Week of 1/03/2016 - Three Things That Must Happen for Change to Happen

SERIES OVERVIEW

We all need change. Whether it’s in discipline, faith, finances, or relationships, making changes can often seem impossible. But all change starts with a simple step. In this series, we will talk about what needs to happen in order for us to change and how we can experience the joy that comes with making changes in our lives.

SESSION OVERVIEW

Change is necessary but not always easy. In order to have true change there must fist be healthy evaluation. To often we change things superficially and miss the obvious, necessary change. Until we are obedient take responsibility and to make the right change, we will never find the true joy that real change can bring.

KEY PASSAGES

Philippians 4:13
Luke 15:11-24

GOAL FOR THIS SESSION

In this session, we seek to discover the change we all must make, take responsibility for that change, and learn to live in obedience to make the necessary change.

KEY POINTS

1. We must see change as necessary.

Only when come to the realization of the necessity of change, as Pastor Don said “our tire is flat”, can we begin the process of change.

Luke 15:11-17
11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. 13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!

2. We must take responsibility.

It is easier to blame others or our circumstances for our current condition. We can’t control our circumstances or others around us. We can control our response and our own actions to move forward. It doesn’t matter how we got where we are, we are still responsible to make the change.

Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

3. We must live obedient.

Once we have embraced the need for change, we must take action. Change is not a one time action, but a process or series of steps that leads us to the change we need. As we walk in obedience, God will make the changes we seek above and beyond our expectations.

Luke 15:18-21
18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

LEADERSHIP 101

To many, the idea of change has become laughable. A sense of hopelessness and helplessness of past failures overshadows the desire and need for change. We have tried to change symptoms of the problem without addressing the real issue and our change is superficial and temporary. Some within your group may have fallen into the idea that they are victims of circumstances and beyond change. True change is possible! Jesus will never lead us to a change that He is not capable of sustaining us through. When we embrace the real need for the right change and begin the process in His strength nothing is impossible. With these three truths we can equip those within our group to discover real life change is possible through Christ.

Session 1: Three Things That Must Happen For Change to Happen

DISCUSSION

Use the questions provided in each session to facilitate your group’s discussion and application of each topic.

GET GOING

  • ASK: “Have any of you made New Year resolutions?

If yes, can you share one of them?

Have others in the group write them down so they can pray for one another.

If no, why not?

  • Remind those in your group of illustration Pastor Don used of the flat tire.

You and I try to change everything about us except to fix our flat tire.

The Problem is not

* I need to Re-Locate

* I need a New Marriage

* I need a New Job

* I need a New Truck

* I need a New Tattoo – Hair Color – More Piercings

* I need a New Church

* I need a New Pastor

This does not change the flat tire!

  • SAY “If you have a flat tire, you take it with you every place you go.”
  • ASK: How many of the resolutions have failed only because we have been trying to correct the symptom of the real problem rather than the problem?

GET DEEP

Read Philippians 4:13
  • ASK: How does this verse address the concern that we have that we can never change?
Read Luke 15:11-16
  •  How many bad choices did the son make?
  • What circumstances beyond the control of the son lead to his current situation?
  •  Does the son’s poor decisions or bad circumstance surrounding him take away from the fact that he needs to make a change?

Key Point One: We must see change as necessary.

Only when come to the realization of the necessity of change, as Pastor Don said “our tire is flat”, can we begin the process of change.

Read Luke 15:17

  • How did the son finally realize it was time to change?
  • What excuses could he have used not to change? (He could have blamed his dad for giving him the money, blamed his former friends for using him, even God for the famine.)
  • What excuses do we use not to change? (Parents or lack of, finances, DNA I was born this way)
  • Do we sometimes blame others? Does circumstance beyond our control sometimes play into our excuses for change?
Read Philippians 4:13 again.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
  • Is Jesus bigger than our past, our bad decisions and circumstance? Yes
  • So how does that change our perspective for change?

Key Point Two: We must take responsibility/

It is easier to blame our past, others, and our circumstances for our current condition. We can’t control our circumstances or other around us. We can control our response and our own actions to move forward. It doesn’t matter how we got where we are, we are still responsible to make the change.

  • Jesus will never lead to to change that he will not sustain you through.
Read Luke 15:18
  • Once the son discovered his need for change ,what was his process for change to take place?
  • Was his plan a good plan? (Yes, his plan was very practical.)
  • What were the possible risk involved in the son’s plan? (Yes. his father could have rejected him.)
  • How can we plan for change? (be humble be, practical, accept the possible risk)
Read Luke 15:20-21
  • The son made a plan, but what made it necessary for the plan to work? (He got up and went to his father)
  • How affective are plans without action? (For change to occur it must accompany action. There is always a first step.)
Read Luke 15:22-24
  • When the son made his plans, what did he not consider in the possible out come? (the fathers heart and the father’s ability, resources or strength to restore him fully)
  • How often do we limit our potential to change by not considering or including God’s potential working for us?

I can do something’s to improve my situation but God can do more than we ever expected when we allow Him to make his change in us.

Key Point 3: We must live obedient.

Once we have embraced the need for change, we must take action. Change is not a one-time action but a process or series of steps that leads us to the change we need. As we walk in obedience, God will make the changes we seek above and beyond our expectations.

NEXT STEP

Help your Group identify and take their next steps with Jesus. Pray with them and for them. Ask them about their next steps later this week.

  • Are you a 100% sure there you will spend eternity?

Today may be the day you need to take your first step by giving your heart to Jesus. He has been pursuing you.

  • Are you content with exactly who you are and do not think there is anything you need to change? You could be 100% right or Your next Step may be for you to ask God if he would like you to change anything. Anything
  • Is there a change the Lord is leading you to make but you have allowed fear, past failures or circumstance as an excuse not to change? Your next step maybe to take responsibility for the need to change and no longer allow those excuses to hold you back. Memorizing Philippians 4:13 will help you in this.

Do you have a plan to change? Your next Step may be to limit yourself by your own abilities or expectation and ask God to exceed your expectation as he see fit.

PRAY

Pray for your group to allow God to be the center of whatever changes they ne to make. Pray the promise of Philippians 4:13 over them. That they can do ALL things through Christ.