19 January 2008

Would You Believe Snow?

Would you believe I am looking at snow falling to the ground! This is a rarity here in the Deep South. I also see children across the streets playing in the snow. This is indeed a beautiful sight! I have fond memories of my childhood when we would receive snow in my hometown of Summerville, Georgia. We were out of school for a week because of the snow. Now that was fun, especially for children. I believe that most children (and adults) would like to see snow at least once in their lifetime.

In Psalms 148:8 we learn that snow is the handiwork of Jehovah God, “Fire and hail, snow and vapor; stormy wind, fulfilling his word…” The word snow is mentioned 20 times in the Bible. It is found 5 times in the book of Job. Here are some important lessons that I have developed from the Word of God relative to the subject of snow.

a. God asked 40 questions in Job 38 that are still marvelous today.
i. Job 38:22 – “Have you entered the treasury of snow, Or have you seen the treasury of hail…”
ii. This suggests the availability of snow and also the importance of the quality of snow. Snow collects nitrates, free ammonia, etc.
b. The source of the snow is God.
i. Job 37:6 – “For He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth’; likewise to the gentle rain and the heavy rain of His strength.”
c. Snow could be found in Palestine, in the mountain ranges of Lebanon and Mount Hermon.
d. Snow can also be found in the city of Jerusalem.
i. Proverbs 31:21 – “She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household is clothed with scarlet.”
ii. Proverbs 25:13 – “Like the cold of snow in time of harvest is a faithful messenger to those who send him; for he refreshes the souls of his masters.”

a. Miriam, Numbers 12:9, 10 – “So the anger of the Lord was aroused against them, and He departed. And when the cloud departed from above the tabernacle, suddenly Miriam became leprous, as white as snow. Then Aaron turned toward Miriam, and there she was, a leper.”
b. The end of the wicked.
i. Job 24:19 – “As drought and heat consume the snow waters, so the grave consumes those who have sinned.”

a. On the mount of transfiguration.
i. Mark 9:3 – “His clothes became shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them.”
ii. Revelation 1:14 – “His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire…”
b. Angels
i. Matthew 28:3 – “His countenance was like lightning and his clothing as white as snow.”

a. Job 9:30 – “If I wash myself with snow water, and cleanse my hands with soap, yet You will plunge me into the pit, and my own clothes will abhor me.”

a. Isaiah 1:18 – “Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
b. Psalms 51:2, 7 – “Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.” “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.”
c. Zechariah 13:1 – “In that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and uncleanness.”
d. Matthew 26:28; John 1:29; Ephesians 1:7; I John 1:7.
e. Song: “There is a Fountain Filled with Blood”
f. The blood of Christ cleanses us for all eternity.
i. Revelation 7:13, 14 – “Then one of the elders answered saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?” And I said to him, “Sir, you know.” So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
g. Song: Whiter Than Snow

Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole;
I want Thee forever to live in my soul;
Break down ev’ry idol, cast out ev’ry foe:
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Lord Jesus, look down from Thy throne in the skies,
And help me to make a complete sacrifice;
I give up myself and whatever I know:
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Lord Jesus, Thou see-est I patiently wait;
Come now, and within me a new heart create;
To those who have sought Thee, Thou never saidst No:
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Whiter than snow, Yes, Whiter than snow;
Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.

16 January 2008

Showers of Blessings

What I am presently seeing from my office is RAIN, beautiful rain. When I think of rain I begin to hum, “Rain Drops Falling on My Head”. I think of the BIG rain that occurred during the days of Noah (Genesis 6, 7, 8). Of the time when Elijah prayed that it not rain and it didn’t for three and one half years. And then he prayed that it would rain and the Lord God sent the rain upon the land (I Kings 17:1; 18:1, 2: James 5:17, 18). Because of the lack of rain there was a severe drought in the land and I am sure that it was a delight to the eyes and strengthening to the heart of man when the rains finally came.

Then there is the statement made by our Lord Jesus Christ as recorded in Matthew 5:45, “…For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” It was in Lystra when Paul had healed a crippled man that the people wanted to worship him and Barnabas as gods that Paul said, among other things, it was God who “gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness (Acts 14:27). Both saints and sinners enjoy the manifold physical blessings from the bountiful hand of grace of our Heavenly Father, the creator and sustainer of life.

In this section of our great country we have experienced a real drought and we have seen what can occur when there is a lack of moisture in the earth. The farmers and cattlemen suffer loss because there are no crops and the cattle have no food. Cities of various sizes have faced a critical shortage of the precious commodity called water because their supplies have dwindled down so drastically. The absence of one of God’s greatest blessings should cause thoughtful people to consider what it would be like if He continued to withhold rain from the earth.

Mankind should realize that we do not have full control over matters in this life and on this earth, the footstool of God Almighty. Rather thoughtful people will be thankful people who give God the honor and praise for all the blessings of life, physical and spiritual. It was the writer James that declared in chapter one and in verse seventeen, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow or turning.

There Shall Be Showers
There shall be showers of blessing
This is the promise of love;
There shall be seasons refreshing,
Sent from the Savior above.
There shall be showers of blessing
Precious reviving again;
Over the hills and valleys,
Sound of abundance of rain.
There shall be showers of blessing
Send them upon us, O Lord!
Grant to us now a refreshing;
Come, and now honor Thy word.
There shall be showers of blessing
O that today they might fall,
Now as to God we’re confessing,
Now as on Jesus we call!
There shall be showers of blessing,
If we but trust and obey;
There shall be seasons refreshing,
When we let Him have His way.
Showers of blessing, showers of blessing we need;
Mercy drops round us are falling, but for the showers we plead.
~James McGranahan

04 January 2008

A Heritage From the Lord

We who are older remember well the Beatles. One of the popular songs they sang over forty years ago was Yellow Submarine. Well this article is not about a yellow submarine but a big yellow school bus, in fact, a couple of yellow school buses that come into our neighborhood every school morning. I see our neighborhood children congregating together waiting for the bus to come pick them up. In the afternoon those same buses come again into our subdivision to deposit those precious children at various spots along the way.

How wonderful that the children have opportunity to be educated so that they can contribute to our society in various ways. There was a time in my parent’s generation that many boys and girls did not have the opportunity to obtain a high school education. The farm children were often kept out of school to work in order to provide food for the family. In contrast to the school days when the buses run through our neighborhood it is quite a different sight on Sundays. I see very few automobile coming by the house with families on their way to Bible classes anywhere. I wonder what percentage of the school children attends Bible classes on Sunday at any religious organization.

It probably would be discouraging to learn that most children are not taken by their parents to Sunday school. You see many parents are too involved in the cares of this life to provide an education in the Word of God in the home and/or in Bible classes. The Psalmist declared, “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them…” (Psalms 27:3-5). Children are not ours to do with as we so please. They actually belong to God and He has loaned them to us for a time.

It is the responsibility of the parents to provide an education in the most important book known to mankind and that is the Word of God. The apostle Paul placed the responsibility of rearing children in the way of the Lord on the head of the family when he wrote in Ephesians 6:4, And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” True and complete education should prepare children not only for a living but rather for a life presently and in the world eternal life.

From God
With love children are a blessing sent from God above
For us to care and nurture and most of all to love.
God calls us to be parents and gives us all the tools
And when we feel like giving up, our strength He will renew.
Children are a gift from God that He so freely lends
To make it through the childhood years, on Him we must depend.
We have shared the Word of God, we've taught them right from wrong
Now it's time to let them go and let them write their song.
The faith instilled, the examples lived, and the lessons taught
All gifts that we've given our child, which will never be forgotten.
There are many paths a child can take, right or wrong will remain unknown
But rest assured that in the end, they all lead back to home.
~Author Unknown