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Daily Encounter: A Week-day Devotional by Richard (Dick) Innes of ACTS International.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Nothing Changes If Nothing Changes

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."1

I don't know if the following story is true or not. Either way, it has in it a very valuable lesson. "One day, there was a blind man sitting on the step of a building with a hat by his feet and sign that read 'I am blind, please help.'

"A creative publicist was walking by and stopped to observe. He saw that the blind man had only a few coins in his hat. He dropped in a few more coins and, without asking for permission, took the sign and rewrote it.

"That afternoon the publicist returned to the blind man and noticed that his hat was full of bills and coins. He paused awhile and the blind man asked him if he was the person who had rewritten his sign and, if so, what did he write?

"The publicist responded: 'Nothing that wasn't true. I just wrote the message a little differently.' He smiled and went his way.

"The new sign read: 'Today is spring and I can't see it.'

"Sometimes we need to change our strategy. If we always do what we've always done, we will always get what we've always got."2

Did you ever stop to think that the New Testament part of the Bible is almost silent on methodology? I think the reason is obvious. If it weren't, some of us would stick to the same methods used in Paul and Peter's day religiously and rigidly. While God never changes and while his Word never changes, oftentimes our means of communicating it need to change with the changing times.

For example, for the first 25 years or so of ACTS outreach ministry, we used printed literature to reach the masses. However, as the Internet grew, the sales and distribution of our printed literature here in the U.S. collapsed. Had we not changed our method of communication from the print media to the electronic media, our organization (at least in North America) would now be non-existent. While we have not changed God's message of salvation one iota, we needed to change our method of communicating it with the changing times.

Remember, "Nothing changes if nothing changes." In other words, if what we are doing in our relationships, our family life, and in our churches isn't working, we may very well need to change ourselves and/or our strategies and methods.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to see when what I am doing isn't working or bringing about needed change, if I'm the one who needs to change, or if I need to change my methods—or both. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Hebrews 13:8 (NIV).
2. Author Unknown.


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