Tuesday, 22 December 2009


We've seen some major changes this year. As a church we have several new people who have joined our church. We have made some physical changes around our church grounds - none the least the development of our Children's Education Centre. And personally we have changed our home quite markedly, special thanks to our builder- Geoff Hill, for doing such a stand-out job on our house.

Change will always happen even though we are reluctant to participate in it. Our bodies change and even do so despite our best efforts to prevent it. Our friends change. Our fashions change. Our expenses change. Our toys change. Our cars change. Change remains unchanging.

Ephesians 4:15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,
Positive change is called growth. Positive change is intentional change. We consider where we are and then consider where we want to be. The gap is called change. At the start of the year, Kim and I looked at our 2.5 bedroom house and our 4.0 children and decided that we needed to urgently extend our house. By the way, we purchased our home not for what it was but for what we saw it had the potential of becoming. Shortly after buying our house, the back corner dropped leaving major cracks in the wall. I couldn't afford the thousands of dollars needed to do the necessary underpinning repairs, so I did most of it myself with a shovel and pick. As I was digging away I was complaining to the Lord about how unfair all this was. I then felt the rebuke of the Holy Spirit and reproving words- Leaders solve problems. I've called you to be a leader who solves problems now stop you're complaining! We had a choice to see our house as a continual series of problems and to throw our hands in the air and say that it was just all too hard, or we could look for the solutions to the problems and begin to start implementing the solutions one by one. In one sense, the solution to our house problem was a "big" solution. But in another sense it was really a lot of little solutions which made up the overall solution. Sometimes we can see how things must change but we can only see the "big" solution not the series of small solutions that make up the big solution.

I look at my own life and consider where I am at now compared to where I want to be. My gap is very big. I have a lot of changing to do. I have to grow in my consideration for others. I have to grow in my knowledge of God, His Word, and the collective thoughts of His teachers who have written great books (2Tim 4:13). I have to grow in wisdom. I have to grow in physical fitness and endurance. I have to grow professionally as a pastor, writer, speaker and steward. I have to grow as a husband and father, provider and protector. I have to grow in my ability to grow the church and all those who are partnering with us.
Ephesians 4:16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. 


Ultimately we know that God directs our growth (change). He not only allows what we consider "negative" change, He ordains it! He causes us to have to change. Circumstances constrain us to make sometimes sudden changes. My father in-law was a refugee. He was forced to flee communist Hungary. This change was forced upon him. And thank God that he did because it meant that he would eventually come to Australia with his new bride and have a drop-dead gorgeous you-gotta-be-kidding-she's-so-pretty daughter who would become my wife. Throughout history, it seems that like a mother eagle who forces her comfortable eaglets out of the security of their cliff-top nest, that God sometimes forced change upon people as well. Martin Luther was forced to change because he saw abuses that he could no longer tolerate. This change brought out the Reformation and the dawn of the Enlightenment era. Abraham Lincoln was forced to change the way African-Americans were being treated, and this resulted in the formation of the modern United States of America.

As we conclude 2009 and prepare for 2010 we can expect change- even unforeseen changes. But perhaps we need to embrace positive change where we take deliberate steps to change what needs changing.
Colossians 2:19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.
Father, please help us to grow as a church. Give us the grace to change individually as we must. Sanctify us in this life so that we are continually changed to the likeness of Christ in both our hearts, attitudes, and responses toward others. Grant us the willingness to be conformed to Your will, even when we are most resistent to it. May we each see clearly how we must change and also be blessed with the vision to see each smaller component change that we must make. Give us increasing love for each other. Cause us to delight ourselves in repentance and prayerful surrender to You.

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