i preached at my church a few weeks ago on the topic of transformation. here’s my outline:
Jesus is actively working to bring about restoration to everything broken and tainted – all of creation.
…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6)
Why don’t we experience constant growth? We block the process.
Tweaking is not Transformation
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (Romans 12:2)
What holds us back?
- Lack of understanding and practice when it comes to Spiritual Discernment
- Internal Voices of Resistance
- Voice of Judgment (“Transformation isn’t necessary”)
- Voice of Cynicism (“Transformation isn’t possible”)
- Voice of Fear (“Transformation would mean I’d lose something”)
Resource needed: an Open Mind
And [Jesus] said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3)
Resource needed: an Open Heart
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)
Resource needed: an Open Will
So do not fear, for I am with you (Isaiah 41:9-10a)
So, what should we do to experience transformation?
- It’s all about posture. Position yourself invitationally for transformation.
- Learn to Discern.
- Exercise Curiosity toward yourself. What are your Voices of Resistance? What’s their “positive intent”?
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. (Romans 12:1)
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:17-18)
and here’s audio. but, for some reason, it starts about 5 minutes or so into the sermon. i began by showing this doctored photo of myself at 75, and talked about how, since i’ve recently turned 50, i’ve been thinking a bit more about my next 25 years (assuming i have them). i talked about how one of the worst things i could imagine would be to be the same person at 75 as i am today. then i started talking about how my parents have been such a great example to me in this area, and in the midst of that description, the audio picks up:
(or, you can click through here if you’d rather download it)