Ministry of Love

The intention of this blog is to share Biblical messages at least on a weekly basis. Any response is appreciated. I do not expect everyone to agree with my interpretation of Biblical passages. I will try to respond with love and thoughtfulness.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Musings: 08/14/09, Has God Changed? by John.

Has God Changed?

When we look at the accounts of God in the Old Testament, it is easy to see His great power. It's easy to read His orders to various people, and we have to note that annihilation of cities and even nation doesn't seem to fit the New Testament picture of God, so, the question must arise, has God changed?

We look about us here in the midst of God's creation, and many like to think nothing has changed, but hasn't it? The most up-to-date example is the tiny virus. Some call the change in viruses' evolution, others call it adaptation, but all of us know they do change. That's the reason the world's medical experts tear their hair every year trying to calculate and prepare for the mutation of the influenza virus. Many of their miscalculations are caused by unexpected mutation or promulgation of the virus. But we have to acknowledge that everything around us changes. Many changes are so slow that we don't realize they are happening. When I was a little boy, people brought their automobiles into life using a crank and arm power. I remember the first auto I saw that had a starter! I also remember how unreliable those early starters were. I had to change electric contact brushes, and later solenoids on our family cars. I also remember country folks brushing their teeth with a twig cut from a tree. We more modern people used toothbrushes, but those are going out of style, too, now.

Change is the order of the day for everything around us. We cycle through the seasons thinking that even though each one is different from the one before, it will be like the one we experienced in the last cycle. But now the weather people say we are in for dramatic changes in the weather patterns!

Shouldn't we expect God to change? Isn't change natural? Well, let's consider a couple of things. First, no one wants to change perfection. Second, nothing of this earth is perfect. Third, God is perfect, and with Him there is no change.

That's right; God is the same today that He was when Adam and Eve walked the earth. He is the same as when Ahab faced Elijah, and Elijah killed all of Ahab and Jezebel's false prophets. He is the same as He was when He ordered the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. To us, He seems different, doesn't He?

James 1:17 says, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." Hebrews 13:8 says, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." (I can almost hear someone say, "But that's not God, that's Jesus!") In John 10:30 Jesus said, "I and my Father are one." In John 14: 9, 10a, Jesus said, "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father?' Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me?"

Jesus came to reveal the Father more perfectly than any of the Old Testament people including the prophets ever knew Him, and He did. It takes some thinking, and some praying, but when we do the two together with the Scriptures, we will begin to see that God is just as He said, always the same. Perfection cannot be improved, nor does it need to be.

Isn't it wonderful that we can trust our God to always be the same? Isn't it wonderful that He calls us His children because we trust and live in Jesus? Some years ago, our daughter adopted a teenage girl. Today, she has three wonderful children, and they are just as much our great-grandchildren as those who are in our bloodline! They receive from us and give to us love without any difference. If we can love like that, then that love must have come from the God Who loves us, and it does. I John 4:19 says, "We love because he first loved us." He loved us, and that love radiates through us to everyone around us.

God does not change, but we must change to be like Him, and His Holy Spirit lives within us to accomplish that very task! Read I John all the way through and dwell on the times "love" is mentioned. Another good place to learn about love is in the Gospel of John. I hesitate to pick out a section because it is all so helpful. You may want to pay attention to the 17th chapter when Jesus prays for His disciples, the whole church and all of us in particular.


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