Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Transformation Series Post #1

Welcome to the Transformation Series. I'm praying for you as we journey together through the process of Gospel-Centered life change. If you were at the Mid-Week Gathering then you've started the How People Change Study. These posts will supplement those studies and our Life Group Curriculum. I want to give you every tool possible to help you as we go along. These blogs posts will mostly be modified portions of the study guide that goes along with "How People Change." My hope is that these posts will help you as you think through the Life Group questions and begin making application to your life and others. Let's get started with the first thing I want to cover.

Tim Lane and Paul David Tripp write, "Human beings are 'meaning makers.' We are constantly searching for answers and seeking meaning and purpose for the events and activities in our lives." Isn't this true for all of us? It seems like the first questions I ask myself when I don't know what's going on or if something doesn't go the way I planned is "Why did this happen? What's the purpose behind it?" I want to know "why" as quickly as possible. If I can find an answer to the "why" then often I can figure out how to handle the situation. Lane and Tripp say, "The answers we give ourselves--the meanings we give to our thoughts and actions--are what keep us on a certain path or move us in a radically different direction."

If we don't think it has meaning, value or significance, we're quick to discard it from our lives. Many people do this with being involved in community, being a part of a local church. They think that if the pastor's not talking about an interesting enough topic or the music isn't catchy enough, then the church has no significance.   The problem for most of us is that we often look for the wrong purpose in things. If we're honest, we find ourselves being selfish. We're often trying to fix other people and situations instead of seeing that God may be using these things to change our lives.

When we're crying out for an answer about an injustice or a misunderstanding, we're declaring the need for change. We all know things aren't the way they're supposed to be and we all know something should be done differently, yet we don't usually know what to do differently. Here's where we often find ourselves in trouble. We don't recognize that God is using the very things were so frustrated about. God is using the things we want changed in an effort to bring out change in us.

Lane and Tripp correctly acknowledge "it doesn't come naturally to us to connect the ways we think, feel, and act in the midst of struggle with our ultimate destination of life in heaven with Christ. It is a work of the Spirit in our lives." On this journey together, it is my prayer that we would begin to connect that and know that transformation can and will happen in the midst of these life situations. God's grace is able and sufficient to bring about change in your life.

Together, we can pray for and encourage each other along the way. As we move through the next several weeks, prayerfully, we'll see how God is at work in our lives and we will love and trust Him more.

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