Personal Transformation

(audio sermon by Gary Sampson)

The born again experience is miraculous and instant, but transformation of habits is step by step and takes deliberate planning.

Speakers notes follow –

Personal Transformation

Romans 12.1-2 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Lift transformation – he believed she changed instantly!  269 (1111)

Born again – assume immediate change – Spirit immediate, but change of thinking + habits take time + effort

Excited new creation – discouraged by lack of change

Paul’s struggle: Ro 7.21-25 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Is God surprised you don’t transform immediately? No – so he’s looking for incremental transformation

Heb 12.1-2 And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

Run with perseverance – marathon – Olympics by Greeks – fixing eyes on Jesus – pioneer + perfector – champion before – beside us in vehicle – struggling – focus on corner – step by step

2 Co 3.18 We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory

Neighbour becomes runner – didn’t do marathon overnight – breaking down into manageable bits

Ladies at church lost weight – planning + step by step

‘Can’t afford smart phone’ – can you afford to save 500 weekly – decide today – 24k in year – new saves money fixing + time wasted

Career – will education help – degree – ‘me studying?’ – 3hrs daily?

Imagine effect if done and if never done – degree, phone, lose weight

Cheese in mouse hole is motivation, but a cat behind is extra!

Transformation – planning manageable steps

Marriage struggling – ‘no time together’ – plan weekly date – imagine how will be in a year – ‘All we do is argue’ – decide to give partner a compliment a day – small but imagine long term benefit – they’ll soon catch on and do same

Transforming spiritually? – not instant – planned – relationships need planning

Spiritual disciplines 4 – prayer, bible, group discussion, testifying – strengthen to overcome sin – ‘A worldly Christian will stop praying, a praying Christian will stop worldliness‘ (Author – Leonard Ravenhill)

‘Can’t pray long!’ – start with 10 min for a month – encouraged

‘Never complete Bible!’ – break into daily readings – apps now

– imagine if you never do it and if you do – ability to answer others

Added group discussion + testifying – outflow needed for inflow

Forming habits like weaving cable threads – one habit is weak, but weave it with others – becomes strong  633

As we get stronger we affect those around us – family, work, community, church – hard place to change – also small steps

Minister wants to move organ – too big a step to get it through board – plans incremental steps

Many planned small steps go a long way – what can you do today that will improve things for you and those around you?

Spiritual decisions have benefit for this life and the next – what manageable habit can you start today?

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