I’m not the same person I was a few years ago … or even a few days ago … and neither are you. Science teaches us that …
- The cells that line your stomach can renew every 2 days.
- Your skin cells regenerate every 2-3 weeks.
- Bones regenerate every 10 years.
- Unfortunately, that donut from 10 years ago might still be in a fat cell.
With the exception of the donut, all this renewal and regeneration goes on without much effort on our part. Now, you might be thinking, “Ken, that’s fascinating information. But how does that help me follow Jesus?”
Here’s the thing: I’m not same person I was a few years ago … or even a few days ago. Not just biologically, but – more importantly – spiritually. Which brings me to why Christians gather to worship. It’s not to swap ideas on being better parents or grandparents.
Christian worship celebrates the transforming power of Jesus.
I believe the transformation I’ve experienced is the direct result of living the resurrected life of Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. What do you do when you experience this transformation?
We’ll look at one example from the Old Testament.
1 I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. 2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. 3 He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him. – Psalm 40:1-3
If you’ve never read this passage but think it sounds familiar, it’s probably because you’ve heard U2’s version of Psalm 40 on radio. But Bono didn’t write the lyrics. It was David, as in King David – the same David who killed Goliath. David used poetry to explain his relationship with God.
God didn’t rescue David from an actual slimy pit or from mud or mire. Good poetry is good because it captures how we sometimes feel. Ever feel stuck? Not literally, feet in concrete but stuck in old habits, addictions, or repetitive thoughts? Then you’re in good company.
David, one of the most famous men in the Bible, felt the same way. How did David explain this transformation? While David waited patiently and did a fair amount of crying, it was God who did all the heavy lifting.
This personal transformation takes a public turn.
9 I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, Lord, as you know. 10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help. I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness from the great assembly. – Psalm 40:9-10
From the very beginnings of the church, the church has emphasized public declarations of faith. Communion and baptism are two examples. Communion retells the death of Jesus and memorializes why he died. Baptism shows how we join in his death, burial, resurrection. Both of these were designed to be experienced within the community of God’s people.
Why does David speak publicly about what God has done? The same reason we are to share what Jesus has done for us. This transforming power is available to all who seek God …
16 But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who long for your saving help always say, “The Lord is great!” 17 But as for me, I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me. You are my help and my deliverer; you are my God, do not delay. – Psalm 40:16-17
The older I get, the more I can relate to David – the more I feel poor and needy. It’s ironic because I’m earning more than I ever have (don’t get any wild ideas about how much – I’m still a pastor /wife teacher!). I’m more educated now than I was in my 20s-30s-40’s. Maybe it’s better to say I’m more aware of my limitations.
At some point, you will encounter something that feels overwhelming. Your best ideas didn’t work. Your options have been exhausted. Apart from God’s intervention … this leads to despair.
“I am poor and needy and there is nothing I can do.”
But there is always something God can do. In fact, there are things that only God can do. We find the greatest example of this in Jesus. Only Jesus could live a full and perfect life. Only Jesus could die bearing our guilt and shame. Only Jesus could be raised to life, never to die again.
Only Jesus can work this same power in your life.
Experience and Background
- Professor at Warner University
- masters in business administration (mba)
- presenter at the WFX National Conference
- former president, Church Planters of the Rockies
- helped start 2 for-profit tech companies
To get a better feel for my style and personality, you can watch past sermons on our YouTube channel.
Need an engaging speaker for your event or conference? At the moment, I am available on a limited basis to speak for seminars, workshops, or worship services. Click here to learn more.
I’ve written a few books that might help! You’ll find books on preaching, leadership, Ephesians, as well as my first novel. Follow this link to learn more.