Saturday, June 17, 2017

Transformation - Part 1

This last Sunday, Pastor Obie continued our sermon series through the book of Genesis, opening with the story of Harland David Sanders, who held a number of jobs. When he was 10, Sanders began to work as a farmhand for local farmers, then steam engine stoker, and insurance salesman.  In 1930, the Shell Oil Company offered Sanders a service station in North Corbin, Kentucky, rent free, in return for paying them a percentage of sales. Sanders began selling fried chicken from his roadside restaurant in North Corbin, Kentucky, during the Great Depression and at the age of 62, the first KFC "Kentucky Fried Chicken" franchise opened in Utah in 1952. In September 1970 he and his wife were baptized in the Jordan River in Israel.

It is never too late to have the Lord transform your life and have you affect the lives of others. God intentionally positions all of us at this specific time and place in His story for a godly reason and purpose. Even the patriarchs had lives marked by sin and disobedience, yet were transformed by God to achieve later accomplishments for the Lord’s orchestrated events that shaped history. We need to ask ourselves: What could I have done, and what can I do, to control and manage “some part of my life” in order to improve and become a better person, with Jesus Christ as my example, aligned with the holy Word, Will and Way of God)?

Pastor Obie gave us five ways to consider: (1) Show responsibility and ownership. At the very least, we are responsible for our thoughts, words and actions … or lack thereof. Do not “pass the buck” (the act of attributing to another person or group one's own responsibility), which limits your potential growth. No, the buck stops here (make the decisions and accept the ultimate responsibility for those decisions)! How can you and I make our lives better and continue to grow and mature as a Christian? Do not play “The Blame game”. Do not be afraid to fail with the cards that you have been dealt and your lot in life. Failure can be a catalyst for great growth and improvement.

(2) Show a change of heart. It starts with the sin nature emotions of envy and jealousy. The 1828 Webster’s dictionary defines the word “envy” as to look with enmity. “To feel uneasiness, mortification or discontent, at the sight of superior excellence, reputation or happiness enjoyed by another; to repine at another's prosperity; to fret or grieve one's self at the real or supposed superiority of another, and accompanied with some degree of hatred or malignity, and often or usually with a desire or an effort to depreciate the person, and with pleasure in seeing him depressed. Envy springs from pride.

2 Corinthians 11:2 “I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.”

The 1828 Webster’s dictionary defines the word “jealousy” as “that passion of peculiar uneasiness which arises from the fear that a rival may rob us of the affection of one whom we love, or the suspicion that he has already done it; or it is the uneasiness which arises from the fear that another does or will enjoy some advantage which we desire for ourselves. In short, jealousy is awakened by whatever may exalt others, or give them pleasures and advantages which we desire for ourselves. Jealousy is nearly allied to envy, for jealousy, before a good is lost by ourselves, is converted into envy, after it is obtained by others. Jealousy is the apprehension of superiority.” Noah Webster goes on to state that “God's jealousy signifies his concern for his own character and government, with a holy indignation against those who violate his laws, and offend against his majesty.” Pastor Obie explains that the opposite of jealousy is rejoicing in another’s achievements. Instead of an ungodly “jealousy of them”, it is a godly jealousy for them. This is that godly jealousy. God tests us all on this.

Let's continue Pastor Obie's message on "Transformation" in the next post.
In Christ, Brian

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