Thursday, July 4, 2013

Rain, Rain, Rain

Rain, rain, rain...this summer is the  lushest, greenest summer I can remember in a long time.  It is because of all the rain we have been getting.  Right now it is thundering and raining again.  I am sure many of you are getting lots of rain as well if you live in the Southeast part of the country. I love rain...I love the smell of the rain, the smell of the earth after it rains.
God thunders marvelously with His voice; He does great things which we cannot comprehend. For He says to the snow, Fall on the earth; likewise He speaks to the showers and to the downpour of His mighty rains.  God seals up (stops, brings to a standstill by severe weather) the hand of every man [and now under His seal their hands are forced to inactivity], that all men whom He has made may know His doings (His sovereign power and their subjection to it).  Job 37:5-7
I am thinking about these verses from the Scripture.  The thunder that we comes from God.  The snow that falls at His word.  The rains that come are by His desire.  And when we have storms, downpours, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, heavy snows...He is stopping the hands of men from all the activity they are busily going about so that all men, men that He has created, may know His infinite power and their own subjection to it.  

God is not something or someone that we can define and make into what we want to.  We cannot only choose to see His love and His forgiveness.  We must first see His holiness, His power, and His authority over mankind.  God is holy and perfect and cannot abide sin.  We are lowly and sinners and there is no way we can command God, or expect Him to love and forgive us based on our own righteousness because there is none righteous in all the earth.  

Have  you ever told a lie?  What do you call someone who tells a lie?
A liar.
Have you ever stolen anything?  Even something small like a pencil from the office?  What do you call someone who steals something?  A thief.
Jesus says that if you look at a woman (or man) with lust in your heart, you have already committed adultery with that person.  Have you ever lusted after someone in your heart?  What does that make you?  An adulterer.
Have you ever used the name of God as a cuss word?  Do you know what that is?  It is blasphemy.  It is a very serious offense against the Lord of the universes. What does that make you?  A blasphemer.
If you say, "Well, I have only done that once so it isn't that bad."
If someone raped and killed your mother, but that was the first time they had ever done it, would that make it any less of a sin? No.  And the Ten Commandments say, Do not steal.  Do not lie.  Do not commit adultery. Do not take the Name of God in vain.
So if you are a liar, a thief, an adulterer, or a blasphemer should you expect the Lord to let you into heaven when you die? 
Because He is and will be our judge.

God is a righteous Judge, yes, a God Who is indignant every day.  Psalm 7:11

Rise up, O Judge of the earth; render to the proud a fit compensation!  Psalm 94:2

Before the Lord, for He comes, for He comes to judge and govern the earth! He shall judge the world with righteousness and justice and the peoples with His faithfulness and truth.  Psalm 96:13

Now will I shortly pour out My wrath upon you and finish spending My anger against you, and I will judge you according to your ways and will recompense you with punishment for all your abominations.  Ezekiel 7:8

 [Jesus said] Yet even if I do judge, My judgment is true [My decision is right]; for I am not alone [in making it], but [there are two of Us] I and the Father, Who sent Me.
 In your [own] Law it is written that the testimony (evidence) of two persons is reliable and valid.  John 8:16-17 
So we are guilty before the Almighty Judge because all of us have not kept His commandments, and if we have broken even one, one time, we have not kept the Law.  
What is the punishment for this?  It is death.  God is holy.  God is just.  Would you want a rapist to go free?  No.  He sinned.  He must pay the cost.  God is so holy that there is no level of sin.  All sin is the same to Him.  There is no little or big sin.
But Someone has stepped in to pay the fine for our sins for us.  Jesus Christ, God's own Son, came in human form and lived a sinless life and gave Himself as a sacrifice for us, dying on a cruel cross.  He has paid the fine for our sins.  If we accept His gift of salvation and if we repent, turning away from our sins, and if we confess with our mouths that we want Jesus to cover our sins and make us new creations, we will be saved.
And from Jesus Christ the faithful and trustworthy Witness, the Firstborn of the dead [first to be brought back to life] and the Prince (Ruler) of the kings of the earth. To Him Who ever loves us and has once [for all] loosed and freed us from our sins by His own blood...Revelation 1:5
We need to be aware of our sinfulness and know our need for a Savior.  Jesus will cleanse us from our unrighteousness in the only way possible, through His blood, if we confess our sins to Him and ask to be saved.
Once we belong to the Lord, we are His and our lives are changed.  We no longer have license to sin just because we have been forgiven.
 We know [absolutely] that anyone born of God does not [deliberately and knowingly] practice committing sin, but the One Who was begotten of God carefully watches over and protects him [Christ’s divine presence within him preserves him against the evil], and the wicked one does not lay hold (get a grip) on him or touch [him].  I John 5:18
Beloved, do not imitate evil, but imitate good. He who does good is of God; he who does evil has not seen (discerned or experienced) God [has enjoyed no vision of Him and does not know Him at all].  3 John 1:11
When I see the rains and hear the thunders, I am reminded of the holiness, the sovereign power of God.  I see the heavy rains push the mud and dirt up onto the plants, just as the power of God pushes the knowledge of our filthiness up into our sight, to let us know that we are sinners.  And then I see the rains coming down, washing the mud and dirt from the flowers and the leaves, and I am reminded of the flow of blood from Jesus Christ side and His sacrifice that washes me clean in the eyes of God.  Thank You, Jesus, for the law that brought me to You, and for your paying of the price for my sins.  Keep me in Your Word, and in Your path, Lord.  Keep me from sinning, Lord Jesus, through your Holy Spirit and through the reading of Your Word the Bible and through fellowship with other true believers.  Amen.
Today I heard the whisper loudly in the thunder and softly in the cleansing rains. Where did you hear God whisper today?

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