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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.

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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  • 1. Better This Year! Perspective Perseverance Providence
  • 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. The last lesson of our series called “Better This Year”
    • Principles for lasting change in your life
    • First, the principle of perspective:
      • Optimizing your life & circumstances
      • Glass isn’t half-full or half-empty; it needs more water
    • Then, the principle of perseverance:
      • Hanging in – trying & trying again until change becomes reality
  • 4. Third principle for change
    • Two lessons on OUR role in changing OUR lives
    • The Bible teaches
      • We are responsible for who we become
      • We are to aggressively pursue holiness
      • We are to work hard to make ourselves the kind of people God wants us to be
    • 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.
  • 5. The Bible also teaches there are things we cannot do for ourselves
    • Can’t save ourselves – lost without Christ
    • Can’t make ourselves holy without God’s work
    • You’ve got to say, “God, I can’t do it without you”
      • The first step in any twelve-step group
      • I admit that I am powerless over _____ & my life has become unmanageable
    • Rooting out sin in your life requires something you can’t do for yourself
      • More than a matter of determination; it requires an act of God
  • 6. Some of you are beginning to learn this
    • You’ve been struggling with some problem for years & you just can’t do it on your own
      • It may be addiction, lust, laziness, greed, jealousy, hostility, etc.
    • Keep telling yourself, “I’m going to beat it!”
      • But it keeps beating you
    • How do you overcome it?
      • It takes determination, but it also takes more
  • 7. Mark 5 tells of a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years
    • She’d seen doctors & spent all she had, but instead of getting better, she got worse
    • Then she heard about Jesus
      • Found him surrounded by a huge crowd
      • Worked through the crowd to touch him
      • Kept telling herself, “If I can just touch the hem of his garment, I will be healed”
      • Touched him & immediately healed
  • 8. Jesus felt the power go out & asked, “Who touched me?”
    • “ With all these people pressing in on us, you want to know who touched you?”
    • Jesus kept looking until finally the woman came forward and said, “It was me”
    • Mark 5:34 NIV He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
    • The same power that changed her life is available to you today
  • 9. For her to receive his power, she had to let go of some things
    • Things standing between her & wholeness
      • These same things may be standing in your way, too
      • You’ll have to let go of them before you can touch his garment & experience his power
    • Three things you must let go of in order to experience God’s power in your life
  • 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. She had been sick for 12 years & tried in vain to be healed
    • 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.
    • When she first became sick
      • Apparently had some money & went to a doctor
      • He couldn’t help, so she went to another & another
      • On & on, until she exhausted every penny
      • Money was her only resource, but it wasn’t enough
      • Reached a point where she knew she couldn’t fix it
  • 12. Where am I exercising futility in my own life?
    • Where am I wasting my efforts to change?
    • Maybe you’re not trying to buy off your problems, but trying to work them off
    • Maybe you think if you keep everyone in your life under your control
      • Your marriage will get better
      • Your relationship with your kids will get better
      • Your job will get better
  • 13. As a kid I was told to count to ten to control my temper
    • Only delayed the inevitable for 10 seconds
    • Counting to ten – or ten million – isn’t the solution
    • It’s an exercise in futility
    • If you really want to control your temper, the change must come from the inside out
    • Real change comes from the inside out & is an act of God
  • 14. To experience God’s power, you must let go of your own futile efforts
    • Come to the point of helplessness
    • Realize you can’t do it on your own
      • Can’t repair relationships with spouse & kids
      • Can’t eliminate the desire to sin
    • You must come to the end of your rope
    • You must come to point of helplessness
    • You must say, “God, I need your help.”
  • 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. Jesus insisted on knowing who touched him
    • Finally, she came forward & told her story
    • Her illness made her ceremonially unclean
      • Prevented natural relationship with husband
      • Religious people were required to shun her
      • Touching Jesus made him unclean
    • For 12 years, she been carrying the shame of her illness
    • Saw herself as unclean – as second-class
  • 17. Many people go through life carrying a heavy load of shame
    • Believe that because of a sin – past or present – they are doomed to second-class status forever
    • 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
  • 18. This is what the woman in our story did
    • 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.
    • Jesus could have exposed her to public humiliation as unclean
    • Instead he elevated her to public honor:
      • Mark 5:34 NIV He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
  • 19. That’s what Jesus wants to say to you:
    • Go in peace & be freed from your suffering
    • But you have to let go of your shame
    • You have to open & honest about who you are and what you are struggling with
    • He wants you to overcome whatever it is that afflicts you, and there is no shame in being an overcomer
  • 20. Let go of your shame
    • What is shame’s cousin? Pride
    • Pride’s strength is it won’t let us open up about our weaknesses, because we want people to think we’re above weakness
    • Be open and honest with yourself, with others, and with God about who you are
    • Let go of your shame
  • 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. The woman believed she would be healed if she touched Jesus
    • Where did she get that idea?
    • From the Bible?
    • Is there such a promise in the OT?
    • Not that I know of
    • But she had faith & she put it all in Jesus
  • 23. She let go of whatever doubts she might have had:
    • He wouldn’t heal me
      • I’m just a woman; I’m unclean
      • Too many others who need healing
    • She let go of doubts & acted on faith
      • Left her house and went looking for him
      • Found him along the road, surrounded by a crowd
      • He was on his way into town to heal the dying daughter of an important religious leader
      • “ 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.”
  • 24. Many people don’t doubt God’s ability to heal
    • They doubt his willingness to heal someone as “worthless” as themselves
    • This woman had many reasons to give up
      • Let go of her doubts & approached Jesus
      • 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
      • One touch was all it took; she was healed
  • 25. You may doubt
    • You are worthy of God’s power in your life
      • Let go of it
    • You are worthy to enjoy his blessing
      • Let go of it
    • He would be willing to forgive your sin
      • Let go of it
    • It doesn’t matter
      • How far away he may seem to be
      • How unimportant you may believe that you are
      • What the rest of the crowd may think about you
      • Let go of your doubts and reach out and touch him
  • 26. Jesus said to the woman,
    • Mark 5:34 NIV He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
  • 27. If you really want lasting change in your life, it takes an act of God
    • He can change the things you cannot change for yourself
    • When you let go & reach out to Jesus, he will do what you cannot do for yourself
    • For those things you cannot change by your own strength, he will give you his strength
    • He will wash away the shame holding you back
    • He can remove the doubt you struggle with – which most often boils down to doubting his unending love for you
  • 28. Some call this the principle of “letting go”
    • It really is the principle of holding on
    • You must let go of those the things that hold you back
      • Your own futile efforts
      • Your shame
      • Your doubts
    • And hold on to Jesus
      • He will give you the power to change your life forever

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