What is the grace given power of change? Why don’t people let grace change them?
People use grace as their covering for sin. People who are in this category believe that they can live in sin because they are under grace. Grace does not cover sin, grace changes us, so that we do not want to sin. Turn to Titus 2:11-12, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,” Grace my friends is Jesus, and when we believe this, we do not have to feel bad anymore. We do not have to feel condemned anymore. Grace will deliver us, but if we are still the same and nothing has changed, then we have not grasped what grace really is. Grace always changes us! You see from the onset of our re-birth, grace begins to change us. Grace will not bring us to a place of perfection, so that we think that we do not need God anymore. Grace will bring us to a humble place instead, where we know that we cannot live without God. It is not about what we are able to do, it is all about what Jesus has already done. Change will not happen until we want to change. We can talk to ourselves about how much we want change, but nothing will happen until we believe that change will happen. Change is not change until we change! Grace is the power for our change and this power has always been inside of us, from the day of our being born again in Christ Jesus, it had been put inside of us, so that we will be able to change.
God placed inside each one of us the ability or the power to change. In order for this change to happen though, we must want the change to happen. Let us look together at what Jesus said to the man at the Pool of Bethesda, go to John 5:5-6, “Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” What did Jesus ask the man? He asked him if he wanted to change! Jesus asked him do want to be made whole! Think on this for a minute, Jesus was asking the man, did he want to change his life? It is not my responsibility as a preacher to change people and it is not the responsibility of the church to change people. Our responsibility is to love people, not to change them. On the other hand, it is God’s responsibility to change people, but in order for God to do this, the people have got to want to change.
Look further in this chapter and read verse seven, listen to the man’s reply to Jesus’ question, “The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” If we want to see ourselves change, we have got to stop making excuses. When we make excuses, we make ourselves believe that we cannot change, therefore we fail.
Jesus did not want to hear the excuses, He had already asked the man, “Do you want to change?” Look now what Jesus says, read verse eight, “Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” In order for us to see change, we have to do “Immediate action.” Jesus did not beg the man to get up, nor did He say it gently instad He spoke with authority. Jesus did not coax the man to get up, He spoke directly to him. He simply told the man to rise, take up his bed and walk. He told him to get up, put himself together and walk on out of there. If we truly want change, then we must do some kind of action to make it happen, we cannot keep putting it off. God has taught me that when I pray for someone for a healing, I am to first ask them, “Do they want to change?” If they say yes, then I am to tell them that Jesus has healed them already. I ask them, “Are they ready for change?” If they say yes, then I pray for their healing. After they feel no pain or something has happened, I tell them, “Do something that they could not do before.” I do this because in order for people to change they have got to do an immediate action. The reason they can do things that they could not do before is because they want to change. It was the same thing with this man, in order for him to change he had to do some immediate action to make the miracle happen. Grace to change has already been given to us. This is one of the things that Jesus has already done.
This now brings us to another part of the change. We must start seeing ourselves as changed. We must start speaking as though we are changed. Look at verse nine, “And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath.” We must move forward in our change. This man got up and walked, he was made whole. He took up his bed that had held him as a prisoner for years and he carried it away from the pool. For 38 years the bed that he was lying upon was chaining him to his infirmity, but now he was walking away from the pool area and he was now in control of his bed, not it being in control of him. He had regained his freedom. This man had to let go what of he was and become what he was meant to be.
One of the most important things we must do to change, is never go back to our old ways or our old lives. God wants us moving forward in our new lives. Look at what Jesus said to the man at the pool after He finds him again in the temple, ““See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.” Jesus never dealt with the man’s sin while He was healing him. Jesus healed him even knowing about his sin, but now Jesus confronts the man about his sin. Jesus coud read a person’s heart and He knew that once this man had received his healing, he would go back into his sin. This man would return to his old lifestyle and Jesus didn’t want this man to be imprisoned again by his sin. You see, once we are born again, we can never go back to our old habits. We can never go back to our old ways. We can never go back to our old lives, because the old man is dead and the new man is alive. Because of Jesus, we are made new and we are the righteousness of God. We are holy because He is holy. We must bury our old habits, ways and lives forever and move on with our life in Christ Jesus. Now we re going to learn something important and that is we can change even if others around us don’t change. We have to stop waiting for others to change before we do. We need to stop waiting for others to help us change. This is particular true in people who are married. It is an excuse that we like to use against our spouse. “I will change if she changes.” or “I will change if he changes.” If we truly want to change then we will. We cannot wait for others to change first. God is our source and if we trust Him, we will change. Do you remember the man at the Pool of Bethesda, he made excuses to Jesus of why he couldn’t be healed. This is the same thing with us, when we want to attempt change, just like the man, we have to want to change. The first step is up to us.
We have a tendency to do a lot of contradicting ourselves, we say that we believe, but we act like we do not. We must know that what we say goes into our hearts. Change is all about us wanting to change. we have to want to change, in order for change to take pace in our lives. We can’t wait on others to change us, because we will never change. Change is waiting on us! Turn to 2 Corinthians 4:13, “And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak,” Paul is saying that we all have the same spirit of faith, he said that we have to believe before we speak. As I said before, what we say is always based upon what we believe. If we say something that we don’t believe it shows when we speak. In order to change this outcome, we must evaluate within ourselves what do we believe. We should ask ourselves, “Do I believe in the power of Jesus Christ? Do I believe in the power of Christ’s shed blood? Do I believe in the power of grace? Do I believe that Jesus can change me?” If we don’t believe, then we speak it will be evident that we have unbelief. We must pay attention to what comes out of our mouths. As a police officer, I received training in how to interrogate people. I was taught to observe someone when they talk, looking for clues of deception. I observed their replies to open ended questions and I also observed their body language. People who were deceptive, usually hung themselves. When we believe something, we will usually be excited about it. When we are in doubt about something, we will usually hang ourselves by our speech and actions. Let me say one thing here, this teaching was in no way designed to put anyone under condemnation. It is taught to bring us closer to Jesus. It is designed to show us that we can trust Him everyday. My friends, we need to believe first, then our speech will be based upon our belief and our actions. Our conditioning of our hearts will be the good ground where our mouths plant the seed. All of our confessions are to bring us whatever is in our hearts. If our hearts are filled with unbelief, then there will be no harvest.
Grace has given us the ability to change. Read this from Matthew 12:34b, “…For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Jesus is saying that a person who has evil in his heart can only speak what his or her heart contains. What comes out of our hearts? Whatever we plant there! Out of the heart is found who we are. It is what we believe. It is our faith or our fear. Our mouths tell people who we are. If we believe in the power of the blood of Jesus, then our mouths are going to speak it. If we believe that grace can change us, then our mouths will speak it. Who we are comes from our mouths, we will confess it. When pressure is applied to our lives, then what we believe will come out of what we say. Our hearts will only speak what is inside of our hearts.
Look at what Jesus says in verse thirty-five, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.” Our mouths will speak what inside of our hearts. Change has to come from the inside of us first before it is manifested outwardly. This change has to come from our one to one relationship with Jesus. I must come from the Word, prayer, praise and worship. This is how change happens and that is through grace. When we have that intimate relationship with Jesus, then our hearts will never have to be validated in its belief and our mouths will speak out of the abundance of our hearts. I pray that you get something from this.
Every issue in ur lives comes out of our hearts. If we willjust speak the right things this will also get into our hearts. If we speak the Word of God, where will it go? It goes into our hearts. If we are constantly speaking about Jesus, where does it go? That is right, it goes into our hearts. Whatever we speak goes into our hearts. With this being said, when we speak about what we are afraid of, where does this go? It too goes directly into our hearts. This is why Paul told us this in Ephesians 4:29-30, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” You see we grieve the Holy Spirit when we corrupt our words. We grieve Him when we do not edify one another. Only good wholesome communication needs to come out of our mouths. As ambassador’s of heaven, we are to watch what we say and we are to be aware of what we do. I pray that this candle is lit within you, so that you receive this revelation knowledge. We are being watched every second of the day, especially if we profess to be a Christian, everything that we say and do is being observed. If we act as the world does, then what benefit do we give to others. God calls us a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation and a peculiar people (See 1 Peter 2:9). What we do and say reveals who we are.
Every person wants to have change and they want to be changed. The question is, what makes them want to change? They all want a better life and that is what God gives to us. A life free from sin and a relationship with Jesus. People see Jesus inside of us, they see the freedom that we have. They see that we are different and they want what we have. They want Jesus, but if they don’t see Jesus and they only see us as another person of the world, what good is that? It is good for nothing, because it doesn’t offer them anything. Our whole existence is based upon being the ambassador of Christ Jesus, showing ourselves as representatives of heaven, to offer to anyone a chance to change.
If we continually speak God’s Word, it will flood our hearts. As we speak His Word, the Word will come from our hearts for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The more that we confess the Word, the more the Word fills up our hearts. Speaking the Scriptures is a form of meditation. The more that we speak it, the more our hearts retain it. When the heart is filled up, then whenever we speak, we will only speak whatever is inside of hearts. Only the Word of God can be spoken since our hearts are chuck full of it.
Let me close with these Scriptures: starting with Proverbs 4:20-21, “My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; ” Where is God’s Word supposed to be? It is supposed to be in out hearts. It is not supposed to be in our minds. It is supposed to be kept in our hearts. The more we speak it, the more it gets into our hearts. Read verse twenty-two, “For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh.” What does this Word do once it is in our hearts? It gives us life! The more we speak it, the more life flows from our hearts. Not only does the Word gives us life, but it also heals all of our flesh. As our hearts pump out life into our bodies, the saturated Word of God heals our bodies. Read verse twenty-three, “Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.” We are to keep our hearts with all diligence [careful and persistent work or effort], out of hearts comes the very issues of life. It is only fitting, that we flood our hearts with the Word, this brings us life more abundantly, that heals our bodies and it gives us the answers to all the issues of life. God placed the human heart in the center of our chests for a reason, so that it can be the focal point of our lives. If the heart dies, everything else also dies. If the heart is full of life, then the whole body is full of life. Read verse twenty-four, “Put away from you a deceitful mouth, And put perverse lips far from you.” Isn’t it amazing that the Scriptures talk first about the Word, then the heart, and now it talks about what we speak out of the mouth? We must stop speaking with a perverse tongue, after all we represent God. We need to stay away from corrupt speech, because we represent heaven. Remember, that what we say goes into our hearts, until it becomes all we say. If we continue to speak perverse worldly conversation, then this will fill our hearts. Take a look at people who are always speaking negatively, their speech never changes, but it always negative. Their lives are filled with despair, life is sucked out of them and even their bodies begin to fall apart. They are pale and they seem to be sick most of the time. The issues of their lives reflect their talk. Their lives are full of addictions, with no sign of relief. On the other hand, let us take a look at people who have Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. These people speak the Word, life flows from them, they appear happy and joyful and their bodies appear to be full of energy and life. The issues of life do not affect them and they are always giving praise to God. Seeing both type of people who would you like to follow? Let’s continue reading verse twenty-five, “Let your eyes look straight ahead, And your eyelids look right before you.” We know that God knows us, after all He created us. If we look at this verse what does it say to us? Our eyes and our mind they work together. If we view something before we close our eyes, our minds remember the picture of what we saw. As we close our eyes the image is still before us. With this being said, God wants to see only the good things before we close our eyes. If we are constantly seeing death and destruction or the evening news, our minds take this image and keep it there before us as we go to sleep. This may be the reason that many people don’t sleep to soundly and they have restless nights. I believe that God wants us to guard what goes into our eye gates and ear gates. William Shakespeare said this, “The eyes are the windows of our soul.” How true he was, because the soul is made up of our mind, will and emotions. Now let’s read these last verses that I have for you, verses twenty-six and twenty-seven, “Ponder the path of your feet, And let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left; Remove your foot from evil.” In the end change will come to us, but we have to be willing for that change to happen. We are going to establish our own destiny, whatever that may be. The Lord only wants to keep us on the straight path of life and He only wants us to stay focused upon Him and His Word, this will keep us from the path of evil. With the Word, we have life, health, deliverance, prosperity and love, without the Word we have death, fear, division, sickness, poverty, no hope, despair and hate. What do you want? Do you want change? The decision is all yours.