Change for Dummies Week 06: Out of Sight, Out of Mind

has anybody seen the hole in my shirt yet some of you did I was like watching you’re like talking like alright so we’re in our series change for determined Emery’s this is the last week which means this really weird looking guy is gone this is it he goes away this week I know which segues into a great opportunity is if you’re kind of new to Curtis I can not have never volunteered it’s a great opportunity to volunteer on Monday night tomorrow night after the service we tear this sat down and we start to build a new set and we always need help and hands for that so if you could come out for a little bit too on Monday night about seven-thirty that would be wonderful alright but we’re going to finish our series out today this is my son judah and Judas a cool kid and he was out sledding and and this we took this picture but I thought if I’m going to talk about Judy you should see him you know he’s a great kid I’m Judas pretty organized himself personally which is kind of funny he does a pretty good job keeping his room clean unlike his sister who was a tornado you know just runs through her room it’s crazy but you know Judas days pretty organized but Judas interesting because he has this table in his room and he got this table when he was probably three years old and it’s a Thomas the Tank Engine table and it came with like a whole Thomas the Tank Engine bed the bed looked like a train so wicked CLE doesn’t sleep in it anymore because he got too big I sleep and it does is really cool but look like a train and it was just part of this whole set that he’s so all that stuff’s gone but he still has the table and eat when he does is he takes his table he pulls it up right close to his bed so it’s kind of like a nightstand right and anything that he thinks is important goes on that table right he might have a bin where he puts action figures or he might have a bin where he or a shelf where he keeps all of his books if it’s an important book to him or if it’s an important toy he puts it right on that table because he doesn’t want to lose it he doesn’t want to forget it so he sets it right there and he kind of knows intuitively there without a good system we have a tendency to lose things right we lose things in our lives because we don’t have a system we trust like Judah doesn’t trust his system of toys because he’s like if he’s playing with a little toys like well if I put it there it’s not going to be there because I just have a tendency to throw everything there so what he does is he has this little table sets everything on now the problem is over time everything becomes important right and everything starts to build on this table and so we had to have this kind of discussion a couple weeks ago we’re like buddy you can’t put every book on the table you can’t put every toy you can’t put everything on state what you got it and we had to like put out some parameters what can go on the table you know your alarm clock the lights that you have cuz you know all kids love like you know light lights and flashlights who’s got all that and two books he’d have 20 books on there he loves to read and I said of all his books right there you know and and and we had this cantata said you’ve got to just trust that if you put a book where it belongs it’ll be there when you want to find it you know because you have to have a system for that stuff and you and I are no different than Judah right we have stuff in our lives and we have things where places places where things go but when we get something really important that we don’t want to lose we generally try to put it someplace safe how many have ever put got sumthin said I don’t want to lose this and so you put it someplace so safe you have no idea where you put it you’re still looking for that gift card today abercrombie and fitch that you got in Christmas time because you’re like I need jeans you can’t find it because you put it in a safe place because you didn’t trust your system like you don’t want to put it in your wallet because you know everything goes in your wall and you’ll forget it’s there so you put it someplace right you got that itunes gift card it’s like I don’t want to go and I don’t need any new music right now but I don’t want to lose it and so you said it someplace and usually what do we do we find the cleanest flattest surface and that’s where we put it right if you walk into your house and you’ve got a counter that’s where everything goes right that’s the place where we toss the keys the mail comes in you stand at that counter you sort the mail and you go this I throw away this I keep this you open up right away and then you have this other probably got to get to it and you put it on that flat surface because it’s important right you know other flat surfaces we love steps yeah you know I’m talking about you find something like oh this is important it belongs upstairs but you’re too lazy to walk it upstairs right then and so what do you do you put it on a clean flat surface a step and you think yourself well the next time I walk upstairs I’ll just grab it and you don’t you pass that thing over and over again because you’re scared if I take it upstairs I’m going to lose it I know right where it is right there some of us have 1230 steps in our house everyone will have little piles on the left side just all the way up the steps because that’s what happens right the stuff just kind of clutters it clutters on that surface and then one day it’s like I got to go through this that I got to deal with this but here’s what happens right we lose stuff in that clutter right we think it’s so wildly important that we make a pile and we use that pile but then we lose it we lose sight of it we forget it and this idea of change is no different if you’re not careful if you and I don’t put a system in our lives to

manage our change i’m not talking quarters nickels dimes i’m talking about behavioral change it will get lost we want it so bad right now it’s right in the forefront of our minds we’ve been talking about it this is the sixth week we’ve been mulling over it you’ve been thinking about it you even talked about it a little bit in your small group this this past week maybe you’re going to talk about it this week so it’s right there in the forefront of your mind it’s like sitting on top of the flat surface right now but life is going to happen and life is going to get cluttered and when life gets cluttered we lose our change and so what we have to do is develop a system that lets it not get into clutter it’s not just another thing that goes on the flat surface of our mind but it’s in the forefront of our minds and so as we kind of finish out today that’s what I want to do I want to remind us I want to think back and look at these five techniques these five kind of big areas that we’ve talked about and I want to challenge you to put those into a system in your life so here’s what I want to do I want to review these five things that we’ve done over the last six weeks last five weeks and then I want to introduce you to two young men who are making some incredible changes in their life and I want you to be encouraged by it and then I want to share with you a story a story that really sums up the whole reason behind a series like this okay so first of all let’s let’s take a journey back real quickly week one this was our main point sins power not willpower sabotages change and we were introduced to our anchor verse Philippians chapter 4 verse 13 which said for I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength and we talked about if we’re going to change we have to first come to this conclusion that we can’t do it on our own then we can have the best of intentions but if we think we can change ourselves on our own just can’t do it and the first thing is to recognize that there is this thing called sin the noun sin not the verb not the doing sin but the thing sin that exists that’s evil that fights against what god wants for our lives and we have to recognize that we will never on our own through willpower be able to defeat sins power it’s only through Christ that that will happen and that real long-term change can take place right so that was a mindset that we have to begin to shift a little bit the second week we said this we said honest evaluation is the first step to change and I think honest evaluation we can say is a step that is necessary in the continual process of change we looked at Romans chapter 12 verses 1 through 3 and verse 3 says this be honest in your what’s the word evaluation be honest in your evaluation of yourselves measuring yourself by the faith God has given you see Paul said to the Romans you have to honestly evaluate your life your change what you’re doing and so the first step is recognized I can’t change the second step and say I just got to be honest how am I do where am I at in this what’s going on do I have a problem do I have some area that needs to be changed is the reason why I can’t hold a job longer than 90 days meet or is it because i have found all the horrible bosses that happen to be in my town right why is that and then week 3 we said you have to look into the future for new motivation that there’s something very powerful about examining the future and visiting the future and writing a statement about the future that uses vivid language and we looked at Moses and in Hebrews chapter 11 we saw that it said that Moses was able to even it mate was able to think he thought to himself you know it’s better for the sake of Christ then then then to gain the own treasures that I want in this life he was the Bible says he was looking ahead looking ahead to his great reward he gave up so much because he could see the future we talked about how powerful it was to have a statement that we held on to that just helped us envision the preferred future we wanted but also dealt with the reality of the future that was going to happen if we don’t change and then week four we talked about relationships right we said relationships and bring hope or hopelessness to our change effort okay we talked about friends and accomplices how many of you have called somebody an accomplice over the past two weeks I got caught in the compost four times its small group four times I’m just being nice do you want a cup of coffee do you want a piece of cake do you want a cookie like don’t be an accomplice eyes like whoa don’t you turn my words against me you know but you know that we kind of gave language to recognizing not everybody that’s friendly is our friends and Ruben and his brothers you know their influence on him was was awful and it left him hopeless the Bible says that at the end of Genesis 37 Rubin said this he said the boy is gone what will I do now remember Joseph his brothers had sold him and he was trying to rescue him and he finishes at this place of hopelessness so what am I going to do now and the last week we talked about the importance of our physical environment that we have to create structures that support the weight of our change habit and that currently there are physical structures and systems in our life that don’t support that and we looked at Abram and lot and how the land couldn’t support them both and so they had to separate they had to move their physical location and sometimes we have to physically move things in our lives do different you

know use different tools different resources things like that so those are the five kind of tactics that we we covered okay now what I want to do is I want to invite Justin and Eric to come and join me and Justin Eric or two guys that are just some great stuff is happening in their world some changes they’re taking place give Justin here a great big hand and Eric you guys look fantastic thank you for coming and they’re going to share with us for a few moments here and here’s I want to encourage you to I want you to listen real real actively listen to their stories listen for these techniques they’re not going to use that language because they don’t go to church here they’ve never you know they haven’t heard this they haven’t anything like that but listen for the areas where you see them being honest in their evaluation their life look it look for those circumstances where they were no turning accomplices into friends look for those situations circumstances where they were visiting their future look for those circumstances where they were relying on God and not will power it and and and see if you hear it in their story and I think you’ll you’ll be surprised at what you’re getting right it’s pretty cool with it was a really powerful time earlier I’m sure it’s going to be again so we’ll start with you Justin Justin tell us a little bit about yourself where you’re from a little bit maybe about life where you are right now and you’re you know you just share with this little bit who you are my name is Justin I’m 29 I was originally born in Lewiston Maine I moved down to Manchester New Hampshire when I was three I’ve lived there for 26 years now I’m married I have two kids and I’m 12 months into team challenge right now 12 months in the teen channels awesome and tell us a little about what team challenge is team challenges in ministry that we support through our global outreach fund how many of you are global outreach partners you have a pledge that you fulfill every week or every month well part of that goes to support this ministry of Teen Challenge so tell us a little bit about what team challenges what we are is a 15-month recovery center for people struggling with any type of life controlling issue it can be anxiety depression pornography drugs anything that controls anyone’s life great and it’s a 15-month residential program you live there okay excellent and Erick tell us about yourself how old are you where are you from and I’m 21 I’m from New York and I’ve been at Teen Challenge or five months now and I’m just speechless to what I’ve God’s you into my life and that’s all I can really say Teen Challenge is an amazing program finally struggling and hopeless I mean it’s there to reach out and really change your life and program works so awesome so we have two guys in a program helping you make some changes in life back us up a little bit Erick tell us a little bit about your life what what led you to this place like what was going on where you all of a sudden went you know what I need to change what was going on what were some of the things that began to control your life tell us a little bit about that well I was 19 just got out of high school graduated one to college then I fell into a bad opie addiction I was keep relapsing I tried a detox rehab and then finally things got really bad and I was clearly broken I felt totally empty hopeless there was nothing for me to reach out to I felt like my soul is being ripped apart and I knew there was something something there that I I needed awana but I couldn’t put my finger on it and then I started to reach out my mom reached out to me talking about teen challenge and that’s what pretty much come in a new direction it was this program yeah excellent and Justin tell us a little about yourself kind of what led up to and what was kind of beginning to control your life that she said I have to change well I I grew up in a Christian family went to private school never really touched drugs or alcohol got married when I was 23 six months into my marriage I got hurt on the job got prescribed percocets fast forward five years later and I was hooked on heroin mmm and I’m obviously begin to affect your life it’s a pretty significant way yeah you got to the point where you do anything to get it which ended up landing me in jail okay and so you’re in jail obviously coming to a point where I gotta change and make some choices than you how did you end up with Teen Challenge what happened there well it was funny my I’m sitting in jail I I’m married for five years my wife we’re in the process of getting divorced we had two kids no rehabs worked I’m sitting in jail at a half a million dollars bail and nah it’s funny that night my mom I called my mom one night and I’m like mom I’m like I need help

and she’s like well I’m done helping you as far as money and all that but she’s like you know God told me to tell you that when you think you’re in checkmate the king is one more move and I was sitting in jail without any more moves i thought i was in checkmate you know I so I cried out next morning team challenges up my arraignment got me into the program going manager so you’re so you both end up saying hey got to make some changes and end up in Teen Challenge so talk to me about team challenge like what is some of the things that you’ve encountered there that have really begun to change your life and help you move forward and make some of those changes Erik once you go first things are really changed me through the program would be one most importantly prayer I have to say that secondly fellowship in the house the brothers the older students the leaders and third would be um ministries we do going out to could be high schools it could be going out behind boxes and raising money for the program could be going out to choir and then the people you encounter the things you endure the patient’s you develop you know gives you a lot of perseverance and through all that through all the experiences and all the other trials you really start to break down and see how God ability back up you know when you’re completely broken sick and don’t want to do anything or then you get put out on storefront it’s you know 20 degrees you’re out there for 10 hours then the only thing you could do is you know pray pray with your brother reach out to God and you just see how um how he humbles you and how your eyes art to change your surroundings and how just the sense of life has becomes a totally different so pure and it’s he’s you so much as akin the way he works and I guess I hope I touched on what your yeah kind of went off no definitely definitely Justin how about you what would have been some of the catalysts for change through the program of a team challenge that you can kind of put your finger on and say this has really helped me begin to turn a corner in my life probably the structure the Elm finding out that you have a purpose finding out that you know you take the drugs out of someone you take the you take no structure out of someone and put structure into and you know waking up at six thirty in the morning I mean it sounds crazy but like eating breakfast lunch and dinner at the same time every day just completely changing like how you how you go about your day I mean yeah praying yeah you tell a little bit about the prayer you’d mention that you know can how did that transition from them when you started to where you are now at this and what how does that work with team challenge well you wake up at six thirty you have your supposed to be down in prayer at seven and then we pray from seven to 730 every day and when I first went into a program a half hour of prayer seemed like three or four hours of Prayer you were constantly looking at the clock II can’t wait to get to breakfast and it’s funny because now it’s like the tables have turned you uh you know a half hour of prayer goes by way too quick and you hope in that it was three hours of prayer yeah is it’s just interesting i hope you heard like structure when we talked about that just like the idea that your physical environment will support it and to go from like I said no structure which lead you know realizing is great that’s a huge thing and eating at the same time and stuff like that and it’s just wild how important that can be to put those anchors in so it’s really cool to hear so and in the whole process as as you guys have been making choices obviously you make the decision go into team challenge you’re making choices to get up every day to do the things you’re supposed to do as you’re encountering scripture as you’re growing in your relationship with the Lord have there been a verse or two or has there been a message you heard or what has kind of been a motivation for you look like a motivation to continue on to change its kind of giving you strength whether it be from a person you’ve known or from scripture or a sermon you heard somewhere what what’s kind of helping motivate you in that way Eric um I went was ecclesiastics before everyone now such strength like to say brought it up philippians 413 is that through a Christ we can do all things he gives us the strength so you could say too because you’re Ecclesiastes almost yeah clears ecclesiastics 520 is we saw them reflect on a the days of our past because we’re so enriched with the joy and the love of the Lord in our hearts yeah and when you’re trying to move from the past that’s pretty powerful that’s pretty cool yeah that’s awesome Justin

how about you mine’s Matthew 11 28 come to me all who are weary and burdened metal give you rest yeah and that you mentioned earlier it was quite just felt so burdened with everything that was going on so what’s what’s what’s next in in life you know you’re five months here 12 months what does the future look like for you entering the program where you stand now what do you think Justin I have three more months left in the program three and a half I’m actually going to be staying on as staff so it’s a six-month graduation period after I’ll actually get to go home live with my wife and kids in a few months and then after that there’s a one-year emerging leadership program that they offer awesome have a chair oh well I’ve been here five over five months and I don’t the only thing I really give thought would have to be just building my relationship with our God and and my parents and just being patient that’s all i could do you know i’m not a leader in the house i’m just an example for the most part in which of the newer newer students so I just try not to get consumed on so many steps ahead as to what ya know it’s really God’s you into my life what Justin you mentioned going back and living with your family obviously you go into a 15-month in-house program there’s some sacrifices that are made there right I mean what kind of sacrifices have you guys found that you know were initially kind of maybe you thought this is going to be a huge how am I going to make it or or you didn’t think it was going to be any big deal and it turned out to be a big deal but they’ve been very important sacrifice that you’ve made into something like that I mean tell us a little bit about that does that make any sense like to find some sacrifices that you were just like really nervous about but have been real important in the attempt to change well I got one that I could bring up like I’m a musician and I’ve been playing guitar for over half of my life and just I hadn’t noticed that I worship music you know until I came to this program and how I thought that grounded me how that gave me direction spiritual spiritual power or whatever it was but until I changed my direction was which was the worship God and it was a big step for me because I was you know almost depressed over the fact that it couldn’t just play you know my dad’s whatever I wanted to do and want some that was taken away from me for 30 days my first month Dennis I slowly saw the power behind that in the program and I was just thankful for a teen challenge because I couldn’t go a week or two without playing you know so it’s stuff like that it could be smaller things you know whatever maybe but for me it was my music you know yeah how is she Justin mine was pride I mean I like I was saying before you did what you wanted when you wanted it you didn’t care who was affected you know you’re like I had to put my pride aside I’m it taught me a ton of humility I can’t just you know even with my family though like my kids I can’t see them anytime I want which thinking back at it yeah I didn’t really see him much before anyways but it’s um you just sacrifice you sacrifice your life I mean a portion of your life so it’s a small season though when you really look at it and tell us a little bit about how especially justin is your kind of coming towards three months here and would mention this earlier is it how out what’s what’s your family looking like I mean you as you were entering into this you’re sitting in jail getting ready to go through a divorce kids your relationship then how are things now with that family and your kids well when I first went in my mind was like three months old when I started the rehab process he’s 16 months old now my so I’ve spent obviously well over half of his life in rehabilitation and then my daughter when I first when I was bailed out of the courthouse she literally wouldn’t even come and see me and now she’s like my biggest fan she gets on the phone with me it’s it’s just amazing to to have my family back and to have them look at me the way that they do it Eric you had mentioned your mom kind of had made that phone call to you and told you about team challenge and obviously those kinds of things that begin to control our lives can affect relationships and how’s that relationship how is your relationship with your mom and other relationships in your life for the most part I can say oh god has been great my mother and I get

closer every seems like every month and I’m here and I think a lot of a lot of that has to do with me just being obedient to the Lord and given him all the trust you know letting him be my safety net of trust it’s kind of complicated with you know my step must step dad and my other dad I would see how much so I’m not you know don’t talk to him that much but I’m sure the more I’m here the more God will continue to do his restoration that’s awesome so a couple things you should know Eric today’s Eric’s first time sharing his story as part of the program and so just a lot of courage to come and share very cool and and Eric’s mom is here who I didn’t think it was mom can possibly be old enough to be his mom but mom is here in the front row to just sharing and that experience and seeing what God is doing in his life so let’s give these guys a great big hand for Sharon thank you so much set it down um you know change is difficult and change this harder the more something controls our life and the more something gets in the way of that change it can be be just wildly wildly difficult can make you feel hopeless at times I was being removed from the stage it’s like what the world I did I was like why is security removing me I’m in charge that’s so funny it’s like let’s not make that drastic of a change yet come on my review wasn’t that bad all right so uh you know we have we have these things that we want to change but boy it can be difficult and I hope you’re encouraged to hear like and sometimes you may sit there and go I don’t know if I can resonate with that like i don’t i don’t have something that controlling in my life and i would i would counter that and say we do the problem is we just don’t often see the effects like when you’re being controlled by something like a substance or an addiction or it’s easy to see the effects of that in some respects versus if i’m being controlled by i’m not being caring enough or loving enough to my children or i’m using words sometimes it’s not until years where we also said and realize I brought death to that relationship because I just haven’t been paying attention and so I hope you’re encouraged to see that there’s all these things that when we talk about it we give it language all we’re trying to do is hopefully help us think more clearly about it because what have they done they’ve changed their environment they’ve removed themselves and put themselves in a different environment they’ve built structures that are wildly important they have added new friends we talked about that one thing that you hear over and over again it’s just the importance of the the relationships within the house with one another and the leaders who are mentoring them those are friends not accomplices you know there and there’s this if honest evaluation of where life was headed what was going to take place so all these things kind of happen and we now have the benefit to say I have to do those things if I want to bring about long-term change want to take a moment and just look at a few verses in Scripture that really sum up why we change and I just want to say right now if you’re here today and you’re thinking about making a change in your life but you’re not following Christ you know I right now I just need to talk to those in the room who have made that decision to follow Christ because that is one of the huge motivators and why we’re having this discussion is it possible to change things in your life without Jesus I think it probably is people do it but I don’t think it’s rewarding and fulfilling in a long term and it has nothing to do with eternity and that’s where it can become sad and so just for a minute let me talk to those of you who you have made a profession of faith you have said I want to follow Christ well I just want to share this story with you in John chapter 8 we find a story that many people are familiar with the Bible says that Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives after he had done some teaching but early the next morning he went back again to the temple and a crowd soon gathered and he sat down and taught them so Jesus goes to the temple which was the center of the life of a Jew in Jerusalem and he begins to teach some people and a huge crowd gathers because Jesus was popular people love being around Jesus and so this is what happens as he was speaking the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees in other words all the pastors and the people that worked for the church they brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery and they put her in front of the crowd so it’s very important that we recognize this woman was caught in the act this isn’t a woman who’s been accused this is a woman who caught in the act walked in on caught in the act of adultery and is being drugged in front of the entire crowd who was there teaching by these religious leaders and has thrown down on the ground right in front of everybody and then here’s what they say the Pharisees in the pastor’s the day said teacher this woman was

caught in the act of adultery the law of Moses says to stone her what do you say the law of Moses is to stoner what did the Pharisees do why they labeled this woman they brought her out she wasn’t a woman she wasn’t a mother she wasn’t a wife she wasn’t she wasn’t created by God none of none of those she didn’t have any personality she was simply labeled she was an adulterer she was an adulterer we caught her in it who knows how many times she’s done this but this is who she is and they labeled her and then they brought out their condemning voices the law of Moses says we’re to stone her that’s what the law says that’s what the Bible says is what they were saying Jesus what do you have to say about it and they brought all their condemning voices and isn’t this what happens in our life but instead of the condemning voices coming from people outside oftentimes it’s our own voice we label ourselves we labor ourselves we say I’m a bad parent I’m a bad husband we label who we are I’m an adulterer I’m an addict I’m I’m this I’m that and we hear those labels and they’re accusatory and then what do we do we become the condemning voice we tell ourselves I don’t deserve to have my family I don’t deserve to have a good I don’t deserve financial peace I don’t deserve these things because I’m a failure and we condemn ourselves in these voices that we hear something has to interrupt that voice something has to interrupt that process and I love what happens here I was as they were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him because they didn’t like Jesus Jesus brought this different message that was contrary to what they had believed about god that’s wildly important in this story Jesus brought a message that was different than what they had come to believe about God and so Jesus when they hurt weenie herds as he I was says he stooped down and he wrote in the dust with his finger and obviously this went on for a while because the Bible says they kept on demanding an answer so people oftentimes wonder what Jesus wrote down was he drawn a Dilbert cartoon or you know people often say well he was riding down like sins that people would have committed but I don’t know what he wrote down I don’t think it matters to be honest with you because the people just kept going I didn’t know people were paying attention to what he was writing down or they were just angry because they kept on demanding an answer Jesus what do you think what do you think Jesus we need to know come on Jesus what do you think come on which we do what should we do what’d you do what’d you do what’d you do is that Jesus finally he stands up he says all right but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone so Jesus finally stands up answers the accusation brilliant mind you okay you believe that’s right this just whoever has never sinned they throw the first stone Jesus was giving permission to everybody else to throw stones but to get the whole thing started and had to be a person who never sinned that’s the only person who can condemn this one and so the Bible says after he says that he stooped back down and he began writing again in the dust and it says when the accusers all those people heard this they slipped away one by one beginning with the oldest until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman and in that moment a silence that was deafening took over because Jesus had just threatened the very things that they believed was so sacred and what Jesus was saying was this this is so amazing Jesus was saying your understanding of God is wrong God doesn’t want you to stone this person you have it in your law and you call it the law of Moses but that’s not God’s design that’s not what God was and we have to recognize that Jesus in this moment in this moment runs contrary to Scripture the day held is so true and so accurate he said yeah she’s wrong absolutely she shouldn’t have done it but if you think you’re the one to condemn her let’s just examine it here jesus never said what she did was right jesus never said what she did was justified but Jesus totally said you have no right to condemn you have no right to enact judgment like this and so the silence falls in the midst of the silence it’s now Jesus and the woman her face down not sure what to happen not sure who’s still standing there the Bible says that Jesus stood up and again he said to the woman where are your accusers did not even one of them condemn you not even one this is so great she looks at him for the first time she speaks in this story

no Lord no Lord and I love what Jesus says he says neither do i go and sin no more go and sin no more go and change go and change your life is different now and what we see here is the point of the entire series and the point of the entire series and the whole reason why we change and the whole reason we talk about repentance is because grace and mercy require us to change grace and mercy require us to change change is not an option for those of you who are following Christ if you have a quick tongue a short temper if you are hurting yourself and hurting the relationships around you if you are incapable of recognising wrong and you know it in your life it is not acceptable to say that’s just who I am it’s not acceptable to say God will forgive me go and sin no more is the call you and I who have experienced the grace of God are under an obligation to change we have no choice but we hear the voices the condemning voices can we do it is it possible and we feel like that woman condemned and labeled but Jesus is interrupting those voices and he’s saying go and sin no more listen there was one person that could have started the stoning and it was Jesus in your life there’s one person who lived perfectly who has every right to condemn you and send you to an eternity apart from a righteous holy God and it’s Jesus but instead he took the stoning he took the punishment and he stands between us and a righteous God as our advocate that by will says and he intermediates for us and he says god I’m the only one who can condemn him I’m not going to do it but he’s saying to each and every one of us go and sin no more now do you think the woman did that I have no ideas dot dot dot we don’t know we don’t know anything about this woman I’ll tell you what I don’t think she went and sin no more I mean I I met you you’ve met me we’re not going to live perfectly but as our heart changed and are we living and surrendered to him and saying my default mechanism has to be to go and sin no more I have to see the response to the Grace and the forgiveness that I’ve received I am obligated now I’m obligated to change to bring life to my family to bring life to my finances to bring life to my health I this is an act of worship this is surrender this is what it is but sometimes we think we’re just so far gone and I have to think that it went through that woman’s mind how am I supposed to go and sin no more Jesus I’ve committed adultery my husband’s going to leave me did you not notice the hundreds of people looking at me when this happened they know me they know what I’ve done where am I going to find a job where am I going to find a husband will take me where am I ever going to move forward you know what Jesus doesn’t address any of that he doesn’t address any of the how he just simply says go and sin no more because I think there’s something in the story that’s so powerful that grace and mercy propels us it motivates us it gives us this new lease on life and I think in the moment when she began to feel that way that she’s too far gone and she’s too lost and she’s to hurt and two broken she realized that there was this guy Jesus who gave her her life back and sometimes we forget that so the band is gonna sing a song called who you are and the lyric in a song says you can never fall too hard and so fast so far that you can’t get back when you’ve lost where you are it’s impossible says it’s never too late it’s never so bad it’s ever so much that you can’t change who you are and that’s the point of this series there was Christ the obligation to change as possible because we can never be too far we can that it can never be too bad because it’s him who’s at work in our efforts it’s him who provides this new lease on life check out this song no they look ya’ll given like a god

something abou cuz i watch for fires sometimes you can get you can change you Oh know how to choose gotta step out never when you are never too late Oh you can change us to the beach you can never go too I get up yeah yeah you get Jay you you know I love that song because it doesn’t hide our failures in spiritual language I got to be honest with you I get so frustrated when we hide behind this idea that well it’s God who changes me he isn’t working in my life he’s going to change me it’s not me he’s going to tell you what we hide behind that because we don’t want to take responsibility for the reality that we have to choose at some point to change we have to do it I hate to break the news to us but the cross God’s part is done this part is done what more do we want God to do he became flesh he gave His life on the cross for us what more do we want not to do and at some point we have to take hold of this fact that says I can change I can change God has equipped me with everything necessary to change he has forgiven me he’s given me a new lease on life and I have the burden and the responsibility in response to his grace and His mercy to make every effort to change and while I’m doing that I can trust that he will propel me and give me strength but we can’t sit back at all God’s gonna change and expect him to do all the work at some point we have to do it jesus said to the woman go and sin no more it was an imperative you go and sin no more he didn’t say you go and let God change your life you go and sin no more and it’s a fine balance and I get that and I get that it’s not by might nor by power but by my spirit says the Lord that wasn’t talking about personal change we quote that and we saw it’s not my mind and there’s some part of the gospel that says I have forgiven you I’ve redeemed too and you can go out and change the world you can change yourself I have equipped you with everything I’ve given you my word I’ve given you other people but we just have to do the work at some

point in time and trust God to work in us and when we do that we find freedom we find freedom to live all that God has called us to be we find freedom to be the husband’s in the fathers and the wives and the mothers and the children that God has called us to be and has so desperately put his spirit inside of us so that we might be light in our world were freed up to do that because we’re surrendering ourselves completely to him and we find this obligation to do what he calls us to do and it’s an action it’s something we go out and do and we work it and we work in and we work it and when we’re wore out we get on our knees and we pray we trust God to renew us and lift us up and say who’s condemning you why are you listening to those voices I’m not condemning you anymore go said no more get up go go go keep changing keep trying don’t live in the failures that’s not grace that’s not mercy that’s not hope that’s destructive and that’s the lie that gets inside of our heart let me tell you freedom from the power of sin the eternal power of sin which is def separation from God freedom from the power of sin will not happen by being apart and going to church freedom from the power sin doesn’t happen because you go I love Curtis late I love the pastor he’s so great he wears clothes with holes in it some on purpose some on accident I love the music Doug he’s so handsome he plays a guitar really well and Brian plays these great solos and Scotty he puts he breaks drumsticks it’s loud it’s awesome and I’ve got a great small group leader and they’re wonderful and they support me and it’s changing my life yeah your life can change but you will never find freedom with it when you’re when you belong to something belonging to church belonging to a a self-help group belonging to celebrate recovery belonging to a a ministry that will not free you and I from the power of sin what will free us from the power of sin is when we belong to some one when we belong to someone and that someone is Jesus you can belong to this church and go to this church and wonderful you can continue in all the poor habits and you can somehow feel better every day you leave here and then either there you know that’s your choice but if you want to find freedom freedom from sin freedom from its rule in your life freedom from death it comes from belonging to Jesus this is what paul says in romans and we’re finishing out the whole series with this verse listen when you were slaves to sin you were free from the obligation to do right when we were not living remember i’m talking to those of you who’ve committed your life to Christ when you weren’t living you were free from the obligation to do what is right remember changes in an option it’s an obligation of grace and mercy but the Bible says and what was the result what was the result when you came to know Christ and all of a sudden it was brought in to light the things that used to do what was the result you’re now ashamed of the things you used to do ashamed of them things that ended in eternal doom there’s a power to shame we should be proud of our mistakes we see the Grace and the mercy in the hope and the love and all that God offers us and we look and go I can’t believe I did those destructive things Bible says but now I love it but now right now right here right now you’re free you’re free from the power of sin you’re free from it and you have become slaves to God now free just to walk around do whatever you want it’ll give your life to Christ so you can then justify and validate all of your decisions I don’t do that we give our lives to Christ because we become slaves to God and now we do those things those obligations of right now we do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life we press on and we do these wonderful things because they lead us to a life of holiness and a life that is filled with joy and that we know will last forever and forever it pauses because we know that the wages of sin is death and unfortunately in this verse preachers always focus on the first part for the wages of sin is death because what we try to do is scare people into Jesus and it doesn’t work that’s not the point if this past he says we all know the wages of sin is death but what motivates us when we know beyond a shadow of a doubt is that the free gift of God is eternal life not through memorizing Scripture not there joining a small group not through tightly not through giving generously not there being a part of a ministry but it’s found through Jesus Christ our Lord the one who died and rose and conquered death knell in the grave so that we can change and so our series began with Philippians chapter 4 verse 13 for I can do everything through Christ who gives

me strength and it ends with this phrase it is the word of God and it is true and it lasts the free gift of God is eternal life it is found through Jesus Christ our Lord change happens at the foot of the cross the life God has force happens when we become slaves to Jesus focus our life on what he has for us not what’s easy now what culture says it’s okay now what we feel not what feels right not what’s natural but we focus on what God calls us to be we can change we can live a life that will never imagine because what happens knowing that Jesus Christ is at the center of it all spraying father help us never to fall into this trap if it we’re too far from your strength help us not to fall into the trap that somehow God you will change us then you’ll just take away all our desires and once it just make us perfect parents and perfect spouses and perfect people with finances God it just doesn’t happen that way so help us to remember that we have to work hard then we wrestle with our faith in our salvation and we bring it into captivity every thought that is not a few there’s work involved God but we can do it because your power is found in Christ who lives inside of us and is changing us as we align our desires with you so shape our lives God motivate us to make tangible changes small changes changes to our environment changes in our relationship changes in our thought pattern motivate us and give us the strength and courage speaking to our hearts but help us to get up off our behinds and do the hard work and when we fail God will you whisper into our ears where are your accusers didn’t know one condemn you neither do i go and sin no more and may we find new life and new hope for change through those words we give you our change efforts God and we recognize without you motivating them they’re not internal they’re not lasting they’re not spiritual but with you at the center we will father find victory and we ask this in Jesus day you