Immutability of God
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (NIV)
Change is unsettling to most of us, even if it is a change we like. I don't know if it is a byproduct of growing older, but the breakneck speed of the change in my life is becoming increasingly bothersome to me. I've always considered myself a change agent and championed positive change, yet lately I've longed for stability. I don't have a clue if that is because I'm growing older (a change itself) or because the only constant in my life is change, but sometimes I wish the world would just stand still for an instant so I can get my bearings again.
It was only yesterday that Susan and I brought Jamie home from the hospital and yet he graduated from High School this Friday. How can that be?
Change is all around us.
A couple weeks ago I traveled back in time to speak at the 50th anniversary of the Trinity Southern Baptist Association. Susan and I moved to that ministry field just after we were married in 1982 to Pastor the First Baptist Church of Palm Desert. For ten years, we labored to help restart that church from the ground up. God used us in spite of ourselves and the church relocated, built a couple of buildings and reached a lot of people while we were there. In those days, there were around 20 churches in the Association. I don’t recall for sure, but I don’t remember any Spanish-speaking churches. Perhaps there were, but if so, there weren’t many. Today, there are more Spanish-Speaking people attending the Churches of Trinity Association than English-speakers. According to one pastor who spoke at the meeting, 85% of the Imperial Valley is now Hispanic, and only 9% is Anglo. That pastor, Richard Moore has served the First Southern Baptist Church of Holtville for 25 years and has learned Spanish so his church can minister to the people around him.
At the request of José Mendez, the Director of Missions I preached a bi-lingual sermon. God moved. Not because of the sermon, but because of the sense of cooperation that was in the room. These people are on mission together. They’re adapting and changing under the direction of the Lord.
Change is a constant for the churches in the Trinity Association.
Last Sunday I preached at the Second Baptist Church of Hopkinsville, Kentucky. It is a historic Southern Church that is nearing its 100th anniversary. The auditorium was breathtaking with eight stained glass windows that must have been around 20 or 30 feet high. The stage had three tiers and boasted a full choir complete with a pipe organ. I commented on how much I liked the stained glass windows to one of the deacons, and he said, “Yeah, its funny, when we put them in 30 years ago they seemed too modern, but over time they’ve grown on us.” Of course, like most churches these days, Second Baptist is using praise choruses alongside of their hymns and use drums and other contemporary instrumentation as they worship. Change never stops, not even in the Deep South.
I have a friend who returned from the Mission field a few years ago to begin a new ministry stateside. In the time he was gone, the world changed here. He is a very flexible person, but is being stretched now as he copes with all the changes that have happened in the past dozen years all at the same time.
It seems like everything around me is changing. Sometimes I feel like Margaret Freese must have felt when the receptionist at the doctor’s office was updating her chart and asked her, “Has your birth date changed?” (Reader’s Digest, March 2003, p. 130) While everything around us is changing, isn’t it wonderful to know that some things never change? Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever.” (NASB)
Culture changes. Churches change. Life changes. God
doesn’t. Psalms 102:25-27 says, “Of old You laid Thank
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