This past week I have begun reading the daily devotional New Testament entitled “Time with God” my reading this morning was from Matthew 4: 12 – 5:12 discussing the statement of Jesus “Come Follow Me”
As Jesus was calling the disciples, he stated “Change your heart and lives, because the kingdom of heaven is near.” As I reflected on those 12 simple words, I was thinking how that I along with so many miss the importance of change. When I was eight years old and made a profession of faith when I trusted Christ as my Savior, I made a change. I was not going to live like others, I was going to live a true Christian life. When I was thirteen and felt the call to preach, I made the change that I was going to dedicate my life to sharing the love of Christ (telling anyone that would listen about his death, burial, and resurrection) so that they could have the same relationship I have with him.
Over the past 51 years of the Christian walk I have learned a few things about Change!
• I’m the one required to Change! God is sovereign and has absolute knowledge and therefore when the scripture states, “I’m (God talking) the same yesterday, today, and forever” He means it. So, the question is “What must I change?”
• I must change my thinking to agree with his! Where do I find his thinking or words, within the context of the Bible (His Holy Word) …? I find it ironic that people say, “God really didn’t mean that” Sorry to give you the bad news Yes, He Did! What God calls sin is sin, don’t call it good! If my thinking about Sin doesn’t line up with God’s written word then someone must change their thinking, and guess who loses? ME!
• Change is Good! When I came to the understanding that change is good, was when I came into the understanding and will of God and allowed myself to follow him. Peter, Andrew, James and John were told “Follow me (Christ)” If we are following Christ, it requires Change and a new direction.
I would have never thought as a teenager and wanting to preach and pastor that I would be Chaplain in a State Mental Health Hospital or serving as President of a School of Ministry and Teaching college level courses at several colleges. My parents, pastors, and I had a plan that I would attend college then pastor a nice size church with a nice income, nice parsonage, and an expense account. But change happens! God changed my vision and plans, Change helps define who we are and where God wants us.
The question to ask your self today is “How have I reacted to change”? When I’m working with the patients at the hospital, I use this illustration; you can either do one of two things when change comes (1) you can RE-ACT which means that you don’t think about it and you simply become upset or do things with your thinking and generally get yourself in trouble or (2) you can ACT which means you seek wise counsel and come up with a plan to use the change to yours and God’s advantage and find a way to serve him in the change.
What are you going to do wih Change?