Advent 22: Steadfast God

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. – Hebrews 13:8 (ESV)

Some things never change.  Actually, it is more accurate to say that a few – very few – things never change.  One thing that never changes is the fact that change itself is inevitable.  Another thing that never changes: the fear some people exhibit toward change.  We tend to like the steady course, to experience the familiar and comfortable.

When we become Christians, we change.  And perhaps that more than anything is why some people resist fully following Jesus Christ.  He gets into your heart and changes your perspectives, your desires, your focus.  Some of your friends may change.  Your entertainments will probably change.  Habits?  Them too.

But don’t get hung up on the changes that happen when you begin seeking God.  The farther down the path you go, the more you begin to crave the wonderful changes the Lord makes within you.  You see with new eyes, feel with a new heart.

“God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God” (Galatians 4:6-7, ESV).  How can one not change when God Himself has taken up residence within one’s self?

Not only that, but we are adopted children of God!  Talk about change.  My wife and I adopted our son from China in 2008.  Before that time, he had a Chinese name.  His mother and I were nothing more to him than a couple of strange Americans with round eyes who talked funny and smelled of cologne, beef and sweat.  Strange indeed.

But that all changed for our son (and us as well) once we adopted him.  As soon as the papers were signed and the money distributed, he was our child.  I was no longer some big fat American stranger.  I was now Daddy.  His name changed.  His diet changed.  The language he heard changed.  When he came to America, everything he knew – sights, sounds, smells – changed.  His nationality changed.

He is still the child God created him to be.  In essence our boy is who he always was.  But everything changed for him.  For the better.  He is no longer an orphan.  Having parents is no longer an abstraction to him.  It is a reality.  He is our child legally, physically, emotionally…

When God adopts us, it is the same thing.  Without the home study, the nerve-wracking waiting and the tens of thousands of dollars and yuan.  He are changed.  We remain who He created us to be, but our identities change.  We are His.  Having a Lord and Savior is no longer an abstraction to us.  We now have a heavenly Father – Abba – with whom we have a real relationship.

That sounds like a pretty good set of changes, right?  Well, if you’re one of those people who resist change, you’re going to love this.  God never changes.  He is rock steady.  He is Who He is, and Who He is is Who He had always been and always will be.  “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17, ESV).

God is steadfast – never wavering, always true to His Word:

God is not man, that he should lie,
    or a son of man, that he should change his mind.
Has he said, and will he not do it?
    Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? – Numbers 23:19 (ESV)

God is all He says He is.  He always has been.  He always will be.  He is Love.  He is Truth.  He is filled with Majesty and Grace.  He is the righteous judge.  He is our heavenly anger.  He is the Great I AM.

Ok, so maybe only one thing never truly changes: God.  You can put your trust in Him.  You can rest in Him.

“My Hope is Built on Nothing Less”
by Edward Mote (1797-1874)

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

His oath, His covenant, and blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When every earthly prop gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found,
Clothed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne!
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

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