Change: A Blessing Or Curse? It's Up To You!
Introduction: ''We live in changing times.'' ''Things aren't like they used to be.'' ''Things aren't the same.'' - All of these statements are true. We live in a changing world. Social scientists have identified three distinct ages which serve as an outline of history:
Agricultural age - 1860: context - town; work - farm; job - farmer; family - extended.
Industrial age - 1860 - 1956: context - city; work - factory; job - worker; family - nuclear.
Informational age - 1956 - present: context - world; work - office; job - manager; family - fractured.
Today, information is doubling ever five years. By 2000, it will be doubling every four years. The number of component parts on a computer chip is doubling every eighteen months. Clothes change, cars change, schools change -How do we deal with changes? If we do not handle them properly, we will be buried by the conflict of change! If we do handle them well, we will be blessed by change.
Jesus' parable in vv. 21-22 illustrates.
Exegete: point - new age present - ''old passing, new present.'' Shrunk sheet; stretched skins = old. Jesus - present, preaching powerful, new has come. Some were blessed, others were bitter! It all depended on how they handled Jesus and His ministry.
Disclaimer: Some changes are unwelcome. Things that should never change are respect for authority, personal integrity, pure words, holy living, love for God, family, church. These are things of character.
Transition Statement: Having said that, let's look at:
I. Resistance to all change = missing God's design to develop.
Application: All of us have some resistance to change.
Illustration: An old man in Northern Maine turned 100 years old and was interviewed by a reporter who asked, ''I'll bet you've seen a lot of changes in your life.'' ''Yes,'' said the old man with jutted jaw and crossed arms, ''and I've been 'agin' every one of them! ...
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