Once upon a time a man set out to change the world. Before long, he discovered that the world was far too big for one person to change. So, he decided to change his country. Crooked politicians and special interest groups unfortunately thwarted his efforts, so he decided to change his neighborhood. But his neighbors simply closed their doors and shut their windows, so he decided to change his family. Instead of changing, his children rebelled, and his wife threatened a divorce, and things got worse. Finally, the man decided to change himself…and when he did, he changed the world!
I think that this short illustration covers many points:
- The fact is that God has equipped us and placed us in situations that we can make meaningful change. Matthew 5:13-16 (msg)… “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage. “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.
Isn’t that a great section of scripture? Telling us that God wants us to be agents of change! I like the fact that God wants to use us to bring out the “God-flavors” and “God-colors!” How????? By being “generous with our lives”.
- God wants to work in and through you to change the world, our country, your neighborhood, and your family.
God wants to accomplish His specific plan for and through each of us.
Jeremiah 29:11… For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
How cool is that? The God of the universe made you to be you…and you are part of His plan of salvation for those around you.
- God has equipped each of us differently. He gave each of us gifts, abilities, and passions. He then wants to use you to be part of His overall plan to reach all people with His Love.
Now…before we go off to save the world, we need to make needed changes in our life first. I think of being on an airplane…they tell you that if the plane is in trouble and the oxygen masks come down….”put your mask on first, then go help others!” It’s the same with us spiritually. We need to put on Jesus before we set out to change others.
We by ourselves, can’t change others…but God can and will work through us. By the way, we are to be ambassadors for Jesus.
2 Corinthians 5:20… We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
An ambassador represents someone else. You are to represent Jesus to a broken, sinful, and hurting world.
So, how can you make the needed changes to yourself…so that, you can be an agent of change for the Lord?
Seek His will through regular time in His Word. Use a study guide or devotional. Ask Him to speak into your life through His Word. Read it slowly. When was it written…to whom was it written….how does it apply to me today?
Seek His plan for you through quality prayer time. Alone with the Lord, in a quiet place. Speak to Him and then sit quietly listening for His response and guidance. He may answer your prayers through other people or events. Keep your eyes and ears open.
Connect with your church through worship, group ministry, and service opportunities. You are called to be “the church” …His body! Together we are powerful.
Ask the Lord to remove any defects…to enhance your motivation to change others. Be the best you that you can be!! Always growing and maturing in your faith.
Ask God to identify who and when you should reach out to. Maybe it is by saying something, offering a listening ear, meeting a felt need, inviting them to experience the quality life that Jesus offers. Our sermon series 365+1 challenges us to find one person to pray for and to look for opportunities to share Christ with them.
I think the best verse to support this change is:
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.
- May the Lord transform you by His Grace and Mercy…to be the best version of you that you can be….eager to be used by Him…to change the world, one person at a time.
Humor for the day:
A woman who lived next door to a preacher was puzzled by his personality change. At home he was shy, quiet and retiring…but in the church he was on fire, rousing the masses in the name of God.
It was as if he were two different people.
One day she asked him about the dramatic transformation that came over him when he preached.
“Ah,” he said, “That’s my altar ego.”