The Christian & Change

Introduction.(Ecclesiastes 1:1-11). The last several months, as my family has been preparing for our move to Amarillo, I have come face to face with one of life’s inevitabilities - change. During my trips to Amarillo I have traveled streets which I have never gone down before, eaten places I have never eaten and done business where I had not before. After 10 years here, each time I go back to Lenexa I notice the same things about it -- the time will come when streets I have traveled everyday I won’t go down anymore -- places I have eaten, I won’t anymore (e.g. I have found no Middle Eastern Restaurant in Amarillo) -- I’ll have to change banks, change phones service, etc. While this is an unsettling thing, there are a number of lessons that such things (common to the human condition) teach us about our service to God. This evening I’d like for us to think about such things for a moment.

I. This World is Ever-Changing & Always-Temporary.

  1. Life is short. (James 4:13-17).
  2. The World is Temporary. (II Corinthians 4:16-18). Parent’s House Sold: Oddly enough, at the same time that Toni and the kids and I are selling a house and moving, my parents decided because of health issues to “down-size” and move into a smaller place with less responsibilities for up-keep. A few weeks ago I had to make a trip down to Springfield and climb up in the attic where I used to play as a child and clear out school papers and toys from over 35 years ago. A couple of weeks ago, the phone number I have known from childhood - 417-883-2429 -- the number childhood friends, called -- the number Toni called when we were dating -- the number I called when we called home, whether in Arkansas, Alabama, Kansas or Texas -- became a non-working number.
  3. Nothing in this World is Ours Forever. (Luke 12:15-21). Signing A Contract on Our House: Today we sign a sales contract on our house. What was ours will belong to another. This is a common thing for some, not for others. Some live in one house their entire adult life. Preacher’s often don’t have the privilege of home ownership. The fact is that all of us only “borrow”any of this life’s goods for a short time.

II. The Lord Stays the Same.

  1. “Who can make Him change?” (Job 23:13-16).
  2. “The same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:5-10).
  3. “They will perish, but You will endure.” (Psalm 102:24-28).
  4. What This Means to Us is...
    • We need not fear change.
    • We can be confident that the Lord is with us.
    • We can trust in the immutability of God’s word.

III. Faith is “An Anchor for the Soul.” (Hebrews 6:13-20). A Modern Day Noah: Some time ago a friend gave me a humorous e-mail that imagines what it would be like of God chose today to destroy the word -- and chose a “Noah”to build an ark. God told Noah that he had 6 months to build and ark before the rains started. At the end of six months God spoke to Noah and said, “Noah, the rain is about to start, where is the ark?” A sad and frustrated Noah, looked up and said, “forgive me Lord, I have run into all sorts of trouble.” Noah continued, “the city demanded that I have a building permit. The inspector is demanding that I install a sprinkler system. My neighbors are claiming that I have violated the neighborhood zoning laws and height limitations by building the ark in my yard. We are to go before the Development Appeal Board to decide the matter. Then the Department of Transportation demanded that a bond be posted for the future costs of moving power lines and other overhead obstructions, in order to clear passage for the ark to move to the sea. They didn’t believe when I said the sea would come to me. Wood was another problem. The ban on cutting local trees to save endangered species prevented me from getting enough. I told the environmentalists that this would actually save these animals -- but they wouldn’t listen. I am being sued by an “Animal Rights” group who claims that the pens inside the ark are cruel and too restrictive. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) is insisting that I conduct an environmental impact study to determine how the construction will impact the environment. The Department of Labor says that I can’t use my sons to help me build the ark but I have to use licensed builders with “ark-building” experience. Finally, the IRS seized my assets claiming that I was trying to leave the country without paying the proper export tariffs. Please forgive me, at the rate I will never finish the ark!!” Suddenly, the skies cleared and the sun began to shine. Noah looked up in wonder and asked, “Lord, aren’t you going to destroy the world?” “No,” the Lord said. “The government beat me too it.”
     While this is humorous, it illustrates the trap we sometimes fall into of thinking that the nature of changes around us changes our responsibility to God. Believe me, on the day of judgement we will not be able to make the appeal this “Modern Day Noah”tried to make. We will be expected to have obeyed the Lord.

  1. “Your word is settled in the heavens.” (Psalm 119:89-91).
  2. The only thing that is truly ours is what we can take with us when we leave this world -- our soul. Only by holding onto the unchanging word of God can the soul be preserved. (I Peter 1:22-25).

IV. Christians Must Guard Against Over-Attachment to the Things of This World.(I John 2:14-17).

  • Christians must cling to Him who does not change!