Thursday, August 20, 2009

yesterday, today, forever

Late this past Wednesday, I enjoyed a lovely impromptu dinner, shopping, movie..."girls night" with my mother, grandmother, aunt and cousin. We decided that we could attribute our celebration to all our birthdays which are peppered throughout the scheduled season. To make the occasion extra-special, we called in a reservation to our favorite fancy-shmancy restaurant and warned them to be prepared because the women of my family were en route and coming to celebrate. Once we arrived, we were elated to find that our favorite waiter went above and beyond the call of duty by sprinkling rose petals across our table. He continued to spoil us all evening with many extra treats courtesy of their chef. We were purring by the time the complimentary dessert tray arrived and all agreed that the entire dinner brought a whole new meaning to the word "delectable"!!!

Anyway, as we all sat around the table, I became reminiscent of all the things that had occured during my lifetime while knowing these wonderful women. You see, I will be 40 years old this year. In my 40 years, I have lived what feels like many lifetimes. With each passing decade, I have endured many hardships and have enjoyed many blessings.... it is a little overwhelming to ponder. Through the good and bad, thick and thin, I have been stretched and molded into the women I am today... and the person God is growing me to become. It is clear, I am an ongoing work in progress that seems to constantly be changing.

But not Jesus. Jesus is not a person who changes. He is. He was. He always will be. He is the same and He does not require progress. He is Perfect. He is Eternal. The bible says in Hebrews 13:8 that, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." Isn't that wonderful?

I am comforted to know that my God is constant. He is my eternal source of strength, hope and blessing. Even though my circumstances will change, my Jesus is always good, always loving, always merciful, always kind. That is so important. Warren Wiersbe said it best, "To build life on that which is always changing is to invite constant unrest and disappointment, but to build on the changeless and the eternal is to have peace and confidence."

Barnes said, "If he (Jesus) were fickle, vacillating, changing in his character and plans; if today he aids his people, and tomorrow will forsake them; if at one time he loves the virtuous, and at another equally loves the vicious; if he formed a plan yesterday which he has abandoned today; or if he is ever to be a different being from what he is now, there would be no encouragement to effort. Who would know what to depend on? Who would know what to expect tomorrow? For who could have any certainty that he could ever please a capricious or a vacillating being? Who could know how to shape his conduct if the principles of the divine administration were not always the same?"

How blessed we are with the knowledge that our God is faithful and constant. How soul-inspiring to be assured that He on whom we have built all our hopes will remain the same yesterday, today, and forever! I am encouraged to continue forward with my life because I know my God will keep His promises. He will never leave me or forsake me. He loves me. I am frequently in awe of Him and can hardly believe all that He has done for me. His actions toward me are no different than what He did four thousand years ago in the life of Abraham or two thousand years ago in the life of Paul or fifty years ago in the life of my own grandmother.

Jesus is the same Creator who formed everything I know. He is the same Savior who died on the cross. He is the same Physician who made the blind man see. He is the same Christ who delivered the Sermon on the Mount, turned water into wine, walked on water, raised Lazarus from the dead. He is The Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end; the one which is, and which was, and which is to come; the Almighty - the eternally existing and supreme God. He is a God whose plan is perfect and whose timing is impeccable. He is the God who promises me in Malachi 3:6, "I the Lord do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed."

Ladies, let us never become so accustomed to God's grace that we take Him for granted. Let us remember that while we remain ever-changing in a world filled with unpredictability - a world filled with people constantly trying to reinvent themselves... our God is unaffected. His word will stand forever, unchanged.

He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Praise Him and be blessed!


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