TRANSFORMATION #2: TRANSFORMING YOUR RELATIONSHIPS
(Beausejour Church – Pastor Chris Jordan)
To listen to or download the audio MP3, click HERE.
INTRO TO TOPIC: Two weeks ago we started a new series in the Sermon on the Mount, looking at the greatest message ever preached by Jesus.
“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” (Matt. 7:24-27, NKJV).
- If you want to experience a transformed life, we must build it on Jesus’ teaching!
THE BIG IDEA: In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gives us wisdom for transforming our relationships from shallow and superficial to deep and meaningful.
TRANSFORMATION DEFINED: to change in form, appearance, or structure; metamorphosis; to change in condition, nature, or character; convert.
- Jesus wants to help us transform our relationships!
- If they’re bad, they can become good. If they’re already good, they can become better!
ILLUSTRATION: “Arrest Mistake”
A man was being tailgated by a stressed-out woman on a busy road. Suddenly the light turned yellow just in front of him. He does the right thing and stopped at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection.
The tailgating woman hit the roof and the horn, screaming in frustration as she missed her chance to get through the intersection. As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer. The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up. He took her to the police station where she was searched, fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in a cell.
After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the door. She was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting. He said, “I’m very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping the guy off in front of you, and cussing a blue streak at him.” “I noticed the “What Would Jesus Do” bumper sticker, and the silver Christian fish emblem on the trunk. Naturally I assumed you had stolen the car.”
- Do you need a transformation in YOUR life?
THE GUIDELINES FOR LIVING A TRANSFORMED LIFE:
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5:17-20).
- If we teach and do His commandments, we will be great in the Kingdom.
- FATHER ILLUSTRATION: As a father, I have rules for my kids because I love them.
- We don’t keep God’s commands to get God to love us.
- They are for our benefit, to help us transform our lives for the better!
1. FROM ANGER AND OFFENSE TO LOVE AND FORGIVENESS:
“You have heard that it was said to those of old: ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you (offense), leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Assuredly, I say to you, you will be no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.” (Matt. 5:21-26).
- Remember, our highest calling is to love God and love people.
- If we don’t love people, we don’t really love God (1 John 4:20).
- Be quick to make things right in your relationships.
- If someone has offended you, go and talk to them about it.
- To be transformed in our relationships, we must walk in love and forgiveness.
- In the next chapter, Jesus teaches: “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matt. 6:14-15).
2. FROM LUST TO PURITY:
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery’. But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28).
- Jesus said that blessings don’t come just from an external observance of the rules.
- We must have a clean hands AND a pure heart! Jesus said that lust is as bad as adultery.
- When a man looks at pornography, he begins to see women as mere objects for his pleasure, instead of a sister in Christ that he should love and respect.
ILLUSTRATION: A man and his wife were shopping at a mall kiosk, and a beautiful young woman in a short, form-fitting dress strolled by. His eyes followed her. Without looking up from the item she was examining, his wife asked, “Was it worth the trouble you’re in?”
Jesus said: “If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you, for it is more profitable for you that one of your members should perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.” (Matthew 5:29-30).
- In verses 29-30, Jesus is talking about radical amputation – but he is not telling you to actually physically cut off your hands or pluck out your eyes!
- Radical amputation = to cut off all accesses in your life to temptation.
- To have blessed relationships, we must walk in purity.
3. FROM UNFAITHFULNESS TO FAITHFULNESS:
“Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you what whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.” (Matt. 5:31-32).
- People today don’t understand the Biblical concept of covenant – promise – faithfulness.
- The Bible says, “A friend loves at all times.” (Prov. 17:17).
- To have healthy relationships, we must walk in faithfulness – and love at all times.
- When a friend messes up, forgive them! Don’t ‘unfriend’ them!
CLOSING BIBLE STORY:
“Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” This they said, testing Him… But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear. So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one… And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” (John 8:3-11).
- Like Jesus, we need to make sure that we don’t condemn people who sin.
- But in the same way, if we discover that we have sinned, we need to go and sin no more.
CLOSING CHALLENGE: HOW DO WE CHANGE?
- Do you want to experience a transformation in your relationships?
- Then it’s time to replace your anger and offense with love and forgiveness.
- It’s time to replace your lust with purity, and replace your unfaithfulness with faithfulness.
THE GOAL = BE MORE LIKE JESUS:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” (Gal. 5:22-23).
HOW TO GET THERE – SPEND TIME WITH JESUS:
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5).
Beausejour Community Church Website: www.beausejourchurch.ca
Pastor Chris Jordan’s Blog: https://pastorchrisjordan.wordpress.com/