Sunday, January 1, 2017

Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye

A New Year's Day service. Chuck welcomed us and shared how they went downtown to listen to the symphony.

Next Sunday the regular service hours will be in place, with Sunday School.
January 20 there will be an artistic event here in which there will be a day to learn how to paint. There will also be crafts or whatever you bring.
Next Sunday Covenant World Relief jars will be handed out.

How neat it would be if the Holy Spirit were in control all the time, Chuck said, leading into a reading from Psalm 51 before taking time for worship. The quartet sang Give Them All to Jesus during the offering.

Prayers for the needs in our church family preceded the message.

Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye

Terry had us turned to Psalm 1. It's on his heart to get us reading the Scriptures this year. To get to know God, reading the Bible is one of the best ways.

Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
4 Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff
that the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

God makes things new. Change is often difficult even though we often like it.

When was the last time you tried to change something about yourself... dietary or money spending or exercise. Significant life changes are hard, because we are so used to what our former habits were.

Embracing change is a commitment. God calls us to be like Jesus, which means making changes in our lives because we are not yet there.

Romans 12:1, 2
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Reminder: the therefore is there for a reason. All of us fall short, Therefore we need to be transformed.

So Terry showed us a Transformer that comes in one form and get transformed into another. The Greek word "morph" is the basis of our word for Metamorphosis. Metamorphosis is a complete change from one kind of thing into another, best exemplified in what caterpillars do when they become butterflies.

A lot of people ask "Why do so many kids go off to college and lose their faith?" What Terry said was that we have not done a good job of getting our kids to embrace faith from within. Too often our young people have only been taught to conform to rules and how they are supposed to be, and when they go to college they conform to a new set of peers.

What we need is transformation within, not conformation of external behaviors.

What we need is to learn how to listen to the Holy Spirit. And this is what our kids need to learn how to do...

Conforming is like saying, "Cloneliness is next do Godliness." But this is not the same as real transformation.

One cause of chafing in marriage is when we try to be the Holy Spirit for our spouses. What we need in our marriages is to each listen to the Holy Spirit ourselves.

My thought for you this week is for all of you to be reading. Tomorrow, Psalm 2. Tuesday, Psalm 3. This year we will experience a gradual becoming that is good.

Note: God is on your side. You be on God's side. And this week, whatever God prompts you to do, take the step and see what surprises God has in store for you.

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Here are some photos from last week's Christmas service.

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