Sunday, November 4, 2012

~ "Rise up..."

The Great Auditorium in
in Ocean Grove, NJ
Rise Up...

And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall rebuild the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink their wine; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. (Amos 9:14 - NKJV)

"Barnes' Notes on the Bible" states that "an earthly restoration to Canaan had no value, except as introductory to the spiritual."  This morning I am not going to go into the specifics of this verse in context or in commentary...this morning this post goes out to those so badly devastated by Hurricane Sandy.

If you are a faithful reader, you know the four words I'm going to write next; if you are new to my posts - they are words you will see quite often here...GOD HAS A PLAN!  This is where your faith comes in - today!  So many voices crying out to God asking "why" many voices who cried out to Him during the hurricane last Monday many voices are praising Him today?  

Yes, you have worked hard for everything you have.  You have spent years modifying and adding on to your homes, you've bought bigger and better cars, you've bought toys to entertain yourselves with.  You own the most advanced audio/video gear available.  You have collections valued at high prices.  You have antiques and irreplaceable items.  Take a deep breath and try to realize that none of this will matter when you are six feet under, or in that concrete condominium, or the fancy box on someone's mantle.  What will matter then is the time and energy you have spent on your soul.  Have you spent years reading God's word and doing your very best to follow His guidelines?  Have you helped those around you who truly needed but did not receive help from anyone?  Have you entertained yourself with what is good and what is pleasing to the Father?  Do you have a collection of crowns ready to lay at His feet when you meet Him?  Have you taken the time to get to know your Savior, the only one who can attest to your salvation?

I don't know why God chose the Jersey Shore and the other areas so destroyed and battered by Hurricane Sandy.  I do know that if was trying to get your attention - He succeeded.  Now, turn the hurt and the anger at the storm into praise!  Obviously, if you are reading this, you survived!  Look around you at your family, your friends and your neighbors who also survived!  There's your first opportunity to praise and thank Him.  Yes, you will rebuild - but will you also rebuild what is on the INSIDE.  Make it a stronger foundation, not weaker.  Build it bigger and better and come back stronger than it ever was.  No, I am not just talking about your homes...I'm talking about YOU!  Spend time in communication with God, through Jesus!  Read the words written so long ago in far away lands to a chosen people - YOU have the opportunity to be one of His chosen - He's calling out to you this very minute...answer Him!  

A friend of mine who lives in Ocean Grove, NJ (known also as God's square mile) stated that "Sandy" brought that community to it's knees -- well, that's exactly where God wants you...on your knees!  Praise Him and thank Him and know that He has a plan for you.  Rise up from the ruins and rebuild - rebuild from the inside out.  Start with your soul and go from there!  Our time here is short and all of this WILL vanish one day.  As we close in on the season of Thanksgiving - start giving thanks!  Whether you realize it or not, you have much to be thankful for!  The hurricane changed the contour of the land, will it change the contour of your soul as well???