Meridian Star

March 22, 2014

From the Shepherd's Heart

By Dr. John A. Temple
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN — “For as the lightning that flashes out of one part under heaven shines to the other part under heaven, so also the Son of Man will be in His day.” — Luke 17:24

Everyone has weird habits. I have several. One habit I especially enjoy is opening the blinds on a storming night and watching the lightning flash and the thunder roar in storms. It is exciting to realize the power that is expressed in every bolt of lightning.

    Never predicted, the lightning appears in unusual places and dances across the sky so that all may see. From a plane flying over the storm at night, it is even more spectacular. From above, one can see just how much of the sky is illuminated by the lightning in the storm.

    Many are afraid of thunder and lightning. My rat terrier could guard our home from every stranger. But, at the first clap of thunder, she wants to come inside and hide in the wash room. Many a child wants to be held by mom when the flashes light up the sky. Some will duck their heads when the thunder comes. What they don’t realize is that it’s over before you hear it.

    Scripture tells us that Jesus will return one day. When that occurs, His return will be as flashes of lightning in the heavens. His return will be for all to see. There will be no mistake about what is happening. In the instant that lightning appears in the sky, so will be the Savior as He comes again.

    For those who love the Lord and have lived for Him, this time will be a wonderful time of celebration. The time of toil and trouble experienced on earth will cease. The reward of faithful service will be realized. Not even a cup of cool water given in His name will go unrewarded. In that instant that Jesus appears, His power will be revealed to overcome all the evil and trouble in our world.

    For those who ignore the Lord and have lived for themselves, this time will be surprising and frightening. Scripture indicates they will wish to hide, but no place from His presence will be found.

    Like many who fear how lightning can destroy, they will fear what the Savior brings for them. That day for many will be the most frightening day of their lives.

    But, the scriptures encourage us to “Watch and pray.” We are to live by faith in confidence that when Jesus comes, it will be a display worth seeing.

    If you are living by faith in the grace of the Lord, you can keep your blinds open. You know you are safe. You know God will not harm you in His coming. Sure, His power will remind us of the thunder and lightning.  But this show of power is not the end; it is the beginning.

    All that we are hoping to experience in eternity is packaged in that day when Jesus comes again!

    Keep looking up!

Dr. John A. Temple is pastor of Poplar Springs Drive Baptist Church, located at 4032 Poplar Springs Drive in Meridian. Visit the church website online at www.