Sunday, November 28, 2004

Turn & Embrace

Turn & Embrace


Today’s text will come from the book of Galatians

Key Scriptures: Mark 1:14-15 (NLT)

14 ¶ Later on, after John was arrested by Herod Antipas, Jesus went to Galilee to preach God’s Good News.

15 "At last the time has come!" he announced. "The Kingdom of God is near! Turn from your sins and believe this Good News!"

Once again I stand before you with one simple goal:

To take us from the place in life where ever we are to a place of prayer.

There will be no surprises this morning, no great revelation, no new doctrine or witty sayings.

All I have is simple truth. Truth which I hope will challenge us and bring us to the place of prayer.

As we begin, allow me to pose this question:

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be - and what does that say about you?

Would it deal with:

Self discipline; anger management; critical remarks; lustful thinking; bad habits; insecurities; pride or perhaps lack of patience?

You see, in order for us to change we must first Identify the problem.

Next we must See change possible.

Finally, we must Take the necessary steps to correct the problem.

See change necessary; See change possible; See change

There is a difference between having a problem and being a problem.

Being A Problem is when we or others know that we have a problem and we won’t do anything to correct it.

If we don’t do something about the problem we have, the problem we have will one day have us, and then we will be the problem.

I. Let’s Look At The Source Of Most Of Our Problems

Galatians 5 (NLT)

17 The old sinful nature loves to do evil, which is just opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are opposite from what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, and your choices are never free from this conflict.

A. If we allow our old sinful nature to influence our choices

B. We get predictable results:

19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce these evil results: sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure,

20 idolatry, participation in demonic activities, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group,

21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other kinds of sin. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

C. What is the Kingdom of God? What would one be missing?

Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is … righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

D. That’s The Problem

Allowing our old sinful nature to influence our decisions robs us of the comfort and security which comes from being right with God, at peace with God and man and filled with the joy of just being alive.

E. Are you right with God? At Peace with God & man - including yourself? Filled with joy, the joy of just being alive? If not - why not?

E. Perhaps you are following the wrong influences. The Remedy?

II. Turn And Embrace

A. Turn is another way of saying, Repent or Change

Note: Many times people try to change but find out that they can’t do it on their own. Good News! You don’t have to do it on your own.

When you turn to God, you are no longer on your own.

Turn to God, from your old ways and Embrace His way.

As soon as Peter turned from his problem of sinking in the troubled waters and turned to Jesus, crying out to Him for help, Jesus immediately reached out His hand and lifted Peter up.

Jesus will help us put the Holy Spirit in control of our life.

When we embrace the Holy Spirit’s influence, we:

B. Embrace True Change

Galatians 5

22 But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

23 gentleness, and self-control …

III. Making The Change

A. Have you identified at least one thing in your life which you would like to change?

B. Now we have a chance to do something about it this morning:

* Remember, if we don’t take this opportunity, we may cease to have a problem and we may start to be the problem.

Galatians 5

24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.

C. How do I nail my problem to the cross?

1. Through prayer

2. We ask God to forgive us for allowing the old nature to influence the way we think, act, feel and speak.

3. There is no other way for us to be free except to:

* Identify ourselves with God

* Confess our sin to Him

* Accept His forgiveness and continual help

D. After we pray and have turned, we must then embrace a new way of handling these pressures and the worldly & carnal influences.

E. We must choose to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading.

Galatians 5

25 If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.

IV. Conclusion

1. We are going to pray now and confess our need to God.

* We will ask Him to forgive us

* We will ask Him to help us

2. We are going to pledge to resist the old ways, the old influences and the old habits of life

3. Then we’re going to commit to following the leading of the Holy Spirit in every part of our life.

Forgive Me God

Help Me Change God

I Turn From My Way & I Embrace Your Way God

Pray With Me Now.