For Lord’s Day, July 22, 2012
They say that people can’t change. But in both our messages from God this Lord’s Day, the very opposite will be held out before you.
In the morning, we begin to see Jacob showing some humility, honesty, and maturity. He acts differently toward Esau and God than he had 20 years ago. He’s a different man now, and he keeps changing.
In the evening, Paul exhorts us to go through an ongoing metamorphosis (the Greek word behind be ye “transformed”) by what we do with our bodies and how we think.
In both cases, the foundation, motivation, and obligation of and for genuine change is God’s sovereign grace for His elect. We grow in His unceasing covenant mercy that we sing about 26 times in Psalm 136. Jesus Christ changes people. He changes you. Once for all in justification, and on and on in sanctification. Real and abiding change for God’s glory and our good. In and through His mercy.
Change is the call and life of the Christian. And, while change can be hard, scary, and even painful at times, when we see what we’re like on the other side, we see it’s all merciful.
Don’t forget that God is not done with you. There is the already and the not yet of the Kingdom of Heaven in each of us until the resurrection. Christ has changed you. Christ still changes you. For, “mercy rejoiceth against judgment” (James 2:13). You’ll see in both texts that such change happens most wonderfully on the inside and most noticeably on the outside when you and I respond to mercy. You probably needed to hear you can still change this week. And you probably needed to hear that you are changing this week. And you probably needed to be reminded how this change is always possible and actual: His mercy endureth forever.