Saturday, October 8, 2016

Change with a Purpose - Martin Wiles

Yes, the old requirement about the priesthood was set aside because it was weak and useless. Hebrews 7:18 NLT

Change isn’t easy for most folks, but when it has a purpose, it’s easier to stomach.

Gossip had driven the previous pastor to another venue. During the interim period, the church had dwindled to around 30 faithful attendees. When a new prospective pastor was interviewed and invited to take the helm, he said, “Here’s what I plan to do if I come.” 

Change is difficult for any church, but small rural churches often find it even more challenging. But they knew if they didn’t change, death was just around the corner. They agreed to his goals and called him as their pastor. Soon, attitudes made a radical shift. People were excited about coming and about what was going to happen next. Perhaps because the changes had a purpose: to transform a dying church back into a living breathing organism that was making a difference for God’s kingdom.

The writer of Hebrews wrote to people who had inherited a several-thousand-year-old tradition: the Levitical priesthood. Men were selected from the tribe of Levi to tend to the Temple, offer sacrifices for the people, and make intercession to God on behalf of the people. Now God—through Jesus Christ—had changed all that. Jesus descended from the tribe of Judah, not Levi. The old system was good for a time, but it wasn’t God’s plan for it to last forever. 

Like most people, change for the sake of change comes difficult for me. I love time-honored traditions as well as the same old same old. Life is easier when I have a pattern, a routine. When something happens to uproot my norm, I often react with anger, confusion, depression, or resistance. But I can react with acceptance. 

Rarely does God work the same way during the entirety of our lives. His overarching plan for our life requires many changes along the way. Rather than resisting the changes, when we know they are coming from God, we should willingly accept, adapt, and conform. He is working out His goal for us and conforming us to the image of His Son. Resisting the changes God initiates can prevent our spiritual growth, put us at odds with others, and keep us from realizing the good rewards He is attempting to give us. 

When God sends change, accept is willingly.

Prayer: Father, help us accept the changes You send that are for our good and Your glory. 

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