Tools of Change

What God Uses to Accomplish Change in Our Lives

1 Peter 1:14,15

DATE: 18 Feb, 2001   PM         PLACE: BBC Blarney


I.         Introduction (Jer 18) – The Moulding and Shaping Process


A.      Israel had a lot of roughness about it

B.       God so desired to transform these idolatrous, complainers into a holy nation

C.       He asks in Jeremiah 18, that they would LET Him mould and shape them

D.      Their answer was, “No thanks, we like us the way we are.” Sad. They didn’t realise that the process of change was already in progress.


1.        You see, God is GOD, and He MUST work on us – saved or lost

2.        And whether we like it or not, His hand is upon us

3.        Oh that we let those skilful hands do their work


E.       The purpose of this message tonight to is stop fighting the Hand that is trying to change us. You see, when a person gets saved, God is not finished. How he does the finish work is what is most interesting – just like at creation!

F.       Do you know what the word “Fashion” means? It is applied to how we dress, and act, and walk – it is the world FASHIONING people in the devil’s image (1Pet 1:14,15)


II.       Background (Philp 1:6)


A.      Change in always needed (Job 23:10)


1.        Job (Job 1:8) needed to be changed

2.        Peter (Luke 22:31,32)

3.        Same with YOU and ME


B.       Change is supposed to be Absolute – no going back


1.        Progressive – for the better does not mean able to go back

2.        Transformation – like a caterpillar – can’t go back

3.        A covenant of change – as with Marriage


C.       Change is usually apparent – tongue-in-cheek


1.        Changes are part of what God tries to show the world He is able to do

2.        If no change is apparent, then no change took place

3.        EX: Bad tea bag. Can’t blame hot water. Get new tea, and all will know


D.      Not just any change will do – that’s what evolution teaches – change has to be godly – don’t want to just go with the wind


1.        So many change from bad to worse

2.        Christ saved us to change us from wicked to saints!

3.        Just the fact that we change is not the goal!

4.        A sea captain understands the basics of navigation and sailing to make “progress” no matter WHAT direction the wind is blowing!

5.        JOKE: A woman marries a man hoping that he changes, but he doesn’t. A man marries a woman hoping that she never changes, but she does.


E.       Right changes always involve war and victory


1.        You must wage war against sinful dispositions

2.        You will only win with God’s help

3.        It will always be at great cost to your self – self loses every time

4.        But the victory is always for the Lord (Rev 5:12)


III.     Message Tools of Change


We will work our way through from the easiest to the hardest measures. God does not work from the easiest to the hardest –many times, He has to work on you with multiple layers of these things – your need is to just be sensitive to these things


A.      God’s Word (John 17:17; Jer 23:29). This is always where God begins.


1.        God’s word is so reasonable (Isa 1:18)


a.       God respects us so much that he explains things to us – if we will take the time to listen, and see things like HE sees them

b.       God does not act on a whim – He is working things out for GOOD


2.        God’s way is so clear


a.       Ever notice how people have a problem with the Scriptures that are the clearest?


1)       Priest can’t stand 1 Timothy 3 “husband of one wife”

2)       Men can’t stand Rom 3:4 “every man is a liar”

3)       Women can’t stand 1 Cor 14 “no woman is to preach”

4)       Children can’t stand Eph 6:1 “always honour your parents”

5)       Servants can’t stand Eph 5 “obey the boss as if they were Jesus”

6)       Employers can’t stand Eph 5 “God’s watching you, and will get you if you don’t treat people right”


b.       Jesus simply said “I AM THE WAY – follow me!”


3.        God’s work is so hard – but not as hard as going against it –I guarantee!

4.        That’s why God’s COMMANDS are so vital to learn, love and LIVE


a.       We have a modern age type of Christianity that does not know or love God’s LAWS

b.       Psalm 119:97; Psalm 1:2

c.       Ezra 9:6; Isa 66:1,2


5.        So, how does God’s word effect change in me?


a.       By showing me myself (James 1:22-25)

b.       By calming the heart as He works

c.       By showing me what I will become – like Jesus


6.        But why doesn’t it have the effect?


a.       Because we are not listening – dense, think headed

b.       Because we are only interested in listening to SELF

c.       Because we are not saved (1 Cor 2:14,15)


B.       God’s Holy Spirit – that “still, small voice”


1.        He not only is our Comforter

2.        But in many way, more importantly, he is our Conformer – that which guides and directs me to do right

3.        The Holy Spirit is a Person indwelling me that pulls and pushes me to godliness (1Cor 6:19-20)

4.        To be full of the Holy Spirit (Eph 5:18) is to be surrendered to His WORK in your life – saturated with HIS working – so much so that you find yourself SINGING (Eph 5:19)


C.       Your Family – Oh, now I am going to make some enemies with this one


1.        Your Parents – I don’t care how old you are, God still uses them


a.       They are your first taste of authority

b.       How you deal with them is how God will have to deal with you probably for the rest of your lives

c.       God ONLY uses authority


1)       Nebuchadnezzar (Jer 27:6) – to break Israel ‘s stubbornness

2)       Government (Rom 13:1-f)


2.        Your kids mould you – make sure they don’t mould you into THEIR image. – they make you re-prioritise what is really important

3.        Your mate – THANK GOD for our mates! They are probably the sweetest part of God’s hand in our lives – and yet we treat them like dirt!

4.        The next time you find yourself complaining about your wife, or husband, or kids, or government, realise that evidently that wife or husband or government is evidently JUST WHAT YOU NEED!


D.      Your Church – the local church


1.        Your pastor and his preaching (Heb 13:17) – he is prodding you, and pressing you to be what God wants you to be – and if you spend all your time resisting and fighting HIM, you are just acknowledging that you need the moulding!

2.        Your Sunday School Teacher – same thing – trying to fashion

3.        Your brothers and sisters in the church (1Cor 12:18)

a.       That’s why Jesus said we need to learn to love one another – it fashions us

b.       That’s why the church is SO very important part of your spiritual growth – if people only come every once in a while, and miss Sunday nights, and Wednesday evenings, their growth OBVIOUSLY will suffer. Why is that so hard to understand?

4.        Your place in the church – prepares you for greater places of service (Lk 16:10)


E.       Your Trials (James 1:1-4) – Like Hot Water


1.        This is what we KNOW to be true, but we don’t usually ALLOW it to finish

2.        God allows trials (as with Job) to mould and fashion us into better people

3.        In other words, without some trial, there would be no change

4.        A perfect world is only for those who have been changed (Philp 3:20,21)


F.       Your Temptations (Heb 12:6-f)


1.        It is not the temptations that mould you, but the chastening that takes place AFTER we have given in to temptations

2.        Follow me:


a.       Temptations only reveal my character – just like trials do

b.       When my character is revealed – if wrong, then the Lord begins the process of CORRECTION – change

c.       If I allow the process to work, the next time temptation comes along, I should not be so quick to buckle

d.       I then should rejoice when I am being corrected


1)       Pr 9:8  Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.

2)       Pr 13:1  A wise son heareth his father’s instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.

3)       Ec 7:5  It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.


e.       So, if you are getting rebuked a lot, then realise that your are being fashioned, moulded, remade into Christ’s image, who, when He was reviled, He reviled not again! AMEN!


IV.    Conclusion – What are the basic tools of God to change us?


A.      His Word – if no time in the word, no change in the life!

B.       His Holy Spirit – Oh grieve not the Holy Spirit as he attempts to fashion you like Jesus

C.       Your Family – don’t despise what is God’s gift to you

D.      You local Church – get in, and get in deep folks – this is where great things are made – I know it doesn’t always seem like it

E.       Your Trials

F.       Your Temptations – the worst kind of shaping and moulding process


But the goal is always the same – to be like Jesus