I will not change! This is the heart cry of many who think they control the world, themselves and those around them. The world is constantly changing. WE are constantly changing! Our bodies change each day. A few more hairs let go of being attached to our heads. Extra pounds come from simply walking through the kitchen and seeing food available. Our children grow up and change right before our eyes in nano seconds. Our work situations can change in a heartbeat with change of leadership or lack of leadership. If we have learned anything from this pandemic, we have learned that change is inevitable. We can stop it or control it. Change just is what it is. Whew!
So, believing friends, isn’t it settling to know that Jesus NEVER changes? Jesus is the same yesterday, today and always! Jesus will never let us down, shut us out, take His help from us, ignore us or remove His love from us. He paid our debt and He is not taking it back or sending us a delayed bill like the medical community likes to do. He sacrificed His life for our lives so we can be free from our repented sins forever. Done.
The writer of Hebrews, probably Paul, teaches us how to live in gratitude for our never changing Jesus by consistently behaving in ways that match His Truth.
- Love each other like Jesus loves us.
- Extend hospitality to those who need it.
- Show compassion as if you were in the same situation with them.
- Honor your marriage in all ways.
- Obsess over Christ and His people, not things.
- Be consistent as leaders, led by God’s Holy Spirit.
- Appreciate leaders of God’s church for the work God invited them to be and do.
- Go outside the church building and hit the streets—like Jesus.
- Share what you have; take nothing for granted.
- The sacrificial work of Jesus has been accomplished. We pray and obey.
- Worship with all that is in us, hearts, minds and souls. “God takes particular pleasure in acts of worship—a different kind of “sacrifice”—that take place in kitchen and workplace and on the streets.” Worship is 24/7 seeking God’s will daily, asking for His help in growing and changing so that our beliefs more consistently match our behaviors, our demeanor to match our doctrine, as we walk with Jesus in the Light of His love, mercy and grace.
Hebrews 12, The Message
Jesus Doesn’t Change
1-4 Stay on good terms with each other, held together by love. Be ready with a meal or a bed when it’s needed. Why, some have extended hospitality to angels without ever knowing it! Regard prisoners as if you were in prison with them. Look on victims of abuse as if what happened to them had happened to you. Honor marriage, and guard the sacredness of sexual intimacy between wife and husband. God draws a firm line against casual and illicit sex.
5-6 Don’t be obsessed with getting more material things. Be relaxed with what you have. Since God assured us, “I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you,” we can boldly quote,
God is there, ready to help;
I’m fearless no matter what.
Who or what can get to me?
7-8 Appreciate your pastoral leaders who gave you the Word of God. Take a good look at the way they live, and let their faithfulness instruct you, as well as their truthfulness. There should be a consistency that runs through us all. For Jesus doesn’t change—yesterday, today, tomorrow, he’s always totally himself.
9 Don’t be lured away from him by the latest speculations about him. The grace of Christ is the only good ground for life. Products named after Christ don’t seem to do much for those who buy them.
10-12 The altar from which God gives us the gift of himself is not for exploitation by insiders who grab and loot. In the old system, the animals are killed and the bodies disposed of outside the camp. The blood is then brought inside to the altar as a sacrifice for sin. It’s the same with Jesus. He was crucified outside the city gates—that is where he poured out the sacrificial blood that was brought to God’s altar to cleanse his people.
13-15 So let’s go outside, where Jesus is, where the action is—not trying to be privileged insiders, but taking our share in the abuse of Jesus. This “insider world” is not our home. We have our eyes peeled for the City about to come. Let’s take our place outside with Jesus, no longer pouring out the sacrificial blood of animals but pouring out sacrificial praises from our lips to God in Jesus’ name.
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16 Make sure you don’t take things for granted and go slack in working for the common good; share what you have with others. God takes particular pleasure in acts of worship—a different kind of “sacrifice”—that take place in kitchen and workplace and on the streets.
17 Be responsive to your pastoral leaders. Listen to their counsel. They are alert to the condition of your lives and work under the strict supervision of God. Contribute to the joy of their leadership, not its drudgery. Why would you want to make things harder for them?
18-21 Pray for us. We have no doubts about what we’re doing or why, but it’s hard going and we need your prayers. All we care about is living well before God. Pray that we may be together soon.
May God, who puts all things together,
makes all things whole,
Who made a lasting mark through the sacrifice of Jesus,
the sacrifice of blood that sealed the eternal covenant,
Who led Jesus, our Great Shepherd,
up and alive from the dead,
Now put you together, provide you
with everything you need to please him,
Make us into what gives him most pleasure,
by means of the sacrifice of Jesus, the Messiah.
All glory to Jesus forever and always!
Oh, yes, yes, yes.
22-23 Friends, please take what I’ve written most seriously. I’ve kept this as brief as possible; I haven’t piled on a lot of extras. You’ll be glad to know that Timothy has been let out of prison. If he leaves soon, I’ll come with him and get to see you myself.
24 Say hello to your pastoral leaders and all the congregations. Everyone here in Italy wants to be remembered to you.
25 Grace be with you, everyone.
I am constantly growing and changing because of you, my never changing Lord and Savior. Jesus, you are consistently transforming me to be all He created me to be, then do. Thank you, Lord. Show me your ways and I will walk in them. I’m yours. I’m listening. You’re not finished with me yet.
In Jesus Name, For Your Glory, Amen