Time for Change

Posted: September 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

We often hear churches say that they exist to make disciples of Jesus Christ. But what exactly does that mean? And what, for that matter, does that involve? Well, in his book Growing a Healthy Church Dann Spader says that “A disciple is literally a follower, a pupil, a learner, an apprentice. He/she is one who has dedicated not only to follow his/her master but also to become like Him.” In other words, change is at the core of what it means to be a disciple.  As disciples of Christ we are pursuing change, striving day by day by the grace of God to become more and more like His Son.

We all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. – 2 Co 3:18

The bible refers to this as sanctification, the gradual process of becoming what we have been declare in Christ: righteous. The first step in our journey begins by being born again, after which we start to grow, gradually putting off the old and putting on the new. Clothing ourselves in Christlike humility, love and forgiveness. But for those who have spent any time at this know, this process of change can becoming discouraging.

We always need to remember that God is the only one who changes us. He is the one who is able to transform our hearts and renew our minds. The Holy Spirit does this, the bible says, through His word and in community with other believers as we “encourage one another and build one another up” while speaking truth in love. We are, as Paul Tripp describes us by the title of his book Instruments in the Redeemers Hands. Again, this is not easy, as Tripp explains:

Because our struggle is so intense and because we are often blind to ourselves, we need community. God is willing to make community with us, as messed up as we are. We don’t turn him off or drive him away. We’re a mess, and we’re angry with people who are a mess! But God moves toward us in mercy and grace and wraps his redemptive arms of love around us and changes us. To do that he uses his community—God has an amazing way of using broken, messed up people to change broken, messed up people. Once when I was angry, my wife Luella said to me, “You know, Paul, you are not seeing what is behind your anger.” Then she told me exactly what was making me angry! She was giving me sight. I can’t do that by myself. That’s why humble, honest, approachable relationships with other people are so important.

As we all know, change takes time. And if, as disciples of Jesus, we truly want to become like Him, we are going to have to devout time and commit ourselves to one another in authentic Christian community. As such, let me encourage you to seek out and join one of our small groups because this is exactly why they exist.

The primary goal for the Small Group meeting is to experience Christ Jesus in our midst in his presence and power. We want him to be at work by His Spirit ministering to us and through us to one another to the end that people are cared for and encouraged to lead God pleasing lives. We desire Christ to transform and change our lives as individuals, as small communities, and through us, the larger communities of which we are a part.

The fall is officially here and along with Awana starting up last night, we have Sunday school kicking off this week (adults and youth will be finishing the second half of John Piper’s Blazing Center) as well as many of our small groups will be getting together again. If you are interested in joining one, please contact Pastor Ken (ken.wood@fbc-online.ca) or come on out to our fall kick off potluck after church on October 2nd.

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