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Centuries, Cultures, and Christ

When I read about yet another official in a place of public trust being found guilty of wrongdoing, my first inclination is to despair. I think, “People are worse than ever before.” Then I get it all back in perspective. It’s not that people are worse—the news coverage is just better.

One writer said about youth, “Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners and contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love to chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their household. They no longer rise when the elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up their food, and tyrannize their teachers.” So what’s new? That was said by Socrates in 400 B.C.

People are basically the same in all ages. No better, no worse. We do have better coverage today. That means that almost all evil is immediately known by everyone. The cumulative effect of this can be overwhelming.

The thing that makes a difference in people is not the centuries nor even our cultures. It is Christ. He alone is able to break through all the pressures and patterns and make us new people.

The Bible says, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). When people commit their lives to Christ, they are changed. When enough people are changed, our world will be changed.

Apart from him, the coverage may get better, but the character will stay the same.

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Paul W. Powell - www.PaulPowellLibrary.com

Today's Devotional

Our Unchanging God

Anthropologist Margaret Mead once said, “We are living in the period of greatest change ever known in the history of the world.” Amid all the changes and decay of life, it is encouraging to know that God is unchanging (Malachi 3:6). How so?

First, God is unchanging in his demand for meaningful worship.

Cheap sacrifices and empty formalism never have and still don’t satisfy him. Religious observances cannot substitute for right living. We are not to leave off church attendance and prayer, but they are all sheer futility and mockery if they are not accompanied by right moral conduct. God still demands good moral conduct from his people.

Second, God is unchanging in his hatred for sin.

Sin is anything contrary to the will and word of God. God always has and always will oppose sin because of what it does to people. Every law from God has been for our benefit and well-being. Sin is like sand in the ball bearings of the human personality. It creates friction and eventually total ruin wherever it is found. The whole Bible story is a record of God’s actions to remove sin and restore humanity to our original perfect state. 

Third, God is unchanging in his plans for the future.

He plans to return to the earth again to distinguish between good and evil and reward people accordingly. Any view of life that does not take into account the future and final judgment of God and our accountability to him is an inadequate view. 

Amid this changing, uncertain world the Bible reminds us to take courage. All things are not passing away. Some things remain unchanged. God and his Son Jesus Christ are the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

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