Christmas: God Changes Us
By Rick Warren
— December 20, 2011
“I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?” (Romans 7:24 MSG)
Have you figured out yet that a lot of times you are your own worst enemy? It’s your own reactions, your own fears, your own inadequacies that cause you to act in foolish ways. I know that’s true for me.
I need to be saved from myself because there are things I don’t like about me, things I wish I had done differently, things I’d like to change. But I can’t change them, not on my own power. I need an outside power source.
You may be saying, “I can change.” I hate to say this, but you can’t. In January, you’re going to make a list of New Year’s resolutions. And, by the end of January, that list will be in the dumpster. Why? Because you can’t change on your own; you need God’s power. You need a Savior; someone who can make the changes you can’t make yourself.
Let me make an important point here: God never wastes energy. He doesn’t waste effort on things that are unnecessary. In other words, if you didn’t need a Savior, he wouldn’t have sent one. The very fact that God sent a Savior means you need one.
The truth is, if you are honest about it, sometimes you feel like your life is out of control. That’s a pretty common feeling. Welcome to the human race!
The apostle Paul felt that way 2,000 years ago. Paul says this in the Bible: “I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question? The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does”(Romans 7:24-25 MSG).That’s the answer!
Let me be honest with you. You may be looking for salvation in the wrong places; that’s why you’re frustrated. You’re looking for that one thing that’s going to give you fulfillment and meaning and peace in life.
Some of us think that if we could just get married, or if we could just get a certain job, or a promotion, or attain a certain level of wealth, or have a baby — or if our babies would grow up and graduate! — things would be great.
You’re looking in the wrong places.
A lot of people are looking for salvation in a self-help book. Or they’re looking for it in therapy or in a fad or diet. Or they’re looking for it in a vacation: “If I could just escape to Tahiti, everything would be great.” The problem is that if you go to Tahiti, you’re taking you with you!
The answer is not in a place. It’s not in a program or a pill. The answer is a person: Jesus Christ. You were made by God and for God, and until you understand that, life is never going to make sense.
How would your life change if you fully accepted your dependence upon Jesus? What would a “fully accepting” faith look like?
Watch a short video sample from Pastor Rick on the importance of love. Saddleback Resources offers 40 Days of Love, a six-week, video-based study for small groups or individuals that searches the Scripture for what love is, the characteristics of love, and how our relationships can be transformed by love.
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional © 2011 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.