Pleasant Grove, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
I woke up this morning to a chilly, but beautiful, sunshine-filled morning. Praise God! After lots of rain, it was a welcome sight. The first headline that I saw online was that over 170 people in the south had been killed yesterday during a violent outbreak of storms and tornadoes (the count is currently at 200). Stunning. Sobering. Sad. Makes our complaints about the weather seem selfish and insignificant. It also reminds us that whether it's rain or sunshine or tornado, it comes to us from the hand of a sovereign God. What a comfort this is in time of calamity. Such times must not drive us away from God, but to him.
I could go on, but let me give you something far better. This interview by NPR with Pastor John Piper took place not long after the tsunami in Southeast Asia in 2005. It is, hands down, THE best thing I have ever heard in response to tragedy - large scale or personal. Whether you are mourning and repenting in the wake of what you've seen in the south or facing great personal struggle, let me encourage you to click on that link and give about 1/2 hour of your day to hear the scriptural perspective on disaster. I did and again found comfort in the truth of who God is and what he is doing in the world.
I spent last week in California (rough life, I know). I was there for the 2011 ARBCA General Assembly, where the theme for the week was the means of grace. The means of grace is the answer to the question, "How does God in heaven communicate his blessing and grace to his people on earth?" God has ordained particular ways to bring his grace to us and has promised to bless those ways (or means). One such means - the primary one - is the preaching of God's Word. God brings salvation to men and sanctifying grace to the saved via the faithful preaching of his Word.
So there I was, hoping to enjoy a week of blessing and refreshment and guess what. God, through the preaching of his Word (by Pastors David Johnston and Steve Woodman in particular), brought refreshing grace to me! These two men brought encouraging truth to ministers pointing us to the sovereignty of God and the person and work of Christ as our great hope in ministry. At a conference about how God channels grace to his people, I received grace through those very means. Imagine that...
What about you? Are you in need of God's grace? Get to church and hear the Word of God preached this Sunday; see what grace he has in store for you.
When I quote Scripture In this blog, unless otherwise indicated, the quotations are usually from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission.
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