Greetings once again friends! This is Episode 12 of the podcast. The title of this week’s episode is “Five Things That Never Change.” Click HERE to listen to the audio version.
It’s no overstatement to say we live in an incredible time of Earth’s history. The pace of life for nearly everybody in our world today seems to be increasing at exponential rates with every passing day. Headline News carries up-to-the minute developments of events happening, not only here at home, but also from any remote spot on the entire globe.
The hectic rush invades our space without invitation. We spend our days spinning wheels just to try to keep up with the daily demands of life. Even in retirement, my wife Ruth and I find that “busy-ness” is a constant companion.
I find it ever more easy to believe that the angel’s message to the Old Testament prophet Daniel is being literally fulfilled right before our eyes.
Here’s what the angel told Daniel:
“But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”Daniel 12:4
Yeah. I think we’re there! So, here’s an invitation:
Sit back and relax for a few minutes while I share a few thoughts about finding peace in times of chaos.
First, it’s important we recognize that change happens—and it will always keep happening. We need to make our peace with that reality. Certainly, if we’re looking for security in our personal life circumstances, it’s not going to be in a static existence where everything always stays exactly the same. Such a world doesn’t exist. Never has. Never will.
There are, however, some things that never change. I’m going to share 5 of those things in just a bit. But first, here are a couple of quotes I have found insightful.
“The search for static security—in the law and elsewhere—is misguided. The fact is, security can only be achieved through constant change, adapting old ideas that have outlived their usefulness to current” facts.William O. Douglas
United States Supreme Court
“The only real security in changing times, is the ability to adapt in time.“Spencer Johnson, M.D., author of Who Moved My Cheese?—a delightful little novella about four mice who are forced to deal with a new reality when someone moved the cheese they were used to finding in exactly the same place every day.
The truth is, you can only tolerate change to the level of your security.
Here are those 5 things I’m suggesting that never change. These 5 truths, if you will accept them, will provide ultimate mental, emotional, and spiritual security, even in the middle of a chaotic situation that never stops changing.
- God’s Love for You
John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
- God’s Justice
Romans 1:18 — “For the wrath of God is revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who [hold] the truth in unrighteousness.”
- God’s Message of Grace
Romans 3:23-24 — “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
- The Plan of Salvation
Revelation 22:17 — “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.”
- The Source of Power for Victorious Living
Romans 8:11 — “If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”
Our security in Christ gives us the ability to rejoice in the adventure of living in the 21st Century! We can welcome change from a platform of spiritual security.
But, before we leave this subject, we need to dig a little bit deeper below the surface. Where can we find that spiritual security we so desperately need–and want–for positive, abundant Christian living in the right here and right now?
I’m currently reading a book entitled Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense, written by N. T. Wright—a British clergyman and theologian.
In Simply Christian, Dr. Wright has included a “simply wonderful” chapter on worship! Just this morning—before writing this script—I read the first section of this chapter in which he expounds on the worship scenes in Revelation 4 and 5. I would encourage you to open your own Bible to those chapters and prayerfully meditate on them. For a few minutes, at least, isolate yourself from all other distractions as much as possible and allow the Holy Spirit to lift your mind into the heavenly realms where all created beings have assembled to praise and worship the Great Creator/Redeemer.
True worship is the very heart of the experience God designs for each of us to have with him. It is within the relationship of worship that our Creator can pour the rivers of grace into our lives he wants us to receive.
I designed this graphic to use as the banner on my personal Facebook page.
So, let’s explore what worship means.
The biblical Greek word proskuneo, which is translated into English as “worship” literally means “to kiss the hand toward.”
I’ve been told that in ancient Greece, a slave was required to kiss his hand toward his master whenever coming into his presence. If a slave were in another part of the house, and in doing his work happened to enter a room where his master was, he was to stop momentarily, kiss his own hand, and blow the kiss towards his master. This was meant to be a sign of loyalty and affection. It seems to me it is a fitting illustration helping us visualize our worshiping relationship to God, our Lord and Master.
Originally, in English, our word “worship” was “worth-ship,” referring to one who was worthy. In the British Commonwealth even today, a magistrate is addressed as “Your Worship” much as we Americans would address a judge in a court of law as “Your Honor.”
To worship, then, is to “kiss the hand toward one who is worthy,” assuming humility and complete submission, even as a slave before his master.
But, beyond this simple gesture, living actions are equally important as the “kissing of the hand.” If that Greek slave did not obey his master and do the work he was assigned, he would be unfaithful, guilty of insubordination, and worthy of expulsion from the household. It wouldn’t make any difference how much he blew kisses toward his master. If he didn’t do his work he would still be disloyal and disobedient.
The same thing is true between us and God. Only if we faithfully do his will can we be accounted as his true servants. Jesus said in Matthew 7:21, “Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
Is this salvation by works? Absolutely not! We are saved by faith in the blood of Jesus and nothing else. But, our faithfulness in doing God’s will is in direct proportion to how much we love and honor him.
Truth be told, if a slave in ancient Greece was, in fact, surreptitiously undermining his master’s interests, I’m sure he would know in his heart that if his disloyalty were to be discovered it would mean his life! That would certainly not be conducive to personal peace and security within! I have no doubt he would worry day and night for fear of discovery.
But, there’s no need to worry over our security—or lack of it—with God! As noted earlier, the very first of the five things that never changes is God’s love for us. God told ancient Israel, “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3), and he sends the same message to you and me.
Is our obedience important to God? Of course it is! But, what God wants is an obedience that stems out of our love for him as Creator and Redeemer. The Lord told ancient Israel of his love for them, attempting to inspire their love for him. Some responded, of course, but the overwhelming history of the nation indicates their obedience was motivated purely from self interests.
It doesn’t have to be that way for us. We can choose, with the very same options available to them, to put our trust in God’s love and grace, knowing that our destiny—even our very life—is 100% secure for eternity. We can step forward in faith, following his revealed will for our lives, rejoicing in the opportunities we have to exalt the Name of our Master and Lord.
Thank you so much for listening today! I pray you have been blessed.
I hope you can join me for next week’s episode. I’ll be sharing some thoughts about Jesus, under the title “The Incomparable Christ.”
Be sure to tune in, and if you enjoy these Podcasts and Blogposts, please share with your friends, family, or whomever! My many thanks—in advance!