090125 Better This Year Lesson 03 A Matter Of Providence (Upload)


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Sermon 3 of 3 in the series "Better This Year" presented by Dale Wells at Palm Desert Church of Christ on January 25, 2009.

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090125 Better This Year Lesson 03 A Matter Of Providence (Upload)

  1. 1. Better This Year! Perspective Perseverance Providence
  2. 2. It’s a Matter of Providence If you really want to create lasting change in your life, you must depend on God to do his work in your life
  3. 3. The last lesson of our series called “Better This Year” <ul><li>Principles for lasting change in your life </li></ul><ul><li>First, the principle of perspective: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Optimizing your life & circumstances </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Glass isn’t half-full or half-empty; it needs more water </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Then, the principle of perseverance: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hanging in – trying & trying again until change becomes reality </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Third principle for change <ul><li>Two lessons on OUR role in changing OUR lives </li></ul><ul><li>The Bible teaches </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We are responsible for who we become </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We are to aggressively pursue holiness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We are to work hard to make ourselves the kind of people God wants us to be </li></ul></ul><ul><li>1 Corinthians 9:27 NIV No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Bible also teaches there are things we cannot do for ourselves <ul><li>Can’t save ourselves – lost without Christ </li></ul><ul><li>Can’t make ourselves holy without God’s work </li></ul><ul><li>You’ve got to say, “God, I can’t do it without you” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The first step in any twelve-step group </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I admit that I am powerless over _____ & my life has become unmanageable </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Rooting out sin in your life requires something you can’t do for yourself </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More than a matter of determination; it requires an act of God </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Some of you are beginning to learn this <ul><li>You’ve been struggling with some problem for years & you just can’t do it on your own </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It may be addiction, lust, laziness, greed, jealousy, hostility, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Keep telling yourself, “I’m going to beat it!” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>But it keeps beating you </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How do you overcome it? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It takes determination, but it also takes more </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Mark 5 tells of a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years <ul><li>She’d seen doctors & spent all she had, but instead of getting better, she got worse </li></ul><ul><li>Then she heard about Jesus </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Found him surrounded by a huge crowd </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Worked through the crowd to touch him </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kept telling herself, “If I can just touch the hem of his garment, I will be healed” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Touched him & immediately healed </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Jesus felt the power go out & asked, “Who touched me?” <ul><li>“ With all these people pressing in on us, you want to know who touched you?” </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus kept looking until finally the woman came forward and said, “It was me” </li></ul><ul><li>Mark 5:34 NIV He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” </li></ul><ul><li>The same power that changed her life is available to you today </li></ul>
  9. 9. For her to receive his power, she had to let go of some things <ul><li>Things standing between her & wholeness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>These same things may be standing in your way, too </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You’ll have to let go of them before you can touch his garment & experience his power </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Three things you must let go of in order to experience God’s power in your life </li></ul>
  10. 10. 1. You must let go of your futile efforts To create change in your life, at some point you have to admit to yourself what is and isn’t working
  11. 11. She had been sick for 12 years & tried in vain to be healed <ul><li>Mark 5:26 NIV She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. </li></ul><ul><li>When she first became sick </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Apparently had some money & went to a doctor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>He couldn’t help, so she went to another & another </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>On & on, until she exhausted every penny </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Money was her only resource, but it wasn’t enough </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reached a point where she knew she couldn’t fix it </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Where am I exercising futility in my own life? <ul><li>Where am I wasting my efforts to change? </li></ul><ul><li>Maybe you’re not trying to buy off your problems, but trying to work them off </li></ul><ul><li>Maybe you think if you keep everyone in your life under your control </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Your marriage will get better </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your relationship with your kids will get better </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your job will get better </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. As a kid I was told to count to ten to control my temper <ul><li>Only delayed the inevitable for 10 seconds </li></ul><ul><li>Counting to ten – or ten million – isn’t the solution </li></ul><ul><li>It’s an exercise in futility </li></ul><ul><li>If you really want to control your temper, the change must come from the inside out </li></ul><ul><li>Real change comes from the inside out & is an act of God </li></ul>
  14. 14. To experience God’s power, you must let go of your own futile efforts <ul><li>Come to the point of helplessness </li></ul><ul><li>Realize you can’t do it on your own </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can’t repair relationships with spouse & kids </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can’t eliminate the desire to sin </li></ul></ul><ul><li>You must come to the end of your rope </li></ul><ul><li>You must come to point of helplessness </li></ul><ul><li>You must say, “God, I need your help.” </li></ul>
  15. 15. 2. You must let go of your shame If you let go of your shame & are honest with yourself, with God & with others, you can experience God’s healing power in your life
  16. 16. Jesus insisted on knowing who touched him <ul><li>Finally, she came forward & told her story </li></ul><ul><li>Her illness made her ceremonially unclean </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prevented natural relationship with husband </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Religious people were required to shun her </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Touching Jesus made him unclean </li></ul></ul><ul><li>For 12 years, she been carrying the shame of her illness </li></ul><ul><li>Saw herself as unclean – as second-class </li></ul>
  17. 17. Many people go through life carrying a heavy load of shame <ul><li>Believe that because of a sin – past or present – they are doomed to second-class status forever </li></ul><ul><li>The truth is, if you will let go of your shame and be honest with yourself, with God & with others, you can experience God’s healing power in your life </li></ul>
  18. 18. This is what the woman in our story did <ul><li>Mark 5:33 NIV Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus could have exposed her to public humiliation as unclean </li></ul><ul><li>Instead he elevated her to public honor: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mark 5:34 NIV He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. That’s what Jesus wants to say to you: <ul><li>Go in peace & be freed from your suffering </li></ul><ul><li>But you have to let go of your shame </li></ul><ul><li>You have to open & honest about who you are and what you are struggling with </li></ul><ul><li>He wants you to overcome whatever it is that afflicts you, and there is no shame in being an overcomer </li></ul>
  20. 20. Let go of your shame <ul><li>What is shame’s cousin? Pride </li></ul><ul><li>Pride’s strength is it won’t let us open up about our weaknesses, because we want people to think we’re above weakness </li></ul><ul><li>Be open and honest with yourself, with others, and with God about who you are </li></ul><ul><li>Let go of your shame </li></ul>
  21. 21. 3. You must let go of your doubt To create lasting change, you must let go of any doubt about God’s willingness to heal someone as “worthless” as yourself
  22. 22. The woman believed she would be healed if she touched Jesus <ul><li>Where did she get that idea? </li></ul><ul><li>From the Bible? </li></ul><ul><li>Is there such a promise in the OT? </li></ul><ul><li>Not that I know of </li></ul><ul><li>But she had faith & she put it all in Jesus </li></ul>
  23. 23. She let go of whatever doubts she might have had: <ul><li>He wouldn’t heal me </li></ul><ul><ul><li>I’m just a woman; I’m unclean </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Too many others who need healing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>She let go of doubts & acted on faith </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Left her house and went looking for him </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Found him along the road, surrounded by a crowd </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>He was on his way into town to heal the dying daughter of an important religious leader </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ It’s too late. He won’t heal me now. I’m just a nobody. There are more important people than me who deserve his attention.” </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Many people don’t doubt God’s ability to heal <ul><li>They doubt his willingness to heal someone as “worthless” as themselves </li></ul><ul><li>This woman had many reasons to give up </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Let go of her doubts & approached Jesus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowing she might be discovered, knowing she could be subjected to public humiliation, she let go of her doubt and reached out in faith and touched his robe </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One touch was all it took; she was healed </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. You may doubt <ul><li>You are worthy of God’s power in your life </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Let go of it </li></ul></ul><ul><li>You are worthy to enjoy his blessing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Let go of it </li></ul></ul><ul><li>He would be willing to forgive your sin </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Let go of it </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It doesn’t matter </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How far away he may seem to be </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How unimportant you may believe that you are </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What the rest of the crowd may think about you </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Let go of your doubts and reach out and touch him </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Jesus said to the woman, <ul><li>Mark 5:34 NIV He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” </li></ul>
  27. 27. If you really want lasting change in your life, it takes an act of God <ul><li>He can change the things you cannot change for yourself </li></ul><ul><li>When you let go & reach out to Jesus, he will do what you cannot do for yourself </li></ul><ul><li>For those things you cannot change by your own strength, he will give you his strength </li></ul><ul><li>He will wash away the shame holding you back </li></ul><ul><li>He can remove the doubt you struggle with – which most often boils down to doubting his unending love for you </li></ul>
  28. 28. Some call this the principle of “letting go” <ul><li>It really is the principle of holding on </li></ul><ul><li>You must let go of those the things that hold you back </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Your own futile efforts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your shame </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your doubts </li></ul></ul><ul><li>And hold on to Jesus </li></ul><ul><ul><li>He will give you the power to change your life forever </li></ul></ul>