Changing Needs for Changing Times
"Jesus told him, 'Stand up, roll up your sleeping mat and go on home!' Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up the mat and began walking! But it was on the Sabbath when this miracle was done. So the Jewish leaders objected. They said to the man who was cured, 'You can't work on the Sabbath! It's illegal to carry that sleeping mat!'"1
Imagine that. Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath and the religious leaders "tried all the harder to kill him" (that is, to kill Jesus)!
As we've noted before, tragically, the religious leaders of Jesus' day loved their programs more than they loved people! They were expecting the promised Messiah but because he didn't come the way they expected him to come, and didn't do things the way they wanted them done, they wouldn't believe in him and refused to change.
It goes without saying that we live in a world of rapid change. Yes, we need to hold fast to that which is permanent and eternal, but in other areas of life if we don't change, we, too, may miss out and get left behind.
Here's a classic example from the business world: "From 1900 to 1967, the Swiss were the leading watchmakers in the world. In 1967, when digital technology was patented, the Swiss rejected it in favor of the traditional ball bearings, gears, and mainsprings they had been using to make watches for decades. Unfortunately, however, the world was ready for this advance, and Seiko, a Japanese company, picked up the digital patent and became the leading watch manufacturer in the world almost overnight. Fifty thousand of the 67,000 Swiss watchmakers went out of business because they refused to embrace this new technology. It was not until years later that the Swiss caught up and regained their position in the marketplace with the creation of Swatch watches."2
This principle also applies to each of us in today's marketplace—if we don't keep up our training with the needs of today's changing marketplace, again, we may be left behind.
In serving God, while our message never changes, our methods of communicating it need to change with the changing times and the changing needs of people or, again, we may get left behind—as many a business, church, and organization has. By way of interest, as the Internet began to grow, our gospel literature sales began to plummet even though our literature had done extremely well for three decades. This is why here in our US office we changed from hard copy print to the electronic media. We never changed the message—only the way of communicating it. Had we not made this change, we never could have continued to successfully preach "the gospel to every creature"3 as Jesus commanded.
Suggested Prayer: "Dear God, help me to hold fast to that which is eternal, but be flexible and willing to change where change is needed. And above all help me to be willing to change where you see my need for change and growth. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. John 5:8-10 (TLB)(NLT).
2. Cited in Bits & Pieces.
3. Mark 16:15.
Note: If you have never received Jesus as your Savior or received God's forgiveness, I encourage you to do that today. To do so see "God's Invitation" at: www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or for further help read, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" at: www.actsweb.org/christian.