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How great are His signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an eternal kingdom; his dominion endures from generation to generation. Daniel 4:3

When I was growing up purchasing a Bible was relatively easy. You had one version to choose from (KJV) which came in black (boys) and red (girls). If you wanted the deluxe versions of each you could get one with maps and the words of Jesus printed in red!

Going from church to church was relatively easy as well. First of all you only went to a church that had the same title on the sign as the one on the front of your home church. Secondly you could be assured that you knew the songs sung because each church had the same hymnal. The music was led by a song leader who told you what verses to sing and helped you follow the organist and pianist as they played for you.

Everything was predictable, well spelled out in advance and made it easy to settle into a rut.

Today, things are different. Walk down the aisle of a bookstore to buy a Bible and you are met with numerous choices of translations, versions and study Bibles of all shapes, sizes and colors!

If you are visiting a different town and wish to go to church you find a variety of different churches. Some have the same title you are used to, many do not and even the churches that belong to the same ‘club’ yours does don’t always tell you that.

When you enter the church there may not be a piano or organ to be seen. Rather you are met with a group of varying sizes that have guitars and drums and keyboards and any number of other musical instruments! Don’t bother looking for a hymnal because they are collecting dust in a closet somewhere. The words of your songs will be displayed on a screen and you may sing along from those words IF you know the songs that this particular church sings.

Now, before you dismiss me as some sort of ultra-conservative nay-sayer let me tell you this. I love the change! But that doesn’t mean that the way I grew up was ‘wrong’ or ineffective. Many people came to Christ then just as they do now.

Sure, I miss some of my favorite hymns, and others sound great with drums and guitars. I enjoy the spontaneity of live worship. I understand some portions of the Bible I didn’t understand before because of the new versions and study guides.

With all the changes that have taken place over the years since my childhood, two things have remained the same. One is that: Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Secondly, I have friends and neighbors that will spend eternity in hell unless they are introduced to the love, forgiveness and eternal life only Jesus can offer.

What a great and awesome God we serve. A God that can speak through the words of a hymn or praise chorus. A God that can reach us through the words of a KJV, NIV or any other version of the Bible.

Father God is not tied to one style of worship, one version of Scripture or one title on a church building. His greatness spans all generations. As followers of Jesus Christ we must learn to embrace every generation and accept the changes while we respect the traditions of our faith. Jesus Christ: the same yesterday, today and forever!

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank you for the diversity that we can experience through the body of Christ. I ask that you will bring all generations into unity under the power of your mighty Holy Spirit. May your love permeate every generation for your name sake. Amen.

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