Ecclesiastes 3 – 1To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
Daniel 2 – 21And he changeth the times and the seasons.
Change is a Good Thing
Just 15 - 20 years ago, listening to music, watching TV and movies, chatting with friends, browsing the interwebs, and reading, used to be distinct activities. Compass, flashlight, level, decibel meter used to be distinct tools. Everything I just mentioned can be done using a smartphone. Lose your house keys? Phone. Forget to turn off the lights? Phone. Want to unlock the car? Phone. Want to see who’s at the door? Phone. Want to open a can of corn? Phone (probably coming soon). Want to know the price of that same can of corn from 10 other stores within a two mile radius? Phone.
Phones were once at our mercy – we used them when we needed them. We are now at the mercy of our phones. We look at them to check the time, end up doing five other things, never actually checking the time.
As a kid, getting sent to your room used to be punishment. Now it’s electronic paradise for most.
Paper mail used to be a nuisance, and email used to be a novelty. Now email is the nuisance, and paper mail is the novelty.
When you’re in the car, you roll the windows up and down. Do you know why it’s called rolling the windows up and down?
Three things in life are certain: death, taxes, and change. Change will happen with or without you.
What are some of the major innovations and/or changes that have occurred in your lifetime already? Did you like those changes? Why or why not?
Ecclesiastes 3 – To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; 3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
- God told Abraham to leave everyone and everything he knew in order for God to fulfill promises to him. Despite fear of the unknown, the pain of leaving a familiar place, and risking his safety, he trusted God and allowed this change to happen. As a result, God blessed him tremendously, making him a hero of the faith. – A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.
- Judah fell into deep sin, so God allowed Babylon to overtake them, and the Babylonians destroyed the walls of Jerusalem, as well as the Temple. With help from men of God, Zerubbabel rebuilt the temple. Nehemiah wept, fasted, and prayed; he then rebuilt Jerusalem’s walls. – A time to break down, a time to build up.
- Job had everything, lost everything, and was eventually more than restored. – A time to get, and a time to lose.
- Gideon reluctantly trusted God, and went from hiding in fear for his life, to leading an army of 300 amateur soldiers to fend off a trained army of 120,000. He allowed God to change his life. – A time to mourn, and a time to dance.
- Samson went from selfish lady killer to selfless Philistine killer. – A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.
- In finding boldness, Esther went from nobody to queen of Persia, saving millions of lives in the process. – A time to keep silence, and a time to speak.
- Paul went from murderer to missionary extraordinaire. – A time to kill, and a time to heal.
- Jesus was born, and died, to save mankind. – A time to be born, and a time to die.
Through all of that change, through all of those seasons, there are two constants: growth, and God.
Isaiah 43 – 1But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. 2 When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. 3 For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
Jeremiah 29 – 11For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.
God is faithful through change.
How has God comforted you through change? What did you expect? Were your expectations met? How did you handle it if they weren’t? What have you learned?
Isaiah 43 – 10 “But you are my witnesses, O Israel!” says the Lord. “You are my servant. You have been chosen to know me, believe in me, and understand that I alone am God. There is no other God—there never has been, and there never will be. 11 I, yes I, am the Lord, and there is no other Savior. 13 “From eternity to eternity I am God. No one can snatch anyone out of my hand. No one can undo what I have done.”
Psalm 90 - 2Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.
Hebrews 13 - 8Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
God is constant through change.
And though some changes may not seem good to us at the time, change is good in the long run.
Romans 8 - 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
TLC has gone through many changes over the years; changes in location, size, approach to outreach, approach to running the church as a whole. God has taken us over the mountains and through the valleys, we’ve trusted in him through all the changes, so why stop now? We are now in a season of transition; we are in the midst of change. We are forging a new and closer bond with NBBC, TLC Resale is thriving under new management, and TLC has experienced a shift in the way the church operates as a whole. The vision is seven campuses and 1000 disciples. The purpose is transformation. How do we get there? We must be willing to accept change as it comes and be ready and willing to answer when called upon (like Bro. Willie mentioned).
If you’re already plugged into a role here, that’s great, but you’ve not “arrived.” Being a greeter is your first chance to make a lasting impression on a broken heart. K4L is not a daycare service; helping or teaching in K4L comes with the understanding that you are helping raise up the next generation of Apostolic Pentecostal Christians. Being on the platform is just that – a platform. You are the standard of leadership on display. But while it’s part of your ministry, it’s not the be-all end-all of your ministry. These roles are always subject to change, so you need to be ready.
Are you ready for change? If not, why not? How have you made yourself ready? What else do you need to do? How do you need to change your mindset?
If you’re not already plugged into a role in this church, enroll in Transformation Bible Institute, TBI. If you’re already enrolled in TBI, see it through to the end so that you’ll be working on a firm foundation, and on the same page with the rest of the body.
- TBI sets an equal standard for leadership
- TBI separates the willing from wannabes (wants leadership, but not the process)
- TBI equips you with the vision, the doctrine, and scripture to back it up, should you ever be asked or challenged
- TBI allows one to better understand their talents and gifts, and where they’re best implemented
- TBI provides an influx of new leaders, who will then contribute to TLC Glenview, and/or other daughter works
There is a need for help. Being a helper or a leader is not some impenetrable social club that only a select few people are entitled to be a part of. We’re working toward something so much bigger than us. Realize that title does not define someone, but working with others toward a common purpose does.
There is so much more to do. There are bible studies to be taught, souls to be won, disciples to be made, and churches to be planted, so that more bible studies can be taught, more souls can be won, more disciples can be made, and more churches can be planted.
Change is among us, but never forget that the more things change, the more Jesus stays the same.
How do you envision yourself five-to-ten years down the road?
Are you leading worship at TLC Palatine? Are you training youth workers at our Arlington Heights campus? Are you preaching in Des Plaines? Are you heading up a Children’s Rally outside of Randhurst in Mt. Prospect? Are you directing the music ministry in a Wheeling daughter work? Are you teaching your 20th Home Bible Study in Buffalo Grove? Are you guiding troubled teens at a TLC Youth Center in Niles? Are you planting a new daughter work in Northbrook?
Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Michael Lagle.
For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.
If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!