Thursday, August 24, 2006

Jesus Christ is the Same

Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” We can learn from these words that Christ does not change even though our world may change.

Change is everywhere in the world news.

A couple of weeks ago the airlines changed the rules about who can get on airplanes so that we can no longer take liquids on board because terrorists were caught trying to use liquid bombs to destroy passenger planes. But, even though the world seems less secure, Christ is every bit as much on his throne this week as He has always been. Though the nations rage, Jesus is King and He defends and protects His own for their good and His glory.

We’re still seeing the effects of natural disasters that happened last year. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita wreaked havoc on the Gulf coast, destroying thousands of homes and buildings, flooding New Orleans, and displacing tens of thousands of people. But though we may lose our homes and every other earthly possession, nothing can take Christ from us, and nothing can strip His inheritance away from us, which is settled forever in the heavens, where moth and dust cannot corrupt and thieves cannot break in and steal.

Change is a part of each of our individual lives.

If we live long enough, we all move through various seasons of life: from childhood, to youth, to adulthood, to elderly life. Some changes that happen in each of these seasons are very difficult.

Sometimes children have to suffer through tragic circumstances. Your parents may have gotten divorced, and so you feel angry with them and with God. Don’t they love me enough to stay together? Is this my fault? Maybe if I were a better child, they wouldn’t fight so much. But, beloved, Christ never changes. His love for you is fixed and unchanging. He will never leave you or forsake you, and will forgive all of your sins if you just trust in Him. You should not feel guilty for the sins of your parents. You are responsible to trust in Jesus, and to love and forgive your parents, no matter what anyone else does. Jesus will never disappoint you.

Young people experience the change of losing friends. Perhaps you’ve lost a friend: a dear friend may have moved away or may have died in a car accident. The Bible says that Jesus Christ calls us friends, "I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.” Jesus Christ is an unchanging friend who sticks closer than a brother. The Bible says, “I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Jesus is the friend that never leaves and never changes.

Young married couples experience changes. When you became old enough, maybe you have gotten married and experienced changes in having to learn to live with a fellow sinner. You find out that you have to change in dealing with the sins of the other person. As you get to know one another, you find out things about each other’s character that you never knew before. Some of what you find out is good, but some of what you find out may be disheartening and difficult. But, Jesus Christ is the perfect and changeless bridegroom. He knew all your sins before marrying you and chose to marry you anyway. No matter how you sin, He is never shocked or surprised and His love for you remains constant and everlasting, and it will never wax cold or grow dull over time.

Adults experience the change of losing a job. One of the most difficult changes a man or woman has to deal with in life is when the man in the family loses a job, whether it’s because his company has gone out of business or because of the politics at work. Whatever the reason, if a man finds himself without a job, he experiences a loss of purpose in life and feels the tremendous weight and responsibility of providing for his family. If a woman’s husband loses his job, her heart can be filled with fear for the future and worry about finances. But Jesus Christ owns cattle on a thousand hills, wealthy beyond imagination, and the Bible says that He provides for the sparrows and so will provide for you. To this date, you have always found food to eat and a shelter over your head. That will never change. Also, your worth and relationship with Christ is not dependent on his need for your working skills or your usefulness, like it is at work. Rather, your relationship with Christ is based on His unchanging righteousness and eternal love for you. He will never cast you off or turn you away from Him. And you are useful to Christ as you trust and obey Him and reflect His glory to all creation. That is what you were designed to do and that is why you are useful, whether you have a job or not.

Older people experience the changes of sickness and death. As people get older, many hard changes take place. Older people have to watch their friends, relatives, and spouses pass away, and they find themselves attending funeral after funeral. They experience the growing weakness of their own bodies and failing health. But, Jesus Christ rose from the dead, showing that physical death is not the end of all things. He promises new resurrection bodies and everlasting life in heaven to everyone who trusts in Him for salvation. Heaven is real and it will be a world of delight forever and ever. Jesus has experienced death and knows how to give you the grace to die when your time comes. You may rest in Him and hope in the life to come because His promises are as sure as the sunrise and He will bring you through ALL of this life and into the next where death can no longer touch you and disease can no longer threaten you. Because of Jesus, death is your entrance into glory, so take comfort dear saint in Jesus. There is nothing to fear in His arms.

So, even though this world is filled with changes that bring about sorrows and suffering, Jesus Christ is a rock of hope and a steadfast, immovable Savior who is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is the same toward all kinds of people.

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