When was the last time you changed a tire? If so how long did it take you to change that tire? When was the last time you had to change clothes? You found something on the clothes that you wanted to wear somewhere and could not wear that piece so you had to go and change? How long did it take you to change your clothes? When was the last time you have to make some changes in your life? There was something that you were doing that the doctor said you must quit or your health or life was in jeopardy? How long did it take you to change? When was the last time you had to make changes in your religious life? When did you notice that you needed to make some changes in your spiritual life? You might have been studying a passage or a preacher preached on a subject, and you knew that you needed to make some changes in your life or your heavenly home was in danger? What were the changes that you made? How did you make those changes? Let us notice something about changes in this article.
First, did you get mad at the Bible? If you were studying a passage and you found something that you were doing and that you needed to stop, did you get mad at the Bible for revealing this information to you? Did you get mad at God for inspiring the men that wrote the Bible and letting you know that there was sin in your life that must be stopped? Did you get mad at the men who wrote the Bible for the same reason? Do you get mad at the preacher for doing the same thing with the same Bible from the same source? Did you quit the church instead of making the necessary changes in your life? Do you quit walking down the pathway that you are trotting and miss the mansion in heaven just because you need to make some changes in your life? How many people are no longer attending the worship services of the church because someone pointed out that there was something in their life that needed to be changed? If your doctor told you that you had cancer, would you get mad at him and go to another doctor? Would you keep going to a different doctor until you got the kind of response that you wanted? Many are doing this religiously! They are mad at the preacher, the elders, or a Bible class teacher because he said something and now are to make changes in their life. It’s either change or burn in eternity’s hell forever. To the church at Thyatira we find some who were told to repent, were given time to repent but they would not (Revelation 2:18-21). Would you fit into this group? That is not the desire of anyone known by this author. Most would want everyone to repent, make the necessary changes in their lives so that heaven can be theirs for eternity.
Next, Change sometimes takes time. How long did it take you to change the tire? How long would it take to change habits that have been formed over a period of years? When Israel or the Jews had to make some changes in their lives it was very difficult. Some of the leaders were not going to change. Jesus told the leaders this very thing. Notice, “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me, But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:8). Again, “For this people’s heart is waxed gross, their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them” (Matthew 13:15). While not all the Jews were of the mind set of no change at all for listen to the next verse, “But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears for they hear” (Matthew 13:16). Let us not be of the same tribe as those Jewish leaders. Let make the changes in our life understanding that we will have to think differently; that takes time to change but it can be done. We do not lose weight over night. Some diet plans show an individual who lost weight over a short period of time, but if you will read the fine print, it will tell you that this weight loss is not typical. It still took those individuals some time to lose the weight. It might take others longer to lose weight. The change can be done, but it takes time. Let us not become discourage in change taking time. Let us not quit in making the necessary changes even though it will take time!
Change takes work or effort. When changing a tire it takes effort. It takes work to change a flat tire. The effort is worth it! When we want to lose that weight it takes effort to do that. We might have to exercise. We will have to get up off the recliner and exercise. We might have to work up to a sweat. We might then have sore muscles. We might have some new aches and pains in some areas of the body that we have long since forgotten about. We might have to make the effort not to eat that Snicker’s bar. We might have to make an effort to eat a diet that is more suitable to the life style that we want to have and not that we have had. This all takes work and effort. The same is true when we make changes in our spiritual life. We will have to work not to think about certain things. We will have to work not to do certain things. We might have been doing them for a long time like the Jews, but the effort will be worth it all.
Change takes a change of mind. We might have said that we can not change our minds, but if we know to do right and don’t do right then we are no different from a person who does not know the difference between right and wrong. Jesus talked of “a certain man that had two sons; and came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went” (Matthew 21:28-29).
Let us remember that changes can be made. That change will take time, work and effort and it will mean that we will have to change our minds about some things. Also remember that the effort, work and time taken to make the changes will be worth it all for heaven is worth it all. Keep trying, keep struggling, we will make it.