The Times, They Are a Changing

Change is one of those words that many of us fear, even hate. Change means that something that was very familiar and known is now moving into an area of uncertainty. Whether it is changing from an old pair of comfortable shoes to a new pair that has to be broken in or a change in a station of life, it can be difficult and scary for everyone involved. But as I look to Scripture (which is our constant in an ever-changing world), we see God remind us and assure us in three very powerful ways any time we face change.

Godly change always has a purpose. One of the things that I’ve noticed all throughout the Scripture is that when God orchestrates a change or transition in the Bible it is always on purpose. With God, change is never an accident. He is always moving things around to make sure that His mission of building His Kingdom and making disciples of all nations occurs. I think of the early church in the book of Acts where God spreads them out from Jerusalem. While this change of leaving that which was familiar wasn’t easy, it was God’s plan to take the gospel message to the ends of the earth! The change wasn’t easy, but it had a purpose.

When Godly change comes, He has a plan for everyone involved. I’ve heard it said that while change is always difficult, the person heading towards something new has something to look forward to, while those left behind have nothing. I think these feelings are real for many of us, but I don’t see this principle in Scripture. In Acts we find the story of Paul and Barnabas splitting up over John Mark. Barnabas wanted to give him another shot; Paul didn’t. Transition took place. But the question we need to ask is “what happened to Mark?” He left, but God still used him powerfully (have you read the gospel of Mark—same guy!). God used Paul to carry the gospel message to the highest authorities. Change isn’t an end. God has plans to continue to use everyone. We must seek God for His direction but can be assured He’s not done yet!

God is with us in times of change. Joshua was now the leader of Israel after the death of Moses. I’m not sure we can really appreciate how big of a transition of leadership this is! But in Joshua 1 we see God bringing the assurance of His leading, equipping, and presence with Joshua wherever he goes. It was different for Israel and Joshua, but one thing that I see is that God never changes, even in the midst of transition. He will never leave you or forsake you. He will continue to provide and heal and empower.

CDAC Family, I know that change can be a scary thing for us. But let us be reminded and refreshed in the truth that God is orchestrating it, taking care of His Church through it all, and that it is bringing about His Kingdom purposes wonderfully. If you lean in on Jesus, even in change you will sense the constancy of the One who never changes and longs to shepherd you through these seasons of life. Just, as God told Joshua, “be strong and courageous. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” What an amazing promise!

Why Am I Here?

“What is the chief end of man?”  To phrase this question another way, we could ask “what is the purpose of mankind?”  Why are we here?  This is a question that has been asked since the days of old.  We, as humans, are constantly in search of our purpose for living and for being. 

But, I can come to you today and answer this question for you.  You might be familiar with this question because it is the first question in the Westminster Catechism (a teaching that outlines our beliefs).  The very first point that is considered is our purpose.  So without cheating, what is the answer?  Is it the Great Commission?  Is it to love your neighbor as yourself?  Is it to clothe the naked, feed the poor, fight for social justice?  While all of these answers are great, they don’t get to the heart of the matter.  My friends, the chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. 

I oftentimes wonder if we as believers really understand this.  We are so task driven and focused on accomplishing the mission of Christ that we sometimes forget that praise and thanksgiving are imperative for living a life of faith.  This is why I chose the theme of Rejoice for our Annual Business and Prayer Gathering on September 27th. 

God has and continues to do such great things in the lives of His people, and I’d encourage you to read my report and the other ministry reports to see all that God has done.  I had to ask a question of myself and our church—do we stop to give thanks and rejoice in what God has done, or do we simply look for what’s next?  Pressing on is important, but as we see all throughout Scripture, pressing on without pausing for praise and thanksgiving costs us the blessings from achieving our chief end.

I chose to open my report to the congregation with Psalm 95:1-2, which is a call to worship.  I believe that call still echoes strongly for us.  Let’s praise God together for what He has done and seek Him together for the things that He longs to do next.  So, would you join me in praying for:

·  Home Groups—that God would grow His church through these groups by fostering healthy relationships and an increasing love for God and each other.

·  Financial Peace University—we can see that our culture struggles to handle finances in a Godly manner.  Pray that God would release people from the sin of materialism and truly honor God with great stewardship of their personal finances.

·  A Heart of Praise and Thanksgiving among God’s People—we acknowledge that all that has taken place in our midst has nothing to do with us—we need to give God praise!

·  Your Leaders—we covet your prayers for God’s wisdom and direction and your support as we seek to serve you.

Pastor Adam K. Sellen
Lead Pastor