Why Change?

Some Thoughts on Change

Why Would ANYONE Look Forward to Being Different Than They Are?



January 6, 2013 AM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland



I.                   Introduction (Luke 9:23-25)


A.    Luke 9:23-25 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. 24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. 25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?

B.     Why should an Irish man or woman throw away their life, lose it, in order to find and live another life?

C.     Most don’t want to change at all! Almost no one wants it – no one is seeking it


1.      It is almost impossible to find someone actually WANTING to be different than the world; different than they used to be

2.      Maybe it is because nothing has worked before

3.      Maybe because they really don’t think it matters – all that matters is that they are happy – and yet they never really are!


D.    Let me ask it this way… Why should a caterpillar change? Why not just stay a big, ugly, fat insect?


1.      You’d say, because there is something better for them if they would just change

2.      They could fly, enjoy the wind and breeze

3.      Travel

4.      See from ABOVE instead of always surrounded by their food supply


E.     Most of the Bible is about change – not leaving us AS we already are, but changing us

F.      Most of our lives are spent changing for sure, but in the wrong direction


1.      From well mannerly children, to such vicious and angry teenagers

2.      From hard workers, to lazy bums

3.      From kind, and considerate ladies and gentlemen to selfish, self-centred jerks


G.    But God designed us to change in the right direction – to save our lives

H.    And the only way to do that, is to lose our lives – losing control over the process that God uses to change our lives!


II.                Message


A.    Because We Are Messed Up – Depraved (Ephesians 2:1-3)


1.      Spiritually dead in sins

2.      Walking along a course


a.       The same course that everyone who has ever lived, has walked

b.      A deeply cut rut, that we can never get out of – just like everyone else – headed away from God!


3.      Led by the devil himself


a.       The god of this world

b.      The prince and power of the air

c.       The spirit of disobedience – the spirit behind all disobedience!


4.      Our Conversation, Our way of living


a.       Lived in the lusts of the flesh

b.      Fulfilled the desires of our flesh - selfish

c.       And the desires of our minds – always inventing new things to do for “fun”

d.      We were only “religious” when WE got something out of it


5.      We were by nature, the children of wrath – not the children of God


a.       We sin naturally

b.      It is in our nature to disobey, and to be selfish


6.      It is in our very hearts (Mark 7:21,22) “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed:”


a.       Evil thoughts – how you think about others

b.      Adulteries

c.       Fornications

d.      Murders – it starts in the heart

e.       Thefts

f.       Covetousness

g.      Wickedness – the opposite of godliness

h.      Deceit – trickery, and lying

i.        Lasciviousness - lusts

j.        An evil eye - hatred

k.      Blasphemy – blaming God, and abusing God with your words

l.        Pride – pumping yourself up

m.    Foolishness – acting the fool – living like there is no God


7.      Listen to Romans 1:28-32


a.       What follows are Man’s Sins (1:28-31). There are 22 in all. Notice how that ALL movies today (with very little exception) are filled with these things! Being filled with all unrighteousness - not just dabbling in it, but being filled with it (count all the hours people spend in front of the TV an ingest all that ungodly filth)!


1)      Fornication - wrong sex (outside of marriage)

2)      Wickedness - wrong actions, wrong motives!

3)      Covetousness - now comes the knock-out punch! Focused on possessions, and getting, and having more than others!

4)      Maliciousness - only wanting to hurt other people

5)      Full of envy - never satisfied, content, or able to be happy

6)      Murder - Not self-defense, but hatred of life!

7)      Debate - always attempting to justify your actions

8)      Deceit - living a lie. Lying doesn’t bother them.

9)      Malignity - relating to maliciousness, but more an attitude problem, than an action problem - malign or speak evil about something or someone (speak evil about those who are good, about God, about things they have no idea about)

10)  Whisperers - gossips, people who talk about you behind your back

11)  Backbiters - people who bite at you, attack you behind your back

12)  Haters of God - People hate Him personally!

13)  Despiteful - defiant attitude. Only wanting to prove themselves right

14)  Proud - measuring themselves by their accomplishments, and not by God’s measuring stick!

15)  Boasters - caught-up in themselves and in the praise of men. Not “thankful” toward God. Definitely not humble

16)  Inventors of evil things


a)      Majority of games now are evil! (Nintendo Sega, board games)

b)      Look at what scientists have given us over the last 50 years - atomic bombs, pesticides that kill humans, nuclear disasters, chemical weapons, computer sex


17)  Disobedient to parents - the most fundamental unit of society is the home. In this family unit, there must be respect, trust, and obedience (parents no longer are trustworthy, and kids no longer trust)!

18)  Without understanding - no desire to know anymore, just want to DO, DO, DO! Live for the excitement, action!

19)  Covenantbreakers - no promise keepers (marriage, friendships)

20)  Without natural affection - the heart is all wrong. Love is now spelt LUST! Not loving the things that people used to naturally love (children are only a bother that can be aborted; God is only someone’s opinion that can be refuted; Friends are only for advantages; Bible is only a book that can be dismissed). People rather substitute natural loves with un-natural loves (loving possessions; destruction; cruelty; self)!

21)  Implacable - not submissive, inflexible, not soft

22)  Unmerciful - always wanting mercy, but never giving it!


b.      “Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”


8.      Do you want to know what you are like without God? THAT is what you are like!


a.       Angry, bitter, stubborn, hard-hearted, unkind

b.      Filthy words, wicked imaginations

c.       Unfaithful, undependable, changeable like the weather


9.      And the way we live keeps us Separated from God

10.  No wonder Most People HATE the Way They Are!!!


a.       The way they look

b.      The way they constantly fail and fall

c.       The way they feel

d.      No wonder they can’t stand to be alone, or be bored – they HAVE to drink, or do some drug, or get a buzz

e.       No wonder that they HAVE to sit and scan the TV for hours trying to find something to thrill them

f.       No wonder suicide constantly is in the back of the minds of people from 15 years old all the way up to 85!


B.     The Cost of Staying the Same (1Cor 6:9,10)


1.      The world wants everyone to be tolerant of differences

2.      What they demand is for everyone to ignore sins that God will not ignore


a.       It’s just the way I “am” – that may be true, but it is not right

b.      I was born this way – so what?


3.      There is a Price to pay for being messed up. Our Depravity makes us in trouble with God (Rom 6:23)

4.      In other words, you and I can never enter God’s heaven the way we naturally are!

5.      You want to live that way, there is an eternal price to pay:


a.       Separated from God right now in your sin

b.      And one day, separated for ever, in Hell

c.       Under the Wrath of God. Remember Noah’s flood?


6.      No one in this room will do well to stay the same… we have got to change


C.     God Means For Us to Change – to be Transformed (Romans 12:2)


1.      It means to be Converted, Born again, Regenerated, quickened – made alive!

2.      No longer the same

3.      The devil means to ruin you – Jesus came to give you LIFE (John 10:10)

4.      One day we will be completely changed (1Cor 15:51-54)

5.      But right now, the goal is to be Renewed daily


a.       Renewed course and direction – we get off course

b.      Renewed heart and love – grows cold and indifferent

c.       Renewed mind and thoughts and imaginations


D.    God Made a Way


1.      Some of you believe you cannot live up to perfection. You will never be good enough.


a.       And that is right! We cannot change ourselves (Jer 13:23) – we can only take on the characteristics of the world around us

b.      Only God can transform us – from the inside out (Psalm 51:10)!

c.       It doesn’t matter what you have done, or thought, or felt, or said…

d.      GOD CAN forgive, and God CAN transform anyone


2.      By Just Starting All Over – from the ground up!


a.       Humbling ourselves – admitting WE are wrong!

b.      Repenting – starting over at zero

c.       Becoming like little children (Matt 18:1-3)

d.      Jesus calls it the New Birth (John 3:3)


3.      By Following Jesus (John 1:43; 3:30) – what a great command to live by, “follow me!”


a.       “Following Jesus” is not just a thought, or an empty belief

b.      But a decision – a solid choice like a marriage vow!


1)      To follow Him

2)      To watch HIM, learn of Him, spend time with Him

3)      To want to become LIKE Him


c.       Something marvellous happens as we:


1)      Spend time listening to Him speak in the Bible (Mt 4:4; Lk 4:18-22; 1Pet 2:2)

2)      Learn how He reacts to life and problems – follow in His footsteps (1Pet 2:21)

3)      Lean upon, trust, and rest upon the same Holy Spirit that He relied upon!


4.      By Letting Go of some childish things (1Cor 13:11)


a.       Old ways of thinking and feeling – childish

b.      Old sinful habits

c.       Former loves and attractions

d.      Let them all go as the Lord has your attention now


5.      By the Grace of God (1Cor 15:9,10) – His kindness and goodness towards you even though you don’t deserve it. It has a marvellous effect!

6.      By the Holy Spirit of God – Yielding to His unfailing work in your life


a.       Not ignoring it

b.      Resisting it

c.       Quenching it

d.      But seeking it


E.     No Excuses


1.      Stop fearing change – stop worrying about being “different”

2.      Stop trying to mix Jesus with your life!

a.       People want to MIX Christianity with their world – like chalk and cheese, oil and water

b.      He IS Lord – in Charge. He does not do YOUR bidding, but calls us to do HIS!

3.      Stop fighting the only thing that makes us better


a.       Men

b.      Husbands

c.       Wives

d.      People

e.       Students

f.       Servants and workers

g.      Christians


III.             Conclusion


A.    So, Why should an Irish man or woman throw away their life, lose it, in order to find and live another life?

B.     Because there is something better for us if we would just change

C.     Most of the Bible is about change – not leaving us AS we already are, but changing us

D.    God designed us to change in the right direction – to save our lives


1.      Because We Are Messed Up – Depraved

2.      There is a Severe Cost of Staying the Same

3.      God Means For Us to Change – to be Transformed

4.      God Made the Only Way


a.       Are You Ready to Start All Over? Some of you need to


1)      Humbling ourselves – admitting WE are wrong!

2)      Repenting – starting over at zero

3)      Becoming like little children (Matt 18:1-3)

4)      Jesus calls it the New Birth (John 3:3)


b.      Are you actively Following Jesus?

c.       Are you still holding onto some stupid childish things


1)      Like your past failures

2)      Old ways of thinking and feeling – childish

3)      Old sinful habits

4)      Former loves and attractions


d.      Have you accepted the Grace of God? It has a marvellous effect!

e.       Are you walking in the Holy Spirit of God? Yielding to His unfailing work in your life


5.      You and I have No Excuses! Each one of us should be changing this year! It must start today!