Posted by: glorifyhim1 | September 4, 2012

Our Forever God

Sometimes change is good. Sometimes change is not so good. But whether we like it or not, things change. And with the change, more times than not, we usually discover that we must change as well – whether we like it or not.

Even when changes may be for the better, I am one who is often slow to accept them. I learn and like my way of doing things, so why change? I was one of the last people in my family to acquire a microwave oven. My stove oven worked just fine, why bother?  I was definitely the last one to get a dishwasher which I only acquired a little over a year ago. Washing dishes wasn’t that bad and it promoted good together time for those involved in the cleanup. The old adage “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” was pretty much my motto and attitude toward change.

But sometimes, change is not a choice. It happens to us whether we like it or not. Practically the last 10-15 years of my work career I felt that I was being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. First I had to make friends with the computer – you know, those first computers that were gigantic, loud, and slow – but we thought we were really cool that we were working with computers and not just typewriters! I admit that once I got the hang of it I began to enjoy my computer, but then I learned that computers continually change. The programs they run continually change. We were constantly learning, re-learning, and changing the way we did things. But never was I asked if I wanted to learn. If I kept my job, I learned.

I also remember doing my first writing assignment, seated at my kitchen counter, using an electric typewriter and lined manuscript paper that confirmed my line counts. I felt so “official” as I mailed those heavy packages to the publisher. The last assignments I mailed were sent via e-mail. Talk about change!

I have to smile as I look back on those days now. I must admit that although I failed to welcome all the changes, most of them made my work easier and often more enjoyable. It was much easier to backspace and erase unwanted lines than using bottles of whiteout to paint them out. Sometimes now I wonder how I ever completed an assignment doing it the old way.

In much the same way, I have now fully accepted and embraced my microwave and my dishwasher (Have I mentioned how much I absolutely love my dishwasher?) – not to mention other new ways of doing things that are gradually changing my world – reading books on my kindle, listening to mp3’s, downloading Bible studies to complete at my own pace, not leaving home without grabbing my cell phone, etc. But in spite of all those things I’ve managed to incorporate into my world and my way of doing things, there are at least that many more that I have no idea how to use. I just cannot comprehend and keep up with all the changes!

Our world is constantly changing, from the ways we live and work to the ways we stay in touch and communicate with one another. But, to be perfectly honest, change in our lives is really nothing new. I can imagine my grandmother wondering who in their right mind would ride in one of those horseless carriages. And what about later generations that questioned a plane that could fly like a bird or why we should send rockets to the moon?

With all the changes in our world, however, and with all the changes we must make to keep up, there is One who will always remain constant. “For I am the Lord, I do not change” (Malachi 3:6a). We can always trust in Him to be “the same yesterday, today, and forever” (see Hebrews 13:8). Furthermore, we can be assured that neither does God’s Word change. The teachings that flow from the Bible do not change to fit the culture , the political climate, or current societal norms. What God said yesterday still applies today. “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever” (Isaiah 40:8).

So what does the foreverness of God and His Word mean to us today in the midst of our changes.

  • Our God is King forever. “The Lord sat enthroned at the Flood, and the Lord sits as King forever” (Psalm 29:10). Presidents, earthly kings and rulers come and go. There is no permanency to their individual reigns. But as Moses and the Israelites sang when the Lord delivered them from the Egyptians: “The Lord shall reign forever and ever” (Exodus 15:18). Likewise, when Christ’s birth was announced to Mary, the angel Gabriel prophesied: “And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:33). This means that whatever I go through – changes in my world or in my personal life – God is in control. His power will never be usurped by any other king. My God will reign forever.
  • Christ is our priest forever. “The Lord has sworn and will not relent, You (Jesus Christ) are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek” (Psalm 110:4).  God appointed His Son to be our priest forever. This means that we forever have access to our Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ. The Scriptures further tell us that “it is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us” (see Romans 8:34). Believers can forever that Christ is in heaven interceding for them. We forever have an advocate to whom we can bring our every need.
  • The Holy Spirit abides with us forever. Jesus assured His disciples that He would pray to the Father, and “He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever” (see John 14:16). The Holy Spirit comforts, teaches, and guides us (John 14:26; 16:13). He helps the believer discern what is true, right, and good. When we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, we receive the Holy Spirit and He dwells within us forever.
  • God’s mercy endures forever. It has been said that Godly mercy is not giving someone the bad that they truly deserve. We deserve punishment for our sin, but instead God extended His mercy. “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4-7). God’s Word assures us that His mercy is forever. Whatever our situation or circumstances, believers can know that we have a kind and loving God who looks upon us with compassion and love. He is forever ready to pardon us and bless us with His divine favor when we come to Him in genuine repentance.
  • Our salvation received through Christ will last forever. “Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look on the earth beneath. For the heavens will vanish away like smoke, the earth will grow old like a garment, and those who dwell in it will die in like manner; but My salvation will be forever, and My righteousness will not be abolished” (Isaiah 51:6). True believers in Christ do not need to fear the future. Even when changes around us make us question what is happening in our world, we can know that we are safe in Christ. We are saved forever! We are forever His!

Brothers and sister in Christ, we have a forever God in whose Word we can trust. As Paul declared to Timothy regarding those who strayed from the truth and made false statements about the gospel: “Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: ‘The Lord know those who are His,’ and, ‘Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity’” (2 Timothy 2:19). I feel these words remind me that God’s Word stands today. No matter what is going on in our world, our country, our states, our cities, our businesses, our schools, even our homes, God’s Word still stands. I can live confidently, knowing that I belong to God and that my forever God has it all under control. I just need to live the life He called me to live in the midst of the world in which I live.

Sometimes, I admit, I would like to turn back the pages of time to those days even before computers – perhaps to even when the telephone was relatively new – to a slower, simpler time. You know what I mean – front porch sitting, daydreaming, family dinners, lazy Sunday afternoons … – but come to think of it, I have all of those things now! While our world may be constantly changing, and while we may have to learn new things and do things differently, it is up to each of us to decide how we actually live our lives, and more importantly, who we live our lives for. What a difference it can make when we surrender ourselves to the One who never changes, to our always and forever God!

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