September 9, 2015 Ponder
In my growing up years, I was aware of couples who divorced, but there were not a lot. Today there are many children living with the reality of broken marriages. I seldom heard a lady use a curse word, and most men saved their inappropriate comments for their male friends. Today crude language dominates movies and conversations – even among very young children.
There were people in our community who managed their lives and possessions better than others, but almost everyone had a work ethic and could be trusted. In today’s world of contracts and fine-print negotiations, there is skepticism all around. I have a vivid mental picture of my dad making promises with a handshake, and he always kept his word. Today even signed contracts are often viewed as non-binding documents.
While I am sure there were personal jabs used during political campaigns, my memory is that most of the discussion involved issues. Personality and charisma have always influenced people, but take a look at history and it is obvious that some of the most influential leaders were neither attractive nor great communicators. Character was the important feature – unlike what many of today’s potential leaders have in their favor.
In need of encouragement, I looked through the Bible to see some realities that have not – and will not – change. One of them is the love of Creator God. Psalm 136 outlines a series of His actions and attitudes, but 26 times we read, “His love endures forever.” It is an almost monotonous repetition that is wonderful. The love of God does not change.
Psalm 119:89 says that the “Word of God stands firm.” Isaiah 40:8 and I Peter 1:24-25 declare that His “Word stands forever.” I am encouraged by knowing that there is One Whose word is secure. God will never contradict His word.
Several times in the Bible, God says, “I do not change,” but none more direct than Malachi 3:6. How often do we hear someone tell us that they will not change, but we find it hard to believe because we have heard it so many times but have seen it fail?
I am thinking today that one of the best ways we can encourage people is to live a life that (1) is careful with our promises, and (2) keeps those promises that we make. It is not fame, wealth or prominence that encourage us, but knowing someone who is worthy of trust.
We live in a world of changes – some good and others destructive. But I am encouraged today by knowing that Creator God does not change. His message of hope is as sure as forever. And if my word is good, you will be a better person for it. So I better think before I speak – or write!
Pastor Bill Ehmann