Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Not Changing for Anybody

I have heard so many times, "I won't change for anybody!" Actually, I seek change each and every day, every moment in the day. I won't change for just anybody though; but I will change for somebody!

Christians sing that refrain so well! It's as if it is a status symbol or a statement of power. Women try to present themselves as strong by proclaiming that. Men pretend to be macho by refusal to change. However, the failure to change is a sign of insecurity and weakness, just as men refusing to wear pink because they are uncertain of their masculinity.

Barack Obama was elected because he promised change, yet the same people who sought change with him are the first to deny that they need changing! In effect, those un-changelings believe that it is others who need to change, and they are deceived into thinking that, I'm Okay-you're not Okay.

Out of the darkness yesterday, I saw the light as did many others. With the waxing and waning of the total eclipse, it was as if everything changed. We were somehow washed in it all. Hate disappeared for about three hours! That happened on specific time before:
Matthew 27:45 "Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. 46  And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”[
For three hours there was darkness over all the land when Jesus died on the cross. For instance, in Bowling Green, Kentucky the eclipse lasted two-hours and fifty-five minutes yesterday from start to finish. With the absence of the total light available, there was some degree of darkness for nearly three hours! The time is location dependent, so three hours rounded may be the time of partial darkness.

That corresponds with the darkness when Jesus died. What about the "all the land" part? That would be Israel, which matches fairly well with the distance across the land (71 miles at its most narrow point).  The 2017 American eclipse had a path of totality of 70 miles wide. Assuming that Jerusalem's eclipse was north to south rather than east to west, "the entire land" would be partially or fully darkened at some point during the eclipse! Coincidence? I think not!

Just as things changed after the eclipse yesterday, things changed big-time when Jesus died. All those who were destined to die had the ultimate sacrifice. Jesus changed for you and me as he was glorified - leaving life and entering death. If Jesus can change for us, why can't we change for him? Because sinners are fixed in their status as the other gods before God.

In order to change, sinners must submit themselves as a living sacrifice. However, before their own sacrifice, they must see the light. Jesus saw the Light because he spoke to Him - Eli or My God. He changed right there on the cross as all the sin of all mankind ever came upon him. With that heavy load of sin, darkness came for a time (precisely three hours) while he paid the price with his own life.

The eclipse yesterday was in remembrance of Jesus. God served the elements so to speak, and we partook of them. I believe that this occasion in chaotic times is a reminder that Jesus died for us. Everyone should consider when darkness turned to light, and they themselves do the same.

When Jesus was explaining to Nicodemus how to be born again, he said this:
John 3:19 "And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.  21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
"Light" came into the world with Jesus. That Light is divine truth. However, people who loved the darkness refused to change. They preferred evil to what is good. That evil - sin is darkness. Just as we were overjoyed with the darkness of the eclipse, sinners who refuse the Light are joyful in evil. In the darkness, evil is hidden, but when the light shines it's exposed. Jesus goes on to say, "He who does the truth comes to the light" for the purpose of showing their evil side.

Hence, being "born-again" is confessing to the sins within to God and to the world. With truth comes change. The new birth is when one quits hiding their evil and testifies to the darkness within, and repents. The truth is that no one can save themselves because we are pretend gods, but only Jesus can save since he is the Way, the Truth, and the Life! (John 14:6).

Jesus's purpose in life was to provide eternal life to anyone who would accept truth over darkness. In other words, he was born to die for us. After serving his purpose, he was resurrected, ascended to heaven, and now his Holy Ghost is with us. Jesus changed for us, yet people still refuse to change for him!

There is a penalty for refusal to change - that is death.
Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
All men have sinned and miss the mark. (Romans 3:23). We all are sinners, and are destined to die. You are a sinner and have the same destiny - unless you change. You are to present yourselves a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1).  You change from master to servant; rather than serve yourselves, you serve God. Rather than do what is right in your own eyes, you become more like Jesus!

That, my few friends, is how you change. You become more like Jesus. He changed for you, and expects change from you! So, you won't change for anybody? You must change for Jesus!

Change is going from the old sinful creature whose master is Satan, to a new clean creature whose Master is Jesus.
2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."
How does one know that they are truly born-again, and have seen the Light? They have changed! "All things have become new." If you have not changed for Jesus, you still walk in darkness. The Light which shined after Jesus died was for you, and you mere reflected it off. It wasn't meant for you because it is darkness which you prefer. Indeed, the Light is for all, for "God so loved the world!" It was meant for you, and you need to change.

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