Step 6: Preparing the Garden


“Life Change from the Heart” is a sermon series on how God changes us from the heart through the gospel. How does change from the heart happen? After we surrender our life to God, we start the process of cleaning the inside of the cup, our heart. We go through an extensive process of self-examination to find self-indulgence in our heart. Then, we confess what we find to God, ourselves, and to another person. Step 6, the subject of this week’s sermon, is about repentance, changing the posture of our heart. Although repentance is a separate step, it is really a continuation of self-examination and confession. As we begin to see how self-indulgent our heart has been, we start the process of changing the posture of our heart from being self-indulgent to seeking God’s grace. We don’t just repent of our behavior (our bad habits, our anger, our alcoholism, our sinful lifestyle, etc.); we repent of various ways in which we have self-indulged: self-pity, self-centeredness, dishonesty, sloth, pride, etc. We repent of our heart’s biggest idol: self; then, we open our hearts towards God. The parable of the sower helps us understand our part of preparing our soil—our heart—to the work of God, the Great Gardener.


This is a series about how God changes us from the heart. We saw that the fruit of the Spirit is a picture of a changed life—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. That’s the destination. The way we get there is by living in the Spirit. The Bible tells us what it means to live by the Spirit and Bill W. and Dr. Bob who wrote 12-step recovery program did a great job distilling it from the Big Big Book, the Bible. So, we are going to look at what it means to live by the Spirit as we look at the process outlined in the 12-step recovery program; and as we do this, we are going to do this from the perspective of its biblical roots just as the co-founders did.
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