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Choosing to Change

July 12, 2011

Look at Romans 6:10, “For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all. But the life that He lives, He lives to God.” Some Bible teachers argue that change is all about God and not about us at all. All we really need to do in order to experience the transforming power of the Gospel, they say, is lean back in our recliners, put our feet up, and let God do it all. Now hear this: That is not what the Bible teaches! Of course we need God’s help, but we cannot be changed without making the choice to change ourselves. Notice Paul’s command in Romans 6:12: “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body.” What’s that if it’s not a choice?! Do not let sin reign in you! Make a choice.

“Well, sin has been ruling my life,” you say. Listen; it doesn’t have to. Don’t let it; make a choice. The power of sin is unplugged—don’t plug it in. Don’t let it rule you.

The next time temptation steps up to you and says, “Do it! Go ahead, do it! Go ahead,” just answer: “Get off me! You are not in charge! Shut up! Stop bossing me around. Don’t tell me what to do! I’m not that person anymore! I’m a new creation in Christ!” That’s what Paul meant when he said, “Don’t let sin reign.”

Get involved! Choose to change! With your commitment and God’s help, you can.

Maybe you’re saying “Well, how do I choose? Teach me how to choose. I want to choose.” Here’s a neat little story my mom gave to me, called “Choosing to Change in Five Days.” I don’t know the source, but it’s helped me out of a few “holes” in my life.

Day 1: I went for a walk down a street. I fell into a hole. I didn’t see it. It took me a long time to get out. It’s not my fault.
Day 2: I went for a walk down the same street. I fell in the same hole. It took me a long time to get out. Why did I do that?
Day 3: I went for a walk down the same street. I fell in the same hole. I got out quickly. It is my fault.
Day 4: I went for a walk down the same street. I saw the hole. I walked around it.
Day 5: I went for a walk down a different street. I can’t handle it when I go down that street. Every time I go down that street, I feel something sucking me down that hole! I’m not going down that street anymore! I don’t like what happens on that street. And when I get there, I can’t handle it. I don’t want sin to reign in my body so I’m not going down that street anymore.

Living for God is day by day. Choose it.

 

Read comments:

  • Choosing to Change – Vertical Church | Ministry Resources for … « Feeds « Church LeadershipJul.14.2011

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  • AndyJul.15.2011

    Good teaching Pastor James. I’ve found it beneficial not only for temptations but also in my dealings with a few situations lately. Those holes we can fall in can also be the way we approach things or issues in our lives. Your series on choices really brings this home.

  • SusanJul.17.2011

    Phil. 2:13 “For it is God who works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.”

    The “choice” is to surrender and accept Christ. We of ourselves cannot simply choose to be sinless. That said, we do have many choices on a daily basis that must be made from a biblical perspective so we must be studying daily and constantly in prayer and surrendered to Christ.

  • Andrew StroudJul.20.2011

    Pastor James,

    I am a 19 year old Bible college student training for pastoral ministry. Your teaching has been incredibly impacting in my life and has drawn me closer to the God of the Word through your faithful preaching of the Word of God.

    I seem to get stuck on “Day 3” quite often. Whether it is sins of my mind or mouth, I struggle to get past the “quick sins” of daily life. It’s hard. But I hope that, by God’s grace, I am committed to obeying Him through the freedom I have in Christ.

    Thank you so much for your thoughts here–God has spoken encouragement and conviction to me through your words here! May God richly bless you, Pastor, and your ministry!

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