Times are changing, but God doesn’t change
Back-to-school means the release of the annual “Mindset List.” Each August, Benoit College in Wisconsin releases this list that has provided a summary of how 18-year-olds view the world. Think about what was normal when you were 18, and the statements on the list are representative of what’s normal to them.
Authors Tom McBride and Ron Nief wrote that “the list is compiled to identify both the common ground that teachers and students share, and the mine fields of misunderstanding that seem to grow wider with every forgotten Cold War reference or John Denver lyric.”
The list is a reminder of how fast life changes. Interestingly, different generations can hear the same reference and think of two entirely different things. For example, the directive “don’t touch that dial” doesn’t make any sense. Why would anyone not want to touch Dial soap? They’ve never had a TV with a dial.
Or, one generation hears LBJ and thinks of President Lyndon Johnson. The other immediately thinks of Lebron James.
This year’s entering freshmen were born in 1994, the year of the MLB baseball strike and the last year that the NFL had a team in Los Angeles. For this generation beginning their college years, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Richard Nixon have always been dead. These guys have always lived in cyberspace. They have never needed an airplane “ticket” and never used a set of bound encyclopedias.
They grew up with MP3s and Ipods, so they don’t listen to music on the radio and really have little use for radio. They’ve spent their lives helping their parents understand that you don’t take pictures on film and CDs and DVDs are not “tapes.”
Women have always piloted war planes and space shuttles. There have always been blue M&Ms. Billy Graham is as familiar to them as Otto Graham was to their parents. Simba has always had trouble waiting to be lion king. History has always had its own channel, and they don’t need a TV set to catch their favorite television show.
Most parents are scratching their heads and asking, “Where did these last 18 years go?” Time flies, and everything is in constant motion. The world is changing, society is changing, and time is moving so rapidly that our heads are spinning. Is there any constant in the midst of all of this change?
We can count on two truths: God is sovereign and, God is unchanging. What about God remains constant?
God’s majesty doesn’t change. Psalm 93:1 reads, “The Lord reigns; He is clothed with majesty.” His majesty refers to His greatness.
J. I. Packer wrote, “The word majesty when applied to God is always a declaration of His greatness and an invitation to worship.” Sometimes we make God too small and limit His greatness, don’t we?
God’s presence doesn’t change (see Psalm 139:1-10). God is present at all times in all places, and that means that there is never a time that we are not in God’s sight. We are never overlooked, nor forgotten.
God’s provision doesn’t change. Psalm 23:1 says, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” God promises to provide our every need.
God’s life doesn’t change. We grow older, and face the challenges of aging. I had a lady tell me recently, “I’m just like a used car. Every time I get something fixed, something else breaks down.”
A.W. Pink wrote, “For He is already perfect and being perfect, He cannot change for the worse.”
God’s truth does not change (Psalm 119:151). His Word is always true.
God’s purposes do not change, and neither does His counsel. God’s will does not change, nor does His character. People can be fickle. One day we can be happy and the next day discouraged. God remains the same.
For those who can’t comprehend that it’s been 18 years since these students were born, it doesn’t get any easier. Thank goodness that God is the same today as He was when He was the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He is reliable. Malachi 3:6 reads, “For I am the Lord; I do not change.”
Dr. David L. Chancey is pastor, McDonough Road Baptist Church in Fayetteville, Ga. The church family gathers at 352 McDonough Road, just past the DDS building, and invites you to join them this Sunday for Bible study at 9:45 a.m. and worship at 10:55 a.m. Visit them on the web at www.mcdonoughroad.org.