Summary: We sing “Change My Heart O God”, but do you really mean it? Or is this change just for a moment, just for this song, because we really don’t want our life to change.
Acts 17:16-34 (NLT)
We just had a mid-term election; we have change in our future. At least that’s what we voted for. We the people, we the people, are tired of the same ol’ thing, time after time. They all say, more water, less taxes and put the rights of the people back into their hands.
Don’t you get tired of hearing the same thing over and over again? You can put a new face on an old speech and no one would ever know the difference.
In the end, we will know the difference, just as God knows the difference. Time will sort out the good and the bad, the truthful and the false prophets of the day.
Jeremiah15:7 (NLT) I will winnow you like grain at the gates of your cities and take away the children you hold dear. I will destroy my own people, because they refuse to change their evil ways.
One of the things that drive me crazy is the promise to do something that never happens. I promise to do my chores, I’ll do my homework. I promise I will never do that again.
To winnow is to throw the grain and chaff up into the air and let the breeze blow the chaff away and the good grain falls to the floor to be collected and used for the good of the people.
I wonder just how long God will continue to accept our half-hearted plea for forgiveness. Because they refuse to change their evil ways, I will destroy my own people. What does He mean? How far is too far, how much is too much? He tells us that there is an end to His patience.
Isaiah 55:7 (NLT)7 Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong. Let them turn to the LORD that he may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously.
When we ask for forgiveness, when we repent of our actions, we are saying that you will change our ways.
Now some people don’t like change, it interferes with how they think, how they grew-up, with what they were taught.
I thought that Mr. Harris should change his ways. He believed that I should change my behavior. The two of us did come to an agreement, I’d didn’t do what he thought I had done, and he put the paddle away. He changed his mind and I kept my dignity.
Let’s take a quick look at change:
A. If we are doing something that is contrary to the word of God, it needs to be corrected.
B. If we are doing things that make others uncomfortable, but it brings glory to God or is better for the situation, it should not be changed.
Some of us look at the Old Testament with the thought that God was very judgmental and cruel. He killed thousands of people, some were supposed followers and others were enemies of His, but they all were acting contrary to His will and commands. And God will correct a problem. . .
Time and time again He gave a pardon to His children and followers that asked for forgiveness.
Time and time again there were those who refused to change their ways. They refused to follow His laws. Sure some would change for a while, but then they would fall back into their old habits and beliefs.
Jeremiah 26:3 (NLT) Perhaps they will listen and turn from their evil ways. Then I will change my mind about the disaster I am ready to pour out on them because of their sins.
Perhaps they will listen: does that sound like He did not have compassion and was not trying to get their attention? Then I will change my mind. Unforgiving, I don’t think so.
Loving, caring and forgiving was and is our God.
Haggai 1:7 (NIV) This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways.”
When we serve the Lord, we behave in a different way than we did in our past life. We changed our habits and our thoughts. And we must not be drawn back into those thoughts and actions.
Acts 17:30-31 (NLT) “God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him.31 For he has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed, and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead.”
To change, to be changed is the thing that is important to our God. When we find ourselves tempted, we must remember what Haggai wrote: "Give careful thought to your ways.”
Change is not easy, but it is possible. That’s why Jesus sent the Holy Spirit, to help us get past the temptations so our change can be a real part of our lives.