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Call to Conversion

By on July 22, 2018

Series: James (Jesus’ Bold, Younger Brother)
Today: Call to Conversion
Rev. Laura Brewster

Introduction
The Cullinan Diamond was a diamond in the rough before it was cut into separate brilliant diamonds. We are diamonds in the rough when we first become Christians. We have accepted Jesus into our hearts and lives, but we are still imperfect. We need God’s Holy Spirit to chip away at our sinful behavior and help us become people who truly reflect the light and love of God.

Scripture Reading – James 4:1-10
James, Jesus’ bold, younger brother challenges to understand our need to change and challenges us to ask God to help us change. Read James 4:1-10. Some of the Christians James wrote to were harboring envy and selfish ambition in their hearts. That, in turn, led to fighting, hatred, ill will and arrogance. In addition, some of those Christians were not praying properly. They were treating God like a cosmic bellhop and asking God to fulfill their own personal desires instead of praying for God’s will. We can be like that too.

God Refines Us Through Sanctification
God uses the process of sanctification to gradually convert our respective hearts and minds. During sanctification, the Holy Spirit nudges us to identify or recognize a behavior or an attitude that we need to change so that we can better live and love in line with God’s ways. The Holy Spirit then empowers us and helps us to make that change
Two important details about sanctification:

  1. Sanctification will not occur without our participation. Change is not imposed upon us. One author puts it this way: “Our God does not shackle us with grace. We must willingly cooperate with God in the process of conversion/transformation.”
  2. A second aspect of sanctification that we should make note of is that it is a lifelong process.

Challenge:
Imagine that the diamond in the rough pictured here is your life. As you touch it, consider these questions: How has God been calling you to change your attitude or your behavior? What is God asking you to chip away at so that you are better positioned to love him and better able to share his love with others? Is it time to forgive someone? Is it time to forgive a friend who hurt you? Is it time to clean up your language? Is it time to begin to share more of your wealth with those in need? Is it time to become active in a new ministry that will allow you to bless others? What is God’s Spirit telling you?

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Contemporary Worship 9:00am - Sunday Study Groups 10:10am - Traditional Worship 11:00am

7050 Village Center Drive, Austin, TX 78731 512.345.1743 info@NWHillsUMC.org