The American Dream: Early Retirement

The american dream is to be able to live without working. Aren’t we all trying to figure out a way to retire early? Don’t forget to work generosity into your living expenses both now and during that retirement:

Luke 12:15-21 – … I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

What if retirement looked more like helping homeless people as a full-time missionary in Hawaii, instead of sitting alone in your lake house deteriorating? Having a purpose helps keep you alive, happy, and blessed. Remember to be rich toward God by helping others.

My friend summed it up better: Retirement doesn’t have to be a selfish time devoted only to our personal pleasure. It can be the time of our life when we have more free time to volunteer to help others, spread the Gospel, and make the world a better place.

However, I’m not telling you to spend everything you have, or stop saving for retirement:

Prov. 21:20 (NIV) – The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down.

Prov. 21:20 (NLT) – The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get.

It’s wise to save for retirement. God wants you to do that, but we have to remember who gave us the ability to store up that wealth, and remember those who might not have the same opportunities.

Those who store up and never give, will lose everything; but those who store up to give, God blesses with even more:

Mal. 3:10 – Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.

God has the biggest storehouse of all. It fills all the heavens! So it doesn’t matter how big your storehouse is, or how much money you have, as much as what you do with it. God is always giving and blessing us!

Deut. 28:12 – The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands.

Be wise and start saving.
Be wise and start giving.

Luke 12:15 – life does not consist in an abundance of possessions

Matt. 6:19-20 – “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

1 Timothy 6:17-19 – As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

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The Price of One Life

This scene should shake us all, as this man looks back on how many people he could’ve saved from the Holocaust. How many people could we save by giving up one dinner, buying used instead of new, giving up a simple want to provide for someone elses need? When we get to heaven and see the full picture, will we look back with this same regret?

The price of one life. I threw away so much money. I didn’t do enough. This car could have saved 10 people. This pen, 2 people.

Consider giving up one meal this month, and donating the cost to water282.org. My friend Jacob started this non-profit in 2011 after a heart-wrenching divorce. He felt the pull of God, and left everything to go build water wells for those in need. He has successfully given clean water to over 38,451 people.

He keeps finding villages in need, who have little water that is polluted, and often also treated as a bathroom. He gives sanitation and well maintenance training to each village. These wells not only cut down on deaths due to waterborne diseases, but also sparks economic growth as people can easily access water, hold a job (due to time saved from traveling to their last water source; often miles away by foot), and water crops.

Water282 continues to take situations like this:

water282 water well africa nonprofit

And transform them into situations like this:

water282 water well africa nonprofit

Consider helping by giving $10 in lieu of one evening on the town. At the end of our lives, we don’t want to feel like we didn’t do enough. Consider the price of one life.

Faith & Anger

Would God rather us be angry with Him or have a lack of faith in Him? 

– 2 Kings 6 – Some time later, Ben-Hadad king of Aram mobilized his entire army and marched up and laid siege to Samaria. 25There was a great famine in the city… 26As the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried to him, “Help me, my lord the king!” 27The king replied, “If the Lord does not help you, where can I get help for you?… 28Then he asked her, “What’s the matter?” She answered, … we cooked my son and ate him… 30When the king heard the woman’s words… 31He said, “May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if the head of Elisha son of Shaphat remains on his shoulders today!”.. 33The king said, “This disaster is from the Lord. Why should I wait for the Lord any longer?”

… 2 Kings 7:1-2,20 – Elisha replied, “Hear the word of the Lord. This is what the Lord says: About this time tomorrow, a seah of the finest flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.” 2The officer on whose arm the king was leaning said to the man of God, “Look, even if the Lord should open the floodgates of the heavens, could this happen?“You will see it with your own eyes,” answered Elisha, “but you will not eat any of it!”… 20And that is exactly what happened to him, for the people trampled him in the gateway, and he died.

Cannibalism is a weighty subject, and probably got your attention more so than what I wanted to talk about. I hope to say more about it, and leadership, in the coming days. Today, however let’s touch on the topics of faith and anger in this passage.

The king was waiting for God’s to deliver them from the siege and famine, but when he heard that the people were starting to eat each other, he became angry. He started to lose his faith in God and he lashed out at God by threatening to kill Elisha, whom God often spoke through. Elisha responded 1) with force by barricading the door to protect himself, and 2) by telling the king to wait on the Lord one more day. Perhaps God didn’t respond as fast as the king would like, because the king was not acting the way he should.

  1. He should have been in sackcloth, asking for God’s help, while searching himself for any wrongdoing. Instead, he tried to hide his sackcloth under his royal clothes.
  2. He also could’ve sought God out beforehand, instead of waiting until the last second to see what God had to say about the siege. Seeking God should come first.

Nonetheless, there is an interesting principle in this story:

The king expressed anger by asking Elisha, ‘Why should I wait on the Lord any longer?’  Though he went with the intention to kill Elisha, he still listened to Elisha’s response and waited on the Lord one more day. The officer, however, expressed disbelief in God’s ability, and died because of it.

So anger is better than unbelief? Yes.
It is better to have faith in God, and get mad at Him when it doesn’t look like He is coming through for you, than it is to express disbelief in what God says He is going to do.

The king tried to wait on God, and tried to repent by wearing sackcloth. He didn’t do either of them perfectly, but he tried and God honored that. He intended to sin in his anger, but he ended up changing his mind and doing what was right. The officer, who did not believe God could help them, was not honored.

There is a situation in my life in which I have faith, and am waiting, though I may have times of anger or questioning. It’s nice to know that God is okay with that, and can put people in my life to renew my faith. It’s nice to know that there is grace, and that he honors a slip in faith as long as there is an effort of faith. I hope that encourages you as well. Faith is hard, and faith is necessary, but God gives us grace when we try.

Matt. 21: 28-32 – There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ “ ‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go. “Which of the two did what his father wanted?”“The first,” they answered. Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.

There is a way to be angry and not sin, but that wasn’t what the king had in mind. Nonetheless, the king turned away from the sin in his heart and chose not to kill Elisha. He came to God in anger, and God helped him because he was willing to listen. It’s better to go to the person you have a problem with, before it turns into wrath, but God has nothing to fear. The correct response for us is to set a boundary, and get help, like Elisha did by gathering elders to barricade the door. God however, just wants you to come to Him for help. If getting to a breaking point, or a rage, is the only way you’ll come to Him for help, then He accepts that. Job expressed his anger to God, and God helped him see how things really were.


Heb. 11:6 – And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.


God asks us to have faith in Him, and to even put His words, ways, principles to the test. If we test Him, in our faith, He will reward us:

Mal. 3:10 – … Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.

When the Bible says that testing God is wrong, it is referring to testing God in lack of faith. Testing God is nether right, nor wrong in itself; it simply depends on your heart.

Jer. 17:10 – I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.

Deut. 6:16 – Do not put the Lord your God to the test as you did at Massah.

Ex. 17:7 – And he called the place Massah (testing) and Meribah (quarreling) because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the Lord saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”

James 1:6-8 – But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

Ps. 94:18 – When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me.

Mark 9:21-24 – Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered. “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” Jesus said to him, “‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.”

Help my unbelief. That is a prayer that God honors. He loves truth; even when the truth is that you are angry, He honors it. Seek Him first, ask Him to help your unbelief, and just choose to be real with Him today.

Koran’s Jesus


What does the Koran have to say about Jesus? This muslim did his homework. Watch to find out what he found, or read the story below:

Who is Jesus?

While I was working in a muslim mosque as an imam, as a parish priest, I preach in my parish that Jesus Christ is not God, for me, God was only Allah, and I believed Allah never got married, so no sons for Allah. So I preached there that Jesus is not God. Then somebody ask me, ‘Who is Jesus?’ from the crowd. Maybe a muslim, but he asked me, ‘Who is Jesus?’ I was preaching he is not God, but the question is who is he? To know who is Jesus? I read the entire Koran once again: 114 chapters, 6666 words in the Koran when I read it. The name of prophet Muhammad, I found it in Koran 4 places, but the name of Jesus I found in 25 places. There itself, I was a little confused. Why does the Koran give more preference to Jesus? And second thing, I could not see any woman’s name in Koran: the Prophet Muhammad’s mother’s name, or wife’s name, no, in the Koran, there is only one woman’s name that i found is Mariam, the mother of Jesus no other woman’s name. And in the holy Koran chapter 3, the name of the chapter is family of ‘Mariam,’ and holy Koran chapter 19, the name of the chapter itself is ‘MARIAM’ one chapter is ‘MARIAM’ so I was very curious to know why does Koran says all these things about MARIAM, holy Koran chapter 3 verse 34 onwards says that Mary was born without original sin, she never committed any sin in her life, she was ever virgin.

Koran chapter 50 verses 23 say that she went to heaven with her physical body. Even the assumption is writing in the holy Koran and then about Jesus, when I read chapter 3 verses 45 to 55 verses, there is 10 point which the Koran makes about Jesus. The first thing Koran says kallimatulli, the arabic word which means the word of God, and second thing is ahimokuli which mean spirit of God and the third isa masi which means Jesus Christ, so Koran give the name for Jesus Word of God, Spirit of God, Jesus Christ. And then Koran says that Jesus spoke when he was very small, like 2 days old; after his birth he began to speak. Koran says that Jesus created a live bird with mud. He took some mud, he formed a bird; when breathed into it, it became a live bird. So I think Jesus can give life because he gave life to mud, clay. Then Koran says that Jesus cured a man born blind and a man with leprosy, etc.

Curiously, the Koran says that Jesus gave life to dead people; Jesus went to heaven; he is still alive and he will come again. When I saw all these things in the Koran, I taught of what Koran says about Muhammad, according to the Koran, prophet Muhammad is not the word of God, not spirit of God he never spoke when he was 2 days old, he never created any bird with mud, he never cure any sick people, he never raised any dead people, he himself died, and according to Islam he is not alive and he will not come back. So there is a lot of different between these two prophets. I didn’t call Jesus, God, you know my idea was ‘He is a prophet but he is a prophet greater than Muhammad’; so one day I went to my teacher, the one who taught me 10 years in Arabic college, and I ask him, teacher, how did God created the universe? Then he said God created the universe through the ‘word,’ THROUGH THE WORD. Then my question is: ‘WORD’ is creator or creation? He must clear this, my question is whether the WORD of God is creator or creation. Koran says Jesus is WORD of God. If my teacher says word of God is creator, which means Jesus is the creator, then muslim must become Christian suppose if he says the word is creation he will be trapped. You know why? He said everything was created through the word. Suppose if he said the word is creation, then how did God created the word? So he cannot say that the word is creator, or creation, so he was quite angry he push me out of his room and said, ‘Word is not God, not creator, or the creation; you get out of here,’ he said.

The reason why Muslim doesn’t accept to be Christian is because they are blinded with the wrong teaching of their priest, Imam. They said that the word is creation they try to prove it wrongly… they say the word is not creator, not the creation, but not God. They don’t equal with God; that all their problem. So when he said that, I told my teacher, word is not the creator or the creation, so that is why Christian says the word is son of God. Then he told me if there is son for God, I must show him the wife of God. That without wife, no chance of having a son. Then I showed him a portion from the Koran. Koran says that God can see without eyes, God can talk without tongue, God can hear without ears; it is written in the Koran. I said if that is the case, God can have a child without a wife. I took my Koran, I put it on my chest, and I said ‘Allah, tell me what I should do because your Koran says Jesus is still alive, and Mohammad is no more. Tell me whom should I accept.’ after my prayer I opened the Koran, I didn’t asked anyone, I asked only my Allah. When I opened Koran, I saw chapter 10 verses 94. You know what Koran says? It says if you have any doubt in this Koran which I give to you, go and read the Bible, or ask the people, those who read the Bible. The truth is already revealing that.

Glory & Trial

When the Spirit of God descended on Jesus, it immediately drove him into the desert for a time of testing. When Jesus emerged victorious, he was springboarded into the beginning of his ministry.

– Mark 1:9-12 – At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan.

To get from one mountain to the next, you have to go through the valley; a time of testing.

– 2 Cor. 3:18 – And we all having been unveiled in face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as from the Lord, the Spirit.

I can rest easy knowing God’s plan because he’s already told me his promises in the ‘logos’ (written) word and in the ‘rhema’ (spoken) word. Before I was laid off at work I received a prophetic word that God was promoting me, pouring more into my hands, and that my life was changing, but that I should sit still and be unmovable in this season. This is just the valley on the way to the higher mountain. This is just the wilderness experience that comes with receiving the words of the Spirit. This is just the moment when Jesus flips the tables; that paradoxical nature he operates in. He hides his poker hand to everyone for the opportune moment, but he’s already shared the secrets with the one he loves. His promises give us peace and focus in the trial, and his word never returns void, but accomplishes that to which he sent it to do. And at the right moment there’s a royal flush revealed

– Rom. 8:31-34,37-39 – If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one…  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

– Ps. 40:5 – Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare.

– Jer. 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

– Eph. 2:8-10 – this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

He has a plan for every moment of our lives before we were even born. He will bring it about. His plans are good. The enemy intends to harm us, but God works it all out for our good (Gen.50:20 & Rom. 8:28).

– Ps. 139:16-17 – You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!

God is Passion

Be Fearless in the Pursuit of What Sets Your Soul on Fire

– Heb. 12:29 – Our God is a consuming fire

– 1 John 4:8 – God is love

One definition for the word fire is: ‘to inspire’

If you are looking for God, look for love.
Where there is fire, passion, inspiration, and love for something in your life, that is God leading you.
(As long as that passion stays on the path of righteousness)


“By following passion and love, we can find our purpose.”


God's people are led by a pillar of fire into their promised land. The same goes for you.

God’s people are led by a pillar of fire into their promised land. The same goes for you.

– Ex. 13:21 – the Lord went ahead of them… by night in a pillar of fire to give them light

– Eze. 1:26-28 – on the throne was a figure like that of a man. I saw that from what appeared to be his waist … down he looked like fire

That pillar of fire was the leg of God. He was literally walking in front of Israel and guiding them into the promised land. Let that same God lead you; follow the flame of passion that’s in you.

– Ps. 104:4 – The winds are your messengers; flames of fire are your servants

We were created to be burning and passionate. To serve what we love and let that fire drive our work. If passion has left, then its time to follow Him somewhere new. The Israelites stayed when God stayed and followed God when He up and led the way.


How do we follow passion?
Passion often produces dreams and desires for more, but we can’t get to the fulfillment of a dream without a process.

– Col. 3:23-24 – Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart… since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.

You don’t have to do something all day, you just have to do a little each day. Focusing on the end product is productive for long term goals, but focusing on the end product with an instant gratification mentality is a set up for failure, frustration, & burn out. And In order to keep passion alive we have to protect against those things by:

– Being intentional (with our time, actions, steps, goals, etc.)
– Being practical
– Being consistent
– Expecting Results


Process is God inspired:

1. When we accept Christ we do not instantly become perfect.

– 2 Cor. 3:18 – And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

We are transformed into His image. We cannot be perfect. Perfection is unattainable to us. We are perfect only through Jesus, not ever from our own ability. God does not expect us to be perfect, He expects us to transform. Transformation is not instantaneous. His grace covers us in our imperfect state. He loves us despite our flaws.

We Are Being Transformed into the Likeness of ChristWe cannot will ourselves into the last phase. We can only get there by taking the small yet necessary steps. The caterpillar isn’t stressed out about getting into its final form. Everything happens in its own time. We can trust God in the same way. His timing is perfect and it’s not something that we have to perform on our own. We can take it one day at a time and trust Him that the daily process is getting us to that final form of what He has planned.

– Matt. 6:34 – seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Strive for Progress Not Perfection

2. We can’t teleport. If we want to get somewhere we have to take one step at a time.
The journey is meant to be fun. It’s like site seeing. Bad things can happen along the journey, but staying on the path of righteousness makes those things dust in the midst of a whole heep of glory.

3. Thankfully, when we want to eat, we don’t just insert the whole meal into our stomach. We, instead, take one bite at a time and get to enjoy the flavors.


“We cannot take on the whole of our calling at one moment. We need steps.
And if we are following the passion and the love, then we are following God into our destiny.”


Passion can teach us about God:

– John 14:26 – the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

God Himself will teach us who He is. I was torn today about what I should study: bible or art? Though I had planned on learning an art program for work, passion led me to play violin, and during the violin session the Spirit of God talked to me about patience and revealed Himself to me. Today is a smorgasbord of all the things I wanted to do. I followed passion, and then I realized that God is passion, and that as I follow passion, He will reveal Himself to me.


Our purpose is engrained in us and fire lights the way to destiny. I have both desired, and dreaded, learning an instrument for 19 years now. I thought it would take to much time to learn and would catapult me into a realm of competition. If I had just learned a little every day for the past 19 years, I would’ve been a master by now. But true God given passions do not leave. If you deny them, they will haunt you for 19 years! Just go ahead and follow it. Ten minutes of attention a day for 19 years is plenty to get you to that final phase you dream about.

Each person has a place and a realm of influence, given to them from God. Every persons talents have a purpose. If God is guiding you with a passion, don’t let the enemy shut you down with lies like you can’t do it, you won’t be as good as others, or it would take too much time to learn.

– 2 Cor. 10:12 – We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves

 1 Peter 4:10 - Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others

– 1 Peter 4:10 – Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.


“We can’t find our purpose if we keep killing the seeds
of desire that God has put in us to nurture.” 


In this parable God shows us that every person has a talent, and every person gets to choose whether they invest in it or not. God promises that if you invest in the talent that you will receive a 100 fold increase plus.

– Matt. 25:14-30 – “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.  And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’


Make us an uncontrollable fire that consumes everything. (except that your fire brings abundant life instead of destruction)

Make us an uncontrollable fire that consumes everything. (except that your fire brings abundant life instead of destruction)

Prayer: Thank you Lord for lighting my path. Thank you the prophesy that was spoken over me that I would be a worshipper, write great things, and even make songs. I do not see it, and I have neglected it, but God, you are a consuming fire. As I continue to seek you, set me ablaze. Guide me with your righteous passion; lead me into the promise, and set me on the land that you have prepared for me. Reveal now, where you are in the lives of those who read. Help them see you as that passionate flame that burns inside of them. Give us more of you. Be the seal on our hearts that keeps us as burning ones. Consume every part of us (Ps.69:9). Let us be your living sacrifice (Rom.12:1). Let us burn with a fire that waters cannot quench (Sos.8:6). Make us Elijah’s in the midst of the prophets of Baal (1Kings18); no matter how much water, or how many trials come against us, keep our hearts alive with blazing passion for your name. May passion light the way for purpose.

Worship: Jesus Culture – All Consuming Fire

The Single Narrative


The Bible, which means the book, is a single narrative that points to one person. 66 books written over the span of human history, and they all stay consistent; Christ, the Word of God, who never changes.