Our current sermon series is called Small Things, Big Difference. Over the last three weeks we have been running with one simple thought:
IT’S OFTEN THE SMALL THINGS THAT NO ONE SEES THAT RESULT IN THE BIG CHANGES THAT EVERYONE WANTS.
John Wooden, the famous basketball coach, said, “It’s the little things that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”
Change doesn’t happen on its own. It has to be intentional. You can’t lose weight just by thinking about it. You can’t stop bad habits by writing them down on a piece of paper and drawing a line through them. It takes more.
The same thing is true of spiritual growth. Life change is always a process of focussing on one small thing and then making incremental steps in the right direction that lead us to where we want and need to be.
The truth is that you should want to be healthy physically and spiritually. You should want to be disciplined enough to have control over your thoughts and actions.
It’s my firm belief that real, long-lasting change, happens when we pursue it for the right reasons and for the Glory of God.
Author, Gary Thomas has a book called Every Body Matters. It’s about taking care of your physical body from a Christian perspective. In it, he describes God process for change, which is called refinement.
The Bible uses the process of refining to describe God’s way of bringing about change in our lives.
Now refinement can be a process of moving from unhealthy to healthy, or from an addiction to freedom, but God uses that same word to describe what he wants to happen in our lives. He even uses the picture of metal being refined to describe his process for making a pure soul.
Scripture tells us that we aren’t where we need to be. We have impurities that need refined away. So God treats our souls as a silversmith treats metal. He refines them. The Psalmist says in Psalm 66:10 For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried.
And how is precious metal refined? With fire!
The refinement process is both fierce and necessary. It takes away the dross (impurities). And it has a purpose. 2 Timothy 2:20-21 says,
In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.
The reason you should want to change is not to impress anyone, not to show people how disciplined or special you are. Rather, it is to become as Paul writes “instruments for special purposes, holy, prepared to do any good work.”
Your ultimate goal should be Christlikeness! Jesus is the goal. You should want to be like Him in every area of life. You should desire the change that only He can bring about. And you should participate in His refinement process.
You can and should start small. Start with your Thoughts, Words, and Actions.
This sermons series, Small Things, Big Differences has been personally challenging for me. It has me thinking about “the little things that make big things happen.”
If you missed one of the messages they can be found on our church website under Resources/Sermons.
Giving Credit Where Credit is Due
The artwork and main idea for this series came from Life Church, which provides resources free of charge to churches all over the world. Life Church also provides the YouVersion bible app to everyone free of charge.