17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

– Ephesians 4:17–24 (ESV)

Do you like change? This seems like an innocent question, right? Imagine you’re asked this question at a job interview. Does it change your answer? Obviously, it shouldn’t. Your feelings about change ought not change due to the circumstance. The problem, however, is we know our answer can be misinterpreted. If I say I like change, will I seem discontent and always tempted to the next thing? If I say no, will it communicate that I’m stuck in my ways and difficult to lead? Such judgements are unfortunate. The reality is you can “like” change but not “need” it, just as you can not like change but still be willing to endure and even pursue it for the sake of betterment.

Honestly, for me my answer is an unflinching yes, and no! Ha! I wonder how that answer would be interpreted in an interview? Guess what, it doesn’t matter. I’m in a love-hate relationship with change and that’s how I feel. You see, I love changing things that I feel need to be improved. I will move the living room furniture around dozens of times until it’s aesthetically and functionally “perfect.”  And then once it’s reached that point, I don’t “like” it to be changed ever again. There have been occasions where I’ve tried moving it again just to move it back. Somehow, in my mind, I enjoy changing things until the point that my vision for it is complete. And, because it’s complete, it then doesn’t need to be changed again. At least, not until a new vision needs to be realized. Said another way in my mind: change is bad when it leads to digression, and it’s good when it moves toward betterment; but it’s always best when it leads to completion.

And while my vision is susceptible to a great deal of human flaw we can take solace in the fact that God’s vision for change is perfect. This week, in case you haven’t noticed, we’re on the subject of change. God is calling us to change. The beauty is He’s the source of our change. He has a vision for us to be formed in the likeness of His Son and He will not stop changing us until that vision is complete. The question we will answer this week is, how does that happen? And how do we participate with God in His changing of us? I can’t wait to work through Ephesians 4:17-24 with you and discover how we change together.

Here is the worship set to help you prepare your heart.

Love you Church,

Jerry Lingenfelter
Senior Pastor