Forging Change: Change is worth it!
Topic: Sunday Message Verse: Proverbs 17:3, James 1:2–1:4, Matthew 13:20–13:21, Romans 5:3–5:4, James 1:12
Forging Change is Worth It
A three week message series on God's plan for us to experience real, lasting, and meaningful change
Proverbs 17:3 NIV
3 The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold,but the Lord tests the heart.
The good news is that Change is Possible.
The bad news is that Change is Hard.
The needed news is that Change is Worth It.
That’s why this series is called “Forging Change” because there are certain things in our lives where the only way God can bring about lasting and meaningful change is through the heat of adversity and the hammer of trials. To go through that process of change is hard, but it's worth it.
James 1:2 NIV
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
Why Trials Happen to Us
1. God initiates them.
2. God allows them.
3. We self-inflict them.
Yet whatever the cause for our trials might be, God is able to take those and use them for our good.
James 1:3-4 NIV
3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Passion and Perseverance
We live in a day and age where passion is overrated and perseverance is underrated. Now the church certainly should be filled with Christians who are “all in” and “sold out” for God. Unfortunately life shows that far too many passionate people flare-up then flame-out. The intensity of Passion also needs the endurance of Perseverance.
Matthew 13:20-21 NIV
20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.
Romans 5:3-4 NIV
3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Two Elements Needed for Change
The DESIRES we have to change
“do you want to grow up?
Recommit yourself to pursue spiritual maturity no matter the cos.
The DECISIONS we make to change
“what are you going to do about it?”
Pick one area in your life where you want to see change, have a plan, then take specific steps to get there over time. Reject our culture's false promises of short cuts, quick fixes, and three easy steps.
James 1:12 NIV
12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
God uses trials to test us in order to reveal where we are presently in our spiritual progress—revealing to us those places in our heart where we’ve got this mixture of gold and gunk, where we’re both spiritual and selfish, both God-dependent and self-reliant. Pastor Dan
1. Think of a skill or talent that you’ve developed over time. (Others in your group can help you identify one!) How long has it taken you and how did you handle the rough patches along the way? What reward do you and others get out of it now?
2. Imagine the reward of becoming more like Jesus in every area of your life. How could you love and influence your family more? How would you think and feel differently? What impact could you have for Christ over your lifetime? What would it be like when you step into Heaven after this life?
3. Read James 1:2-4, Romans 5:3-5 and Hebrews 12:7-11. Do trials automatically mature us? What else can result from tough times in our lives? What determines whether we mature or weaken in our faith?
4. Pastor Dan said trials happen to us for three reasons: God initiates them, He allows them, or we self-inflict them. How do we know what brought on our trial? Does it make a difference (or not) in how we respond if we know why our trial is happening? Explain.
5. Think of one area of your life that God is speaking to you about changing. What’s the new choice, the better choice, the everyday choice you can make for that change to happen? Let your group affirm and pray for you.
A Community Group prayer:
God, we want to grow up. God, we want to change to become more like the people You intend us to be. And so we’ll fix our eyes on You together. We’ll trust You in the furnace as You heat us up. We’ll trust You on the anvil as You hammer us out. And we’ll pray for, encourage, and support one another in love as You do. By your grace, we will persevere to maturity and completeness. For Your glory and in Jesus we pray. Amen.
Hopevale Church in Bay City
This Sunday, we're in the third week of our soft launch phase for Hopevale Church - Bay City. We meet for worship at John Glenn High School. Our service starts at 10:30 a.m. along with Kids Ministry programs for children birth-5th grade. For more information, check out our website.