, and I believe Jesus operated in His now and He wants to operated in yours.  His now is your now…….. believe that!!! 

So now…..when I say something I no longer sound like another self-help guru.  Giving you the top ten things you should do to be better, get closer, have more,ect…..Instead, I can declare that I believe about you……. the same things that He believes about you.  That what the word says of me….. is also true of you.  So instead of trying to change you,  or get you better.  I declare to you that God himself has a thought towards you.  “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”  Jer 29:11  God thinks peacefully toward you.  God is not angry.  Your leaders may be angry and they may declare angrily to you what the believe to be God’s thought ……but Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that His actual thought is better than that.  One translation says His thought gives you hope and a future.(eternal life is not your only future… tomorrow is future too) Now that’s the God, Jesus came to reveal.  That’s the God that Jesus say’s is His Father.  And since I’m a joint heir….. then that God is my Father.  I have an awesome Father who isn’t angry or even in a bad mood but He’s thinking of me and He’s thinking peace and hope.  

   I have a job, a task,  and it’s simple.  I need to point you to Christ.  I don’t need to identify the sin in your life.  I don’t need to call you down or out.  I shouldn’t be heaping condemnation upon you.  I should be telling you that Jesus is bigger than your sin, bigger than your problem, and bigger than your circumstance.  That you have all the stuff Jesus has because you are a joint-heir with Him.  That you have a new life in Christ Jesus.  Stop living for the next blessing that falls out the ceiling and start understanding that you are already blessed.  Stop waiting for the next revival, you’re alive in Christ what are you trying to revive.  We need to believe we have all the stuff we are exhausting ourselves to get.  Believe what the Word says of you and it will change you.  It’s changing me and I’m excited about it.

 

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