Change and Continuity

As we age, the more acutely aware we are of how things change! Look back a few years and marvel at how your own life has undergone one transition after another. Some of these were welcome, some not. In the last five years, perhaps your family has experienced deaths, births, and weddings. Such is life.

It is one of God’s mercies that usually changes don’t all come at once but gradually, giving us time to adjust. Another of His mercies is the way He provides so much that stays the same, adding continuity to our lives.

God never changes.

He is still in control of our universe. Ever since Noah and family came out of the ark, daylight and dark and the changes of the seasons have continued without interruption (Genesis 8:22). The law of gravity has not been repealed. Nor have God’s moral laws. Right is still right, and wrong is still wrong—in spite of what some say (Isaiah 5:20).

Jesus never changes.

What He was yesterday He is today and will be forever (Hebrews 13:8). He still reigns over His kingdom (Hebrews 1:8). He is still the only way to the Father (John 14:6). His blood still cleanses (1 John 1:7).

The Bible never changes.

It is still God’s powerful word, capable of providing us with the truth that saves our souls (Acts 20:32; 1 Peter 1:23, 25). No matter how much our surroundings change, the Bible continues to serve as the reliable guide it always has been.

And then we have the never-changing promises of God.

Thank God for all the changeless amid all the changes of our lives.

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Old and New

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What does not last

From our backyard we can watch the demolition of a 1962 university residence hall.

Nearby is a residence hall under construction.

Someday this new facility may well be considered outdated and be replaced.

Such is life.

What does last

As a boy I heard a song on the radio called “This Ole House”—comparing the aging process to a house falling into disrepair–soon to be abandoned for something far better.

Paul wrote, “For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1).

This promise is for those who submit in obedient faith to “Jesus Christ . . . the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

Is this your hope?

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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The Ache of Nostalgia

 Unsettling change

How do we feel on returning to our hometown after a long absence?

The old neighborhood isn’t the same. People we’ve grown up with have moved away or aged or died.

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Intellectually, we know change is unavoidable. Yet a part of us resists the very idea of anything dear to us changing.

But change goes relentlessly on, like it or not.

And the longer we live, the more changes we see.

Dealing with it

People with strong Christian faith are best equipped for change. How so?

Christians are taught to set their sights on the unchangeable, not on what cannot last (Matthew 6:19-21; Philippians 3:17-21; Colossians 3:1-4).

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

Comforting thought, isn’t it?

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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The Changing Church

Churches change—positively or negatively

The Ephesians left their first love (Revelation 2:1-7). “You were running well,” Paul wrote the Galatians, “who hindered you from obeying the truth?” (Galatians 5:7).

Satan hates the church, doing all he can to promote sin within the ranks, apathy, doctrinal drift, and division. He’s so subtle that if we’re not careful, before we know it, we’ve drifted.

So what are some positive changes?

One is repentance. Jesus tells five of the seven churches of Asia that repentance was needed among them (Revelation 2:5, 16, 21, 22; 3:3, 19). Five out of seven!

Another greatly needed change is spiritual growth (Galatians 5:22-23; 2 Peter 1:5-11; 3:18).

These positives help prevent the negatives Satan introduces.

If the church is to change, and it will, let’s make sure it’s change of the right kind!

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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Keeping it positive

True story. A man walked into a blood bank where he had previously donated. Looking up his record showing his blood type, the receptionist said, “Oh, B-positive!” “I try to be,” he said.

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A reason to be optimistic

If anyone tried to be positive, it was the apostle Paul. In spite of being under house arrest, he wrote what may be his most upbeat letter—what we call Philippians.

How could he be so positive? 1) He could see much good resulting from his suffering, and 2) he anticipated the reward awaiting him.

Sharing Paul’s perspective

When we have what he had, we can say what he said, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4).

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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Proverbs Revisited

A Christian counselor told me he assigns some of his clients to copy by hand chapters from the book of Proverbs. He has seen wicked people change for the better by doing this.

Wisdom absorbed

Proverbs was originally designed to help young men avoid the traps youth are vulnerable to—and to make wise choices instead. But Proverbs makes for profitable reading for any age, male or female.

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As the counselor told me, Proverbs has 31 chapters, one for every day of the month.

Wisdom applied

A chapter a day could make a real difference for any of us—if we turn what we learn into living.

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