The Mustard Seed
Children who grow up in homes of alcoholic parents often suffer from the uncertainty of their parents' changing moods -- sometimes sweet and loving, and other times angry and abusive. These children live in fear of never knowing when Mom or Dad will explode, never knowing when it is safe to hug or it is time to hide. This is not the way it is suppose to be. Home is suppose to be the safest, most secure, loving place for a child. Children growing up in a stable family where they are loved, guided, nurtured, encouraged, and properly challenged toward maturity, never need experience the fear of uncertainty of a parent's changing whims. In short, home is suppose to offer a taste of heaven, and parents have the responsibility to be for their children living examples of God Himself.1
I admit that we who are parents fall short of this high ideal. However, we as God's children can find great comfort and security in the fact that God is good, loving, and merciful, and He never changes, or as the old theologians liked to say, "God is unchangeable." The Bible states this profound truth many times in the same simple way:
"I the Lord do not change." (Malachi 3.6)
"You [Lord] remain the same. Your years will never end." (Hebrews 1.12)
"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." (Hebrews 13.8)
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." (James 1.17)
Can the Bible say it more clearly than this? Yet, there are many who call themselves "Christian" who are so uncomfortable with God's consistency that they dismiss this simple truth as false, and they claim that God is changing, growing, evolving, and improving. For evidence, they say that the God of the Old Testament is different than the God of the New Testament. He is the same God, they say; but He changed. (With this twist of Scripture, they reveal that they have not really read either the OT or NT thoroughly and attentively.) And they point to changing social trends in the church as evidence that God is still changing.2 Rather than allowing God to transform their hearts and minds to become more like Him, they remake God into someone who is just like them. Usually their descriptions of God begin with these three arrogant words: "I think God..." We ought to say instead, "God says in His Word that He..." Our wishing that God were more like us does not make Him change to become like us. Our wishing that the things God has said about Himself were not true do not make them false. Whether we like it or not, whether we agree with Him or not, God is who He says He is. And He has said very plainly, "I the Lord do not change."
Rather, it is we who change. Indeed, the Bible says, we should change. The New Testament Greek word for "repent" is metanoeo, which literally means, "I change my mind." For us this means more than just making different decisions. It means having a new attitude, a new way of thinking, a new mind.
"Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus..." (Philippians 2.5)
"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will." (Romans 12.2)
If and when your life circumstances become dark and uncertain, and doubts tempt you to fear that God doesn't care, that He is a million miles away, remember His promise: He is always near, He loves us more than we know, and He never changes.
1 see Matthew 6.9 and Ephesians 6.5
2 Even some good solid Bible teachers carelessly fall into this trap when they say things like, "God may have done [something] in Bible times, but He doesn't work that way any more."
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You are invited to Christ Lutheran Church of the Deaf in Silver Spring
a couple blocks south of the Metro Red Line Forest Glen Station
Sunday Worship: 9:30AM
Thursday afternoons and Friday mornings
in Ely 118.
Drop in and introduce yourself!!
Pastor Ron Friedrich