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by | Dec 27, 2021 | Change, New Year, Salvation

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8 NIV)

“An Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him with the words: ‘And this, too, shall pass away.’ How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction!” (Abraham Lincoln 1809–1865)

A few years ago I made a New Year resolution to never again make New Year resolutions.  I’m not sure what the origins of this strange custom are, but what I do know is that when made they are very easily broken.    Have you made any New Year resolutions?  You may feel that the New Year demands some changes.  And resolutions do usually involve change – to do or not to do this or that – but if we are honest we have to admit that they are seldom kept.  There is little doubt that this New Year will see some dramatic changes, particularly in the fields of technology and health.  This past generation or two has seen tremendous changes in the way we do things and made us aware of the advantages science can bring.  In that past year of the world-wide pandemic health sciences have been to the forefront.  Some of us may resist change, preferring to do things the way we always did.  But you can’t stop progress, all you can hope to do is delay your personal acceptance of it and its consequences.  Change has always been with us.  In fact there is biblical recognition of this.  A very common phrase in the Good Book is “And it came to pass” signifying happenings or changes. But the Bible also brings us news of things that will never change, everlasting things.  In this bright New Year we need to remember the promise of the forgiveness of sins, the knowledge of salvation and that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.

The hymn writers of years gone by captured these thoughts of permanence.  That prolific composer Isaac Watts wrote these words in his best known hymn: ‘O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come’ and ‘From everlasting thou art God, to endless years the same’.  More than a hundred years later, T.O. Chisholm wrote: ‘Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father, there is no shadow of turning with Thee; Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not, as Thou hast been Thou for ever wilt be’.

There is great comfort in those words and in God’s promises.  As Chisholm concluded in that wonderful hymn: ‘Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth, Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide; strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside’.

“The year is closed, the record made, The last deed done, the last word said. The memory alone remains Of all its joys, its griefs, its gains. And now with purpose full and clear, We turn to meet another year” (Robert Browning)

May we live as God intended, in a world at peace and concerned for our fellow man, with the awareness of His love in every sunset, every flower’s unfolding petals, every baby’s smile, every lover’s kiss, and every wonderful, astonishing, miraculous beat of our heart.

Have a good week,  Pastor Ron Clarke

Optional Bible readings: Matthew 3:1-12 and Matthew 15:1-20.

This is one of a series of weekly messages of encouragement, now in its twenty-sixth year, originating from Gympie, Fraser Coast, Queensland, Australia. A companion Bible study page is available each week. To subscribe via email send to with the words ‘Subscribe Word (or) Subscribe Word & Study’. Our ministry is free and emailing lists are confidential. Tell a friend or why not put a note in your church newsletter or pew sheet about this ministry – we welcome new subscriptions.Pastor Ron Clarke OAMWord for the WeekMbl.: +61 488 424 321