George King and I became friends when we both worked at Sears in high school. He was from another town, his dad a Watchung detective, and very straight, read nerdy. In an age of long hair and free love, if you could afford it, George had morals, short hair, and was at odds with much of his peer group. But that was all to change when his parents divorced, and the father he worshipped left. He grew a beard, became unkempt, not George at all, and money didn’t seem to matter any more. Once a week he would empty all the change from his pockets, and throw it on the warehouse floor for us to grab, $3-4, sometimes more, half a nights pay 45 years ago. We gave him the nick name Small Change, affectionately, as we needed the money, he needed the love. But that too was about to change, as we found about he had been dating a girl who used to work there, and they were expecting. Suddenly all the small change had become a big deal as a big change was entering his life. External situations were now forcing him to make decisions he never thought he would have to make, and vowed not to be the type of father to his child that deserted him like his own did. Big changes were in store for Small Change, now over 40 years later his son is twice as old as we were back then. With a lot of big changes along the way....
All change had become a big change for Small Change, not all for the best. But the Bible reveals over and over the big changes in those who encounter God via his spirit. From Moses, to Noah, to Samson, how about Rahab the Harlot, and Jonah? There was no small change in Job’s life, nor in Peter, 10 other apostles, or Paul. There were big changes when they allowed the spirit to guide them, which didn’t mean all tough times would vanish, but that by being guided by the spirit, God would see then through. From Adam and Eve’s decisions creating big change, to Jesus on the cross creating a bigger change, there are no small changes available to those in Christ. But if we never knew or know the person, how do we know they have changed? Only Jesus creates change from the inside reflected on the outside. The changes are revealed as we are to be known as Christians by our love, bearing the fruit of the spirit. Something we cannot do for ourselves, it is the spirit that provides the growth. Don’t be misled by personalities, the true fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, meekness, and long suffering, reflected in us by the spirit dwelling within us. The same spirit that changed the heart of Nicodemus changed Mary Magdalene, and Matthew. The same spirit that called you is available to all, which is revealed by our actions and attitudes. There is no small change when Jesus comes into a life. Your choice is to be inspired by external events or internal ones? Which one you choose will make a difference in your eternal. It is true that Jesus loves us as we are, but just as true he doesn’t want to leave us that way.
If Jesus has made no change in your life, stop and ask God why. You may find you are the one hindering growth, you are the one quenching the spirit. But God is waiting and willing to change you, are you willing to let him? Small Change never expected his life to change as it did, but he hung tough. All the small change he had thrown away had now become big change as his needs changed. Jesus meets our needs, both small and large. If we let him. Are you letting the external or the internal affect your eternal? What are the things you value most in life? You may find they are what is keeping you from walking in the spirit as God desires. For he knows the plans he has for you, all good, but not without your will. He will never violate your will, if you want the things of God, they are available. If you deny him, he will honor your decision too. Only God loves and respects your choices so much. Settling for small change, are you ready for a big change? Can you handle more blessings, more love, more Jesus? Or are you like the coins George once threw away, no meaning, no value.
Once again consider the changes in Paul, from blasphemer and persecutor to evangelist supreme. Peter one night denying Christ to a little girl, a few weeks later addressing a crowd of 3000 with the gospel. Abraham trusting God to find a substitute for his son on the altar, Jesus being the substitute for us on the cross. Some trust in horses, some riches, some careers. But God is blatant that it is “not by might, not by power, not by works lest we should boast,” but by the work of Jesus on the cross, who left us his spirit to guide us until heaven. The death of Jesus changed the world, his resurrection affecting big change, for as he was resurrected, so shall we be. See, not even death can hold us back! So why not let Jesus into your life for a change?
Remember those mentioned in scripture were no different than you and I. They were faced with a decision, and chose God over the things of earth. There is no small change for those in Jesus, get ready for greatness. I’ll take the blessings, you can have the change.
love with compassion,