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)

2 thoughts 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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