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Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Why God Wants You To Change

Soren Kierkegaard was a Danish Theologian who lived from 1813 to 1855. He related a homely parable about a flock of geese that milled around in a filthy barnyard imprisoned by a high wooden fence.

One day a preaching goose flew into their barnyard,  stood on an old crate and admonished the geese for being content (ripped it into 'em), he recounted the  exploits of their forefathers who spread their wings and flew trackless wastes of sky, he spoke of the goodness of their Creator who had given geese the urge to migrate and wings to fly.

This pleased the geese, they marveled at his eloquent words, nodded their heads and applauded his preaching; just then Mrs Farmer came in with some good corn so they waddled off, after having their fill they gaggled for years about the greatness of the preaching goose.
They never did fly. 

Don't copy the behaviour and customs off this world, but be a new and different person with a fresh newness in all you do and think. Then you will learn from your own experience how His ways will really satisfy you. 
Romans 12.2 Living Bible

CHANGE: Oxford Dictionary-         making or becoming different,
different from previous state
substitution of one for another

EG.   New clothes - when you first put on new clothes  you may feel special, obvious, noticed and proud, having a sense of worthiness; 
but they are a little stiff, you are not so not familiar with them as your trusty old jeans, there is a small amount of trepidation.
Your old clothes on the other hand are comfortable, blend in, nothing special, nobody notices. 
Change makes you feel different.

3 Reasons why God Wants You To Change

1/ If we don't have change the past will be the present and the future, boring, lifeless, useless, dead.

Abraham would still be in Ur of the Chaldees (Iraq),
Moses would have been the next Pharaoh of Egypt instead of Israel's deliverer,
David would have continued as his brothers lunch boy instead of slaying Goliath,
Esther may have lost her life along with thousands of Hebrews, Mordecai said to her, "Who knows if you haven't come to the kingdom for such a time as this."
Nehemiah would still be serving wine to King Artaxerxes in Susa instead of motivating a bunch of no hoper Hebrews to build a wall around Jerusalem,
Peter & John would still be out fishing for lunch instead of changing the world as Christs apostles,
Paul would still be a religious narrow minded, threatening, murdering bully, instead of converting the gentiles to Jesus.

Czar Nicolas II, who ruled Russia from 1894 to 1917, was walking in his palace garden one day when he found a soldier who was stationed as a sentry to guard a particular place standing to attention in a lonely part of palace garden.

"What are you guarding," asked the Tsar

“I don't know - captain ordered me to this post," the sentry replied.

The Tsar asked the captain why, he replied, "Written regulations specify a guard to that place."
The Tsar ordered a search of records to find out why. 
The archives yielded the reason.

Many years before Catherine the Great had planted a rose bush in that corner of the garden, she ordered a sentry to protect it for that evening.

100 years later sentries were still guarding the now barren spot. 

Are we still guarding our precious traditions, old songs, hymns, revelations of 30 years ago, or 20  or 10 or 2?
Are we willing to change the way we do things to meet a changing community and stay relevant?

Ask "Am I willing to get out of my own personal comfort zone to bring the lost to Christ."

If we don't have change we'll die in the past.

2/ God is a God of the New Thing.

Isaiah 42:9  Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.

Isaiah 43:18/19  Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth;

Jeremiah 31:31  Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: because his compassions fail not. 

Lamentations 3:23  They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Ezekiel 11:19  And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you;

Ezekiel 36:26  A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you:

Luke 5:33/9   new wine goes into new wine skins
use of wine skins, (dead carcass) empty, dry, hard, inflexible, useless, throwaway when used,
the only important thing is the wine.
History is filled with dead carcasses of people, organisations, denominations, churches, that wouldn't stay flexible to the new wine.

They like the way it used to be (old wine - mellow - dead)

3/ You'll always get what you've always got

If you always do what you’ve always done,
You’ll always get what you’ve always got.
we need to sacrifice for the new thing.

Wine skins come by ripping the guts out of an innocent lamb or kid,
change means sacrifice.
A lot of people don't accept change because they're not willing to sacrifice for the new thing.

Sometimes you've got to stop doing it because its not working.
Have you ever seen a blowfly trapped in the house in the summer and flying at the window in a vain effort to escape.
After many attempts of flying into the glass window, you will find him dead on the window sill the next morning.

We've got to get used to taking the new wine.

v39 they like the old wine because its mellow/dead doesn't challenge them,
new wine is full of life fizz, and challenge.
New people come into the church, they don't know we've done it this way for 25 years & they come up with new ideas.

Change requires work, effort, challenge, sacrifice.
Don't fall for the old trick     -    "the old is better."

The new wine is full of fizz and life, it's always better.
What God does is always new.

Where will you be in 1 year,  5 years,  10 years?
Will you still be a pew warmer admiring the good things that someone else does?

If you want to get something different to what you've always got;
You've got to do something different to what you've always done.

Where will your church be in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years?

The church is changing.
The last 50 years have seen more rapid change than at any time in human history. Changes in technology have changed every aspect of life: from contraception to computation, from communication to community formation. 

Philip Hughes, Christian Research Asso0ciation

When is the last time you did something for the first time?

At the resignation of the Queensland state clerk from a major Christian denomination she wanted to leave a parting gift to the executive members.
After the executive meeting she took all the members onto the roof of the 14 storey hotel building in Brisbane where the meeting was held.
They were met by a mean hulk of a man with biceps on his biceps, The clerk advised here is my parting gift to you. 
The hulk expressed, "You're all going over the edge, face down, walking down the side of the building to the ground." There was of course ropes, harnesses and all the safety gear.
Fear and trepidation gripped one man, he backed up against wall and stuck there until every other member had successfully completed the mission of walking face down to the ground from the roof of that 14 storey hotel, the trainer eventually talked him into it, harnessed him up and gave him his instructions etc.
Stand on edge looking 14 storeys down to the Brisbane streets below, "you will take one step and go from vertical to horizontal in 2 seconds,"
With his heart in his mouth he took that step, and finally after many more he got to the bottom. He unhooked his harness, screamed at the top of his lungs, "YES," and hugged first person he saw, a complete stranger,
"I'm going to do that again," he exclaimed. 
When he got home he said to his kids, "You should have seen your dad today."

Plans to change the church will not happen unless there is change at every level.

Change Means:

Being different

Thinking Differently

Doing Differently

New wine will burst old wine skins,
wine will run out,
wine will be ruined,
You will lose it if you're not willing to change.

There's always a new wine with God.

God is engineering change in his church.

3 Things for you to do now.
Take action  - make a change in your life.
Greatest change you can make is to make Jesus your Lord.

Be filled,
refilled and refreshed with the Holy Spirit.

Be prepared to do something you have never done before,
if you want to have something you have never had before,
if you want to see God do something in and through your life you have never seen Him do before. 

Change starts here: 

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