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POSTED: April 27, 2010 1:03 p.m.
Not long ago I was telling one of my sons about a trip I took the summer I turned 16 years old. I was telling it as if he already knew the basic facts, and I was filling in some details.  But then he said something that surprised me.
“Whoa, Dad.  You’re telling me a story I’ve never heard before.  Do you mean that Granny let you go to Florida with your 19-year-old cousin, just the two of you?” Well, yes, and that’s a story in and of itself. But what surprised both of us was this. I was saying something to him that he had never heard before.
Parents are notorious at repeating ourselves. So are pastors, and so my boys have gotten a double dose of repetition.  They’ve heard some of the stories at home, and then they have heard others at church, and then there are many they have heard multiple times in both places. These stories never get old to me.  But I imagine others get tired of them.
As a pastor (and now a weekly contributor to the local paper) I always want to have something new and fresh to say or write. I don’t want to become predictable. I don’t want you to know what I’m going to say before I say it. Because if you know it’s coming, you may not listen. You may tune me out. And then both of us are wasting our time.
But I also know something about the main topic about which I preach and write. It never changes. The Bible says, “God is the same today, yesterday, and forever.” Paul warned his readers not to listen to someone who came to them with “another gospel.”  And even in one of our more popular old hymns we sing, “Tell me the old, old story.”  
And so repetition is inevitable in talking about the things of God. Certainly we should seek to use methods that are fresh and vibrant. But the story does not change. If anyone says, “I have a new teaching,” red flags go in my mind.  Even the preacher in Ecclesiastes wrote, “There is nothing new under the sun.”  
We must continually remember this. The gospel never changes. The Lord never changes. But the good news about all of that is also quite clear. The Lord and the gospel do not change, because they do not need to change.  They are complete and perfect already.  Do you know the story?  I would encourage you to learn more about the good news of God. You can do that by reading the Bible, attending a Bible-believing church, or both. I would encourage you to do both.  The good news of the gospel never changes in itself, but it has the power to change you for the better. 
 

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