Posts Tagged ‘rainbows’

“Behold He cometh with Clouds” (Revelation 1v7)

May 20, 2015

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As I look out on lashing rain, view a grey sky and listen to the news, I think “Just as in the days of Noah…” The only difference is the fact that the Lord will never flood the world again! God’s Word and the fresh new rainbow emerging on the horizon confirm that for me. “I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.” (Genesis 9v13-15)

Jesus said: “But as the days of No-e were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”(Matthew 24v37) Everyone perished but Noah and his family, even though the people were warned. Today there is warning too: “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.” (Matthew 24v42)

Many words of warning are spoken in chapters 24 and 25 of Matthew – and I believe that these apply to Christians as well. After all, Jesus was talking to His disciples in response to their question: “Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” Matthew 24v3)

Of the servant who is prepared for the Lord’s coming, Jesus says: “Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord when he cometh shall find so doing.” (Matthew 24v46)

Of the servant who is not prepared, Jesus says: “The Lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of. And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (v50&51)

Signs of the imminent coming of the Lord Jesus Christ abound today, while evil laws are being passed by governments and acts of horrific violence and all types of sin are being perpetrated throughout this world. How apt are the words of Romans 1v24- 32!

With this in mind, there is warning again for Christians in 2Peter 3v10&11: “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness.”

It is time for the backslider and for the one who has never trusted the Lord to get right with Him; the world is now every bit as evil (if not more so) than it was in the days of Noah. But it is also time for professing Christians to take a deep look into their own hearts. This is a time to take a stand on the controversial issues of our day and to “dare to be a Daniel.” It is also a time to love even those who despitefully use us and it is a time to be Christlike in His strength.

It is a time to pray and to reach out to others with His love for “the night cometh when no man can work.” (John 9v4)

I look out again. The sky is threatening and black and I hear a peal of thunder, as our poor cat runs to hide under a chair. Hailstones lash against the window but soon the sun is out again. There is mercy with the Lord…

In this the Day of Grace He still calls to all who will hear: “Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22v17) This is His last exhortation “to come” in the Bible. And this could be our last day…

Jesus said: “Surely I come quickly.” (Revelation 22v20)

“Behold I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” (Revelation 3v20&21)

It is in His strength that we overcome… “Now unto him who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” (Jude 24&25)   May His Words speak to all who read.

Another Hot Day in Kos… Another Rainy Day in Ireland!

August 5, 2012

Often when we were out and about in the afternoon in Kos, these words from an old song would come to me… “Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.” Even the cats and dogs, it appeared, would sleep between the hours of two and six o’clock which is the usual Greek siesta time and perhaps we should have followed their example. It is difficult to acclimatize yourself to the fierce heat of the sun here in this little island so close to Turkey, especially when your native county happens to be Ireland. And it is even more difficult to adjust to cold grey skies and lashing rain when you return!

In Ireland the volatile nature of our weather is an ever-popular conversation piece throughout the island. It is also a safe subject matter to dwell on – unlike politics, or religion. Strangers from the north of the island who are holidaying in Kerry will freely discuss the weather situation with the natives. It is something that affects all of us, sometimes very deeply, when we depend on benign conditions to grow fruit, and other crops that are grown so effortlessly in other parts of Europe.

The same Lord who said “I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.” (Genesis 9v13), is He who is sovereign over earthquakes throughout the world, tornadoes in the Americas, melting glaciers in the Alps … and wintry days in an Irish summer.  He has lessons to teach the human race – both collectively and individually. I have no right to feel angry about a “grey day” for “he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust.” (Matthew5v45) So many are suffering in our world today, which is something I know nothing about! Certainly we can, (and must) pray about weather conditions when lives are in danger, or when the livelihood of farmers is being affected. Let us never forget … “Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.” (James 5v17&18).

With all the great advances in technology in recent years, people have found no way to drag clouds away from a blue sky, or create rain in the parched lands of the earth … but “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5v16). This is as true today, as it was in the days of Elijah!

I read media reports on global warming, and yet God’s word tells me:  “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”  (Gen. 8v22). And yet someday the earth will be subject to the ultimate trauma, for we read … “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” (2Pet. 3v10).

Are you ready for this day? Remember that while we live in this, the ‘day of grace,’ His invitation stands in rain, hail, sun or snowstorm!  To the Christian He says: “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness.” (2Pet.3v11) “Nevertheless, we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” (2Pet. 3v13). With these crucial exhortations and wonderful promises, let us in the words of Peter … “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever.  Amen.”   (2Pet.3v18).

Today I Saw a Rainbow!

February 7, 2011

After weeks of weary wintry days, I looked up to see the beauty of soft light filtering through the clouds and then I looked down to see these words on an old calendar… “Great is thy faithfulness!” I subsequently remembered the words of Lamentations 3v22-24… “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.”

Recent days have been dark and depressing for many reasons but I have felt the Lord’s presence with me in some of those darkest hours. This afternoon I also saw a rainbow, its colours strong and vibrant after the rain shower. The birds are singing, buds bursting out of the soil and “I hope in him!” Yet my hope must be in Him whatever the prevailing circumstances. Even if thick black clouds of misfortune drift my way, to whom can I turn but my Lord and my Saviour? “In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.” (Psalm 62v7)

Strangely, it is as if nature itself has mirrored my life over the past weeks and now with the promise of spring, I see a fresh ray of hope in the improvement of a loved-one’s health – like that rainbow emerging from a brighter sky. I am also reminded of a verse from Thomas Chisholm’s lovely hymn “Great is thy faithfulness…”

“Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,

Sun, moon and stars in their courses above

Join with all nature in manifold witness

To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.”

Yet, whatever bleak outlook awaits those who are walking with the Lord in this life, he or she is in a “win win” situation because the future promises joy beyond death itself…

“Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth

Thine own dear Presence to cheer and to guide;

Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,

Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!”

With Job I can say: “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:” (Job 19v25&26) May the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ be praised!

Link to this hymn: http://www.hymntime.com/tch/htm/g/r/e/greatitf.htm

Springtime in Ireland – and a Prayer for Revival

April 8, 2010

“For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;” (Song of Solomon 2v11&12)

Today I was reminded of these words as I made a fascinating little journey through parts of rural Louth, Monaghan and Fermanagh. The warm rays of the sun were so welcome after the floods, snow and winter gales which have battered us until very recently. However, unlike the climate in Solomon’s part of the world, rain is usually somewhere on the horizon in Ireland, which is why rainbows are a common sight here!

After receiving a request from the proprietors of bookshops in Co. Fermanagh for more books, I took the opportunity to call en route at An Eaglais, once an old Presbyterian Church, but now home to a tourist amenity and heritage centre. It lies halfway between Castleblayney and Carrickmacross on the N2 Dublin to Derry/Londonderry Road, has a little café and sells arts, crafts and books – including my first book: “A Biblical Journey through the Irish Year.” After lunch here, we were off on the road again, driving towards the Fermanagh/Cavan area where the I.E.B. bookshops in Enniskillen and Cavan (see website below) and Val Irvine’s Christian Bookshop in Lisnaskea kindly facilitate my books.

Today as we travelled home, we noted many derelict houses, swans sailing on sparkling lakes – and quaint remains of historical interest. It was one of the latter which led us off the ‘beaten track’ on this lovely day to take photographs. Someone stopped to ask us ‘what were we doing?’ To cut a long story (very) short, I had the opportunity to speak to this person on spiritual matters, although I felt that I could have said much more. Yet our detour, I believe, was no accident and as we drove today through tiny hamlets, past lonely farms and thatched cottages, I longed to see (spiritually speaking) the winter past and a new awakening in my native land: both north and south of the Irish border and in every green field and city street. Oh, that in the words of Solomon, many could say: “I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me.” (Song of Solomon 7v10)

Ireland today is spiritually parched. April showers may gently fall upon an emerald green landscape, creating in their aftermath purity and freshness in the air and the beauty of the rainbow. Yet, spiritually speaking the atmosphere is dry and rancid. Lord, “wilt thou not revive us again; that thy people may rejoice in thee?” (Psalm 85v6)  How I love the old revival hymns, such as Fanny Crosby’s “Showers of Blessing” and “For a Worldwide Revival” by Leila N. Morris. When I recall the old revivals that flooded these islands and other nations in the past, today I pray for revival – and I pray that it will start within my own heart.

Below are links to the two hymns mentioned:

http://www.hymntime.com/tch/htm/s/b/l/sblessin.htm

http://www.hymntime.com/tch/htm/f/o/r/forworld.htm

http://www.irishevangelisticband.org/bookshops.php