Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Color of God's Powerful Love

Red-orange flames shoot from an object on the television screen. Our American flag is being burned by militants in Egypt as I watch from my living room. The color brilliantly glows over a scene filled with violence. Dissension and discord reigns where hatred abounds and I am heartsick at the sight of such loathing within the hearts of God’s creation. 

Reddish-orange tinted clouds dot a clear blue sky as
the sun sets in the west. God’s painted canvas beautifully illustrates His majesty and my praises sing out as I gaze upward from inside my car. A peace that passes all understanding fills my heart and I am gladdened at the work of my artistic Creator God who shines His love upon the earth. 

These are scenes that I witnessed this week; similar colors, yet dramatically different. The world is in an uproar, our country is in a mess, and it’s easy to become fearful and discouraged. 

Nearly every morning I arise very early for quiet time with the Lord. After my quiet time I exercise on the floor with small weights to keep my back muscles strong. As I work out, I watch a TV channel that plays Christian music while displaying photograghs of God’s awesome creation. Scripture passages appear in front of the scenery, proclaiming God’s word. Many times I hear with my heart a perfect word for the day. During this week of chaos, God spoke to me with His words from Psalm 113:3-4—From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised. The Lord is exalted over all the nations, his glory above the heavens. (NIV)

“Ah Lord God, You are awesome and worthy to be praised,” I hear myself declaring to Him. “You always know the right words that speak to me and lift my spirits,” I say, yet fear continued to creep alongside my praise. 

An hour later while driving to work, I gazed up at the sky and God displayed another canvas of beauty. As the sun rose, the colors of red, orange, and yellow extended across the horizon. (I love how God confirms His words with more of the same for those of us who are slow to believe.) “Thank you, Lord,” I proclaim, “help me put my trust in You!”

When I arrived back home that afternoon, I quickly opened my computer and looked up “rising of the sun” on bible gateway and up popped the following verses. Open the eyes of your heart and praise the God of creation. Put your complete trust in the God of all nations! Hear God’s wonderful confirming words about His Sovereignty over the chaos of the world. Let His Word speak for itself!

The Mighty One, God, the Lord,
    speaks and summons the earth
    from the rising of the sun to the place where it sets.
From Zion, perfect in beauty,
    God shines forth.
Our God comes and will not be silent;
    a fire devours before him,
    and around him a tempest rages.
He summons the heavens above,
    and the earth, that he may judge his people:
“Gather to me my consecrated ones,
    who made a covenant with me by sacrifice.”
And the heavens proclaim his righteousness,
    for God himself is judge.
Psalm 50:1-6 (NIV)

I am the Lord, and there is no other;
    apart from me there is no God.
I will strengthen you,
    though you have not acknowledged me,
so that from the rising of the sun
    to the place of its setting
men may know there is none besides me.
    I am the Lord, and there is no other.
Isaiah 45:5-6 (NIV)

Truth is nowhere to be found,
    and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey.
The Lord looked and was displeased
    that there was no justice.
He saw that there was no one,
    he was appalled that there was no one to intervene;
so his own arm worked salvation for him,
    and his own righteousness sustained him.
He put on righteousness as his breastplate,
    and the helmet of salvation on his head;
he put on the garments of vengeance
    and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak.
According to what they have done,
    so will he repay
wrath to his enemies
    and retribution to his foes;
    he will repay the islands their due.
From the west, men will fear the name of the Lord,
    and from the rising of the sun, they will revere his glory.

For he will come like a pent-up flood
    that the breath of the Lord drives along.
Isaiah 59:15-19 (NIV)

My name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to my name, because my name will be great among the nations,” says the LORD Almighty. Malachi 1:11 (NIV)

“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
    because he has come and has redeemed his people.
He has raised up a horn of salvation for us
    in the house of his servant David 
(as he said through his holy prophets of long ago),
salvation from our enemies
    and from the hand of all who hate us—
to show mercy to our fathers
    and to remember his holy covenant,
    the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to rescue us from the hand of our enemies,
    and to enable us to serve him without fear
    in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;
    for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
to give his people the knowledge of salvation
    through the forgiveness of their sins,
because of the tender mercy of our God,
    by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
to shine on those living in darkness
    and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.”
Luke 1:68-79 (NIV) This is Zechariah’s song after the birth of his son, John the Baptist.

Praise the Lord.
Praise, O servants of the Lord,
    praise the name of the Lord.
Let the name of the Lord be praised,
    both now and forevermore.
From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
    the name of the Lord is to be praised.
The Lord is exalted over all the nations,
    his glory above the heavens. 
Who is like the Lord our God,
    the One who sits enthroned on high,
who stoops down to look
    on the heavens and the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust
    and lifts the needy from the ash heap; 
he seats them with princes,
    with the princes of their people.
He settles the barren woman in her home
    as a happy mother of children.
Praise the Lord. Psalm 113 (NIV)

Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!” Luke 1:45 (NIV) This is Elizabeth’s word for Mary after finding out about the coming birth of the Messiah. May we truly believe in the power of God’s love just as Elizabeth and Mary did!
Just in case you’re having some doubts, let me share more testimony of our Sovereign Lord’s power over all the earth and His love that reigns down upon us. This morning at church I received validation about this particular blog post. God led me directly to Psalm 2 and wow did He ever speak to me. Listen to His words from Psalm 2:
Why are the nations in an uproar
The kings of the earth take their stand
And the rulers take counsel together
Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,
“Let us tear their fetters apart
And cast away their cords from us!”
He who sits in the heavens laughs,
The Lord scoffs at them.
Then He will speak to them in His anger
And terrify them in His fury, saying,
“But as for Me, I have installed My King
Upon Zion, My holy mountain.”
“I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord:
He said to Me, ‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance,
And the very ends of the earth as Your possession.
‘You shall break them with a rod of iron,
You shall shatter them like earthenware.’”
Now therefore, O kings, show discernment;
Take warning, O judges of the earth.
Worship the Lord with reverence
And rejoice with trembling.
Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way,
For His wrath may soon be kindled.
How blessed are all who take refuge in Him! (NASB)

Not only did God speak to me directly, but He also spoke to me through our pastor. He is teaching a series on prayer and trying to instruct us to become participants of God’s word by allowing His word to transform us. Become convince of the power of God’s love and know that nothing (absolutely nothing) can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ. The world may rage around us and against us, but God will always (absolutely always) love us. 

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written:
“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:31-39 (NKJV)
Thank You, Jesus!

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