Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Consistency Is Important!

1 Peter 1:25

“…but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you.

Life ChangeConsistency is important to most of us. Two plus two better equal four every time or our whole number system is thrown up in the air. Consistency is important.

Inconsistencies usually drive most of us crazy. The person who says one thing and yet does another is an example of inconsistency that drives most of us crazy. Remember when your friends tried to change the rules mid game as a child – like when you were playing whiffle ball – batted left-handed – began to hit homers over the right field fence and they called homers over that fence an automatic double or even an out (my cousin pulled that one on me)?

What about in your line of work – what if the formula for concrete kept changing? What if the codes kept changing – not once-in-awhile but every day? Consistency is something we all try for in life. It is a good feeling for most of us to come home to basically the same-old-same-old. I know that might sound boring to some of our readers – and some variance at times is good – but most of all – we love consistency.

My paternal grandfather was a Methodist pastor. I have some of his sermons and he was a man who preached the Word of God. He preached in West Virginia – in Western Maryland and in Southern Maryland among other places. He pastored at the same church – Mt. Zion in Lothian – that my father and I preached at during our ministries. Granddad pastored at Mt. Zion from 1952-55 when he died. My father pastored at Mt. Zion from 1955-64. I returned to Mt. Zion as their pastor from 1983-2007. During one stretch of time – Mt. Zion had a McDonald behind the pulpit for 36 of 55 years. My grandmother stayed in that church from 1955 until her death. My brother and his family – my nephew and his family – my niece and her family – and other family members remain there today. I’ll leave it to others to decide if the church has benefited from the consistency of our family serving with them – but I will say that our family has found consistency at Mt. Zion. It is home for us and either before I retire or after I retire it will probably be my church home again.

Consistency is important. In speaking of what is short lived and what is consistent or lasting – Peter quoted Isaiah and wrote – 1 Peter 1:24-25 – 24 for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, 25 but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you.

Humans are here today and gone tomorrow. We are like the grass that grows and dies in a single season or a flower that blooms and dies. But the Word of God is eternal. Thinking of things that are consistent – we’re told that Jesus is the same. Hebrews 13:8 – Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

The society we live in and the world in which we inhabit – seems to be running away from God as fast as their little legs can carry them IMHO. Satan has been hard at work changing our culture from one where the Bible and God were held in high esteem to a place today where both seemingly are despised by many – even those in the church itself. A good example of this can be seen over just the last four decades – where pastors – members – and whole denominations have moved away from the timeless truths found in the Bible concerning God’s plan for marriage. For some this is no big deal – and socially I agree – the society we live in can call marriage whatever it wishes. But the inconsistency of the church on marriage – on the Word of God – is not acceptable. The authority of the Word of God in our lives is not a debatable subject. It is either authoritative in our lives or it isn’t. It is sort of like being pregnant – you either are or you’re not. You cannot begin to pick what stories in the Bible are true and which ones are not and still call the Bible authoritative. If human reason is the deciding factor in what is true or not – we are in deep trouble dear readers. If what seems right to us – if what we have experienced becomes the norm – we are in deep trouble – because Satan is moving the culture – the society – humanity – further and further away from God’s truth.

Ask yourself these questions – Is our society more or less faithful to God today than in say 1950? Does our society have a deeper respect for God today than in 1950? Please don’t hear me say we were a perfectly faithful society in the 1950’s – far from it – but are we more or less faithful today? I believe most of us would say we are less faithful today – in general. As our society changes – we need to cling to that which is consistent – the Word of God – the Bible.

Dear readers – become a student of the Word of God – not of the culture in which we live. Side with God and God’s Word rather than the – if it feels right culture in which we live. For many – even some in the church these days – following a society running away from God seems to be the right path. I couldn’t disagree more. The further the world moves away from God the more a Christian should stand out. Stand out today and stand on the Word of God that remains constant and unchanging. Its truths are still true today and the false prophets who want to change the Bible are heretical in their efforts.

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

P.S. – Each day in 2019 – as we approach February 23rd and the Special General Conference of the UMC – spend 5 minutes praying for the Holy Spirit to touch the hearts of the delegates. Thanks.

February 7, 2019 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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