Changes In The Air


    I love the Fall. The leaves are beginning to show their colors, the days grow shorter, and of course, a little frost begins to cling to the windshields in the morning. Beautiful! The days are subtly telling us to get ready for rougher days ahead. Winter will soon be upon us.
    Years ago I knew a college student at MSU who was from Hawaii-the big island. On a very blustery, cold winter day, I asked her if she regretted moving to Michigan. Looking out from her parka, she joyfully answered that no, she loved the changes of seasons of Michigan. Where she was from the weather was always the same. Every single day, 85-90 degrees, and a little afternoon rain. Boring! Her answer surprised me. One thing we can say for Michigan is that we do have very distinct seasonal changes. Are you ready for winter?
     In addition to weather, our community is constantly changing. Whenever we have out-of-town guests, we give them a tour of the town. They are amazed to see all the changes. La Seniorita is gone, but Los Amigos has taken its place. Out with the old and in with the new. Some people seem excited by the new Hobby Lobby, and I like it too.
How do you do with these changes? A few years ago a round-a-about was added at the north end of town. At first, I didn’t like it. Too confusing, I noticed lots of accidents the first year. However, now that I am used to it, I think it is a time saver, and also saves on gas a little. I have adjusted to the change. It is possible to adapt.
     Our World is changing whether we like it or not. Everyday our news sources enlighten us to just some of the changes going on in our midst. It can be overwhelming. Who can keep up with all the changes in sports, weather, technology, wars, obituaries, world news, and of course politics? This reminds me of an old David Bowie song, Changes. Written in 1971 and made popular more recently in that classic movie, Shrek 2. When Shrek miraculously changes from an ogre into a handsome man to win the heart of his beloved Feona, they played this song. “Cha, cha, cha, changes - turn and face the strange - changes.” It is a catchy tune. It is telling us that we need to face changes head on: even when they seem “strange”.
     In response to change, many people look for something stable and unchanging to cling to. Some Christian churches have old songs, old pews, and old sermons so people will feel “comfortable” and not challenged. They don’t want any surprises and they cling to tradition. “This is the way we have always done it and we always will” they say. I believe the Pharisees of Jesus’ day were like this. Sadly, many Christians today tend to fall into this line of thinking.
     What does the Bible say about changes? How should we react to changes?
First, we must understand that God does not change and love never fails. These are absolutes. We can depend on them. They are our rock. When changes are coming at us fast and furious, God will keep us on a firm foundation. “Stay strong!” 1 Samuel 15:29 says: “The God of Israel does not lie or change his mind.”
     Second, God commands us to change our way of thinking. Matthew 18:3 says, “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” Jesus commands us to change and become like little children. How can we become more like Jesus unless we change? When John the Baptist came baptizing in the Jordan River, he commanded people to Repent (which literally means to change our thinking). So you see we must not only accept changes even if we don’t like them, we must change our thinking to be more like Jesus. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Wow. We need to be transformed!

     Third, God’s Word helps us with the changes God desires in us. He equips us. 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Allow God to change you with His Word.
Scripture warns us that there may be some BIG Changes headed our way and that we need to get ready. We are in the FALL SEASON and Winter will soon be upon us. Consider these Scriptures:

Matthew chapter 24

Luke 21

2 Peter 3

     All these Scriptures speak of the “end times”. Please consider reading these on your own.

In His Service,
Steve Garner