Monday, 4 March 2019

Looking beyond the lovely sunsets ...



In Luke 12:54-56, Jesus speaks to people who were good at weather forecasting, but they weren't so good at understanding and living in the light of God's Word.
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Over the past few weeks, we have seen some lovely sunsets. They’ve  often brought to mind the well-known words: “A red sky at night is the shepherd’s delight. A red sky in the morning is the shepherd’s warning.” As I thought about the sun, my thoughts  turned to the Son. As I thought about the shepherds, my thoughts turned to the Shepherd.

We read, in Ecclesiastes 1:9, that there is nothing new under the sun. We ask, “Is there anything new?” Yes! There is. Beyond the sun, there is the Son - Jesus Christ the Son of God, Jesus Christ our Saviour. Jesus comes to us from above. He is “the Man from heaven” (1 Corinthians 15:47). He has come to earth for us: “God so loved the world that He gave His One and Only Son” (John 3:16). His love is brighter than the brightness of the sun.

We read the words of Ecclesiastes 1:5 - “The sun rises and the sun sets. Our thoughts turn to the Son who rises and never sets. We remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead” (2 Timothy 2:8), and we rejoice in this: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). Our world will come to an end, but this will not be the end of our Saviour - “the end will come, when He hands over the Kingdom to God the Father” (1 Corinthians 15:24), and it will not be the end for us: “everyone who believes in the Son has everlasting life” (John 3:16).

We hear about the shepherd’s delight and the shepherd’s warning, and our thoughts move beyond the human shepherds to the divine Shepherd: “The Lord is my Shepherd” (Psalm 23:1). The shepherd takes delight in the red sky at night, and the Lord takes delight in His Son, Jesus Christ: “This is My beloved Son. With Him, I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). He calls on us to listen to Jesus: “This is My beloved Son … Listen to Him” (Matthew 17:5).

When we listen to the Lord. We hear Him speaking to us. He speaks to us of His love. What love the Lord has for us! It’s the greatest love of all. It’s the best love. The Lord loves us. There’s no better love than this. No human love can even begin to compare with the love of the Lord. The Lord “loves us with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3). “His love never comes to an end” (Lamentations 3:22).  In every one of its twenty-six verses, Psalm 136 tells us that “His love is eternal.” How wonderful this is! - “His love is eternal.” Say it when you’re having a good day, say it when you’re having a bad day, say it every day - “His love is eternal.”

As well as the red sky at night and the shepherd’s delight, there is also the shepherd’s warning. The Shepherd of love speaks to us concerning His great salvation. He calls us to come to Him and receive His great salvation. He speaks to us His word of warning. It’s “the Shepherd’s warning”: “How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?” (Hebrews 2:3).

Jesus speaks to us the Good News of God’s love: “God so loved the world that He gave His One and Only Son … God sent His Son into the world so that the world might be saved through Him” (John 3:16-17). Jesus’ words of love are a call to faith. To “everyone who believes in Him”, He gives His wonderful promise of “eternal life” (John 3:16). We must not, however, forget His words of warning: “anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God” (John 3:18).

His words of warning come to us as part of the call of His love. In love, He’s calling us to come back to Him. He’s calling us to make a new beginning with Him - to join Him on a journey with a happy ending. It will not be an easy journey - especially when we watch many other people turning back from following Jesus. Even when few people are joining us on this great journey of faith, let us be assured of this: Jesus will be with us every step of the way. In life’s stormy weather (red sky in the morning) and its sunny weather (red sky at night), our Saviour will keep on loving us and guiding us towards our glorious and heavenly destination.

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