Thursday, August 3, 2017

the hound of heaven

The Word for today:
Amos 8:4-9:15
I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter
Up vistaed hopes I sped...
--excerpted from "The Hound of Heaven" by Francis Thompson (1859-1907)
Throughout scripture, God makes this promise to both believer and unbeliever:
"No matter where you go I will find you…"
What do those words mean to you?
To those who are children of God through faith in Jesus Christ, they mean that you will never be lost again:
Where can I go from your Spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, you are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, you are there.
If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there your hand shall lead me, And your right hand shall hold me.  (Psalms 139:7-10)
But if you have not turned to the cross of Jesus Christ for forgiveness of your sins, those words mean something very different. They mean that there is no place for you to hide from the consequences of sin:
Though they dig into hell, from there my hand shall take them; Though they climb up to heaven, from there I will bring them down;
And though they hide themselves on top of Carmel, from there I will search and take them;
though they hide from my sight at the bottom of the sea, from there I will command the serpent, and it shall bite them;
Though they go into captivity before their enemies, from there I will command the sword, and it shall slay them. I will set My eyes on them for harm and not for good.  (Amos 9:2-4)
Our relationship with Jesus Christ makes all the difference in the world--now and in the hereafter. A relationship with him redefines our eternity, and it also redefines the words we encounter on any given day.
"No matter where you go I will find you…"
The omnipresence of God is comfort to the child of God, but terror to the wicked:
Our lives are a fragrance presented by Christ to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those being saved and by those perishing.
To those who are perishing we are a fearful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved we are a life-giving perfume.  (2 Corinthians 2:15-16)
"No matter where you go I will find you…"
If those words sound ominous to you, then you can perform a miracle that is even more remarkable than turning water into wine.  You can change their meaning by turning, in faith, to the cross of Jesus Christ.
You will find forgiveness there. Everything will become new. You will never be the same again. Even words will be turned upside down and inside out. Listen to how they sound now, with your brand new ears:
"No matter where you go I will find you…"
The words are the same. Only the ears are new.

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