Skip to main content

The Power to Change

"This is the third time I am coming to you. Every fact is to be confirmed by the testimony of two or three witnesses.
I have previously said when present the second time, and though now absent I say in advance to those who have sinned in the past and to all the rest as well, that if I come again I will not spare anyone, since you are seeking for proof of the Christ who speaks in me, and who is not weak toward you, but mighty in you. For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, yet we will live with Him because of the power of God directed toward you."

Good Morning Beloved,

Welcome to worship this Lord's Day.
We're so glad you're here.

As Christians, when we are in trouble, our first instinct is to pray. And that’s right. That is as it should be. However, the problem is that when we are in trouble, our natural instinct is to pray for ourselves. And that’s when things go wrong. That’s our mistake. When we pray for others, and we will discover our own problems are being dealt with as well.

Now, that is assuming that all of us are people who do indeed pray. Some more than others, some differently than others. However, I am assuming that as Christians, as God's people, we do pray.

And, I am also assuming that all of us are people with problems. At some time or another, all of us face some kind of problems or issues. Some are quite severe, complex, some are in regard to health or finances or jobs, while others are bad habits, misbehaving family members, with others, its all of the above. Others, have smaller problems, less difficult issues. However, we’re human, therefore, we all have problems.

Well, then, it stands to reason that if we are praying people and we have problems, then a good bit of the time we follow that first instinct: to pray for answers to our own problems. We believe that if we pray for what we need, it will come.

The more we choose to pray for others the more we will receive power to resolve our own personal problems. The more we choose to pray for others, and for their wholeness, the more we will receive the power to handle our own needs.

Paul was a man with a problem. In fact, I guess he would be classified as one of those whose problems are complex. His issues just wouldn’t go away. At least not where his relationship to the church in Corinth was concerned. Many of you know the story: how the church in Corinth was torn by factions and destroyed by immorality, how there were people speaking in tongues and other people determined to put down those who spoke in tongues. Paul had tried his best to deal with all of that.

But somewhere along the way Paul himself had become part of the problem: not just an outsider trying to give advice, but an integral part of the conflict. Paul had been falsely accused of any number of things. There were people within the church who had been saying that his preaching was poor; there were others who had been complaining because he didn’t come to see them when he promised to. Still others accused him of being inconsistent, and some even hinted that he had messed up the finances. They even criticized his physical appearance.

That’s a lot for one man to take. If Paul had been the pastor of a modern church, he would have been putting out a résumé all over the world, looking for a new place to preach!

Let's bow our heads in prayer.
Heavenly Father,
Father, we thank You for this rich truth in Word today. Thank You for the clarity in Scripture of these matters of great importance, great significance, matters so close to Your heart. Lord, it grieves our hearts that the church has become so irreverent to You, so indifferent to Your Word. Raise up Your church, burden the hearts of Your called pastors, to become consumed not with style, but with substance, doctrinal integrity and the purity of Your church, that we might confront doctrinal error and sin, calling others to full repentance, producing transformed lives.
Lord, we pray that we might willingly, joyfully, gladly be under submission to Your Word, convict our hearts to its personal application, that we might become more holy, that Your power might be manifest.
May it all be for Your glory and increase and the furtherance of the Gospel.
In Christs' name
Today's Message: The Power To Change

All across this nation, all around the world there are great efforts being taken to "reinvent" the Church. Under the pretense, of the fear is that the Church is not speaking to the current culture, the current age, therefore, people are not listening. Claiming the church has become obsolete, if the church doesn't change, alter its message to become culturally relevant, it will likely not survive.

Quite frankly, I am deeply disturbed by such a claim! You mean to tell me, that the church that Christ said He would build, the church whom the gates of Hades could not prevail, the church He purchased with His blood, will somehow cease to exist, if it doesn't somehow adapt to the world philosophies and become less confrontational about sin, replacing preacher with charismatic public speakers, who from a central location, through the internet hold services in a multitude of "pastor-less satellite churches." who seek to put an end to sermons, considered to be a "one sided communication" from Almighty God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth to His people, and replace them with an interactive message, one that caters more to those who sporadically attend church. I dare to think of such a "church!" Ours is not a moral agenda. Ours is a spiritual one. If you would ask me what the church needs to do, I would simply direct you to Scripture, the Word of God! He has revealed it all in His Word.
I believe, that the only way the church will ever overcome the current cultural crisis of our day, is by the Word of God, working powerfully within the Church. Pastors must return to teaching the whole counsel of God, with the God-intended power and authority over all who hear it. The modern church is often lax and pastors are disobedient in exercising church discipline these days, however, that doesn’t change the need for it. Furthermore, I believe there is a equally a need for the congregations, to hold the pastor accountable to teaching the whole counsel of God. Not to "skip over" difficult to teach, or unpopular passages, simply to "tickle the ears," of the congregation. I believe, the single greatest problem with the Church today, is it has lost its genuine interest in holiness, righteousness, purity and accountability, to God and each other. We now have an entire generation of pastors and an entire generation of Christians, who have never experienced Church discipline, and furthermore, who are ignorant to it and know nothing about it.

Open with me your Bibles to the book of II Corinthians chapter 13, today we'll be looking at verses 1 through 4. I invite you to follow along with me, as I read the wonderfully rich text, to get it settled in our mind and to prepare our hearts for what the Spirit of the Lord has to say. II Corinthians 13:1-4.

"This is the third time I am coming to you. Every fact is to be confirmed by the testimony of two or three witnesses. I have previously said when present the second time, and though now absent I say in advance to those who have sinned in the past and to all the rest as well, that if I come again I will not spare anyone, since you are seeking for proof of the Christ who speaks in me, and who is not weak toward you, but mighty in you. For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, yet we will live with Him because of the power of God directed toward you."

We must begin by recognizing one simple truth: that we live in an intricate web, where our personal lives and our interpersonal relationships all affect one another. Let me put it another way, many of our personal problems are really interpersonal, and much of our interpersonal problems are compounded by our personal issues. Perhaps, I can put it simpler still, if I am having problems with me, that will cause me to have problems with you. And if I am having problems with you, that will make my problems with me all the worse.

Suppose one night you didn’t get a good sleep. Perhaps, the baby cried all night, keeping you awake, or you saw a scary movie, and it kept you awake. Whatever the case, you just didn’t get much of a sleep, but off you went to work the next morning, drowsy, dragging, and distracted. When you got there, the boss, who is always at work early, always alert, always hard working, charges in, and wants to know when you're going to be done with the job you've been working on, and why you haven’t produced that report he asked for, and were you the person who left the door unlocked yesterday? 

What do you do? In the face of all of these accusations, most of which make you look incompetent and weak, what do you do? Well, you can swallow your pride, and resent the boss, or you can make excuses, and resent the boss; or you can lash out and accuse the boss of being mean, unreasonable and unfair, and really resent the boss! Any way you slice it, you resent the boss, you wish he would just fall into a hole somewhere and leave you alone. You're tired and not in the mood!

But what is all that really about? It's about feeling weak. Let's be honest, it is hard to feel ineffective. And when we feel weak, when we think we look small before others, we tend to lash out and defend ourselves. We get angry, we get hostile, because we have a need to win, we need to look powerful. I don't mean just the desire to win, but a need to win. 
Tell me that something I want to do is wrong, that something I believe in is misguided or a mistake and back in the day, I would have become stubborn, because I needed to win. Tell me that something I have said was not correct, and I would get defensive, and I would go out of my way to prove my point all the more, because I had a need to look powerful.
In verse 2, the apostle Paul starts down that path. It looks as though he reacts from out of his gut, just like many of the rest of us, "I have previously said when present the second time, and though now absent I say in advance to those who have sinned in the past and to all the rest as well, that if I come again I will not spare anyone." Paul is reacting to the charge that he is weak, because, like most of us, he now has a need to win. However, if the Corinthians thought Paul was weak, then they would naturally also find Christ to be weak as well since Paul was following His example. But now, his personal problems have become interpersonal ones, and his interpersonal problems have made his personal problems to be all the worse.
However, now this is where things abruptly turn and take a different course. This is where Paul catches himself and takes a different tack, meaning, he tries a different approach. All of a sudden Paul stops screaming. He stops screaming at his critics and he does something else instead. What? He prays for them. He prays for them, and he prays for their completeness. I realize that I'm skipping ahead just a bit, but I'd like you to listen to his language carefully in verse 7: "Now we pray to God that you do no wrong; not that we ourselves may appear approved, but that you may do what is right, even though we may appear unapproved." We'll talk about that more in our next lesson.

The beginning of verse 4, Paul notes the bright, and shining example that Jesus left for us on the way that He handles power and weakness. It’s to the cross. It's to the cross! Christs’ crucifixion was not a sign of weakness, but one of love. In the moment of Jesus going to cross, it seemed a defeat. It seemed that evil had won, that Jesus was not powerful enough. However, we know that is not what was actually going on. Jesus did not go to the cross because He lacked the power to overcome the Pharisees and Romans, but because He loved us and willingly laid down His life to free us from sin. That those who would believe on Him, accepting His atonement for sin, would escape the horrifying punishment that He received in our place. What an incredible, marvelous act of love! And, to think some still refuse to receive His act of love, is beyond my comprehension!

In Closing...
Jesus, during His earthly life, spoke of His dependence on the Father to accomplish what He was doing. Beloved, that manifests in our lives as well. It is our awareness of our dependence on the Father that opens the door for God’s power in our lives. Our power in Christ does not come from pretending like we are "all that!" Because we're not, in fact, apart from Christ, we are nothing.

Just as Christ's resurrection came by the power of the Father, so too comes through humbling ourselves and believing that God’s power flows through our weakness. Just as the apostle Paul was not focused on his position or power, but rather Christ’s power to change them. Christ is the head of His church. The church is not its own authority; it’s not its own leadership, everything comes down from Christ. Just as every order that comes down to your body, comes from your head, your brain. There is no diffused authority.
Though we may want people in our lives to change, that change in behavior can only occur through Christ, by turning them over to Christ. We cannot change others simply because we want them to. However, often times, He also changes us in that process. And, is that really such a bad thing? We may think ourselves to be perfect and the our problem is all due to someone else, however, God sees us who we really are, in our heart. We should therefore welcome His "changing us too!"

May it be so...

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name

Copyright © 2019-2020 All Rights Reserved

The Brian Monzon Ministries



Email *

Message *

Check Out Our Most Popular Messages

You Can't Quarantine The Word of God

" 35  Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, He got up, went out, and made His way to a deserted place. And He was praying there. 36  Simon and his companions went searching for Him. 37  They found Him and said, “Everyone’s looking for You!” 38  And He said to them, “Let’s go on to the neighboring villages so that I may preach there too. This is why I have come.” 39  So He went into all of Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons. 40  Then a man with a serious skin disease came to Him and, on his knees, begged Him: “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” 41  Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out His hand and touched him. “I am willing,” He told him. “Be made clean.” 42  Immediately the disease left him, and he was healed. 43  Then He sternly warned him and sent him away at once, 44  telling him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go and show yourself to the priest, and offer what Moses prescribed for your cleansin

The Things Which Must Soon Take Place

    " The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John, 2  who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. 3  Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near." Revelation 1:1-3 Good Morning my beloved,   We welcome you to worship in the name of the Lord. Thank you for joining us today, we're glad to have you here. We are especially grateful for those of you who have been sharing the ministry website with all of your family and friends. Your faithfulness to share God's Word with others continues to bring about tremendous results. We are grateful to each of you. And through your sharing, God has brought a number of people to Christ. Praise God! May He continue to use you and this minist

Nothing Has Changed If You Haven’t Changed

Good Morning beloved family, I'm so glad to have all of you joining us today! Let's give a shout of praise to the Lord! Amen! Heavenly Father, As we gather here today, enlighten our understanding, purify our hearts every desire, quicken our wills, and strengthen every right purpose. Grant us wisdom and discernment, that we may better know Your Word and understand. Direct us, in clarity, during this time of worship, guide us to the magnifying and exalting of Your name, and to the e nduring good of us Your children and servants, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen " To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:   A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted; A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up; A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A ti

Ministry With A Mission

    " Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus, who is our hope, 2  To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord." I Timothy 1:1-2     Good Morning my beloved,   We welcome to all of our beloved brothers and sisters, from all around the world, who have been lead to join us today. We are glad to have you here!   I know that I mentioned this to you in our last message, however, Scripture calls us to pray with and for our brothers and sister in Christ. I again, would like to encourage all of you to visit our Prayer Wall, there are a number of them who are in great need of some faithful prayer warriors. I pray that you will join us in praying for them in their time of need. I would greatly appreciate it, and I know that they would as well!   I Timothy 2:1 tells us " First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and than

The Power Of A Humble Prayer

      " Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord will spread rapidly and be glorified, just as it did also with you; 2  and that we will be rescued from perverse and evil men; for not all have faith. 3  But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one . 4  We have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that you are doing and will continue to do what we command. 5  May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ." II Thessalonians 3:1-5     Good Morning my beloved,   Welcome to all of our beloved brothers and sisters, from all around the world, who have been prompted to join us today. We are glad to have you here!   I believe that peace, encouragement and good hope are present realities for any true believer. It stands in stark contrast to what the world offers. In the face of life's challenges, discouragements persecution, and shattered dreams, God brings encouragement to th