Real Change: Sermon Excerpt

“Real change in my attitude and actions begins when I change in a healthy way what I think and believe about my relationship with God”

You see the key to real change begins in my heart and mind—it begins in my relationship with God. I cannot really change in a positive and healthy way without have a healthy relationship with God.

Let’s look at how John preached this message in this interesting chapter of his early ministry. Matthew begins by pointing out that John began his ministry in a very unlikely place. Instead of hitting the big city, John began his ministry preaching “in the wilderness of Judea.” In other words, he started out in the middle of nowhere.  So why did God have John start his ministry in a place that most people would not have expected him to start? Let me suggest that John knew something about human nature. He knew that the people who really wanted to change would go anywhere and everywhere to seek what they were looking for. John’s strategy revolved around “desperate people.”

I suspect one of the reasons we don’t see the kind of real change we say we wants may be because we are not really desperate—we are not really hungry. We want the kind of change that will not really cost us anything. We want it to be quick and easy. Could it be one of the reasons most churches are filled with believers who struggle in their faith is because we have strived to lower the bar and to make things easier rather than harder?

Strangely when the crowds around Jesus began to swell, he would raise the bar and call for greater commitment until the point that most turned away, but those who were really hungry and thirsty for righteousness stay and were transformed from the inside out. I suspect this is what John was up to by calling people out to the wilderness. Rarely does real change happen on the mountain tops of life, but rather out in the desert—in the wilderness.

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