Dress For Rain
By Jim Huskins
In spite of world-wide drought, Western North Carolina is embracing her children in greenery. Wildflowers delight the eye and the mind. Gardens approach full production. Blackberries ooze purple nectar. Clover bloom graces most roadways. The ancient sacrament of converting summer growth to winter feed reminds us that all flesh is grass. None of these miracles would be possible without the blessing of showers.
Rain is a gift. Paul and Barnabas once healed a man crippled from birth. Residents of Lystra attempted to worship these messengers of the Gospel. While explaining whom they should worship, Paul said, “(God) did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.” (Acts 14:17) Similar teaching is found in Isaiah 55:10-11, “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty,”
I cannot read what the Bible says about rain without wondering why we are not experiencing a nation-wide drought. The Bible links blessing to obedience. Part of the litany of curses which accrue to disobedience is found in Deuteronomy 28:23-24, “The heavens over your head shall be bronze, and the earth under you shall be iron. The LORD will make the rain of your land powder. From heaven dust shall come down on you until you are destroyed.” God says that He will reward disobedience with curses. By that standard, our once-great nation is rushing toward destruction.
Our President recently hosted a celebration of perversion. The Chief Executive addressed an assembly of men pretending to be women as “the bravest and most inspiring people I’ve ever known.” In one sentence, he lauded a range of sexual deviance which the Bible labels “abomination” and also insulted millions of soldiers, policemen, firefighters, and others who have demonstrated legitimate bravery throughout our nation’s history.
This national disgrace on the White House lawn was a celebration of “pride.” According to the Bible, pride foreshadows an inexorable antecedent. “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” The promise of Galatians 6:7 is that divine retribution is assured. All of us will be judged and repaid: good for good, and evil for evil. When faced with the evil which has commandeered our national agenda, believers may be tempted to despair. We cannot afford that luxury. Our marching orders are still clear, and our work is more important than ever.
Paul prophesied our modern culture of perversion: “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” This familiar instruction to Timothy has achieved surreal poignancy. Those who promote “pride” will not stop until every American is forced to endorse their depravity. We who recognize and revere the path of Christ-like humility have much to do.
Jesus instructed His followers to make disciples of all nations, to baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and to teach them to observe all of His commandments. The only means God’s children have to counter the devil’s onslaught is to faithfully and prayerfully fulfill the Great Commission.
The first component of our Commission is to make disciples of every nation. Many churches talk about “disciples” and “discipleship,” but few believers appear to understand the concept. A disciple is not someone who merely knows a great deal about the Bible. A disciple lives and acts and thinks like Jesus. Discipleship is built upon an intimate knowledge of God’s word. Jesus said that the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms are all about Him. (Luke 24:44) Everyone who ignores the first three quarters of the Bible chooses willful ignorance of our Lord and Savior. The only way to learn how to live and act and think like Jesus is to pick up the Bible and read it from the beginning. “Whoever says he abides in (Jesus) ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” (1 John 2:6)
The second part of our commission is to baptize disciples in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Jesus did not tell us to argue about baptism or its purpose. He did not tell us that we have the option of refusing to baptize or be baptized. He said that every believer must be immersed in water.
Finally, our Commission states that we must teach disciples to observe His every command. This instruction is related to the first. Hebrew thought employs repetition for emphasis. By telling us the same thing twice, Jesus is underscoring the importance of living as He lived. Those who insist that Jesus only gave two commandments—love God and love others—invariably define “love” as some vague, warm feeling. Godly “love” is an action verb. Details of “how” to love are found in the first five books of the Bible.
Hell is a gated community. (Matthew 16:18) If God’s people will devote themselves to knowing God’s Word and living like God’s Son, those gates shall not prevail against us. May Holy God grant us the courage and discipline to: “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against he schemes of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11) What a joy it will be to someday see the entire world clad in God’s full armor while raising worshipping hands and joyful faces toward never-ending showers of God’s blessing.
Jim & Beverly Huskins are members of Obedient Heart Fellowship in McDowell County. Beginning July 2, 2022 Obedient Heart Fellowship will meet at 10:00 Each Sabbath (Seventh Day) in space graciously shared by New Covenant Church in Christ. 2460 US 221 Business N. In Marion, NC. Call for info. 828-460-7913. You can read more good Christian news from Jim HERE.