Just Some Rain Falling
From The Sky?
Rain is a major component of the water cycle and it is responsible for depositing most of the fresh water on the earth. We are all accustomed to looking at some cumulonimbus cloud or as we might call them “thunder clouds” and thinking, “The rain will soon come.” The average yearly rainfall for Butler and Crenshaw County, Alabama is from 52-56 inches. As we all know, much of our nation is experiencing very severe drought conditions. We have been blessed in that Wilcox, Butler and Crenshaw counties have only experienced moderate drought conditions this year. Who among us could ever forget the forty days and forty nights that in rained during the flood in Noah’s day? God said, “For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.” (Genesis 7:4) This was the first time rain had fallen upon the earth. At first the earth was like a beautiful greenhouse watered by God with a midst from the earth. In Genesis 2:4-6 we read, “These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.” “Rain” is found in 90 verses in our King James Bible. The past tense “Rained” is found in an addition 8 verses. One of the great Bible lessons that most of us learned in childhood has to do with rain. “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” (Matthew 7:24-29) Just some rain falling from the sky? No! Rain is a great blessing from our Mighty God.
Just some rain falling from the sky? No! Rain was used in the book of Job to help Job and us understand and accept the wisdom and power of our God. Job was a great man of God. He became discouraged while dealing with his friends and his troubles. He began to question God about why this was happening. God wanted Job to understand that He is the Mighty God of wisdom and power who does things right. God answered Job out of a whirlwind. He challenged Job to answer many questions. Job learned of his ignorance and weakness. He was also reminded of the power of God. God’s power is seen in the creation of the earth, in light, snow, hail, thunder, lightning, RAIN, dew, ice, and hoar-frost. God’s power and wisdom is seen especially in the thunder, lightning, and rain. God asked job, “Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder; To cause it to rain on the earth, where no man is; on the wilderness, wherein there is no man; To satisfy the desolate and waste ground; and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth? Hath the rain a father? or who hath begotten the drops of dew?” (Job 38:25-28) Rain helps us see the power of our God. When I think about God's ability I say, "WHAT A MIGHTY GOD WE SERVE." He is a God who is ABLE to help and to bless! “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” (Ephesians 3:20) Just some rain falling from the sky? No! Rain was used in the book of Job to help Job and us understand and accept the wisdom and power of our God.
Just some rain falling from the sky? No! Our mighty God can make it rain or He can make it not rain. The book of Amos is unusual. He gave prophecies of doom for Israel during a time when things were good. He came to Israel during a time of peace and prosperity. The fall of Israel, predicted by Amos, was God’s judgment on her because of her sins. A statement found several times in the book of Amos said, “yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.” No one has show more clearly than Amos the end result of failure to follow God’s commandments. Amos wanted it understood that God’s judgment would fall upon all the unrighteous. Amos was a vigorous spokesman for God's justice and righteousness. As it is with all nations that rise up against the kingdom of God, even Israel and Judah were not exempt from God’s judgment. God is Sovereign and His judgment comes in many ways. In the days of Amos His judgment came even with the rain. “And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered.” (Amos 4:7) Just some rain falling from the sky? No! Our mighty God can make it rain or He can make it not rain.
Just some rain falling from the sky? No! Receiving rain from heaven does not prove that you are serving God, but it does prove that you are loved. Sunshine and rain are great blessings from God. He used rain to illustrate that both the godly and the ungodly receive physically blessing from above. “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.” (Matthew 5:45) The rain comes to those who do not even acknowledge the existence of God. It waters the atheist’s fields and refreshes the pastures of the fool who says in his heart, “There is no God.” The worst of men partake of God physical blessings. However, only those in Christ enjoy spiritual blessing. (Ephesians 1:3) Only those who obey God will be accepted as the children of God. You must study, live like Jesus, and practice daily godliness to be prepared for eternity. “God’s care extends to believer and unbeliever alike. He is indiscriminate in His providential care over His creatures. Since God is good to the righteous and unrighteous alike, believers are to follow His pattern, no discrimination toward the objects of our love.” Just some rain falling from the sky? No! Receiving rain from heaven does not prove that you are serving God, but it does prove that you are loved.
Let us fear God and serve Him faithfully. To become a Christian you must hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus (John 8:24), repent of sins (Acts 17:30), Confess Christ as Lord (Romans 10:9-10), and be baptized to be saved. (1 Peter 3:21) God is real and it only makes sense to obey Him. “Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.” (Acts 14:17)
- - - - Charles Box
News & Notes
1. Prayer List: Emory Hospital, Atlanta: Tim Croley. In Need Of Prayer: Lorene Beverly, LeRoy Boutwell, Bryson Box, Brenda Burkett, Bonnie Croley, Debbie Cunningham, Hilton Gorum, Felice Kendrick, Patrica Kennemore, Peggy Lassitter, Alice Little, Carolena Long, Larry Lucas, Annie McKee, Jewel McNaughton, Charlotte Miller, Jeff Miller, Ray Moore, Jeff Mustin (father of Ashley Pierce), P.J. Norther, Jane Owen, Candice Parker, Emma Peterson, William Pierce, Tina Pouncey, Shane Prater, Jack Queener, Amber Raines, Dan Raybon, Peggy Rice, Brenda Richburg, Billy Rodger, Timothy Rowell, Rosie Rudolph, Jerry Sanders, Katie Sanders, Chuck Shepherd, Nathan Simmons, Rick Sirmon, Margaret Skipper, Debbie Stone, Mary Lou Terrell, Arlene Thomas, Frank Thomas, Corrine Till, Jenny Traywick (sister of Cheryl Pierce), Jimmy Walker, Gladys Warren, Jim Watts, John Watts, Mary Ann Wilkes and Jim Wood. Crowne Health Care: Helen Autrey, Dorothy Buck, Jewel Cauthen, Gladys Childs, Arlene Coltrane, Betty Findley, Kathy Johnson, Sarah Knight, Nelda Sanders, and Annie Ruth Tetter.
2. Sympathy Expressed: Our love and sympathy is expressed to Lou Acreman and her family in the death of her brother, Donnie Moore.
3. Anniversary: Celebrating an anniversary this week: August 24th Pat and Jane O’Connor.
4. Birthdays: Celebrating a birthday this week: August 22nd Kayla Houston and Charleston Wilson, August 23rd Justin Burnett and Joel Hunt, and August 24th Chase Black.
5. It’s A Girl: Congratulation to Missy and B.J. Alford on the birth of their daughter, Avery Grace. Avery was born August 13th. She weighed 5 pounds 11 ounces and is 18 inches long. Congratulation also to grandmother, Deborah Lewis.
6. Married: Kayla (Thomas) and Dustin Houston were recently marriage. Please pray for them that their life together can be an honor to God.
7. Ambridge University Spiritual Enrichment Forum: The Spiritual Enrichment Forum will be held downtown Montgomery at the Embassy Suites Hotel on October 1st-3rd. On Tuesday night October 2nd the Annual Appreciation Dinner will be held honoring Bobby and Mary Lou Terrell along with George and Nina Herring. Please attend if possible. See Bobby Terrell for more information.
8. Mission work in Guyana: Please pray for our mission work in Guyana, South America. That nation, like our nation needs our daily prayers.
9. Pray for our nation and her leaders. God said, “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34) PRAY “For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” (1 Timothy 2:2)
10. Bible Classes: If you are not attending Bible Classes Sunday at 9:30 am, and Wednesday at 7:00 pm, you are missing out on some great blessings. Thanks to all who teach these classes.
11. Back to school: Please say a special prayer for all of our Children who are headed back to school. Pray both for their safety and their success. Our children and so precious and we love them all.
12. Area Events: (a) August 19th – Homecoming – Strata Church of Christ – Speaker Jeff Grimes – Time Bible Class 10:00 am, Worship 11:00 am, Singing 1:30 pm and Worship 2:00 pm, (b) August 19th – 22nd – Gospel Meeting – Georgia Road Church of Christ – Speaker Mel Futrell – Time Weeknights 7:00 (see bulletin board for Lesson Topics), (c) September 15th – Youth Rally – Sylacauga Church of Christ – Speakers David Bass and Chad Dollahite – Time 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, (d) September 29th – Ladies Day – Luverne Church of Christ – Speaker Janice Claunch, (e) October 1st – 3rd – Spiritual Enrichment Forum – Hosted by Amridge University at the Embassy Suites downtown Montgomery, and (f) October 7th – 10th – Homecoming & Gospel Meeting -- Luverne Church of Christ – Speaker Lee Jamieson.
Be Careful, Little Mouth, What You Say
Tongues are funny looking little things. Children sometimes playfully stick theirs out at one another. As we see our tongues while looking in the mirror the words “fire,” “restless evil,” and “poison” probably don’t come to mind. Yet this seemingly harmless part of our body is one to be guarded cautiously. “The tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell…It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:6,8b).
Misusing our tongues can destroy things that we hold dear. “How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire” (James 3:5)! How many relationships have been annihilated by “little white lies” that escalated beyond their original intention? How many Christians have ruined their influences by uttering foul language? So many “forgettable” uses of our tongues can ignite infernos of despair in our lives.
Most importantly, our tongues can destroy our relationships with God. Sinful things that we say and do will separate us from God (Isaiah 59:1-2). But one thing that James points out in his epistle is that we cannot use our tongues to bless and curse if we want to please God. He explains it this way: “Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water” (James 3:11-12). Even if you pour gallons of fresh water into a salt pond, when you go to draw it out, it will taste salty. Likewise, blessing God out of the same mouth from which cursing flows is useless. Our words can separate us from God. “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned" (Matthew 12:37).
“Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs” (James 3:4). WE ARE THE PILOTS! Though taming our tongues is a daunting task, we must direct our efforts toward doing so. Our lives depend on it!
- - - - Darrell Powell
Don’t just own a Bible; read it!
Walnut Street Church of Christ
P.O. Box 551
Greenville, Alabama 36037-0551