Read Psalm 19:1-3; Matthew 11:28-30; Luke 12:15-21
Prior to getting up, I generally listen to the news headlines. Yes, this is my way of throwing caution to the wind, hearing what has gone on in the world even before downing my first cup of coffee. This morning was no exception. I heard about NASA's launch of a spacecraft to Mars. This one will be stationary, exploring downward rather than roving around. It is due to land on the planet on November 26. Truthfully, I yawned when I heard about its upcoming journey. Not a good reaction to have since this is another step to learn about, as of yet undiscovered things about faraway places. Then there was another scandal involving Olympic coaches. The details sounded sadly similar to others I have heard. In this case, those accused of the malevolent actions don't deny their guilt. I was sad but not shocked or even surprised. The last story I heard concerned the active volcano in Hawaii and the earthquakes that have also occurred there. They have experienced devastation, but so far, thankfully everyone is safe.
Three stories. Each one has involved precious people I'll never meet. I have read good devotions concerning using the news stories as a means to pray. Calling out to the Lord for those who have been or may be in peril. I like that, but may I suggest a bit of a different twist? What about using these three stories as a means of reminding ourselves of truths about the wondrous God we love and serve.
1. Mars Launch I looked a bit into this story as I was preparing to write. No surprise, anyone who desires to do so may track the spacecraft. How amazing the technology is that will allow us to follow this mission as it is occurring.
Concerning God: The planet NASA is seeking to explore was created with a word, out of nothing by our wonderful Creator/Redeemer, John 1:3; Hebrews 11:3. Mars is in its place in God's universe because of His wisdom, and it will be right where it is supposed to be on November 26 when the spacecraft lands, because the laws that govern everything have been put in place by the Lord who is all wise, Romans 11:33-36. Truly, I can be reminded that the heavens declare God's glory and are the display of His handiwork, Psalm 19:1-3. The Savior is the One Who superintends over creation, assuring us that all will stay in place until He makes everything new, Colossians 1:15-17; 2 Peter 3:10-13. Every time man discovers something new to us, we are reminded that we are known and loved by the Awesome One Who made it all, Psalm 8:3-4.
2. Violation of Trust How sad to hear about another person in a position of trust who used that power to abuse others. How terrible it is to hear about more vulnerable people who have been violated.
Concerning God: He is the One Who holds out the offer that we come to Him, knowing that He is humble and gentle, desiring to give us rest, Matthew 11:28-30. He Who has all power is a Refuge, a place of help and safety to those Who run to Him. Because this is true of Him, He requires that our lives resemble His. We are to have brotherly love toward one another, Romans 12:10. He also commands men to treat women with respect as sisters, 2 Timothy 5:2. Paul exhorts Timothy to be an example of many virtues, including purity, 1 Timothy 4:12. In addition, we are all commanded to stay away from any appearance of evil, 1 Thessalonians 5:22. Living in a pure and harmless way mirrors the God Whom we represent., and we show those who don't yet know Him, what He is like. Rather than use His power to crush us, when He came the first time, Jesus came as Servant, Mark 10:45; Philippians 2:5-8.
3. The Volcano's Eruption One reason that loss of life has been averted, at least so far, is due to the fact that the people have listened to the warnings they have received. They have paid attention and evacuated at the proper time.
Concerning God: One precious quality of the God we love is that He has given warnings both to His children and those who don't yet belong to His family. Because the Lord loves us, He told us to watch out for false teachers and prophets who appear harmless but will bring great harm to those who are deceived by them, Matthew 7:15. Jesus told us to beware of them. In addition to this, Jesus also warned us to watch our motives as we pray, give or fast. If we serve to be seen, we will lose the joy of His honoring us for those acts at the judgment seat for believers, 2 Corinthians 5:9-10. There is, in addition to these, a warning that Jesus spoke that is more vital than any other. In Luke 12:15-21, Jesus held out the truth about the evil of greed. A man might prosper now but he could be lost eternally if he wasn't rich toward God. Jesus warned in another place that it would be worthless for a man to have the world's greatest riches but lose his soul, Matthew 16:26. Ignoring this warning by putting off receiving Jesus' offer of relationship with Him would be more costly than staying in the path of an erupting volcano. If it is vital to heed the order to evacuate, how much more urgent it is to not spurn the loving warning that comes from Jesus Who knows the reality of hell, Revelation 20:11-15. This warning expires when anyone takes his last breath; so, now is the time to run to the Savior Whose desire it is that all men be saved, 1 Timothy 2:3-5.
Lord, Thank You for all that You have revealed about Yourself in the scriptures.