Monthly Archives: August 2019

Rain, sunshine & shadow

Category : Uncategorized

Did the sun rise over your corner of the world this morning, reaching its warm fingertips to tickle open your sleepy eyes? Or maybe you awoke to the drumbeat of raindrops on your roof and windows? These are some of the elements that speak of our Creator God’s love for all mankind: both those who revere Him and those who ignore Him.

“That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good , and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust,” said Christ Jesus in Matthew 5:45, explaining why you and I should “love [our] enemies, bless them that curse [us], do good to them that hate [us], and pray for them which despitefully use [us] and persecute [us].” In other words, when we respond with kindness to those who treat us unkindly, we are more like God, who offers good things each day to all of us, however undeservedly.

Theologians (people who study God and His character) call this gift of unmerited goodness “common grace.” Though we break his law and disobey his commands or deny his existence completely, He patiently holds back his judgment as though waiting for us to come to our senses and return to Him.

The Earth and its place in the universe illustrate God’s majestic power over everything. Its beauty and wonder in the form of sunrises, sunsets, rainbows, the development of a child, the growth of crops that feed and clothe us should invite us to call upon Him, to thank and praise Him, to ask His forgiveness. “The heavens declare the flory of God: and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech no language, where their voice is not heard,” exlaims Psalm 19:1-3. Have you heard God’s creation speaking to you about His goodness?

But maybe you got up this morning before the sun rose, or there is currently a drought in your area. Perhaps you wonder whether God has withdrawn his common grace from your life. A similar question struck a man whose great personal struggles are recorded in the book of the Bible that bears his name Job. Despite Job’s upright life and reverence for God, his Creator allowed Job to lose all of his wealth, health, and even his children in a series of tragic events. As Job surveyed the drastic change in his circumstances with an appropriate attitude of mourning. He tore his clothes, shaved his head, and sat down on the ground. With nearly nothing left, he still had a choice. His wife also recognized the decision each one would have to make. “Curse God, and die,” she advised her ailing husband.

Instead, Job chose to continue to worship God. “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21). The Bible tells us in the very next line that this was the correct attitude for the situation. “In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.”

So whether you see the sunshine or the shadows today, whether the rain falls or the dry ground crackles, God’s grace is present in your life and His free offer of salvation and eternal life is for anyone who believes in His Son, Jesus Christ “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6a).


Through His fingers run the sands of time

Category : Uncategorized

As the ultimate Creator of life and every other good thing, our God is not bound by time. “For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night,” wrote Moses in Psalm 90 of Jehovah’s timelessness. And though Genesis records the near millennial lifespans of many of the first men and women, our post-flood lives may number “seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty [years]”

Once a shepherd and later a king, David, also praised God for placing him purposefully in a specific time and place within history. “In your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them” (Psalm 139:16b).

At least twice in the Old Testament, God tinkers with time in answer to prayer in a way that demonstrates both His great might and His great love for men and women. In one instance, Joshua calls on God to keep the sun overhead longer so that he and the Israelite soldiers could conquer the enemy armies. “And the sun stood still, and the moon stopped […],” recounts Joshua 10:13.

Later, when King Hezekiah falls ill and is told by God’s prophet Isaiah that he will soon die, the monarch calls out to God in humble prayer. God then grants Hezekiah 15 more years of life and promises to defend the kingdom from the enemies who threatened attack. More amazingly still, He offers Hezekiah a sign to confirm His promise. “Behold, I will make the shadow cast by the declining sun on the dial of Ahaz turn back ten steps” (Isaiah 38:8).

Jesus, God’s only-begotten Son, also demonstrated His power as Savior by defying time’s restraints. He restored life to several people who had died, even one man who had been in the tomb for four days (Luke 11). Jesus Himself would rise to life after dying on the cross in payment for the sins of all mankind. Since physical death represents the final moment in a person’s timeline, Jesus proved that He, as God the Son, is the “Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end” (Revelation 22:13). Unrestrained by time, He can be trusted with our eternal life. Have you entrusted Him with yours yet?


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