"Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you."
The God Who Never Changes
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)
"The only thing constant is change." This saying is attributed to the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, one of the most significant Western thinkers to have lived before Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. In making such a statement, Heraclitus captured what many others have also recognized, namely, that there is precious little that is stable in the world around us. Even the mountains, which appear to be so unchanging, are over millennia subject to erosion and other effects that slowly but surely alter their shape. But it is not just the world outside us that is unstable. Over time, we ourselves also experience physical, mental, moral, and spiritual changes.
Such realities drive us to seek stability. Because of sin, however, we tend to look for permanence in things that are also changing. Whether it is a relationship, our bank balances, familiar surroundings, or something else, we all too readily seek stability in the created realm. And, moreover, we are eventually disappointed by such things, for everything in creation is subject to change.
In a chaotic world that is constantly changing, nothing can be more comforting than to know there is a God who never changes and to have a secure relationship with Him. Change always seems to be threatening to us—whether it is encountered by a young person who graduates from High school where he has been the king of the castle and has to go to university where other students will intimidate the new arrivals, or the aged pensioner who has to leave the home where she has lived for 80 years to take up residence in a care home.
There is one, however, who never changes, and that thought both blesses and terrifies. The Bible tells us that God is unchanging. If you are God’s child, that thought should bring great comfort to your heart. No one in his right mind would deny the fact that our generation has seen more changes in a given period of time than any other generation in all history. Ask your grandfather about his world growing up, about the medicines which were prescribed in his childhood, about the length of time it took to go somewhere or do something.
We change, too—so very quickly. The radiance of a woman’s beauty passes as does the strength of the man who wooed and won her hand. We all change. The beauty of youth yields to the aging of the years. Seasons change, nations rise and fall, and men rise to power and fall aside, while God remains the same. God Himself said, “I am the LORD; I change not” (Malachi 3:6). The Bible says He is the Father of lights with whom there is no change or variation (James 1:17). This means God will never be less than He is now, or ever be different from what He has already revealed Himself to be in the past.
His essential being (we call those characteristics attributes) are always the same. This includes the fact that He is without beginning or end. He is not only unchanging, but is just, all-knowing, all-powerful, ever present, holy, faithful, and loving. God is also unchanging in His faithfulness to us, in His wisdom and in His counsel.
In the words of the much beloved hymn written by Thomas Chisholm, where we read and sing,
“Thou changest not, thy compassions, they fail not; as thou hast been thou forever wilt be.”
As the late Christian writer and Minister, A. W. Tozer wrote, “God never changes moods or cools off in His affections or loses enthusiasm. His attitude toward sin is now the same as it was when He drove out the sinful man from the eastward garden, and His attitude toward the sinner the same as when He stretched forth His hand and cried, ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest'” (A. W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy, p. 60).
At the start of this reflection, I mentioned that the unchanging nature of God is both a dread and a blessing. For those who reject the Father’s love, the die is cast, the script is written, but for those who love Him, it is a great blessing filled with assurance and hope.
No wonder the songwriter, Henry Lyte, wrote,
“Change and decay in all around I see; O, Thou who changest not, abide with me.”
Yes, abide with me always.
With prayers and every blessing in Christ,
God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next. Amen.
(by Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr)
Welcome to Blairgowrie Parish Church's website.
We’re a Christian community in the beautiful Perthshire town of Blairgowrie.
We are a church family of ordinary people who have experienced God’s love in Jesus. We seek to live and teach the Christian faith so that people can understand it and respond to the message it offers.
Whatever your reason for coming here – whether you are in need of help; searching for a church; looking forward to your wedding or baptism; exploring faith or simply planning to visit the area – come and visit us, we'd love to welcome you.
Rev Benjamin J A Abeledo
ABOUT OUR CHURCH
Our vision is of a Bible-based church that is vibrant with prayerful people who worship and serve Jesus Christ and attract others to follow Him.
Psalm 23 & Revelation 7:9-17
Our Gracious Host: Pursuing & Keeping
Sunday, 26th June 2022
Rev. Benjamin Abeledo