Malachi 3:6a – For I am the Lord, I change not. (KJV)
Hebrews 13:8 – Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (KJV)
- Yesterday, today, forever,
Jesus is the same,
All may change, but Jesus never —
Glory to His name!
– Albert B. Simpson
It is now 2019, and we have changed our 2018 calendars for new ones. It seems that there are two constants in life. Firstly, as individuals, we and our circumstances are always changing. Secondly, in contrast, God never changes.
In 1993, my younger son decided to leave a promising business career and enter college to train as a Salvation Army Officer or pastor. What a change!
Upon graduation in 1995, he and his family were sent in charge of the work in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan, Canada — from living in a large city to a town of 2,300. What a change!
My wife and I decided to spend some time over the holidays with them. December 31, 1995, was so mild that I was playing with my grandchildren outdoors, in shirt sleeves. When we awoke on January 1, 1996, the snow was so deep that we couldn't even open the front door of the house. What a change!
After three successful years in Maple Creek, he was transferred to Erin Mills, a suburb of Toronto, Canada, for seven more years of powerful ministry — from a small town to a large metropolis. What a change!
In 2005, he was taken by pancreatic cancer and left his wife and three young children. Wow! What a change! But through it all, he maintained his primary love for his unchanging God. His passing was recognized by a celebration of life in his home church with over 600 attending.
The service was concluded by singing the final verse of a song written by William Booth, the founder of The Salvation Army:
- And now, hallelujah! the rest of my days
Shall gladly be spent in promoting his praise
Who opened his bosom to pour out this sea
Of boundless salvation for you and for me.
John's children started clapping and soon the entire building was filled with the sound of a wonderful celebration. Their five-year-old cousin expressed everyone's feelings as she stated how thrilled she was with Uncle John's celebration.
That five-year-old had had an older brother, Matthew, who had only lived a few days. Driving home, she said to a cousin, "I never got to go to Matthew's celebration," to which the reply came, "You weren't even born then." Her response was, "Oh, I guess that is why I missed it!"
What a reassurance that while the everyday things in life are constantly changing whether we like it or not, we can be careful and deliberate about changing, in a positive direction, the only really important thing — our relationship with God — as we grow ever closer to Him in trust and obedience.
Prayer: Dear Father, we thank You that You never change. As life gives us ups and downs, help us to realize that the only important thing is that we be in a position to celebrate our abundant life because of our relationship with You through our Saviour, Jesus Christ. In His name, we pray. Amen.