By Pastor David Constien
Maybe you haven’t noticed, but things are changing! Already in the middle of September, we could see the change coming, slowly creeping in with cooler temperatures overnight and gentle breeze swirling in with the lethargy of the rising sun.
We began our descent from the 100s into the double digits. It’s the change of the seasons, and it comes every year. By God’s design, while we battle to find and keep things “the same” or establish a new “normal” in the midst of the changing events of our world, one thing stays the same: the seasons will change. We’ve seen it before. We see it again. Each season has it’s place in an orderly creation and brings with it things we enjoy and perhaps some things we wouldn’t miss (like the heat)! One thing’s for sure, things change.
The Bible indicates that God is always interested in change while He remains the same yesterday, today, and forever. The change is not in Him. His faithfulness remains steadfast forever. He is eternally the same. He doesn’t need to change. However, we do. The change He seeks is in us – that by His working and the inspiration of His Spirit we change from sin to righteousness, from death to life.
Ever since Adam and Eve, that change has always been called for by God from each of us in the call to repentance. Repentance involves us in change – a turning around in how we deal with life, with others, with God, and even with ourselves. It is a change in heart and spirit that humbles us before God and one another and gets right down to our everyday interactions with others. It is a change that redirects us toward eternal life. It is change that we are powerless to initiate and truly sustain as it needs to be. But it is change that God undertakes in His love and grace, to effect in us for eternal life. And He offers it to you in and through His Word because of the things that changed when His Son, Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead for you. For it is then that He changed His verdict on you from guilty to forgiven!
His Spirit is at work through His Word to convince your heart to believe this and will then continue to work a change within you. When Samuel anointed Saul king over Israel, he was instructed, “The Spirit of the Lord will come upon you in power,…and you will be changed into a different person” (1 Sam. 10:6). The Spirit of God is the gift of God to change you into a different person.
Yes, things have changed, life in these United States has changed. And by faith we can be assured, we will be changed. We trust in and find strength in the One who guides and directs the changes in us and our world for good. And we are empowered through the promise of the ultimate change to come. As the Apostle Paul wrote, “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed – in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet…When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable…then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory’…The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:51-57).
Rev. David Constien, Pastor of Mesquite Lutheran Church, proclaims the Word of God in its truth and purity on Sundays at 10:00 a.m. and in Bible studies on Sundays at 8:30 a.m. and at various dates and times. Visit: mesquitelutheran.org or Facebook: @mesquiteLCC and (702) 346-5811 for more information. More information is available at mesquitelutheran.org or (702) 346-3954.
(All messages in the Church Directory are the opinion of the writer, who submits them as a columnist)