July 19th | Text: Genesis 1:1, 1:31
God created a world that was good. What happened? The same thing that always happens; things changed. It has been said that the only constant is change. Observation tells us that’s true as we live in an ever changing world. Is there anything that never changes? I can think of one thing.
1. The world changes.
“Things of this world” in scripture often refers to human activity. Empires rise and fall, governments are established, people groups are annihilated from existence, populations shift and cultures merge and diverge from one another. These things can be seen in scripture and witnessed in our own lifetime.
Our relationship with God changed in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3). The relationship between men and women and between humankind and the animal kingdom also changed.
The physical world itself changes. The ground was affected by the curse in Eden. The world was further affected by the flood (rain fell for the first time; foundation of the deep broken up). Today islands and mountains are created by volcanic activity while subduction is swallowing up the ocean floor.
The world we live in, both human and physical geography, is a constant state of flux. Insisting that things not change is not a course of action. God’s Word never changes, the world constantly changes, and we as Christians must be aware of and responding to those two truth statement.
2. The Word of God never changes.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. John 1:1-2
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
-Luke 21:33, Matt. 24:35
For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 (KJV)
The days of the physical universe, as well as the rules and laws that govern it, are numbered. Time had a beginning and will have an end and God exists outside of that. There’s an entire spiritual realm that exists just outside of our field of view and our ideas about what is real and what is not are actually backwards. The world considers heaven and hell, the judgement, the afterlife and even God himself to be concepts, more imaginary than reality. When the curtain is pulled back, those things will prove to be more real, of lasting permanence, than the physical world we perceive with our limited senses. The work we have done for the kingdom in preparation for eternity will endure while everything made of brick, wood and straw will burn away in the trial by fire. Those who built on the solid rock of Christ’s promises will not wash away while great tribulation and judgement will fall on those who built on the shifting sands of all this world has to offer.
The world is in constant motion and everything in it constantly changes. It is made of shifting sand and changing tides. A mighty fortress is our God. Consider again the command to “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
3. We the church must remember what we are called to. We must walk circumspectly of the world but not be isolated from it. Building a high wall and closing the gates to the outside while we read, study, pray and worship in our own private Christian community does not fulfill the great commission. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” Matt 28:19-20
You do need time alone to read the Bible and pray. But then we have to go work. We have to go school. We need to attend school board meetings and take our kids to girl scout meetings. “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matt 5:16 We have to eat out in restaurants and be friendly and generous with the servers.
Read Matthew 5:13-16. The darker this world gets, the more it needs your light to shine.
Peace and God bless.