Everything will change.
When I say everything, I mean everything.
I can think of four obvious things that will change…
1. Fame Changes
What is famous today won’t be famous tomorrow.
A few days ago, I felt nostalgic and googled old TV shows.
Remember Combat! Starring Vic Morrow and Rick Jason?
This was shown before I was born.
Actually, I was a tiny kid then, watching beside my Dad. This was my Dad’s favorite TV show. Vic Morrow was a huge star then. He even visited Manila. But his death was gruesome. While doing a movie, a helicopter crashed on him—and the blade cut off his head. Very few remember him now.
Or how about this show?
Our family loved watching this drama every Tuesday night. It starred Michael Landon, Melissa Gilbert, and Melissa Sue Anderson (I had a crush on her blue eyes.) Landon a very accomplished actor. But he died of pancreatic cancer in 1991.
This was a detective show called Hawaii Five 0. People loved the program, it lasted for 12 years. Jack Lord was a very big star. In his later years, he suffered from Alzheimers and died of cardiac arrest in 1998.
The next one was my favorite TV show…
Lee Majors is the Six Million Dollar Man. Pictured above is Bionic Woman Lindsay Wager. My classmates and I worshipped that guy. Like our star, all of us ran in slow motion. He’s still alive today, but obviously, not a very big star anymore.
I used to watch Superman when he was black and white. George Reeves was the first Superman on TV. Sadly, reports said that he killed himself at the young age of 45 years old.
I also watched Batman starring Adam West…
When Batman punches someone, it’s so powerful, you don’t only hear the sound, you read it…
We laugh at this now, but we loved it then. Batman and Robin climbed the wall of buildings. This was how hi-tech our camera tricks were…
Imagine how fame changes. Now, these shows are gone. Some of these showbiz gods are dead. And three-fourths of my audience doesn’t even know them anymore.
That’s not all that will change.
2. Cool Changes
What is cool today won’t be cool tomorrow.
This was what was cool a few years back…
All the teenagers wanted to look like him. But if you look like this today, you might just be murdered on broad daylight. (Joke)
And everyone wanted his hairstyle…
Even cool toys today won’t be the cool toys tomorrow.
For a few Christmases, this was the most wanted toy in Manila. You couldn’t even buy one if you wanted to—because it was out of stock. But I never got to own one, because it was very expensive. Voltes V was so hot then, President Marcos wanted to ban it—because all the kids went gaga over this robot.
But today, young kids don’t even know who the robot is.
During my time, all the young guys wanted to drive a Lancer boxtype. It you owned this car, you owned the world. It was the coolest thing. If you drove this car, you opened the windows and waved at everybody.
But if you still drive this car today, you tint the windows really dark and you only drive at night.
Remember this machine? During my time, students were lucky to have it at home, so they didn’t have to line up in the school library to borrow one…
If you’re my age, you remember that if you made a mistake, you had to use “snow pake” (Gosh, I don’t even know how you spell that word. It doesn’t appear in google.)
Obviously, you wouldn’t want to carry this thing in your bag anymore.
And what was the greatest desire of my mother? This…
We were telephone-less for years. When my Mom asked the phone company to give us a phone, they told us, “Hopefully in one year, we’ll install your phone.” I’m not kidding. It took a year for them to install our phone. But we waited patiently.
And our phones had something that phones don’t have anymore: partylines. That meant we shared one line with our neighbor. When we lifted up the receiver, we usually heard our neighbor’s daughter chatting with her boyfriend. So we interrupt her and say, “Excuse me Partyline, can I use the phone?”
But cool has changed. You don’t like this phone anymore.
Hey, even your body changes…
3. Body Changes
Your body today will not be your body tomorrow.
Perhaps you’ve noticed that your body is changing now.
What used to be flat is now round.
What used to be fast is now slow.
What used to be light is now heavy.
What used to be smooth is now rough.
What used to be tall is now short. (My mother used to be 5’3. At 87, she’s just 5 feet tall now. If you think you’re short now, wait for a few more years…)
One day, you’ll lose your black hair. You’ll lose some of your teeth. You’ll lose your smooth skin. You may even lose some bodily functions… Until you die.
4. People Change
The people in your life today may not be the same people in your life tomorrow.
Did you have best friends in the past? Where are they now? Remember how you used to hang out everyday? But you don’t see them anymore. Because they’ve changed. Because life has changed. Because jobs have changed. Because locations have changed.
When my wife was growing up, she had 3 best friends. They used to hangout everyday. But today, they’re all gone. One is in America, the other one in London, and the other one in Australia. They’re thousands of miles apart.
I was talking to Jamie, a young woman who was crying how she lost her friends too. Since her High School days, they were inseparable. But one by one, they got married. And Jamie was always the bridesmaid, but never the bride. Today, she feels so alone. Left out. Her world has changed.
Do you have kids? Enjoy them while you can.
Because one day, whether you like it or not, they will leave you. They’ll walk out of the door. They’ll have families of their own. And one day, you and your spouse will be left alone in an empty house, looking at each other over the breakfast table, surrounded by eerie silence.
Are your kids noisy? Enjoy that noise because it won’t last.
Are your kids messy? Enjoy that mess because that mess won’t last.
Let me ask one last question.
Did you have a very close person whom you trusted—but who shattered that trust? Who betrayed you? Who broke your heart? Who hurt you deeply?
You can’t depend on people because people change. You can’t depend on your friends, because they leave you. You can’t depend on your parents, because they die on you. You can’t depend on your kids, because they’ll build their own lives. You can’t even depend on your spouse, because he or she will grow old and die too.
I repeat: Everything will change.
There’s only one other thing that will never change…
God Will Never Change
God says, I am the Lord and I change not.(Malachi 3:6)
God doesn’t change in His nature, in His attributes, in His will.
But if you read the Bible, it seems that God has changed.
In the Old Testament, He was the “God of Wrath”. Cruel. Vindictive. Judgmental. Racist. For example, in the book of Joshua, God ordered the mass slaughter of tribes—men, women, and children–who were living in Canaan. These Canaanite tribes were living there for thousands of years—but according to Israel, God wanted them to be massacred so that they, God’s chosen people, could live in their promised land.
In the New Testament, all of a sudden, He is the “God of Love”. Instead of a Warrior God, He becomes the helpless baby in a manger. Instead of a Judge that gives a death sentence, He becomes the Good Shepherd willing to die for His sheep.
So has He really changed?
No, God doesn’t change.
Instead, it’s our understanding of God that has changed.
We change. We mature. We develop. We transform.
When you read the Bible, remember that the human writers’ understanding of God is always limited by the weaknesses of their culture, psychology, language, and history.
That’s why you can’t get one verse from the Bible and say that’s the entire truth. That’s crazy. When you read the Bible, you’re entering into a 3000-year long Journey.
Where does this Journey take us?
God is Love. (1 John 4:16)
These three words summarize this Journey.
Today, you’ll experience the power of these three simple words—and how they have never changed and never will.
He loves you not because you’re lovable. He loves because He is loving.
Yesterday, He loved you. Today, He loves you. Tomorrow, He will love you. Nothing will change. (Hebrews 13:8)
Why? Because that is who God is.
God loves you with an Eternal Love.
Through the chaos of life, God will love you forever.
Some people think that if they sin against God, His love will decrease. And they think that if you keep sinning some more, His love will finally disappear and will send you to Hell.
Here’s the truth: God doesn’t send anyone to Hell. Hell is a personal choice. You choose to go to Hell. No one pushes you there. But you can’t do anything to make God love you less.
A Prophet And Prostitute Get Married
Hosea was a Prophet.
One day, he was praying. And God talked to him and said, “Hosea, I want you to get married.”
Hosea answered, “Really? Wow, thank you! With whom, Lord?”
“I want you to marry Gomer.”
“Gomer… beautiful name. Who is she, Lord?”
“Gomer is a prostitute.”
“Wow, a prosti…. WHAT?” Hosea couldn’t believe his ears. “Why do you want me to marry a prostitute?”
God said, “I want you to prophesy not only with your words. I want your life to be a movie to show to everyone my love for my people. My people are worshipping other gods. They have been unfaithful to me. But I still love them.”
So Hosea was an obedient guy. He went and looks for Gomer.
Can you imagine this scene?
Hosea looked like a prophet. He had the walk of a prophet. The robe of a prophet. The staff of a prophet. What was he doing? Looking for a prostitute.
And Gomer was standing on a sidewalk, with her thigh exposed, twirling her belt, whistling at guys.
Suddenly, Gomer’s eyes bulged as she saw this holy man walk up to her. “Yes, you want… uh, anything?”
Hosea says, “Gomer, I want to marry you.”
Gomer’s jaw dropped. She said, “Is there a punch line somewhere? Are you joking?”
It wasn’t a joke. And there was a wedding between a prophet and a prostitute.
In the entire time that they were together, they had three children. Some Bible Scholars say that none of these three kids came from Hosea.
Meaning: Even as a wife, Gomer was still in business.
Can you imagine how Hosea was waiting for his first born to come out? He was pacing outside the house, until he heard a baby cry. He climbed up the stairs and entered the house, to be greeted by the midwife giving him a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes.
“I’m now a Daddy!” Hosea shouts. He then uncovers the face and is shocked. “Uh, why is he colored green? I’m not green, and you’re not green, why is he green? He’s an alien!”
Second baby, same thing. “Why is he blue?
Third baby, same thing. “Why is he orange?”
Pursue Her Again
Well one day, Gomer runs away from home.
I have no idea what Hosea’s reaction was, but I’m guessing it was this: “Lord, Gomer is gone. I can’t find her at home. Praise the Lord!”
One day, he was praying, and God spoke to him again.
God said, “Hosea, I want you to get married.”
“Again? Wow, thank you Lord. With whom?”
“Gomer,” God says.
“Whaaaaa! Lord, you’ve got to be kidding. Look at what she’s done to me! Look at my kids,” he pointed to them, “they’re Technicolor!”
“Hosea, I want you to look for Gomer and pursue her. Because this is my love for my people. It will never change. It will never decrease. No matter what you do, I will still pursue you.”
So Hosea looks for Gomer, traveling to one town after another.
Finally, He finds her. He knocks on the door.
The window opens. And Gomer sees Hosea.
“You’re still here? You still want me? After all that I’ve done to you?” Gomer asks.
Hosea doesn’t say a word. He kneels down. He brings out his harp. And he sings, “Oh my love, my darling, I hunger for your touch…”
I’m kidding. He didn’t sing that song.
He sang this…
Come back to me, with all your heart, don’t let fear, keep us apart. Trees do bend, though straight and tall, so must we, to others call. Long have I waited for your coming home to me and living deeply our new life.
I used to hear this song in church.
The title of the song? Hosea.
Because it’s based on the words of the Bible.
My friend, God loves you.
This is the only thing that will never change in your life.
Bank on God’s eternal love for you. The Biblesays, Your unfailing love will last forever. Your faithfulness is as enduring as the heavens. (Psalm 89:2)
Follow The Flow Of His Love
May I give you an analogy?
Last month, my family and I went to Ilocos for a little vacation. One of the lovely places we visited was Bangui. On the northern tip of Luzon, planted by the seashore, facing the China sea, were 15 gigantic windmills. Each wind turbine is as tall as a 7-storey building, costing 2 million dollars to build. These windmills provide 25 megawatts of electricity to the Ilocos province.
God’s Love is like the wind. It’s constant. It’s always there. One hundred years ago, the wind was there. One thousand years ago, the wind was there. Ten thousand years ago, the wind was there. When the dinosaurs roamed the earth, the wind was already there.
You’re like that windmill. The windmill cannot change the wind. Nothing you do can ever change the direction of the wind. But the wind can change you. The wind is the wind. It’s older than you are. After you’re gone, it will still be there.
God’s love for you is eternal. It will flow towards you forever. All you have to do is receive that love. All you have to do is accept the wind, flow according to its direction, and generate phenomenal power to serve humanity.
Or you could stubbornly resist the wind’s power and be utterly destroyed—not by the wind—but by your own stubbornness. In the same way, you could refuse God’s Love. You could refuse His forgiveness. You could refuse His blessings, His healing, His peace, His strength, His joy…
Don’t do that.
Receive His Eternal Love today.
It will never change.
May your dreams come true,