Sunday, November 24, 2013

God, Weather, and the Church

Icy driving conditions prompted the church I serve, Cotton Ridge, to cancel worship services today. The plans for my family was just to stay in the house where it was nice and warm. But I was wrong, as we needed a few critical items from the store.

The young lady who took my groceries to my car (yes, we still have that kind of service in Levelland, Texas) mentioned that her family moved here from another state just over a year ago. I asked her if they had found a church home, and she said no. I gave her a business card and invited her to come check us out.

This little bit of impromptu outreach reminded me of some important truths: Church is not some event we go to, but something we are. Church is not in a particular location or building, but is wherever we go.

By the way, here's a brief summary of some things the Bible says the weather:
  • All weather -- sunshine, rain, wind, and thunder/lightning -- is controlled by God (Job 37:9; Ps. 74:15-17; Eccles. 1:18).
  • Weather is a sign of God's power (Ex. 19:16; 1 Sam. 12:15-19; Ps. 107:23-25).
  • Sunshine is a blessing for life (Deut. 33:13-14; Job 8:16), can be falsely worshiped (2 Kin. 23:5; Jer. 8:2; Eze. 8:16), and will be absent in the new heavens and new earth (Rev. 21:23). Figuratively, sunshine can point to the glory of God (Ps. 84:11), the glory of Jesus Christ (Rev. 1:16), and the glory of believers (Matt. 13:43; Rev. 12:1).
  • Rain can be sent as a blessing (Matt. 5:45; Acts 14:17) or as judgment (1 Sam. 12:17). It can also be withheld as judgment (Lev. 26:19; 2 Chron. 7:13). Rain can come or cease through prayer (1 Sam. 12:16-18; Jas. 5:17-18).
  • Wind is something that Christ calms by His command (Mark 4:39; Mark 6:51).
  • Lightning and thunder is sent by God (Ex. 9:23-24; Ps. 104:7) and can be used for judgment (Isa. 29:6).
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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Judgment Is Here...and It Is Coming

Typically the Lord says this after announcing an upcoming judgment against a nation: "Then they will know that I am the Lord."

My question: Did the events of 9-11 return America to God? The answer is obviously no. The people of our nation have continued to rebel against God, going so far as to pervert God's most fundamental sacred institution: marriage.

This rebellion itself is the judgment of God in part. All throughout Scripture we see a recurring theme when God judges a nation: wisdom is stripped away from its leaders and its people. Only wicked governing authorities would show such disdain for the God under whose authority they serve. And only a wicked nation would continue to elect such people to lead them.

Even we who are God's people -- the church -- are not unaffected by the wickedness in our nation. Daily we are tempted to listen to Satan's lies, to doubt God, and to devote our hearts to idolatry. We must remind ourselves that embracing the world means rejecting our Lord.

There is a greater measure of God's judgment coming. It may continue to be the slow burn of a people whose minds are given over to their own debased desires (cf. Rom. 1:18ff), or it may be a swift and devastating series of calamities. In the end, then we will know that He is the Lord.

May we judge ourselves so that we will not be judged.

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