Sunday, 12 February 2012


1.       God is continually reinventing. Our kids are growing up. What was good then is no longer ok with them. For example on Fridays we used to have ‘pizza and video’ nights. Now only our youngest child is interested in those, and then only sometimes. As we grow we change. Food was different before and after the flood – we went from being vegetarians to carnivores. Abraham was told to be a blessing to the nations, but the descendants of Jacob/Israel often forgot this. Eventually they asked for a king, not something that was at all part of God’s perfect plan. Having had a bad king they eventually had King David on the throne, who united the North and the South and expanded the territory of the nation. He was promised that a son of his would always be on the throne, but this went wrong and it was reinvented to being fulfilled in the ‘son of David’, Jesus the Messiah, whose kingdom is the Kingdom of God. Peter was very surprised, on meeting Cornelius, to see a dream where he was told to kill and eat all kinds of non-kosher animals (Acts 10). Once the gentiles had been baptised in the Spirit his (actually the apostles’) view of them had to be reinvented. Paul had a ministry to the gentiles, despite the fact that his real heart was for his own people to the Jews (his ministry had to be reinvented). The gospel is reinvented between the Old Testament and the New, it is a secret now revealed (1Cor 2:6, 4:1). 

2.       We continually need to adapt ourselves to new environments. We used to live in Central Asia, then we lived in St Petersburg Russian for a few years, and now we live in the UK. The customs, lifestyles, and how relationships work are different. Paul had to adapt his ministry to the audience he was communicating with. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law.   To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law.  To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.  1 Cor 9:20-22. Notice he also had to reinvent his view of the law (the teaching found in the first five books of the Bible). It is now teaching, not about how to be Jewish, but how to be at peace with God through Jesus the Messiah, and part of God’s new covenant people, made up of both Jews and Gentiles (‘people from every tribe, nation, people and tongue’ Rev 7:9).

3.       This puts us in the firing line, but God’s grace is always there whenever we need it. ‘He gives us more grace.’ Jas 4:6. Without God’s grace we would never survive. Change can be tiring. Actually it is exhausting, particularly to those who value stability and cherish the status quo (I’m not one of these, by the way). We need God’s grace to make it through the hard times.