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Surviving the Storms of Change

SURVIVING THE STORMS OF CHANGE
 
One of the first things we must continually tell ourselves that no matter how much the world changes around us, God’s Word and His way do not change. While I am for changes that will enhance our lives and make us a better people, we must be ready to stand firm with God when it comes to issues that have to do with religion. I don’t care how smart we become, we can never get to the point where we can do it better than God or to think that God will stand up and say well why I didn’t I think about doing it that way. When we start becoming so big in our own eyes, that we think we have all the answers, we need to read these passages:

 

Jeremiah 10:23 "O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.”

 

Proverbs 3:5-7  "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.  Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil.”

 

So our first step to surviving the storm of change is to realize that God is all knowing and powerful, and that His word does not change and no matter how smart we become.  We can never do it better that God. We must always humble ourselves before the Lord, realizing that we are nothing without Him, and that we or no one else has the right to change His word.  Once we understand our place and realize that God’s Word doesn’t change, and He is not interested in how we think we can make it better.

 

The second step that will help us survive the storm of change is to respect the authority of the scriptures. We are taught countless times that we must stick to the pattern that God has set before us in His Word.  We read:

 

Proverbs 30:5-6  "Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.  Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.”

 

Revelation 22:18-19  "For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

 

Galatians 1:6-8  "I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.  But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.”

 

There are so many passages that teach this concept that it should be easy for us to see how important it us for us respect the authority of the scriptures. We must make a commitment to respect the authority of scriptures in every situation even when our own heart tells us otherwise. This is the only way that we will be able to worship God in spirit and in truth.

 

The third step in surviving the storm of change is that we must study God’s Word and make it a part of our lives, so we can know the scriptures.  We read:

 

2 Timothy 2:15  "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

 

2 Peter 3:18  "… but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

 

The fourth step that will help us to survive the storm of change is to have preachers who will preach the whole council of God, even if parts of it are not very popular in our society. I keep running across articles and other Christians that keep telling me that more and more preachers are preaching a water-downed message, and they are not using much scripture. Some reasons that have been given of why they do this.  Firstly, they want to keep their jobs, and secondly, they are afraid of the people, and they do not want to rock the boat. I firmly believe that our preaching should be rooted and grounded in the word of God and an eldership that allows a preacher to keep preaching from the Reader’s Digest, in my opinion, should not be elders.  They are not doing a good job at making sure that flock is fed with the word of God, so that they can grow spiritually. We need more preachers like the apostle Paul who said this to Ephesians elders:

 

Acts 20:26-32  "Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men.  For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.  Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.  For I know this, that after my departure, savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.  Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.  Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.  So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.”

 

Galatians 4:16   "Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?”

 

Paul understood that he should fear God and not man and that when he spoke the whole council of God even if the people didn’t like what they were hearing he could lift his head high realizing that God was pleased with him because he did not sell the truth for a lie. There are more and more people that don’t want to hear the truth today. This is what will happen to a congregation who gets swept up in the storm of change, because they have not been properly fed with the whole council of God. So, we must have preachers who are willing to preach the whole council of God.  

 

I truly believe that if we will follow these four steps in this lesson, it will cause more Americans to say no to abortion. These steps will also empower every Christian to resist the temptation of fornication, adultery, pornography and homosexuality. If every congregation would follow these four steps, I feel confident that every one of them would stand strong in the faith and they would all be able to survive the storm of change by not allowing false doctrine.
 
Jimmy
Antioch church of Christ at Shellhorn
08/08/10  AM




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