GOING AND DOING!

When we are going our own way and doing it our way, Jesus isn’t with us. But, When We Are Going And Doing What Jesus Wants, We Are Never Alone.

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The Final Installment of this sermon series….

As we close out this Blueprint For A Brand New You, I wanted to find the word that brings all this together.  When it comes to following blueprints for a house, each specialist looks only at their part.  But for the home to be built everything needs to come together in the right way at the right time, otherwise there is chaos and confusion.  I want you to be able to see clearly how thinking in a new way, having eyes that are open, and learning to step out in faith can transform you into a brand new person. 

Neither God nor I want you to just become a different person, but to become the person that God Created And Redeemed you to become.  God takes the junk out of our lives but He also gives us a reason and a purpose in life

This God-Created, God-Honoring Purpose is where we truly find the life that our hearts are hungry for.  More than just you being a different person from last year, God Wants Us To Become Who He Wants Us To Become By Going And Doing What He Has Designed For Our Life In Christ.  And the only text that God would allow me to use is from Matthew 28:16-20 (The Message)

Meanwhile, the eleven disciples were on their way to Galilee, headed for the mountain Jesus had set for their reunion.  The moment they saw him they worshiped him.  Some, though, held back, not sure about worship, about risking themselves totally.

Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge:  “God authorized and commanded me to commission you:  Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  

Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you.  I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.”

Anyone here ever heard of the Kodak Company?  At one time it was one of the top corporations.  Where is it now?  On Jan. 17, 2012, it filed for bankruptcy.  It took them years to get out of bankruptcy.  Why?  They forgot their purpose.  They thought their purpose was to produce film for cameras.  In 1975, one of their researchers developed the first digital camera, but company executives told him to keep it quiet.  In 2006 they stopped manufacturing Kodachrome Film after 74 years. They thought their purpose was making film—when their true purpose was creating images. 

Ever since then, they have been playing catch-up instead of being the leader in their industry.  Imagine people going to work day after day without knowing their company’s business, yet that’s exactly what happens when churches don’t know where they should be going and what they should be doing.  

Rather than try to find out what they should be doing, they keep doing the same things, expecting different results.  To become the Brand New You that honors God and gives us that life of purpose and meaning, then we need to know where we need to be going and what we need to be doing. 

In the beginning of the Church, it was clear to them—they knew where to go and what to do.  It was going into their world and doing the very thing Jesus told them to do.  They didn’t have anywhere else to go or anything else to do, but the One Thing Jesus told them to do:  Make Disciples Of Others Through Loving Them And Sharing With Them What Jesus Had Done In Their Life

The One Thing that EVERY Church and THIS Church must be is that Community of Believers who GO into the world and DO what Jesus wants, and what Jesus wants is for the lost to know they are loved by the Father and can have a relationship with Him! 

We need to know that our One Thing, the ONLY Thing Jesus wants is for us to Make Disciples By Showing Them God’s Love, Sharing What God Has Done For Us, And Inviting Them Into That Most Important Relationship Of All.  It is about becoming The New Creation by The Blood Of Jesus Christ.

Too much of what happens in many churches today is about consumerism.  We think that the church is all about meeting our needs.  Have you ever heard anyone say, “Well, I’m not going back to that church because it’s not meeting my needs.”?  They’ve made the church about what they want more than what Jesus wants! 

Purpose Is God’s Gift To Us, Not Our Offering To GodThis Means We Exist To Show The Real Love Of God To Real People In Real Ways So That They Can Become A Real Disciple Of Jesus.  

To be the person that God created you to become, to live the life that Jesus died to give you, there are two steps to take and one thing to remember:  Step One

1.  Make The Commitment To Go Into This World!

It is a world that is not very nice.  Sometimes it’s dirty and ugly.  It’s a world that is filled with a lot of pain.  It’s a world that is scary.  It is a world that is unfair and unreasonable.  It is a world that is selfish and narrow minded.  It is a world that is torn apart by disasters and wars.  It is a world that is filled with darkness and sin.  That’s what Satan is doing with God’s creation.

But it was into this same world that Jesus left heaven and entered into.  Jesus Entered Into The Pain, The Filth, The Brokenness And The Sickness Of This World.  Sometimes, people came to Him wherever He was; but Jesus didn’t wait for them to show up.  He went to them.  Jesus sat and ate with the worst sinners of that day—Tax Collectors. 

He reached out to everyone who was called unclean—the prostitutes, the adulteresses, the lepers, the poor—by those who thought themselves to be religious and godly.  Anyone who had been pushed aside by the world, Jesus reached out to them.  And if we are going to be His Disciples, then we follow his example!  In order to be a Brand New You, we stop going where we want to go and start going where Jesus goes. 

Make your commitment to go into this world.  Now Step 2:

2.  Make The Commitment To Do Something Only Jesus Would Do!

Do you know what Jesus is doing in our world today?  He is loving every single person.  When Jesus walked this earth as a human, He came to show a world that for some who wondered if God loves them, and for others who felt like God didn’t love them—to show that God has unconditional love for everyone! 

It is really clear what Jesus wants us to do—To Love Others Like Jesus Loves Us!  Jesus loves us completely, unconditionally and sacrificially.  None of us deserves this.  Yet Jesus shows us how much God loves us at the cross. 

And He wants us out there showing others how much God loves them.  We love others with our actions and not our words.  We show our love for Jesus when we give food to the hungry, clothes to those who have little or none, when we offer care to those who are sick or lonely, when we care for those who are in prison.  It’s not what we talk about that shows our world the love of God, it is what we actually do to help those who are among the least, the last and the lost.  Your world will never see how much God loves them until they see AND experience how much you love them.  Do Something Only Jesus Would Do!

3.  (And Here Is The One Thing You Need To Remember:)  Go And Do Because Jesus Is With You!

When we are going our own way and doing it our way, Jesus isn’t with us.  But, When We Are Going And Doing What Jesus Wants, We Are Never Alone.  He is with you. 

Did you hear how The Message translation puts it?  “I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day.”  He has never asked you to go and to do it alone.  In fact, He Insists That You Don’t Go Or Do It Alone.  In order to be a Brand New You, it takes confidence, the confidence that what Jesus said to those disciples, He really meant it and He really means it for you, too

And You Must Believe That It Is His Presence That Will Make The Difference In Our Life, And In Those Lives We Are Called To Go To, And To Love.  Our Life Purpose is to make new disciples for Jesus, by going to them, by doing for them in love, sharing with them all that God has done for us, And Then Inviting Them Into The Relationship With The Father. 

Churches that close their doors when there were people around them without Jesus, didn’t know what their business was.  To be a real disciple of Jesus, to be an authentic Christian, to be a real church, we have to remember that our business is all about bringing people into a relationship with Jesus.  You have to know why you are here.  Do You Know?

NEXT STEPS

  1. Is Jesus Living In You?  Galatians 2:20—“My old self has been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.  So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”  I’m not asking how much you know about Jesus.  I’m asking:  Is Jesus living in you?  The only way He can live in you is that you ask Him and surrender everything in you to Him—your will, guilt, fear, your days, your relationships, ALL that makes you who you are.
  2. Ask Him To Give You This Week and Every Week The Opportunity To Show The Real Love Of God To Real People In Real Ways So That They Can Become A Real Disciple Of Jesus.  You can do this in many ways:
    1. Don’t judge them.  Sinners know they are sinners without you reminding them.
    1. Forgive Someone who has hurt you.  The best way someone can know that God will forgive them is to see that same forgiveness in you.
    1. Help Someone who needs help.  Open a door, give up your place in line, help change a tire, share an unexpected gift, encourage someone with your acts rather than your words, take someone to lunch—do you get the idea?
    1. Tell someone what God has done for you, especially if you didn’t deserve or earn it.  The world sees us who follow Jesus as a people who feel superior to others, or that we never have problems.  This just isn’t true.  Change that perception by being honest about your issues and struggles—and how Jesus came to you in the middle of those struggles.

Step Out In Faith!

Life With Jesus Is About Stepping Out In Faith And Giving Him Complete Control Of Our Life Regardless Of How We Feel.

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Part 3 in the Series Building A New You

The term, “Playing It Safe” is about avoiding the risks, even if the risks might lead to a greater result.  We do so for 1 of 2 reasons.  One is that we choose a more cautious approach because we are afraid of the other resultfailure.  The other reason is because some simply are not willing to pay the price of complete surrender—i.e. selfishness.  So, we settle for something less, much less.  There is a fine line that exists between being courageous and being foolish. 

Our problem is we call it “risky” when we make our resources primary and God’s resources secondary.  Usually, but not always, when we face the choice between what is risky and what is safe, we will give in toward playing it safe. 

And many people, especially when it comes to church, prefer playing it safe over taking risks.  Why?  Because isn’t that what it means to be a Christian?  Doesn’t God want us to be safe from harm and evil?  Absolutely He wants to keep us safe from evil. 

But I am concerned that we’ve taken being safe too far, especially when it comes to following Jesus.  Following Jesus isn’t about playing it safe; It’s About Taking The Risks!  In the desire to play it safe we have mistakenly thought that God wants us to be comfortable.  But What God Wants From Us Is Faith.

In the Blueprint For A New You we started at the beginning with changing from thinking in an entirely human perspective to thinking with the mind of Christ.  Last week we uncovered the next step:  that we need perspective to go along with this new way of thinking.  We need Jesus to open our eyes in order for us to follow Him into the work of The Kingdom.  Now comes action—specifically taking action that comes out of our faith.

If you can remember only 1 thing this morning, then remember this:  Life With Jesus Is About Stepping Out In Faith And Giving Him Complete Control Of Our Life Regardless Of How We Feel

Playing it safe is looking at our abilities and resources then making our decisions.  But where is the faith in that?  Faith leads to more.    Faith in the atoning work of Jesus on the Cross is required for us to be saved.  There is more to faith.

Faith isn’t a trophy we put on a shelf and say to our friends, “See that faith?  Yep, that’s when God saved me from my sins and gave me a new life.  I keep it there to remind me how gracious, loving and good God was to me.  Yep, I dust it off every week.” 

But faith does so much more.  Faith isn’t just for our salvation.  It is for our daily walk with Jesus, and this daily walk requires that our faith grow and expands.  The Life Of Faith Isn’t About Feeling Safe But Being Confident In Whatever It Is That God Wants Us To Do. 

In this Blueprint For A New You, there comes that moment when we must Step Out In Faith!  Never has this been more important than at this very moment.  This place, and this movement of Wesleyan Awakening hinges on answering this question:  Will You Play It Safe Or Take The Risk Of Stepping Out In Faith?  Or will you retreat to some moment in history when it was safer and easier to follow Jesus?  To help us understand what it means to Step Out In Faith, turn to Isaiah 43:1-2 (NLT):

But now, O Jacob, listen to the LORD who created you.  O Israel, the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.  I have called you by name; you are mine.  When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.  When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.  When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you

Did you hear those words:  deep waters, rivers of difficulty, fire of oppression?  Pardon me, but does that sound safe?  Maybe it’s just me, but that doesn’t sound safe.  And did you notice what God said about those times? 

He didn’t say “If” you face those moments, but “When” you are in those places.  When the waters run deep, When rivers are turbulent, When the fire rages—we step out into those risky places because we are not alone in those moments. 

But we do tend to forget that He is with us.  So, we choose to avoid risks at all costs.  And the price we pay is too high!  To Step Out In Faith means we know that in the risky moments, God is with us.  He said He created us, and He created us FOR those moments

The Hebrew word for “created” doesn’t mean just the story found in Genesis.  It means To Create With New Conditions And New Circumstances.  The New Condition is that God has made us a totally different person.  The New Circumstance is that He now lives IN us. 

Our New Condition is that we are now Formed By His Hand To Join In His Purpose Of Restoring Others and this New Circumstance is that The Holy Spirit Lives In Us For That Purpose. Now more than ever, we need to remember God’s promise through Isaiah.  When the challenge is great and the risks are high, remember His promise.

1.  When You Go Through Deep Waters, Think About Moses (Exo. 14)

God called Moses to lead His people out of bondage in Egypt.  Remember in Egypt that Moses’ first attempt at being a leader failed.  In Egypt, Moses is a man wanted for murder.  When God calls him to go back, he offers all kinds of excuses, but God doesn’t let go.  He has created and formed Moses for such a time as that.  So, Moses takes the risk.  He had no idea what would happen, only that God was with him.

After some plagues, Pharaoh agrees to let them go, but changes his mind and sends the army to go bring them back.  God has led them to the Red Sea.  Behind them is the army to take them back to bondage.  In front of them is the Red Sea and not a bridge or boat in sight.  Moses is about ready to panic, but God reminds Moses of His presence.  They go “through” the deep waters of the Red Sea, and the Egyptian army tries but doesn’t make it. 

If you remember the story, it tells us a wind divided the water so they could cross over on dry land.  That “Wind” Was The Holy Spirit—The Same Holy Spirit That Comes To Live In Us With The Presence Of Jesus

There are many deep waters we face—and the greatest risk we face is being the Body of Christ in this world.  When you face your deep waters, remember that God has given you the wind and breath of the Holy Spirit.  He Has Created And Formed YOU For Such A Time As This.

2.  When You Go Through Rivers Of Difficulty, Think About Peter (Matt. 14)

Jesus had sent the disciples on ahead to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, but He stayed behind because He needed His “safe place” to get away for a time.  During that night journey, an enormous storm came up.  It looked like they would sink and drown. 

But through the storm someone said, “Look, someone is walking on the water.  It’s a ghost!”  But Jesus said, “Oh pipe down, guys, it’s ME!”  Peter wants to be sure that it’s really Jesus, so he said, “Well, if it’s really you, invite me to join you out there.”  And what does Jesus do?  He invites Peter to take a walk, not on a calm sea, but a stormy one.  Do you remember what Peter does? 

(And don’t say “He sinks”!)  He steps out of that boat, and really walks on that stormy sea.  The preacher, teacher and writer, John Ortburg, is right.  To follow Jesus, we have to get out of the boat, because Jesus isn’t in the boat.  Jesus invites us to join Him in an adventure. 

Jesus Calls Us To Go Into Those Places Where It Is All About Him.  He doesn’t call us to a set of rules or traditions; He doesn’t call us to the safety of a bank account, home, family, career, or some other thing.  He calls us to be in relationship with Him and working with Him in what He is doing.  When the river is turbulent, take the risk of joining Jesus in what He is doing.

3.  When You Walk Through The Fire, Think About Shadrach, Meshach, And Abednego (Dan. 3)

The Israelites had been carried into exile.  Daniel, along with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were blessed by God with wisdom.  King Nebuchadnezzar recognized their talents and appointed them to leadership positions.  Some of the local guys were jealous, so they convinced the king to construct this enormous statue with the order that when the theme song was played, everyone was to bow before that idol. 

But Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused and were hauled in before the king.  He gave them one last chance to worship an idol or be thrown into a fiery furnace.  And in that defining moment of decision—play it safe—or—take the risk—they said:

“Look, King, no disrespect intended.  We worship only one God, and that statue isn’t Him.  And about that furnace, our God has the power to protect us even there.  (Here’s the great part.)  But even if He doesn’t deliver us, if He whispered in our ears ‘Guys, this is gonna hurt’, we will not bow down to this or any other image.  So, go ahead and throw us in.”

Well the King got mad and put that furnace on super high, and had them bound and thrown in.  And once in there, an unbelievable thing happened.  The only things that burned were their captors and the ropes.  Once inside they didn’t see 3 being burned up, but 4 freely walking about—IN that fire.  God did not send some kind of force field to keep the flames away.  He showed up in that furnace and said, “Mind if I join you?” 

Whatever the risk is for faithfully following Jesus, count on Jesus being right there with you.  Those times when the heat is on for you to show Jesus to our world, count on Jesus to see you through it.  The risks He calls us to take, will at times look like it will destroy us.  Outside the furnace, no one else saw God but Shadrach, Meshach and AbednegoBut Inside That Furnace, Everyone Could See God.  Not outside the furnace, but inside the furnace is where others could see God.

Life with Jesus isn’t about playing it safe, where we can control everything.  Life With Jesus Is About Stepping Out In Faith And Giving Him Complete Control Of Our Life Regardless Of How We Feel.  Stepping out in faith means that we really, I mean REALLY trust in Jesus.  If we can see it with our physical eyes, touch it with our hands, and understand it with our natural minds, then it’s nowhere near faith. 

Faith is about giving up control—control of trying to save yourself, to be good enough by yourself—to be smart enough by yourself, to be strong enough by yourself—in order to totally trust God with everything, I mean every detail and every part of your life. 

Trust Him—when the waters are deep—when the rivers are difficult—and when the furnace is hot!

Next Steps (Homework)

We’re talking about Faith.  Remember what it says in Hebrews 11:1 about Faith

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.

Young’s Literal Translation puts it this way: “And faith is of things hoped for—a confidence; of matters not seen—a conviction.”  With this as the definition of Faith, answer these questions this week and consider it your homework:

  1. Where are you showing Faith in your life?  Remember that faith isn’t when you know the outcome, but when you have confidence that God is there with you.
  2. What are you NOT willing to do either because of your fears, or you are unwilling to pay the price?  The fear of failure and selfishness prevents us from experiencing the power of Faith.
  3. Is there some change that might happen in this church that makes you nervous or uneasy or that you simply do not want to see happen?  Church, as we have all known it, is changing.  It will never be the same, But It Will Be Better.  God is prepared for this moment.  But to see it, you have to make a commitment to it—and that’s where faith comes in. 

BUILDING A BRAND NEW YOU! Part 1

This Transformed Mind Is Where We Discover, Accept And Live In God’s Intended Design.

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This is part 1 of the new message series “Building A Brand New You”.

When I was on staff for The North Alabama Conference Center, I had this sign on the door to my office:  “A Lack Of Planning On Your Part Does NOT Mean We Have A Crisis.  It Means YOU Have A Problem!”  The meaning is pretty obvious:  When you are in the panic mode because you failed to make and follow a plan, do not expect me to join you in your panic.  Planning is important.  To borrow a term from Coach Nick Saban, there is a Process to follow. 

We plan lots of things like careers, work, families, and retirement.  And we would never build a home without first having a plan.  But what about the development of our spiritual life?  If planning work, families, retirements, and homes are important, why do so many spend so little time planning the development of their spiritual life?  Have you heard this saying?   When You Fail To Plan, You Plan To Fail

Today I want us to look at developing a plan, a blueprint of sorts for Building A Brand New You.  I believe that God is on the move in our culture for yet another Great Awakening, much like what God promised Israel through Isaiah in Isaiah 43:19

For I am about to do something new.  See, I have already begun!  Do you not see it?  I will make a pathway through the wilderness.  I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.

When God promised this, they were in exile and things seemed hopeless.  If we are honest, we feel the same way about our culture—that things seem hopeless.  But I am convinced otherwise.  I see the signs in Africa, Southeast Asia and in Central and South America—and I am seeing and sensing the same in our time and place.  God is doing a new thing in our time, and we need to position ourselves to see it.  We need a new blueprint for a new you.  Every blueprint has a beginning point, so I began thinking about where to start.  I kept thinking and thinking and thinking, but I just couldn’t figure out where to start this blue print. 

I was thinking about a lot of different things as the first part of this blueprint—transformation of the heart, the importance of living out God’s word, faith, but the more I thought about it, nothing seem to fit.  I did my usual walking and pacing as I was thinking.  Now, I don’t know how other preachers arrive at their messages, but me, I don’t know how to explain it, other than to say it just feels right.  I was doing all this thinking, and nothing felt right.    

Finally, I said, “OK, God, what are you thinking?”  And I thought I almost heard Him say, “Exactly!”  Excuse me?  What do you mean by “Exactly”?  Then it hit me, the Blueprint For A New You begins with A New Way Of Thinking!  And our passage for today comes from Romans 12:1-2.  Last week I shared it with you from The Message, but this week I want you to hear it from The Passion Translation:

1] Beloved friends, what should be our proper response to God’s marvelous mercies?  I encourage you to surrender yourselves to God to be his sacred, living sacrifices.  And live in holiness, experiencing all that delights his heart.  For this becomes your genuine expression of worship.

2] Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think.  This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.

How we think is more important than many may realize.  It influences our perceptions and our reactions—both positively and negatively.  And our thinking greatly shapes our daily actions.  How many times after we did something that defied common sense did we say, “What was I thinking?”  Anyone here other than me who has ever said that?  When Debbie and I got married, I wanted to use that country song as we walked the aisle.  She wouldn’t let me. 

Usually our own answer to that question is:  “I Wasn’t Thinking!”  Most of the time, this is probably true.  But open your minds to another possible answer.  Maybe, just sometimes the answer is:  “I was thinking the wrong way.”

Case in point is found in Mark 6 when Jesus had been teaching most of the day. This was supposed to be a day for just the Disciples and Jesus. But then the crowd showed up, ruining their plans.  This crowd had been there at least all afternoon long.  I don’t think the disciples had a table set up with snacks, coffee and water, so they had been there most of the day without eating.  The disciples know this, so in order to get their own time with Jesus, they tell Jesus, “The day is almost over.  These people need to eat.  Stop preaching and send them home.”  But their little ploy to keep Jesus to themselves quickly unravels.

Jesus tells them, “OK, they do need to eat, so YOU give them something to eat.”  Maybe Jesus doesn’t fully understand this situation.  Almost immediately they reached a rare consensus:  “It would take 8 months of our wages to buy that much bread.  You want us to do that?”  At first their thinking was:  “Send them home”, and their second thinking was, “It would take 8 months of wages to buy that much bread.”   The meaning of that statement is:  “We don’t have enough money to feed them.  So, let’s go back to our first statement:  Send them home!” 

But Jesus the Teacher is persistent, so He asks another question:  “Well, how many loaves do you have?”  There must have been a look of shock on their faces because Jesus added, “Well, go on and see!”  It seemed like Jesus wasn’t listening to them.  But they do what He says just to prove THEY are right.

They take a very quick inventory.  John’s Gospel says they found a young boy with a sack lunch.  They come back with their report:  “We have 5 loaves and 2 small fish.”  Obviously this is not enough, so they are probably back to their first way of thinking:  “OK Jesus, send them away.”  But Jesus Doesn’t See This Situation The Way They See It.  He tells them, “OK, everybody, I mean everybody have a seat.  We are going to have a picnic. Sit in groups of 50 or 100. Oh, and save the leftovers.”  Try to imagine, if you can, the look on the faces of the disciples.  5 loaves of bread?  2 small fish?  A picnic? 

Anyone with common sense would know this can’t feed all those people; 5000 men plus women and children.  I can just imagine Matthew, who knew how to work with numbers, thinking:  “Well this won’t take long.” 

But look at what happens.  Everyone eats until they are full, and then there are 12 baskets full of leftovers.  Their way of thinking said, “This isn’t enough.”  But Jesus’ way of thinking said, “Everyone sit down, the servers will bring your meal to you as quickly as they can.  And save all the leftovers!”

A New Way Of Thinking Begins When We See People And Situations The Way Jesus Sees Them.  And this will never happen in us until we have our minds transformed by God’s grace into the same mind of Jesus who told those disciples, “You give them something to eat.”  It happens when we allow Him to make us something altogether different.    It happens inside us when His Holy Spirit, is more than with us; But Living IN Us.  It’s all an inside job.  We can’t make it happen, but we can choose to allow it to happen by surrendering to God’s grace. 

Here’s the one thing you need to remember:  This Transformed Mind Is Where We Discover, Accept And Live In God’s Intended Design.  God has an Intended Design for your life.  It’s Called His Will.  That Will brings about His Purpose which is bringing people into a relationship with Him. 

The natural mind cannot see it no more that the natural minds of the disciples could see how to feed all those people.  But Jesus did feed them, and Jesus will use us when our minds have been transformed by the Jesus who wants to live in us.  Only with the transformed mind can we discover and live in God’s will. 

It’s that transformed mind that understands why we need His Intended Design.  It’s the renewed mind that understands 3 Unshakeable Truths that keep us Thinking In A New Way.

1.  God’s Will Is Good

God’s will is good because it is honorable.  Thinking A New Way understands that our everyday life can also be honorable.  We can show integrity and compassion in any situation.  It works from the desk of a CEO all the way to a simple ditch digger. 

Wherever you are, Thinking A New Way Means We Look For Ways To Express The Holiness And Majesty Of God; His Grace, Mercy, And His Unlimited Love To A World That Desperately Needs To See Him.  To say His Intended Design is good means that whatever it is He wants from us is the right thing.  This adds value, purpose, and the beauty to life.

2.  His Will Is Life As It Is Meant To Be.

Thinking A New Way means that we Look For Ways To Bring Our Daily Life Back Into Agreement With God’s Intended Design For Our Life.  Thinking A New Way Shows Us How To Live This Life In Such A Way That We Find A Passion Living God’s Way

It is pleasing to us, because it is the very life we have been created for—a life in deep intimate relationship with Him.  And it is pleasing to Him—who created us and who loves us enough to allow His Only Son to die on that Cross, just for us so that this horrible and destructive power of sin that was Defeated ON That Cross could be Defeated IN Our Life.

3.  This Life Moves Us Towards Perfection

God’s Intended Design is perfect because ultimately, it will make us perfect.  We’re not perfect yet, but Thinking A New Way means we know that Every Choice, Every Carefully Chosen Word, And Every Deliberate Act Can Take Us Closer To Or Further Away From That Total Perfection.  It all depends on YOUR chosen priority.  Thinking A New Way means We Live Our Life With A Clearly Defined Purpose—To Allow All The Life That Is Jesus, To Be Seen In Us And Through Us

God’s Great Desire is to finish the process of transformation that begins when we invite Jesus into our heart as Savior and as Lord.  Then we begin this journey to Become The Person Who God Intended For Us To Be All Along. Thinking A New Way can only happen when we offer Jesus both our heart and our mind.  Does this process of surrendering the mind really work?

Fast forward to Acts 3.  John and Peter are about to enter the Temple in Jerusalem.  A beggar stops them, asking for money.  They don’t have any money.  What will they do?  Do they start shouting, “Hey, this man needs money.  Will someone please step up and help this poor man out?”  That, my friends, would have been their old way of thinking. 

But now, thanks to the Holy Spirit, they have a new way of thinking.  Listen to verse 6:  Then Peter said, “I don’t have money, but I’ll give you this—by the power of the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk!”  A new way of thinking is all about knowing that Jesus isn’t just with you, but that He wants to be and can be IN you.

Here’s Your Next Step

Do Something This Week That Will Cause 2 Things In Your Life:

  1. Find a way to look and think a little more like Jesus each day. Maybe read the Bible more, pray more, start reading a book by a solid Christian writer–whatever works for you.
  2. Ask God to use you to show someone else that God loves and cares about them.