So, how many changes have you seen over the course of your life? As I think about my lifetime, I can’t help but think, “Wow! There have been so many changes!”
The reality is, this world is constantly changing. What will be tomorrow is different than what is today and what was yesterday. There will be people born today; there will be people who will die today. I’d imagine that someone will invent something this week; perhaps it will change our life in ways we can’t imagine, like when the microwave oven was invented, or the cell phone, or football. 😊 Change – it’s one thing we can count on.
And, many changes are great! I very much like the fact that someone invented indoor plumbing and air conditioning! I like having a car! I like having a cell phone! I like it that we can put Biblical messages onto the internet for hundreds of people to be blessed by!
But there are plenty of other changes which aren’t so great! I don’t like it that I now have to wear glasses because of my changing eyesight. They’re bifocals now. I don’t like it that my body takes so much longer to heal than it used to. It’s a terribly destructive change that it has become so easy for people to so easily access things like pornography.
There are some things that God doesn’t want to see ever change. The first 3 verses mention several of those: “Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, … Remember those in prison … and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” Perhaps the ways we show brotherly love or hospitality has changed; God’s desire that we do it has not changed, and it never will. How have we done?
God goes on in vv4-5: “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, …. Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have,…” The world may desire to change the definition of marriage and “love;” God’s definitions will not change. God’s desire is that we don’t become money-lovers, but instead be content with the material blessings God has given us. That’s always been God’s desire, and it won’t change. Again, how have we done?
As people look at you and me could they consistently say, “That person loves his fellow humans; that person practices hospitality, remembers the suffering, honors sex and marriage, is a wonderful example of contentment, etc.” Oh, I have some moments when I think I do okay in some of those things, but then there are other times when I make such a mess out of it! You too?
God is so consistent; I’m so inconsistent. And of course, that hits us pastors all the harder, because of the role we play. People properly look to us for excellence in Christian living, for crystal clear teaching. People look to us to be role models, to give a consistent example! How my heart shudders when I think about the many times I’ve failed in that!
And yet what does God graciously, amazingly promise you and me? “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Amazingly, God won’t abandon us, his sinful servants. And, thankfully, you know why, but it’s so good for us to be reminded again. It’s because Jesus Christ, your Savior, is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8) When Jesus went to the cross, he proved once and for all time that your sins were fully forgiven. Because of that, Jesus could love you yesterday, can love you today, and can love you tomorrow. Because he never changes, his love for you will never change, either!
And so, yes, we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” That promise, that point, dear pastor, will never change! When the Bible tells you that “The Lord is my Helper,” it meant yesterday, it means today, it means tomorrow, it means forever!