Pastor Granillo: Constant Change

By Pastor RAUL GRANILLO
Los Alamos

Schoolwork has changed drastically since I was a kid. I realized this a few years ago when my oldest daughter started school, but it was only a little while back that I considered how much it had changed even between my time and my parents’ time.

I remember telling my mom about the new Apple IIe’s at our elementary school and how amazed she was at the idea of computers in public schools. Things had certainly changed since she was a child decades before.

We have all heard, many times, that the only constant is change. Peter wrote—almost 2,000 years ago—that, “[God’s] divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (2 Peter 1:3 NIV). Regardless of all the changes in the world, Peter’s words remain true today. God does give us everything that we need for our life and for godliness. And it is important that Christians remember this and continually seek God’s presence in their lives, especially as we consider how much the world around us is changing.

It can be frustrating to read the Bible and try to understand out what God says about what. Often, if we try to just read it, and apply it, then we may find that it is nearly impossible for us to remove our own personal desires and biases from the way we interpret it. This has been true since God first gave the law to Moses and the Israelites thousands of years ago. God says something, man filters God’s word through modern culture and personal biases and desires, and out comes his own interpretation. I’m not sure this is what God had in mind.

The prophet Jeremiah recorded a promise God made to the Israelites—and, in turn, to us—“‘This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,’ declares the LORD. ‘I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people’” (Jeremiah 31:33 NIV). This promise does not mean that God will inscribe all the laws He gave to the Israelites in our minds and hearts so that we will miraculously know them. No, it points to something even more valuable, something that holds the key to proper interpretation of the Bible for all time.

When asked what the greatest command was, Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” and “Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:37-40 NIV). The gift of God is eternal life, but here and now He also offers the Holy Spirit to “write” this law upon our hearts. Only when we are in a proper loving relationship with God can we properly love our neighbors; and only when those two things become the foundation for our character can we hope to interpret God’s word properly.

When we love God this way, we will also trust Him. We will be able to read His word and trust that His commands are actually righteous. This means that we believe Him when He tells us what is sexually acceptable or not, when He tells us how to handle money, when He tells us how to treat our bodies, and when He tells us how to treat others. We believe Him even if we don’t understand. We believe Him because the times are changing and only God knows how these will affect us today and tomorrow. Our love for God means obedience to Him, not only for our sake, but also for the sake of others.

The Bible does contain everything we need to know to live godly lives. It does contain everything we need to know about marriage, money, politics, the environment, stewardship, and anything else that we can imagine or that will come up in life. What we most often lack, is allowing the Holy Spirit to write the foundational principles upon our hearts so that we can interpret and apply God’s word in a manner that glorifies Him, leads us to holiness, and brings hope into a constantly changing  world. The only true constant is not change, it is God.

To find out more about La Vista Church, or to hear this and other messages, visit our website at www.lavistanaz.org or email me at raul@lavistanaz.org. Follow Pastor Raul on Twitter @RaulGranillo007

Please come join us as we fix our eyes on Jesus. We meet Sundays at 9 a.m. for Sunday school and 10 a.m. for worship. Everyone is welcome!

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