I have heard a lot of sermons in my 41 years on this earth; many more than I care to measure. But one particular sermon sticks out to me…well, one sermon title that is. One of my friends growing up was a young man from Glenwood, IA. Toby Schneckloth. We went through Master’s Commission together. I did 1 year––he did 4! He went on to join the staff at our home church, Bellevue Christian Center, in Bellevue, NE. Then he became the District Youth Director for Nebraska, an office that he still serves in today!
One of the very first sermons that he preached was entitled “Touched, but not Changed.” I have to confess, I don’t remember many of the details from that message, but its title has challenged me for some 20 years. One of the core values that I have strived to live by is that simple principle: to not be touched, but to be changed!
President Obama, recently visited Cedar Falls, IA, the city that I live in. His speech was by invitation only. In his coming to town, streets were closed, snow was cleared, havoc happened on a lot of the streets around downtown Cedar Falls. I saw more Police on Wednesday (1-14-15) morning than I have seen collectively in the 6 ½ months that I have lived here. I was definitely touched by the President’s trip to Cedar Falls, but the change is yet to be determined. (A lot to be said both for and against free broadband internet in every home in America.) The change in my life is really dependent on President Obama’s and Congress’ actions. I really don’t have a lot of say.
I will confess there are a lot of things in my life that need changing; my attitudes, actions, thoughts, and on down the line! I try to change but find, much to my dismay, that I am touched by the consequences of my attitudes, actions, and/or thoughts. But most of them require God’s touch in my life to actually change!
I believe the Bible gives a great prescription for change…
Romans 12:1-2 ESV “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Today, whether or not the President brings change to your life, whether or not you know exactly what you need to change… I’m banking on the fact that there is a place in your heart that knows you need change. No matter where you are or what you are doing, take a few moments and ask God to transform – change – your mind, the way you think! He will!
Why, because it’s His Will!