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Summer - Time for Renewal part 1

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Here are some facts about your body you may or may not know. Red blood cells live for about four months, while white blood cells live on average more than a year. Skin cells live about two or three weeks. Colon cells have it rough: They die off after about four days. Many parts of your body are constantly dying and being reborn and renewed. Change happens! Renewal happens!
One of the worst insults that you can give your spouse is to say to them that they have not changed since the first day you met. It’s one of the worst insults because we were created to change and grow and mature. Unfortunately, for far to many of us we change, but not for the better. Everything changes, but there are only two ways that we change. We can grow and become more the person God created us to be or we can can become less that what God wants for us. There is no in between.
There are some really bad people in our world. You don’t need me to tell you that. Just listen to the news. But I don’t want you to get me wrong. I am not saying that if you live without God in your life that you are bad. I am not saying that you can’t be a good person. You can be a good person without God in your life. You can be a good person because even if you don’t believe in God, you were created by him and you were created with his image built into you. And if you are in tune with yourself you will be a good person.
But here’s the thing - God doesn’t want you to just be good. He wants so much more for you.
And so today we are going to look at becoming more than you are today. How can you become God’s woman or God’s man? How can you become the spouse God wants you to be? How can you become the parent or friend, the neighbour or co-worker, brother or sister that God wants you to be.

God wants to renew you

First you need to get firmly in your mind that God wants to renew you. God has only you best in mind. God does not want to cramp your style. He wants to give you the ability to live an awesome life. Listen to this...
Titus 3:5 TNIV
he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,
Rebirth puts us back in tune with God
(use the illustration of the old TV switchboard - show picture)
This begins the process of unplugging all the connections that make us less that we were created to be.
Renewing by the Holy Spirit infuses us with the strength to live in tune with God. And it enables God to help us put in the connections that are helpful in our becoming the person we were created to be. But the Holy Spirit helps us do another wonderful thing. The Holy Spirit helps us to make new connections where we had bad connections. Marriages can be renewed, families can be renewed, friendships can be renewed all through the power of the Holy Spirit who enables us to live God’s kind of love.
use idea of God now being the switchboard operator helping us to plus into the right connections.
Now I want to add a warning. Using the switchboard illustration again. With the aid of God who renews us, we can seek to renew all of our life including our relationships with others. So with God’s help we can re-plug into family, and marriage and friendship relationships. The other person always has the right to pick up the phone, to reconnect with us. We cannot force people to pick it up, but by the grace of God we can offer the opportunity to pick it up.

The New Spirituality

We live in a world that denies the reality of a Creator and places us in the role of Creator. So there is no longer a God who has created us to live a certain way, rather we decide what is right and wrong and build our spirituality around it.
Let’s face it, we don’t like anyone telling us what to do or how to do it. Humanity in general now believes that we have the wisdom and scientific know how to manufacture the perfect world. So we have elevated our knowledge and our superior wisdom to that of God and so we create our own New Age spirituality.
Now here’s the point - God has given us the freedom to make choices in our lives.
We have the freedom to choice to do or not do something.
We have the freedom to act or not act in a certain way.
We have the freedom to react in a growing way to situations or to let them devastate us.
We have the freedom to live any kind of lifestyle we want.
We have the total freedom to say, think, do, respond the way we want.
We have the freedom to accept God as he has revealed himself through Jesus or not to accept him
We have the freedom to be open to God’s direction and guidance or not.
We have total freedom to choose.
The new spirituality that we have created in our own fallen likeness lets us create our own god’s in our likeness any way we like. By the way, this has been going on since humanity has first inhabited the earth. And our God who has revealed himself to us through the incarnate Jesus has given us the freedom to do this.
But here’s the problem. When you dig yourself into a whole that’s over your head and wider than you can reach the sides, which the Bible tells us we have done. You can’t get out by yourself. You need someone outside the hole to throw you a life line. And this is exactly what God has done in Jesus.
Listen to that verse in Titus again...
Titus 3:5 TNIV
he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,
If you have not reached out to Jesus and invited him into your life, then I plead with you to do so, because he is the only one who can lift you out of the hole you are in. He is the only one who can show you how to live life to the full so that you can choose his way, his truths and his way of life.
If you have reached out to Jesus and invited him into your life, then I urge you from the depths of my being, to choose to let God’s Spirit dwell with in you so that God can work in you to renew you and help you choose to live life the way you were meant to experience it.
Philippians 2:12–13 NASB95
So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
The question is how do we do this? How do we work with God to renew our lives. On August 6 I will be answering that question. Invite your friends and neighbours to come and learn how they can be forgiven and thrown a lifeline , restored and learn how to choose life beyond their expectations, and renewed to build a new way of living - with themselves, others and with Jesus.
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