This Week’s Theme
The Immutability of God
(The Knowledge of the Holy [KOTH], Chapter 9)
Our God declares himself to be an unchanging, immutable God. What does this mean? “To say that God is immutable is to say that He never differs from Himself. The concept of a growing or developing God is not found in the Scriptures. It seems to me impossible to think of God as varying from Himself in any way” (KOTH, p. 49). What would it mean for God to “change,” says Tozer. God would need to go 1) from better to worse, or 2) from worse to better, or 3) to change within himself, as from being immature to mature. Tozer argues persuasively that none of these states applies to the perfection of our God, revealed to us in Jesus Christ.
In discussing with the returned exiles their reluctance to accomplish God’s will having returned to the land, the prophet Malachi quotes the LORD’s saying to them: “For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts. But you say, ‘How shall we return?’” (Mal. 3.6-7). God assures his people that his promise to their ancestors is still in play for he is not a God that alters his promise, or shifts his commitments. The fact that they as returned exiles exist in the land is due directly to his immutable nature. He is a God who doesn’t break his word, change his mind, forget his promise, or alter his covenant. In our Lord no change is possible. At a time when the words of people are fickle and unreliable, how comforting it is to know that our God does not change!
Preparing Our Hearts
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
O Christ our Lord, Thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. As conies to their rock, so have we run to Thee for safety; as birds from their wanderings, so have we flown to Thee for peace. Chance and change are busy in our little world of nature and men, but in Thee we find no variableness nor shadow of turning. We rest in Thee without fear or doubt and face our tomorrows without anxiety. Amen.
~ KOTH, p. 49
Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, amen.
Praising Our God
Te Deum Laudamus
You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord; we acclaim you; you are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.
Praise and Thanksgiving (songs and prayers)
Glory be to the Father,
And to the Son and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning,
Is now, and ever shall be,
World without end. Amen, amen.
Listening to His Voice
Chronological Reading for the Day
Sunday: 1 Chron. 8.29-9.1a; Dan. 4; Ezek. 40
Psalm: Ps. 17.1-7, 15
OT: Gen. 32.22-31
Gospel: Matt. 14.13-21
NT: Rom. 9.1-5
(Click here for all readings)
Reflection: Silence and/or Journaling
Responding in Faith
The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he arose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
*In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the term catholic refers to the Church’s universality, through all ages and times, of all languages and peoples. It refers to no particular tradition or denominational expression (e.g., as in Roman Catholic).
Prayers of Confession
Let us now confess our sins to God and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need.
Assurance of Pardon
Having faithfully confessed and renounced your sin, Christ also has been faithful to forgive your sins and to purify you from all unrighteousness. It is certain, that there is One who has spoken to the Father in your defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. His grace and peace are with you now. Amen.
Petitions and Supplications, Ending with The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
~ Matthew 6.9-13 (KJV)
Doxology (and/or closing song)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.
Departing to Serve
Fountain of being! Source of Good!
Immutable Thou dost remain!
Nor can the shadow of a change
Obscure the glories of Thy reign.
Earth may with all her powers dissolve,
If such the great Creator will;
But Thou for ever art the same,
I AM is Thy memorial still.
~ From Walker’s Collection (KOTH, p. 54)
Affirmation for the Day
God is God and does not vary in his person or being, in his word or covenant.
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand (from My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less, by Edward Mote).
For Your Weekly Journey
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
The Divine Omniscience, Isaiah 40.28-31
Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy