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Sunday, January 27, 2019

Sunday Words of Encouragement January 27, 2019

We had another good Sunday School message today titled The Devil Made Me Do It. It was based on 1 Corinthians 9:24 - 10:1-13 where we are reminded not to think we have everything under control, lest we fall. 1 Corinthians 10:12.

We enjoyed good praise and worship before pastor continued his series on Forward. We need a vision for the church: what the church needs to be up to; what we need to be doing.
The lessons are:
Week 1: Seek His Presence.
Week 2: Capture God's heart for the lost.
Week 3: Transformation.

Transformation is not immediate; it is a process of development.  We are pursuing the transformation/ change in our lives and the people God has put in our lives. But some people in our lives are wearing headphones and not hearing. Transformation/ life-change hinges on what we hear or what we are able to hear.

Just as we are sometimes deaf to the doctor warnings, there are times we don’t hear the Holy Spirit. God does speak. He spoke the universe into being. He spoke to Moses. He spoke to Elijah. He still speaks today but we don’t always listen.

Transformation is defined as the thorough or dramatic change in the form, appearance or character of....

Do we truly believe God can change our/ their lives? Do we allow the change? Do we acknowledge His word, His will?

Paul's transformation occurred when he saw and heard the truth. John 8:31-32 says that truth will set you free... free from slavery.
Verse 43: those who don’t belong to God are not hearing, not listening, not understanding.
John 8:43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word.
Transformation is an ongoing process. Our righteousness is pitiful, filthy rags whencompared to God's righteousness.
Verse 47 Those who belong to God will hear His voice.
John 8:47 He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.

Point: We are transformed by hearing and understanding the Word of God.

We cannot transform ourselves. Romans 12:2 tells us not to be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of your mind…

Transformation coincides with dying to self. It is necessary that we daily crucify the old self.
God is in the life saving business. The church is dying if it doesn’t speak and spread the word.
It is the job of believers to help others to experience the transformation we have experienced.
2 Corinthians 5:11-21. We should be compelled to tell others; Verse 14. We work hard to persuade others because God has given us this task – the ministry- to reconcile people to God; Verse 18. ‘Therefore we are Christ's ambassadors’; Verse 20. It is our job to take Christ to the world.
When was your life transformed? It may have started years ago but it is ongoing. We must continually pursue transformation even for ourselves.

1. Get in (read and study) the Word. Ask God to change my life.
2. Study 2 Corinthians 5:13-21.
3. Pray for those who are not hearing, listening or understanding the Truth.

This wasn't the first song I thought of but I found it while looking for a song to fit today.
Verses for Today:
2 Corinthians 5:18-20 (NIV)
18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 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.

This message strikes my heart for certain family and strangers in public positions who I carry on my heart.
I pray that headphones, blinders, and hardness of heart are removed. I sorrow when I see many who exhibit hate instead of Grace. I have heard some say: "I'm a Christian. I go to church and I give money to help others."
But being a Christ follower is not about going to church or giving money to help others. It's about accepting Christ as our personal saviour, loving others with God's love and sharing the message of salvation with others - even when they are not listening.

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