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Deep Hope

We are being formed into the likeness of Christ.
This sermon is part of the sermon series "Living Deep". See series.

The person I want to be

We never stop longing to be better people, do we? There's always some aspect of our behavior or personality that we wish we could change.

I spent a few minutes browsing through the self-improvement section of the bookstore and found a variety of intriguing titles: Personal Development for Dummies, Reinventing Yourself, Becoming a Life-Change Artist, and this ominous title, Change or Die. I found books to help you get organized, improve your memory, be more assertive, stop procrastinating, overcome anger, stop being late, and even how to make people like you! If you're really committed to change, there's a 500-page volume entitled Building the Best You: A Two-Year Discovery Journal. If you don't have that kind of time, you can pick up a much thinner volume that promises to Change Almost Anything in 21 Days. It all sounds so simple and promising, but is that kind of change really possible?

Can an introvert become the life of the party? Can a procrastinator ever learn to work ahead? One psychologist has his doubts. He says, "You can train a poodle to bark, but it will never be a German shepherd." Can we change who we are, deep down, on the inside?

And what's true for people in general—this desire to become a better person—takes on special meaning for people who call themselves Christians. We not only want to become better people, but we want to become Christ-like people. How does that happen?

Take Albert, our imaginary letter-writer this week. He's an older man who's been following Christ his whole life. He has certainly grown in his faith over the years. He's made progress in some areas, but there are still things he'd like to change. He's still not the man or the Christ-follower he longs to ...

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Bryan Wilkerson is pastor of Grace Chapel in Lexington, Massachusetts.

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Sermon Outline:

Introduction: The person I want to be

I. Confident at his coming

II. Hope or fear?

III. Born of God

IV. Becoming like him

V. Who we will be

VI. How does transformation happen?

VII. Deep hope