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

Monday, February 6, 2017

If the Horse Is Dead, Dismount

"When a thing grows weak and out of date, it is obviously soon going to disappear."1

I recall vividly what a good friend said a few years ago about her church after she had been away for almost a year because of ill health. She was older so I could understand why she reacted the way she did regarding the new-style music in her church which had just recently been introduced. She was very upset and said that the new group "just couldn't quite make it in Las Vegas." Unfortunately my friend died soon after from cancer. But the conflict regarding church music continued for some time!

Today, however, I'm not talking about church music. What I am addressing is the need to change when change is necessary. According to Rick Warren, pastor of the Saddleback Community church and author of the book, The Purpose Driven Church, the reason that 95% of all churches in the world never grow past 300 members is because their structure keeps them from growing beyond that point. Quoting today's scripture, he said, "When a thing grows weak and out of date, it is obviously soon going to disappear. That's true of churches, too. If a church cannot change, it will eventually die."

This same principle applies to many areas of life. No, we don't want to make changes where change is not to our advantage, but there are times when we do need to make changes. When it comes to communicating the gospel, while the message itself never changes, our way and means of communicating it have to change in order to communicate effectively to the particular group we are addressing. One size doesn't fit all!

Also, whether we approve or disapprove, many things around us change and if we don't adapt, we get left behind. For instance, marriage partner roles have changed drastically from the days of our parents and grandparents. If a husband still interprets being the head of the home as being the family dictator, he will be doomed for failure (at least here in America and other parts of the world as well). Those old ways (which, by the way, were a misinterpretation of the Bible), have "gone with the wind."

A few years back, Moody Monthly, the highly respected Christian magazine, discontinued its publication after its 103-year history. Why? Because of the economy, the proliferation of Christian magazines, and because of technology. Moody Monthly, like so many other ministries, has had to turn from printed hard copy to electronic means of communication, not only to become more effective in their ministry, but also to survive.

So whether it is in our professional or personal life, let's be open to and willing to change where change is both essential and necessary.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, in these days of rapid change, please
'...grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.'2
Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Hebrews 8:13, Phillips paraphrase, (NIV).
2. Reinhold Neibuh.


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