As I stood in the driver’s meeting at New Hampshire Motor Speedway I listened as the schedule for the day was reviewed. At the end the statement was made; “there is weather in the area and everything is subject to change.” Change is an interesting thing as it is the only thing that is certain; things will change. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
We know that change is the only thing that we can count on. We don’t know the changes we need to make or even the extent of the changes, but we do know that we have to make changes. One of the things that will help us through this life is to grasp that concept and not let change be a bigger disruption than it already is.
Those who do not change set themselves up for failure. I remember a quote from Will Rodgers;
“Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”
If we are standing still, we are going backwards. Don’t get too comfortable where you are because if you stay there the world will pass you by. Oh, we all find a place where we are comfortable and try to stay there in that comfort and security, but the world around us is still moving. Things are becoming obsolete, change is constant. The best we can do is embrace it and roll with it.
Remember the week before last? We had a decision to make about our Sunday Service, because of some reconstruction being done in the parking lot. We could find a new place to meet for one week or we could cancel. The decision hinged on how we handle change. If we choose to stand firm and say it is here or nowhere then canceling is the only option.
The other option was to determine where God had prepared a place for us? We couldn’t move everything so we would have to adapt and adjust. Okay let’s go, where has God prepared a place for us? Funny thing was it was right across the street. Yes, the fact that the entrance to the hall was through the Bar area might have deterred us, but that proved to not be an issue at all. We made the necessary adjustments to the service that the absence of the technology would necessitate and had a throwback service that was a welcome change. We met together in worship and lifted God up. What a blessing.
How do we handle the changes we face in our lives? In Acts 4 Peter and John had a challenge to deal with, let’s take a look.
Acts 4:1-3; NLT; While Peter and John were speaking to the people, they were confronted by the priests, the captain of the Temple guard, and some of the Sadducees. These leaders were very disturbed that Peter and John were teaching the people that through Jesus there is a resurrection of the dead. They arrested them and, since it was already evening, put them in jail until morning.
I’m pretty sure jail wasn’t the place they planned to spend the night. Sometimes following God and serving Him puts us in positions that are not comfortable or secure. Should that stop us from doing what God has directed us to do?
As we talked last week Peter had the experience of refusing to follow and he knew where that led, an empty life. He recommitted to follow Christ no matter where the road led. Well tonight that led to prison.
In the morning they were given an opportunity to make changes that would please their jailers. They could have just agreed to follow their direction and not follow the guidance they had received from the Holy Spirit.
Acts 4:5; NLT; The next day the council of all the rulers and elders and teachers of religious law met in Jerusalem.
Acts 4:16-18; NLT; “What should we do with these men?” they asked each other. “We can’t deny that they have performed a miraculous sign, and everybody in Jerusalem knows about it. 17 But to keep them from spreading their propaganda any further, we must warn them not to speak to anyone in Jesus’ name again.” 18 So they called the apostles back in and commanded them never again to speak or teach in the name of Jesus.
What do you suppose went through Peter’s mind? Do you think he remembered the change he made that didn’t work out so well; denying Christ? Do you think he now understood the right way to choose?
Acts 4:19-20; NLT; But Peter and John replied, “Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him? We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.”
We are not able to continue living the way we choose and serve God at the same time. Change is a requirement of serving God through Christ. As we change, the new creation we become in Christ, influences the people around us. They should see a difference. That difference reflects the very nature of Christ. As we change there is a struggle that takes place. Our old self struggles as it gets replaced by the new nature we have in Christ.
We need to remember that no matter where we are, no matter what we are up to, Jesus wants to be a part of it. Not only a part, but involved so much that His presence would change us and that change would cause others to take notice.
We have a decision to make, who will we serve?
Joshua 24:15; NLT; 15 But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”