Scriptures: Ephesians 4:17-24
Are you an answering machine or a questioning machine? Ponder this question: "what is more valuable in life: an answer or a question?" The difficultly in our spiritual life is not the ability to develop new ideas but to escape from old ones. We are directed by scripture to put off the "old man": old ideas and old ways. The same Bible chapter tells us to put on the new man: new ideas and new ways.
A person who is an answering machine operates on the theory that they have an answer for life events. The confusion is: if they have answers why are they still experiencing lives troubles, problems and messes? This is often called being a "know it all."
A person who is a questioning machine is not satisfied with old problems. They are committed to finding new solutions. These people are teachable and respectable.
There are two keys that will help us put on the new man:
1) Appreciate thinking that is different from your own- your questions will help you find new answers. Learn to appreciate how successful Christians think. Observe the actions, attitudes and thoughts of successful Christians. Understand that you will start to think like the people you spend time with.
2) Continually question your own thinking- it is easy in life to go back to comfortable and familiar thinking. We can find ourselves attached to our own thinking. Old thinking resists change: it resists the thoughts of the new man.
The old man has old ways and old thinking. We walk in the vanity of our minds and our understanding is darkened. We are alienated from the life of God and we suffer with blindness of heart. The old man is given over to uncleanness and lewdness.
The new man has new ways and new thinking. When you take on the new man you are renewed in the spirit of your mind. You are created according to God and walking in righteousness. You are living in true holiness.
Answering machines think themselves away from God. Questioning machines are constantly seeking God.
The time to worship our Savior is now! Jesus is magnified by our spontaneous worship. Mary said: "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior." Jesus deserves structured adoration, but he is also magnified by spontaneous adoration.
Spontaneous adoration is unrestrained: because Jesus becomes whole focus. Worship, which is extravagant, lavish and sometimes even costly, but always unrestrained full of Godly adoration.
Spontaneous adoration is impractical. Worship is impractical and in the world's eyes its even considered to be a tremendous waste of time and energy. What the world considers impractical, Jesus receives as true worship! Life is so busy, but when you show Jesus that church, Bible study, giving and prayer matter to you: He receives your sacrifices and He is magnified.
Spontaneous adoration is irreproachable. Worshipping Jesus is tremendous, crucial, urgent and the important thing to do. Spontaneous worship is the true overflow of real love that is not controlled by the words or thoughts of others.
Spontaneous adoration is unsurpassed. Spontaneous worship has eternal significance: because the One we worship is eternal. Worship in this life is a shadow of the worship we will offer Him throughout eternity. Your worship now will outlive time and space.
So what about you? Are you ready for spontaneous adoration? Unrestrained, impractical, irreproachable and unsurpassed worship. Will your soul magnify the Lord? Will your spirit rejoice in God your savior?
We have all at one time felt discouraged about our Christian walk. Thoughts have filled our minds with phrases like: "Can I really be a Christian if I'm so easily tempted," or "why do I keep making the same mistakes," and "Man, do I really need to make some changes!" Jesus never asked anyone to get their act together: He said follow me and together we will get over your past. Follow me and I will help you get your act together. Follow me and I will teach you how to untangle the messes.
How do we forsake the old ways and start down new paths?
First, recognize which parts of your our lives need to change. To follow Jesus some things must be left behind. We need to change our minds about sin and apply those changes to our actions and words. Allow the voice of God to speak to you right now and tell you about things you need to change. It is a great adventure to follow Jesus and you don't want anything holding you back, or slowing you down.
Do not let anyone or anything stop you from following Jesus. Begin with forgiving others and then forgive yourself. Being committed to Jesus will cost you something. Pray for self-control as you face adversity. The Lord's compassions towards you fail not: they are "new every morning." Great is His faithfulness, therefore put your hope in Him.
Today is a good day to start down a new path. He will help you get your act together. The Lord Jesus is telling you the things you need to change. Do not let anything stop you. Because of the Lord's mercies you can make it. Every day you get a fresh start. You can make it.
Ephesians 3:20-21, 2 Corinthians 6:11-13
It's time to enlarge your vision: its time to think big! I want to challenge you to think big even in small places. "Too many Christians feel like a hotdog in a steak house." Do not allow your thinking to be compromised by the smallness that you see in your situation.
Jesus is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think. According to His power that is at work within us. We need a vision that is larger than ourselves: we must overcome small limited thinking.
Have you heard of a company named Microsoft Corporation? It's founder, Bill Gates, is one of the wealthiest men in the world. His business started with three computer geeks in a garage and they succeeded because they would not listen to the dreambusters.
"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence to things not seen." It is time for us to reach into what cannot been seen. We can step into what has not yet been seen, but truly hoped for. We serve a God who spoke into nothing and created everything.
Do not allow your thinking to be controlled by the smallness that you see in your situation. There is nothing small about the God we serve. If God is for us then we need to make big plans. Jerubbaal (or Gideon) had an army of 300, but the Lord gave Him a great victory. The Lord reduced Gideon's army 2 times: from 32,000 to 300. Gideon had a very small army, but they had confidence in God. Because of their obedience and commitment God gave them a great victory.
Maybe your present circumstance does not line up with the vision God has given you. Jeremiah 29:11 says it this way: "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace. And not of evil, to give you an expected end." Jesus is thinking big about you. Jesus is thinking big about our church. Jesus is thinking big about your future.
It's time to breakout of small thinking. Breakout of small living. Look up and think big. Look up and believe big.