8 CHARACTERISTICS OF A CHANGED LIFE
Here at Colonial Woods, we have eight characteristics that we believe define a changed life. These shape the way we do church and they way we seek to grow in our faith.
Our lives should be marked by how we worship God. That can look different from person to person, but we should be people who regularly express to God our love for Him. God doesn't need our worship- He is already complete and holy by His very nature. Worship changes us- it softens our hearts and refines us and reminds us that we are not in control, God is. As a church, we want to come into worship with a spirit of expectation that God will move and speak to us.
Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! -Psalm 95:6
We know that if we want to be a church of change then we need to be a praying church. We can do nothing on our own. Prayer changes us. Prayer changes atmospheres. Prayer changes others. If we want to see any kind of change in our world or ourselves it starts with prayer.
Prayer is such an important piece to us that we have created one night a week dedicated to a time of prayer. We would love for you to join us on a Wednesday for our Prayer Awakening Service and experience a sweet time of meeting with Jesus.
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. -James 5:16
God's Word is living and active, therefore it has the power to change us. It is a love letter made up of 1,189 chapters, written for us today. We believe that God's Word is without error so we can trust what it says to us. There is so much in the Bible that guides, encourages and instructs us on daily living and practice of our Christian faith. If we want to see change, we simply need to pick up God's Word and let's His Words change us.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. -Hebrews 4:12
Community is God’s desire for us. Scripture is all about living in community. The Bible tells us to spend time and bear with one another in community. No matter what stage of life you are in, you always have something to share or learn from others. You are called to love one another, lift each other up, and be the friend that each of us longs for. God didn’t intend for us to live life alone! That's why as followers of Christ, we need to make sure we are consistency a part of Christian community.
And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, not staying away from our worship meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near. -Hebrews 10:24-25
Outreach matters because it matters to God. Jesus clearly stated His mission statement when He said: “I have come to seek and to save the lost.” His mission should be our mission. He looked at the crowds and had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. Our hearts should break for the things that break God’s heart. So how are you finding ways to reach out to people who don't yet know Jesus?
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? -Romans 10:14-15
The term ministry, in the Bible, maintains a rather consistent meaning related to SERVING. So in simple terms, TO MINISTER means to serve God and others on God’s behalf. When we have encountered God, it is natural for us to want to serve others and help them find God too. Ministry can take a lot of different forms- helping in the nursery, washing communion trays, greeting people as they come to church, singing on the worship team- but no matter what you are DOING it should all be about SERVING God and others.
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me. -Matthew 25:35
Living as a steward means surrendering your time, resources and finances to God and recognizing yourself as a manager, not owner, of all you have. It is a part of our identity, not just our behavior. The Greek word for stewardship is "oikonomia" which refers to the managing of the household in order to increase its value for all of its members. As believers in the pursuit of living changed lives, this is a crucial area because not only does it benefit others, but it challenges us on a deep level to live in surrender.
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace. -1 Peter 4:10
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, transformation means “a complete or major change in someone or something’s appearance, form, etc.” The thing about transformation is that we can't force it or fake it; transformation comes about as a natural response to God working in us. We can’t transform ourselves by simply making up our minds to do so. But as Romans 12:2 tells us, we can “be transformed;” that is, we can cooperate with the Lord to allow this process of transformation to take place in us. This characteristic of a changed life is at the root of all of our 8 characteristics. They all work together as Christ is working in us.
But we all with unveiled face, beholding and reflecting like a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord Spirit. -2 Corinthians 3:18