Serving an Unchanging God in These Changing Times!

Series: Who Moved My Cheese?

Lesson 5 – August 25 – 31, 2021

AIM: While everything around us changes and the rate of change accelerates to warp speed, in the center of it all is and will be our Almighty God who never changes! After studying this lesson, students will REALIZE that we may live in a world of change and decay, but we can take hold of God’s unchanging hand.  We can REJOICE that God is always the same.

INTRODUCTION:

Everything must change
Nothing stays the same
Everyone will change
No one stays the same

The young become the old
And mysteries do unfold
‘Cause that’s the way of time
Nothing and no one goes unchanged

There are not many things in live
You can be sure of, except
Rain comes from the clouds
Sun lights up the sky
And hummingbirds do fly

Winter turns to spring
A wounded heart will heal
But never much too soon
Yes everything must change

Yes, everything changes. 

Fifty years ago, there was no “internet” or the dozens and dozens of “social platforms” like “Facebook” or “Twitter” or hundreds of computer applications that we call “apps” today. The stuff we’re surrounded by today, and almost take for granted, was the stuff of science fiction 25-50 years ago. There are probably a few of us who remember punch cards. Then came punch tape … and then magnetic tape.  Do you remember when computers filled whole rooms? The idea that we would all own our very own computers or that computers would be desktop, laptop, iPad, etc. wasn’t even on the radar 25-50 years ago. And yet, here we are. . . years later … and we are not only surrounded by this stuff. I doubt many of our young people today could survive without it.  

We live in a world that is changing every single second. We can’t keep up. But the consequences of not keeping up are frightening. Business leader Jack Welch predicted that if the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near. In other words, if the world keeps changing faster and faster, it will reach a point where we can no longer keep up with it and we could find ourselves in a situation like the movie “Terminator” where the machines and the people who build them and control them will rule the world, so to speak. He may be more correct than he realizes.  Many of us feel that way now!  My little 7-year-old cousin can work these gadgets better than I can!

 According to the Prophet Daniel, the last days will be filled with people running to and fro seeking knowledge … not realizing that we’re rushing headlong into the last days (Daniel 12:4).  All of this could be quite overwhelming. . .frightening even . . . if it wasn’t for God. Our stability in a world filled with instability is this. . . “God is always the same.” God is immutable. He never changes.  But. . .the good news of this lesson is in spite of everything changing in our world we serve a God who does not change!  (Drop the mic!)

BACKGROUND:

In Psalm 102, the writer begins his prayer by asking God to hear his cry in the day of his troubles. He is very ill. His bones burn with pain (v. 3). His heart is stricken and withered like grass (v. 4). He is alone in his suffering. He compares himself to an owl in the wilderness. An image of solitude. He compares himself to a lonely sparrow on a roof top, who usually fly in flocks (v. 6-7). Again, an image of loneliness  –  of being abandoned. He can’t sleep. His enemies are circling around him, ready to take advantage of his weakened condition and attack him at any moment (v. 8). His misery and suffering are so great that he can’t stop crying. Death, he fears, is knocking at his door.

But in verse 12, his tone and his attitude change. He reminds himself that the One he is praying to is the immutable, unchangeable God of Israel. “But You, O Lord,” he rejoices – rejoices! – “shall endure forever.” In verses 25 to 27. . .he speaks about how the earth may pass and everyone living on it, but God, will always be the same and His years will have no end.

Psalm 102:1-12 (ESV)

102 Hear my prayer, O Lord; let my cry come to you! Do not hide your face from me
in the day of my distress! Incline your ear to me; answer me speedily in the day when I call! For my days pass away like smoke, and my bones burn like a furnace. My heart is struck down like grass and has withered; I forget to eat my bread. Because of my loud groaning my bones cling to my flesh. I am like a desert owl of the wilderness, like an owl of the waste places;I lie awake; I am like a lonely sparrow on the housetop. All the day my enemies taunt me; those who deride me use my name for a curse. For I eat ashes like bread and mingle tears with my drink,10 because of your indignation and anger; for you have taken me up and thrown me down. 11 My days are like an evening shadow; I wither away like grass.12 But you, O Lord, are enthroned forever;
    you are remembered throughout all generations.

 

25 Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.
26 They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away, 27  but you are the same, and your years have no end.

We often speak about God’s eternal nature. Eternity has to do with time. But in the lesson today, we will speak about God’s immutable nature. “Mutable” is where we get the world “mutation” from. “Mutable” is something that is mutating, changing. But God is “immutable.”  Let us look at His promises, His purposes, His plans, and His personality.  They cannot and will not change!  In fact, God’s being cannot change!

Psalm 102:27 (NIV) 27 But you remain the same, and your years will never end.

James 1:17 (NIV) 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Hebrews 1:12 (NIV) 12 You will roll them up like a robe;
    like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.” Hebrews 13:8 (NIV)Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.                 Malachi 3:6 (NIV) “I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.

  1. God’s Promises are Unchangeable
  1. Unfailing
  2. If we find that one of God’s promises in the scripture was suspect, well   good-by scriptures.   We’d start to wonder about the others, wouldn’t we?

1 Kings 8:56 (ESV) 56 “Blessed be the Lord who has given rest to his people Israel, according to all that he promised. Not one word has failed of all his good promise, which he spoke by Moses his servant.

  • When we turn to God’s Word, we don’t find that the Bible is “yes” one day and “no” the next day. It doesn’t promise today and deny tomorrow. The Gospel is “yes” and “amen” to the glory of God.

2 Corinthians 1:20 (NLT) 20 For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory.

  • God’s promises are as firm as a rock. Life and its uncertainties may shake but God, who is our Rock, does not!
  • The Bible does not promise that we are always going to be healthy, or rich or successful. But there are promises that God will make all things work together for our good; that He will make all grace abound; that His grace is sufficient; that nothing can or will separate us from His love and that He will supply all our needs richly in Christ. These promises will never change throughout our lives nor throughout the ages or generations.

Romans 8:28 (AMP) 28 And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.

2 Corinthians 12:9 (NKJV) And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 

Romans 8:35-39 (NKJV)35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  1. God’s Purposes and Plans are unchangeable

Hebrews 6:17 (NLT) 17 God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind.

Psalm 110:4a (NLT) The Lord has taken an oath and will not break his vow:

Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT) 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Hebrews 7:21 (NLV) 21 God did not make such a promise when Levi’s family group became religious leaders. But when Christ became a Religious Leader, this is the promise God made, “The Lord has made a promise. He will never change His mind. You will be a Religious Leader forever.”

  1. Return for Us

John 14:3 (NKJV) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

  • Hearing and Answering our Prayers

Mark 11:24 (NKJV) 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

  • Give Eternal Life to Believers

John 3:16 (NKJV) 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

  • Give Believers Power for Service

Matthew 28:18-20 (KJV) 18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

  • Salvation through the Gospel of Jesus Christ

Romans 1:16 (KJV) 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

  • Mankind is His Chosen Instrument

John 15:16 (NKJV) 16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.

1 Corinthians 1:27-29 (NKJV) 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and thebase things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence.

Acts 1:8 (KJV) But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

  1. God’s faithful Personality is unchangeable

 

2 Timothy 2:13 (NET) 13 If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, since he cannot deny himself.

Hebrews 6:18 (NLT) 18 So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us.

1 Corinthians 1:9 (NLT) God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Lamentations 3:22-23 (NLT) 22 The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. 23 Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.

 

PRAYER PRINCIPLE:                        Thank God for his unchanging nature when chaos is all around you.

SOCIAL JUSTICE PRINCIPLE:           Share with others how you have remained at peace during times of change.

EVANGELISM PRINCIPLE:                Point others to Christ during seasons of turmoil by sharing what Christ endured for our sakes.

STEWARDSHIP PRINCIPLE:               Giving affords comfort for those under duress.

DISCIPLESHIP PRINCIPLE:                    During seasons of a state of flux, remember how God kept you during your past seasons and give thanks for what you’re about to experience.

NEXT WEEK’S LESSON: Where is Your Faith

NEXT WEEK’S SERIES: Failure is not Final in the Father

NEXT WEEK’S READING: Romans 8:28; Matthew 14:22-33; Luke 5:16; Mark 1:35; Psalm 63:1; Matthew 6:6; 2 Kings 4:4; Philippians 4:6; 2 Corinthians 5:7; Matthew 17:20; Psalm 34:1

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