October 4th 2018

Proverbs 27:1 “Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”

Can you imagine coming home to your little town of Granada on a dark and stormy eve, only to find you cannot get to your house because the streets are blocked by fallen trees? When you finally reach your house, you see the cement slab for your attached garage, but no garage or house attached to it and the whole structure gone along with your precious dog. There were no sirens, no warning except the weatherman saying there was a chance for severe weather including tornado activity. But how many times in the course of a Minnesota summer have we heard this without incident? We just go on about our daily lives, until the storm hits.

For some, the only warning was imploding glass chasing them to the safety of their basements. The north end of our town received severe damage from what was believed to be a class 1 tornado. Loretta and I were on vacation when the storm hit and we were getting text messages asking us if we were OK.  Our home and church were virtually untouched. Praise God, there were only minor injuries and nobody was killed.

Did your phone receive a Presidential warning test? Are you not glad to know if we have a national emergency you can be alerted to take safety measures for yourself and family in the unfortunate possibility of a nuclear or terror attack, or a major catastrophic storm or earthquake?

Did you know God gives us an emergency alert system which many people do not take seriously? God gave to all of us a conscience which nags at us about right and wrong. We intuitively know things are not right, that we are not all we could be or should be. Because this awareness makes us uneasy, we have all kinds of ways to try dampening the trouble in our souls. Some try to make the nagging go away with religion, or good works. Some try to drown it in pleasure, drugs, and alcohol. Some try to ignore the problem by saying it just doesn’t exist because there is no absolute right or wrong or even a God.

Did you know God’s Word, the Bible, is the early alert siren and its high-pitched scream is warning us to take shelter from the reality of the impending storm which we all have to face and none can escape. For me, the siren of God’s word pierced my heart with these words.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

My conscience had already told me what I was doing was wrong, but when I read it for myself in the Word of God, I was unable to excuse any longer or cover my sin.

Did you know God has no delight in our death and dying and has done a marvelous work on our behalf to provide a shelter and deliverance from death?

Ezekiel 33:10-11 10 “Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live? 11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?”

2 Peter 3:9 9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

John 3:16-21 16” For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be lreproved. 21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”

Jesus Christ is our storm shelter. He went into the very eye of the storm on Mount Calvary. The darkness of our sin whipped up the wrath of God against us. But God, in His mercy, became a man and the whirlwind of sin drove the nails into His hands and feet. The full fury of our sin was laid upon Jesus on the old rugged cross. The good Shepherd laid down His life for His sheep. He died according to the Scriptures, he was buried, and on the third day, according to the Scriptures, he arose to life – winning for us the forgiveness of sin, the defeat of Satan, and the sure hope of eternal life to all who believe.

The early alert sirens have sounded in our conscience and from the Word of God. It is not enough to simply hear them. Have you taken shelter in the loving arms of a Savior? The storm of death has no sting for the Christian for Jesus pulled it out.

1 Corinthians 15:54-57 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Hiding in Him,

Pastor John Schofield

 Psalm 32:7-11 Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; Thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah. I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: Whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, Lest they come near unto thee. 10 Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: But he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about. 11 Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous: And shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.