Jump Start # 2268
Matthew 16:3 “And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times?”
As I write this, Saturday morning, we are under a Winter Storm Warning where I live. Heavy snow is expected. By the time you read this, Wednesday, the storm will have passed. There is a mad dash on the grocery stores for bread and milk. We have plans for this evening. Not sure what will happen. Already the two preachers have been discussing tomorrow. What happens if services are cancelled? What if the AM is cancelled but not the PM? Adjustments will have to be made.
In our verse today, Jesus used the weather as an indication of coming storms. The multitudes could tell the weather by the color of the sky. They didn’t have the Weather Channel app that gave immediate warnings nor local forecasters who showed what the temperature was in Canada and would be here in a few days. All they could do was look at the color of the sky. That was enough. That’s all they needed to determine if it was going to be sunny, rainy or stormy. They could look around and see that, but they couldn’t see the dangers of their times.
Some thoughts about warnings:
First, our lives are filled with warnings. Nearly every product you purchase has all kinds of warning labels on them. I suppose someone misused the product and to keep from lawsuits the companies have to fill pages and pages of warnings and place labels and stickers everywhere. The Bible has many warnings as well. Beware, be careful, watch, be alert are common warnings in the Bible. From youthful lusts, to angry people, to the influence of the wrong people, to strong drink, to our anger, the lists of Biblical warnings are many. It would make a great study someday just to look at the warnings of Jesus or the warnings found in Proverbs.
Second, the warnings are placed there to keep us safe. Some seem common sense, but these days, sense isn’t very common. On a chain saw you’ll find a warning not to grab the chain while it is running. On a hair dryer you’ll find a warning not to use in a shower. Biblically, the warnings are to keep us safe. We tend to think that we can be ok ignoring them, but when we do, we put ourselves in dangerous places. The safest place and the most sure way of pleasing God is to do what He says. We push things when we try to go beyond the boundaries and fly solo. We step across God’s lines and then we find ourselves in trouble and in a mess. Warnings are there for a reason.
Third, there are always those who will ignore warnings. When the word is put out to stay home, that’s all it takes for some to go out. Rather than stay home and be safe, some will go to the mall. Some will go out to eat. The roads may be dangerous, slick and hard to travel, but that won’t stop some. The same happens Biblically. There are those who flirt with other married people. There are those who question where the lines are to be drawn on modesty, social drinking, and other moral situations. There are those who don’t want to stay home and be safe. They think nothing will happen to them. But it usually does. That little flirting turns into a sexual affair. That playing around with drinking turns into drunkenness. Influence shot. Jesus forgotten about. The world pours back into the heart and a person must make up their mind, more of Jesus or more of the world. Too often, it’s more of the world because the warnings have never been taken seriously.
Fourth, unlike weather warnings, Biblical warnings do not change nor do they end. Our Winter Storm Warning is for tonight and tomorrow. By Monday, all should be fine. The storms pass quickly. Biblical warnings last a life time. We need to know them, pay attention to them, abide by them and then tell others about them.
Finally, more folks get excited about weather warnings than they do Biblical warnings. I’ve often thought that the TV weather forecasters and the grocery stories were in some secret deals together. The TV forecasters have a way of getting everyone hyped up and excited. Often the storms fizzle and do not amount to much. But by then, the stores have cleaned out of food and winter supplies.
The Bible tells us that Jesus is coming. Things will change instantly. The world will end. The dead will be resurrected. We will be cast into eternity, either Heaven or Hell. But people don’t want to hear talk about that. They’ll spend the day talking about the weather, but no one sees that Jesus is coming. Our choices, our lives reflect whether or not we believe that.
Jesus is coming soon, morning, noon or night—is the way one of our hymns expresses it. Are you ready for that? What needs to be done before He comes? Don’t wait too late!
Warnings—best pay attention to them, otherwise you’ll be caught in a nasty storm and you may not make it home safely.