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Category:  Articles » Self Improvement » Motivation

 

Time Does Not Change People - Only Jesus Christ The Son of God Can Do That

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2007-09-02 09:52:32     
Article by Sandy Shaw

In the New Testament book of Acts at Chapter 25 and verse 6, Festus returns to Caesarea, having been in Jerusalem, and the trial of God's servant, Paul, begins all over again, after having been left to languish in prison for two years.

I have been in Caesarea many times and it would not be a nice place to be left imprisoned and particularly when you had no idea how long this was going to last. It is hot and humid. Think of what this disciple of Jesus Christ must have been feeling - the emotions - the wondering - after all, he was just one of us.

Some Jews come down from Jerusalem, making serious accusations against Paul, but unable to produce proof. Time does NOT change people. Time does not transform people.

So often we have been tempted to think that time will soften people, and cool their anger and fury and rage. That is what we would like to see, but that is not what we see in the Word of God, and this offers a degree of comfort. These religious leaders from Jerusalem have been up to this lark for some while now, and there is not a hint of change in their evil motives.

We can think that TIME will change the situation, and like a bad cold it will clear up. That is not what the Scriptures teach, and we see here, the seriousness of sin. Only the grace and mercy and love and power of the Lord Jesus Christ changes men and women - and transforms situations.

Paul would never have changed had it not been for his dramatic encounter with Jesus Christ outside Damascus - and his receiving help and ministry from Ananias - being healed - filled with the Holy Spirit - and baptised in water.

There is another side to this. TIME should not mellow us either. I am glad Paul never mellowed as the years went by. I rejoice that he remained with that which was real and true - faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ - holding fast to the fundamentals of the faith right to the very end.

Yes, through time - he learned lessons - so do we. He gained experience which he passed on to others, and we should develop in these ways too, and seek to pass it on as the opportunities arise.

Paul never lost sight of what was central. He never lost sight of the vision given to him at the very beginning.

He never forgot about what lay at the heart of being a disciple and apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. Many people never see what is central and real and vital.

Paul knows who he is, and to whom he belongs. He has an assurance that Jesus Christ His Saviour and Lord is in control, and he is going to hold on to that and trust the living God.

What he has seen happen in the past, helps him trust for to-morrow. Let your past experiences of the living Christ encourage and inspire you for the work and ministry of these future days and weeks.

As he goes on trial yet again, he displays no bitterness or resentment.

He remains so gracious and calm and rational, exercising self-control.

Paul has come through these two years victoriously and triumphantly, and he is ready for the next phase of service in the Kingdom of God. Are you?

Sandy Shaw

Sandy Shaw is Pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship, Chaplain at Inverness Prison, and Nairn Academy, and serves on The Children's Panel in Scotland, and has travelled extensively over these past years teaching, speaking, in America, Canada, South Africa, Australia, making 12 visits to Israel conducting Tours and Pilgrimages, and most recently in Uganda and Kenya, ministering at Pastors and Leaders Seminars, in the poor areas surrounding Kampala, Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.

He broadcasts regularly on WSHO radio out of New Orleans, and writes a weekly commentary at http://www.studylight.org entitled "Word from Scotland" on various biblical themes, as well as a weekly newspaper column.

His M.A. and B.D. degrees are from The University of Edinburgh, and he continues to run and exercise regularly to maintain a level of physical fitness.

Specialized in: Bible - Study - Tools - Resources - Reference - Church - Sunday - Sermon - Preparation - Commentary - Concordance - Dictionary - Encyclopedia - History - Early - Fathers - Jesus - God - John - Moses - Disciple - Mary - Joseph - Messiah - Savior - Salvation - Heaven - Hell - Faith
URL: http://www.studylight.org
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