Changing the World—One Person at a Time
August 1, 2003 - When you watch the evening news on television or read your morning newspaper, do you ever react by desperately wishing you could change the decisions and discussions and debates—or the attitudes and actions and aims—into those which would truly benefit others and glorify God? Do you ever yearn for the world to be changed into a place where God's will is done here on earth, as it is in heaven? Do you become so discouraged at the overwhelming odds against that kind of change that you shrug, sigh and become even more immersed in your own affairs? Before you give up altogether, maybe the world can be changed after all ... one person at a time.
by Anne Graham Lotz
The first chapter in the Bible gives you and me the keys to changing our world.
Read Genesis 1
The Desperate Condition
- From Genesis 1:2, give four descriptive words or phrases of planet Earth.
- How could each description apply to the condition of a human life?
- Who do you know who fits this description? How likely is it that that person will change on his or her own?
- From Genesis 1:1-3, what catalyst did God use to prepare the earth for change?
- Give other examples of change brought about by this same catalyst from John 16:5-15;Romans 8:1-4; Romans 8:5; Romans 8:11; Romans 8:14-16; and from comparing John 18:17, 25-27 with Acts 4:8, 20.
- What can you do to activate this catalyst in the life of the person you identified above? See Mark 9:17-19, 28-29; James 5:13-18; and 1 Peter 4:7.
- When and how will you work to deliberately prepare the person for change?
- Who do you know who has been changed as a result of this type of preparation?
- Who do you know will likely not be changed because of the lack of this type of preparation?
- From Genesis 1:3-31, how many times does the phrase "and God said" (or the equivalent) occur? Give verses.
- How many times does the phrase "and it was so" (or the equivalent) occur? Give verses.
- Does the first phrase "And God said" ever occur without the second phrase "and it was so" (or the equivalent)? What foundational principle does this teach you?
- How is this foundational principle confirmed in Psalm 119:89? Matthew 5:18? Matthew 24:35? 2 Timothy 3:16? 2 Peter 1:20-21? Revelation 22:6?
- List the changes, with the corresponding verses, that took place in response to God's Word.
- Apply each change in the process of creation to that which takes place in a human life in response to the power of God's Spirit and God's Word. (Example: In verse 3, God's Word brought light into the darkness. God's Word brings the light of truth, understanding and faith into the darkness of falsity, ignorance and unbelief.)
- Did all of these changes take place at one time? If not, how did they occur?
- Although the changes were different, what factors were consistently the same each day?
- Are these same factors present in your life? What can you do to help establish them in the life of the person you identified?
- Contrast Genesis 1:2 with Genesis 1:28-31. What are some of the most striking results of the changes that were made?
- What does it mean to you to be created by God? To be created in God's image? To be created male and female?
- What do you need to do so that God can change you into a person in whom He can see His own image reflected? See
2 Corinthians 3:18 and 1 Peter 1:6-7.
- What changes need to take place in your life for the Creator to say it is "very good"?