The Princess and the Eternal: Trusting God's Unchanging Word in an Ever-Changing World
My daughter is a princess fanatic. She loves their dresses, their stories and their happily-ever-afters. She likes quoting their lines, singing their songs and wearing their clothes. Her obsession with all things princess leads to an inward struggle of picking a favorite. It’s quite humorous. If I were to ask her to name her favorite princess right now, she would inevitably have a new favorite by next week. The constant change can make picking movies and toys a real challenge. One favored princess fades to another, and my wife and I are left hoping that the ones we pick for Christmas and birthdays will be the prized princesses at the time.
During this year of Covid-19, many of you might feel the same. One minute you think you have the guidelines and procedures figured out for your church, then the next, you are writing up an entirely new game plan. One month, you think you know what will excite and reach your kids, then feel unsure as their engagement lessens. Week after week, you post videos online and send emails out to parents wondering if a difference is being made. Like me picking a princess, you are stuck wondering if you are choosing the correct or most favorable option in an ever-changing landscape.
What can be done? What can be trusted? In this inconsistent world, there is something that is consistent. There is something that will never change and never fade away. God’s Word.
I may be stating the obvious, but the obvious can often be forgotten in the frantic and underestimated in the urgent. Amid the frenzy of training leaders, recruiting volunteers and making plans, the basics can get buried in all the busy-ness. As we move forward and teach our children and students the truth of scripture, may we cling to the simple, yet powerful promises given to us by God.
The obvious can often be forgotten in the frantic and underestimated in the urgent.
God’s Word is Eternal.
My daughter’s love for a particular princess may fade within the week, but God’s Word never will. It will always exist. It will always be relevant, and it will always be true. Isaiah 40:8 tells us that, “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” The words of God will stand the test of time! Similarly, Jesus told His followers in Mark 13:31, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” No pandemic or crisis in history will make the words of Christ obsolete.
This gives us an unending resource of truth and hope! Plans fail. People leave. Resources run out, but the word of God will never fail. It will never fade, and it will never be extinguished. As you teach the word, remember that you are teaching something that is unstoppable, unshakeable and never-ending. You are carrying a fire that can never be put out.
God’s Word is Powerful.
The magic of a princess only lasts so long before another holds my daughter’s attention. A princess that once served as a powerful incentive loses its sway at the drop of a hat. Its power is flippant. Thankfully, this is not the case with God and His word. Romans 1:16 tells us that the gospel (the good news story of Jesus) is the “power of God for salvation.” This is incredible! When you and I proclaim the truth of the gospel, God works through the message to change lives!
We can fill our ministries with exciting activities and engaging environments, but may we never forget or underestimate the power that God’s word can have in the life of a child. It has the power to teach them, correct them, train them and equip them for every good work (2 Tim. 3:16-17). When we proclaim the gospel and teach the truths of scripture, we are speaking God’s power-filled word!
God’s Word is Effective.
A time is going to come when my daughter is over the princess craze. One day, she will find another toy or accessory that will occupy her time and attention. When that happens, princesses will no longer serve as an effective reward for good behavior or as a successful present on holidays.
As time moves forward and culture continues to change, certain methods that once worked in our ministries will no longer be effective. They will become outdated or irrelevant. The beautiful thing about God’s word is that it will never become outdated, and it will always be relevant. The Bible may tell a story as old as time, but it is timeless. This means that God’s word will always be effective, no matter the time period or cultural climate. God’s word does not return to Him empty. When His word goes out, it will accomplish what He intended for it to do (Isaiah 55:10-11). This gives us confidence and hope!
The Bible may tell a story as old as time, but it is timeless.
Even when kids are running around or bouncing off the walls, God’s word does not return empty. When kids struggle to memorize verses or pay attention, God’s word can still accomplish His purpose. God’s word is 100% effective! We may not always see its effects immediately, but we can trust that the seeds of God’s word being planted today are not being planted in vain. When we trust God’s promises and the timing of His plan, we can enjoy the process and thank God for the amazing gift of His word.
As you strive for excellence in your ministry, trust in what will last. As you seek to impact your children during this difficult season, lean on what is strong, and as you look for the next “princess” to effectively grab your kid’s attention, don’t lose sight of the “Prince of Peace.” Life is chaotic. Things are changing, but praise God that we have a Messiah who will never leave us and whose words are “spirit and life” (John 6:33).