For good while now the “How many ____________ does it take to change a light bulb?” lines have been circulating. For instance,
- How many Pentecostals does it take to change a light bulb? Any of them because they all have their hands in the air!
- How many Methodists does it take to change a light bulb? We choose not to make a statement either in favor of or against the need for a light bulb. However, if in your own journey, you have found that a light bulb works for you, that is fine. You are invited to write a poem or compose a modern dance about your personal relationship to your light bulb and present it next month at our annual light bulb Sunday service, in which we will explore a number of light bulb traditions, including incandescent, fluorescent, three-way, long-lived, and tinted; all of which are equally valid paths to luminescence.
- How many independent Baptists does it take to change a light bulb? CHANGE!! WE AIN’T CHANGIN’ NOTHIN’!!
Now, please take these and others like them all in stride. It is only a joke.
Truthfully though, for oh so many, change is not a joke. Most folks don’t like change, and for many, the older we get the harder it is to deal with change. We want our grocery store to stock the same items on the same aisle week-after-week; we tend to want our children to stay young and at home, never to grow up; we are not too fond of anything that is labeled “new and improved” because we know it’s not going to be the same; and we don’t want the stamp machine down at the post office to change either. Just ask Barney Fife.
You see, change provides a sense of security. When things supposedly stay the same then we are comfortable.
Truth is, change is all around us every day. Nothing ever stays the same: the universe, your job, your children, the government, the newness of your car, etc.
With that being said, I want to share from my heart two brief, important principles of life in reference to change. There is much more to be said, but consider these simple truths.
- Security in this life can only be found each day in knowing and resting in the Immutable One, Jehovah God.
Malachi 3:6 declares, For I am the Lord, I change not.
Ponder these words found in Psalm 102:12, 25-28, But Thou, O LORD dost abide forever; And Thy name to all generations . . . Of old Thou didst found the earth; And the heavens are the work of Thy hands. Even they will perish, but Thou dost endure; And all of them will wear out like a garment; Like clothing Thou wilt change them, and they will be changed. But Thou art the same, And Thy years will not come to an end. The children of Thy servants will continue, And their descendants will be established before Thee.”
Since God is unchanging, therefore, His Word is unchanging, His plans are unchanging, His character is unchanging, and His knowledge is unchanging.
This security in Jehovah can only be found through a personal relationship with Christ (John 14:6; Ephesians 1:3-14; 2:1-9).
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
- For the follower of Christ, change is the order of the day in our walk with Him.
The good that comes out of all things working together is the daily transformation of our lives into the likeness of Christ (Romans 8:28-29; Galatians 5:22-23; 2 Peter 1:3-11). All of us as believers wear an “Under Construction” sign due to the sanctifying work of God in our lives through the Holy Spirit.
As we spend time in the Word beholding our God and His Son, we are changed by the power of the Word. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:17).
So, how do you respond to change? Are you resting today in the Immutable God? Are you growing and changing into Christlikeness as the Spirit convicts and instructs you?
The most important changes of life are spiritual not material. This isn’t about changing a light bulb which is discarded. This is about the life of a genuine believer in Christ shining for God’s glory.