“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17 NIV
We’re in a series about what God is like. The attributes of God. We’ve studied his omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence. This week, we are looking at what is called, God’s immutability. Immutability simply means God never changes. Everything else in creation changes except God.
“I the Lord do not change!” Malachi 3:6 NIV
We’re going to take a Selah moment now and reflect on this. In this series we’ve just been taking a moment, before we make it about us, to worship God for who he is. We’re going to simply pause to think about and then worship the only one with immutability. God. He never changes.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 NIV
Today, we will look at how God’s immutability can stabilize us in the midst of all these changes and worries. They will add stability. They are things we can stay focused on in an ever-changing world.
1. GOD’S LOVE FOR US NEVER CHANGES.
We were created to be loved by God. God’s love is consistent and it is continual. One of the reasons we get frustrated with relationships is because people change. They change from one day to the next. “You’re not the man I married!” or “My sweet child has become this rebellious teenager. I don’t even recognize him anymore.” That causes stress in our lives.
“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” Romans 8:35-37 NLT
POINT: We never need to doubt God’s love
No matter what happens, no matter what we do, no matter what we feel, God’s love for us never changes. We don’t measure God’s love for us by our circumstances. We measure it by the cross. We need to understand just how high, how wide, how long, how deep God’s love is.
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 NLT
We always get into trouble when we doubt God’s love. So when tragedy strikes or when we pray and don’t get an immediate answer or when things don’t go our way, just remember God’s love for us hasn’t changed one bit. That is a stabilizer in life.
2. GOD’S WORD NEVER CHANGES
The Bible is not the easiest thing to read. But what we find as we learn God’s word, is that it’s unchanging. The overarching story, the accounts, the principles, are timeless. It is always relevant, up to date, never obsolete. Anything that man writes eventually becomes obsolete, dated. We need to build our life on something more stable, permanent and unchangeable than the current fad or therapy.
“Long ago I learned from your statues that you established them to last forever.” Psalm 119:152 NIV
The Bible has stood the test of time because His word never changes. God has established the universe to operate on not only physical laws, but moral and spiritual laws that we cannot ignore. If we ignore them, we have chaos. There are some things that will always be right and some things that will always be wrong. It’s not a matter of opinion. Contrary to popular opinion God does not invent new rules for every generation. He has established them to last forever.
Satan’s temptation is always to get you to question God’s word.
The first temptation: Satan asks Eve, “Did God really say you couldn’t eat of that?” He’s getting Eve to question did God really say you shouldn’t do… Today Satan still does this, but has put a little twist on the temptation. The phrase we’ll hear over and over again, “That’s your interpretation.” When we pull up to a stop sign, how would we interpret that? How many ways can we interpret S-T-O-P. There’s no interpretation needed there. The fact is God’s word has not changed. It’s immutable.
Jesus: “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock.
26 But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. 27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.” Matthew 7:24-27 NLT
Jesus said there are two ways to build a house. We can build it on sand or we can build it on a rock. If we don’t build it on a solid foundation the whole building will eventually tilt and fall over. We’ve got to have a solid foundation for our lives. God is saying that if we build our lives on what’s popular today, what feels good today, on popular podcasts or streaming or social media, we’re building on shifting sands and we’re going to have an unstable life when the changes of life come.
If we want to have stability when the stresses of life come, we’ve got to build it on something that never changes. God’s love for us never changes and God’s word never changes. It may seem hard, unreasonable, unpopular. But it is always the right thing to do.
Why do we spend more time filling our mind with the TV or reading the news—something we don’t believe—than filling our mind with the things we do believe, God’s word and God’s ways. It doesn’t make sense. Now, should we shut out all of that stuff completely? No, it’s good to be aware of what’s happening around us.
If we want to have stability in our life, we will fill our mind with scripture.
We don’t listen to the advice of our friends for right and wrong. They may be just as wrong as we are. But we build our life on something that will never, never change. If you want to have more stability in your life when you’re under stress memorize scripture — verses from the Bible.
Start filling your mind with things that never change and then when you need them God can bring them to mind. If you’re wondering what you should do in a situation, God will pop that verse into your mind. You don’t always have a Bible with you.
When Jesus was out in the desert being tempted by the devil, he responded to temptation with scripture. Jesus didn’t have to pull out a Bible, He just simply said, “Satan, the Bible says ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’” He had it memorized and it helped Him. The fact is if we want stability in our life, we’ve got to base it on these things that don’t change. We’ve got to build our life on rock.
3. GOD’S PURPOSE FOR OUR LIFE WILL NEVER CHANGE
No matter what happens to you, in you, through you, God’s purpose will never, never change.
God is at work in human history. What is the world coming to? It’s coming to the very climax that God has planned from the very beginning. Many are saying the time we’re in is the end right now. The Bible doesn’t give us a time, it gives us some signs. And while we don’t know when the end is, those signs are good reminders to prepare. That’s what the New Testament encourages us to do, even when things are good. Fortunately, I’m on the winning side. If you’re a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, that’s good news. His purpose remains.
But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. Psalm 33:11 NIV
Do your plans ever change? How often do they change? Why do your plans change so much?
Two reasons: One, because you don’t have the perspective or foresight to know everything that’s going to happen. When you get more information and know something different it changes your plans. The other reason your plans change is maybe you don’t have the power to implement the changes you had intended to do. Ran out of time, money, energy, effort – whatever, so your plans change. Since God is omniscient—God knows everything—and since He’s omnipotent—God has all power—His plans never have to change.
What does that mean for our life? If God created us and loves us and has a purpose for us, what does this mean for our life? God does not have a Plan B for our life. Think of the biggest sin you’ve ever committed, that thing you regret the most. Then think of the biggest disappointment you’ve ever had. Do you think God knew about those in advance before you ever did them?
Yes, He did. And he still went thru with creating you and still has a plan.
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28 NLT
That means no matter what has happened in your life your destination is still plan A. God has not changed His mind and God’s purpose for your life has not changed. God knows everything that’s going to happen in your life and He’s fit it all in to work for good in your life. Even the mistakes and sins you commit that are wrong and bad,
Here’s God’s purpose for us… To make us like Jesus
Right after Romans 8:28, it says God’s plan for your life is to become like Jesus Christ. That we would learn to think like He thinks and feel like He felt and act like He acts. How can we cooperate with this plan? It begins with salvation. For two thousand years there is only one way to get to know God and that’s through Jesus Christ His son. Jesus said “I am the Way” — “I’m not a good way, the best way, one way, — but the way”. God’s invitation to you has never changed. He wants you to come to Him and establish a relationship with His Son Jesus Christ.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9 NIV
How are we going to respond to life’s stressful changes?
We can’t prepare for them because they aren’t predictable. What’s going to be the source of stability in your life? Three things to remember when you’re under stress.
1. God will never stop loving us.
Never. He won’t even love you less. You won’t understand all that is going on but no matter what He’s doing, He’s acting toward you in love. That’s a stabilizer.
2. God’s word is always right.
The advice here in the Bible is the right thing to do, even if it’s unpopular or unpleasant it is always the right thing to do. That’s a stabilizer.
3. God’s purpose for your life is bigger than your problems.
Problems can’t change God’s purpose. It has not changed God’s purpose for your life and it will not change what He wants to do in your life.
“Those who trust in the Lord are as steady as Mount Zion, unmoved by any circumstance.” Psalm 125:1
That’s what I call stability. Security, stability, confidence come from being anchored in an unchanging God. When everything around us is changing in this throw away society where nothing remains the same, there is one thing that never changes and that’s God and these aspects of His life.
Check back on your discussion from last week, “Where Is God When You Need Him?” God can lift you up, calm you down, help you out and see you through. How has practicing his presence by inviting Jesus into your life, being quiet, talking to God about everything and developing the habit of praise made a difference in your life? Any more thoughts or conclusions about that message?
Too much change creates stress in our lives. When everything else is changing we look for some stability in our lives. So, the question then becomes: Is there anything in the world that is permanent?
Is there anything that is reliable that never changes?
YES! God is immutable. Meaning, God never changes. “I the Lord do not change!” Malachi 3:6
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights,who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17 NIV
Discussion & Application
- How is the fact that God is unchanging any comfort to you in these days of constant change?
- God’s love for me never changes. Read Romans 8:18-39. Why is it people doubt God’s love when they face the things mentioned in this passage? Why does the Apostle Paul say we don’t need to doubt God’s love in those times?
- God’s Word never changes. What does it look like to follow Jesus’ instruction from Matthew 7:24-27? What are some practical ways to fill your mind with scripture?
- God’s purpose for my life never changes. God uses two primary ways to achieve the purpose of becoming like Christ in our life: Our circumstances and applying God’s word to our life. How has God used past circumstances to grow your character?
- How do you think God could use your current circumstances to reveal your character and grow your character?
Ask the group for how you can pray for and support one another this week. Also, continue to pray for nations, states and community’s leaders. Pray for first responders and medical personnel?
During these times, the church can be a light for Jesus Christ. We are a church on mission. How can you simply serve or check in on your neighbors and friends at this time?