Monday, January 2, 2017

New Year, Same God

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Hebrews 13:8

A new year.  

A clean slate, right?  Well, maybe not a clean slate but a new opportunity to make some changes.  Well, maybe not a new opportunity, because actually every day is a new opportunity to make changes.  But a new year for some reason feels like a new start, so why not run with it?

I've heard people say they want to get in shape, lose weight, start exercising, read through the whole Bible this year, read some books on their list, travel, pay off debt, find the man of their dreams - there's a whole lot of adventures that lie ahead in 2017.  The one thing no one has said is this:  I want to be exactly the same on Jan. 1st, 2018 as I am today.  There is something depressing about that.  We want to be better, more experienced, not in the same place, richer and fuller, and perhaps a bit skinnier by next year.

This is just another example of how we are not like God at all.  He doesn't sit around and long for a better version of Himself, a richer life or deeper relationships.  He is God and He never changes..and it never gets old.  That might sound boring to you but I have to admit, it's the fundamental character trait of God that we build our faith upon - His immutability.

If God would change, then His Word would be outdated.  What the Bible reveals about the character of God from thousands of years ago would be null and void, because He'd be different.  What the Bible teaches about roles and duties would be null and void, as well, because God would have possibly changed His mind about those things.  And what the Bible instructed about relationships would be worthless, because God might have decided to handle things differently by now.  

But God is immutable.  He is unchangeable.  Therefore what He has revealed about His character and His will is never changing, as well.  We can have confidence as we see His holiness in scripture, that He is the same today as He was in the past.  What He has revealed to us is exactly who He is today and will be forever.  He is perfect, pure and holy and completely consistent today with those attributes as He has been in eternity past.  

So as we seek to make changes, let us remember the goodness of our God.  Let us review His activity in our lives this past year and long for His hand to shape and mold us in 2017 in even greater ways.  Let us seek His word and long for the consistency of character that we see in Him.  

One more note:  it's never boring with God.  Consistency of holy character is a wonderful existence and  immutable does not mean a lack of newness.  As far as excitement, how can it get better than this:

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; 
for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, 
and there is no longer any sea.  
And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, 
coming down out of heaven from God, 
made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.  
And I heard a loud voice from the throne, 
saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, 
and He will dwell among them, 
and they shall be His people, 
and God Himself will be among them, 
and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; 
and there will no longer be any death; 
there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; 
the first things have passed away."  
And He who sits on the throne said, 
"Behold, I am making ALL THINGS NEW."   

Revelation 21:1-5

Happy New Year, friends.

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