Musings, Theology

New Year, Same God

As I contemplate the start of a new year and take time to evaluate, take personal inventory and plan for this new year (yes I try to establish goals and resolutions)–one thing I am particularly thankful for is the unchanging nature of God.

We have no idea what 2008 will hold. We have no way of knowing the highs and lows this year will bring. But one thing we do know–it will be the same God who will guide us, help us, sustain us and comfort us.

In the words of J. I. Packer

God is immutable. This means that he is totally consistent: because he is necessarily perfect, he cannot change either for the better or for the worse; and because he is not in time he is not subject to change as creatures are (2 Pet. 3:8). Far from being detached and immobile, he is always active in his world, constantly making new things spring forth (Isa. 42:9; 2 Cor. 5:17; Rev. 21:5); but in all this he expresses his perfect character with perfect consistency. It is precisely the immutability of his character that guarantees his adherence to the words he has spoken and the plans he has made (Num. 23:19; Ps. 33:11; Mal. 3:6; James 1:16-18); and it is this immutability that explains why, when people change their attitude to him, he changes his attitude to them (Gen. 6:5-7; Exod. 32:9-14; 1 Sam. 15:11; Jon. 3:10). The idea that the changelessness of God involves unresponsive indifference to what goes on in his world is the precise opposite of the truth. (J. I. Packer, Concise Theology: A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs (Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House, 1995, c1993).)

May this year lead us to
greater trust in our trustworthy God
greater faith in our faithful God
deeper devotion to our wise God
more complete submission to our sovereign God
and greater service to our good and kind God.

Malachi 3:6 “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. (ESV)
Isaiah 46:9-10 remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ (ESV)

Author: Steve

Steve Kilgore joined the staff of Calvary Church in Lancaster, PA in the fall of 2002 as the Pastor of Discipleship to facilitate the equipping ministries, which include Adult Bible Fellowship and other adult discipleship ministries, and work with the rest of the education ministries. He currently serves as the Executive Pastor of Ministries with a focus on providing ministries that facility individuals taking intentional Next Steps for growing and participating in the leadership and administrative aspect at Calvary. He has also taught part-time at Lancaster Bible College in the area of Spiritual Formation and New Testament. Prior to coming to Calvary he served in two churches as well as taught part-time at Philadelphia Biblical University. He was born in Dallas, Texas, but spent the first 13 years of his life in Guatemala where his parents were missionaries. It was there at the age of four and a half that Steve placed his faith in Christ as his Savior. Steve received a Bachelor’s degree in Bible from Philadelphia College of Bible and a Masters of Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. Steve and his wife, Mary Anne, have their two boys, Andrew and Nathan (both in college), and live in East Lampeter Township. Steve lives and ministers by the personal motto, Know what you believe and why, live it, be able to defend it. His hobbies, other than playing with his family, include tinkering with computers, reading, drinking coffee with his wife, playing and watching basketball. Steve and Mary Anne are looking forward to exploring new hobbies as they transition to life as empty-nesters.

2 Comments on “New Year, Same God

  1. I have to admit to a simple mind.

    As Augustine put it, “What then is time? If no one asks me, I know: if I wish to explain it to one that asketh, I know not.”

    It’s hard for me to contemplate a “time” without “time.”

    It seems clear that God is not “bound” by time but not unaware of time.
    He “declares the end from the beginning”–sees all “time” at a single “time” and “accomplishing His will”–determining/decreeing/deciding what should happen in time.

    In eternity past and eternity future is “time” irrelevant? Is there the sequence of events? Without a “sun” in “eternity” is there no “day”?
    How should we define “time”?

    Two web articles that try (provided just for thought provocation):
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/04/050415115227.htm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time
    http://esmane.physics.lsa.umich.edu/wl/umich/phys/satmorn/2003/20030201/real/sld001.htm#

    And for a more “artistic response” listen to the song “Time” by the Alan Parsons Project (1975)

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