Ask A Pastor – February 22, 2017

By Reverend Syd Osenbaugh – The Healing Place (Nashville Assembly Of God)

    Change is inevitable. Change happens. Sometimes it is welcomed. Other times, change comes like an intruder, disrupting what is predictable and comfortable. Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, is credited with the observation that change is the only constant in life. It begins with the moment of conception. From that point forward, every human being is in a continual state of growth and alteration. Thoughts and viewpoints change, knowledge is expanded through learning, and circumstances may create a modification in perspective. In whatever way change is ushered into a life, it can be unsettling to those most directly affected.

The news outlets are full of tales relating the actions of those in our country who are struggling to embrace the recent change in leadership. It is sad to note that many have elected to use inappropriate and destructive means to communicate their rage against the change that has happened. It has occasioned strong division between friends and family members. Riots have ensued. People have even been assaulted because of their support for the new administration. What can, and should, be the Christ-followers response to such things?

That truly is an intriguing question, since the focus for the disciple of Jesus is to encourage a radical life change in others. Jesus came to earth to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). He willingly gave His life, conquering sin and death, in order that mankind might be renewed and have the opportunity for an everlasting existence in the presence of the Creator Himself. But that requires change. We must relinquish our hold on those things that have defined who we are, and instead embrace the transformation that is offered by Spirit of God to any who would surrender to His leadership in their lives. It is a simple concept, but it is not easy to accomplish.  Jesus loved each of us, as we were, but He loved us enough to want better for us than what we could have on our own. Through a choice to surrender personal control, and embrace His leadership, His followers are able to enjoy an intimate relationship with Him that holds the assurance of Heaven as our eventual destination when our eyes close on this life. He loved us, and through His sacrifice on our behalf, He changed us.

Taking the example of the One I follow, my choice must be to love those who are struggling. Regarding the new administration of our country, the observation of a German scientist is an enlightening view: I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better. The bigger issue is not who is president for the next four or eight years, it is who will be governing one’s life for now and all eternity. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Like the caterpillar who becomes the butterfly, each person can be transformed into something brand new if they will submit to Him.