by Claude Thomas

Romans 8:28-39

Introduction: We live in a time when self-esteem, self-actualization, and personal significance are important. Books reveal that. Here are some titles to reflect it: Why You Act the Way You Do, Search for Significance, You Can Become the Person You Want to Be. Can we really? Is it possible to change?

If you asked Sigmund Freud, he would say, "No." Before he died, he confided in Vicktor Frankl, "The more I study man, the more I despise him." He despaired of man believing humanity was hopelessly fixed.

If you asked Karl Marx if there was hope for man to change, he would say, "Yes." He advocated that to change a person's economic environment was to, in fact, release the person to realize life.

If you asked Jesus, He would have said, "Yes." But He may have first warned that "to just change their environment is not enough. You can place a pear tree in an apple orchard and it is still a pear tree producing pears, not apples." Yet He would assure us that change is possible. And that we can be the person we truly want to be. How?

I. Accepting God's Goal for Our Lives - v. 29

Illustration: Stephen R. Covey wrote The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, subtitled, "Powerful Lessons in Personal Change." One of the principles he advocates is that of a personal goal. He calls it "begin with the end in mind." He suggests you imagine going to your own funeral. Four people speak about your life. A family member, a friend, a colleague, and a religious leader. Then ask, "Did they say what you would want them to say because they truly reflected who you were and what you did?"

He says highly effective people begin with a goal of what they want to be and do.

Transition Statement: Scripture identifies the goal for us.

Explanation: We can become the person we want to be by embracing God's goal for our lives. Two words reveal God's goal: "conformed" and "image." "Conform" means to be like, participat ...

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