Thursday, January 29, 2015

Theology Thursdays FOR KIDS!!!

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Welcome back to week eighteen of, "Theology Thursdays FOR KIDS!!"  Don't forget at the end of the post you are invited to Link-Up!  If you missed the introduction post please click HERE! This will give you all the information about this series!

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I have been blessed by our study using the book, "Big Truths for Young Hearts" and I hope you have been too!  Before I move on to the next chapter I wanted to share a book I have been reading though and have been absolutely blown away by!  The book is titled, "Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ" by John Piper.  You can download a FREE PDF copy Here!  The book is divided into short chapters (4-6 pages) followed by a closing prayer.  You could use this as a morning/evening devotion and easily work through the book in just 13 days!

I am convicted that in order to teach our children Christ we must know Him well.  This book will help you in that endeavor.  Today I have attached chapter 5, "The Winds and The Waves Still Know His Voice" in an effort to extend our thinking from the last blog post, "God Controls All Bad Things in the World."  Read and be blessed!

Chapter 5
The Waves and the Winds Still Know His Voice
(Taken from the book "Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ" by John Piper)


In July 1995, my wife, Noël, two of our children, and I
huddled on the floor, away from all windows, under the
direct path of Hurricane Erin in Pensacola, Florida. One
magnificent old pine tree sheared off the corner of our bed-
room as it fell. During the eye of the storm we walked out-
side in a perfect calm to see the devastation. Then, about
twenty minutes later, we hid again against the backside of
the storm as it brought down chimneys and crushed cars
under snapped-off oak limbs as thick as hundred-year-old
trees.

It was a heart-wrenching, worship-filled moment in the
face of raw, unstoppable power. The losses were painful,
though nothing like the destruction of Hurricane Mitch in
Honduras in 1998, which took 10,000 lives—and which in
turn was small compared to the cyclone that killed 131,000
in Bangladesh on April 30, 1991, and left nine million
homeless. Beneath the wreckage of such wind you have two
choices: worship or curse.

It was wind that killed Job’s ten children. “A great wind
came across the wilderness and struck the four corners of
the house, and it fell upon the young people, and they are
dead” (Job 1:19). When boils were added to that, Job’s wife
said, “Curse God and die” (Job 2:9). But Job’s response to
the death of his children was different: “Job arose and tore
his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and
worshiped. And he said . . . ‘The LORD gave, and the LORD
has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD’” (Job
1:20-21). And when the boils were added to his grief, he
said to his wife: “Shall we indeed receive good from God
and not receive adversity?” (Job 2:10, author’s translation).

Both, not just the one, are the work of God and the
ground of worship. Later in Job, Elihu says it clearly:
“From its chamber comes the whirlwind . . . the clouds scatter
[God’s] lightning. They turn around and around by his guid-
ance, to accomplish all that he commands them on the face
of the habitable world. Whether for correction . . . or for
love, he causes it to happen . . . stop and consider the won-
drous works of God” (Job 37:9-14).

Psalm 29 considers and celebrates this one wonder: the
thunderstorm. “The God of glory thunders . . . the voice of
the LORD is full of majesty. The voice of the LORD breaks
the cedars.... The voice of the LORD. . . strips the forests
bare, and in his temple all cry, ‘Glory!’” (Psalm 29:3-5, 9).

It is the glory of God to bare his mighty arm in wind and
thunder. “The LORD is great.... Whatever the Lord pleases,
he does, in heaven and on earth. . . . [He] makes lightnings
for the rain and brings forth the wind from his storehouses”
(Psalm 135:5-7). “Praise the LORD from the earth, you
great sea creatures and all deeps, fire and hail, snow and
mist, stormy wind fulfilling his word” (Psalm 148:7-8).
Isaac Watts had his feet on the earth and his head in heaven
when he wrote, “Clouds arise, and tempests blow, by order
from Thy throne.”

Therefore it is not surprising that when Christ came into
the world, all nature bowed to his authority. He com-
manded the wind and it obeyed. And when the disciples saw
it they wondered. And then worshiped. “And a great wind-
storm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat. . . .
And [Jesus] awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the
sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was a
great calm. . . . [The disciples] were filled with great fear and
said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even wind and
sea obey him?’” (Mark 4:37-41).

Water obeyed Jesus in more ways than one. When he
commanded, it became “solid” under his feet, and he
walked on it. When the disciples saw this they “wor-
shiped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God’”
(Matthew 14:33). Another time, he commanded water,
and it became wine at the wedding of Cana. In response,
John says, he “manifested his glory. And his disciples
believed in him” (John 2:11). Wind and water do what-
ever the Lord Jesus tells them to do. Be still. Bear weight.
Become wine. Natural laws were made by Christ and
alter at his bidding.

The composition of all things was not only created by
Christ (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2), but is also
held in being moment by moment throughout the whole
universe by his will. “He . . . upholds the universe by the
word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3). “In him all things hold
together” (Colossians 1:17). Jesus Christ defines reality in
the beginning and gives it form every second.

Fatalities, fevers, fish, food, fig trees. Anywhere you
turn, Christ is the absolute master over all material sub-
stance. With a word he commands the dead to live again.
“Lazarus, come out” (John 11:43). “Young man, I say to
you, arise” (Luke 7:14). “‘Talitha cumi,’ which means,
‘Little girl . . . arise’” (Mark 5:41). He rebuked a fever and
it left Peter’s mother-in-law (Luke 4:39). He planned for a
fish to swallow a coin and then get caught with Peter’s hook
(Matthew 17:27). He took five loaves and fed five thousand
men (Matthew 14:19-21). And he made a fig tree wither
with his curse (Mark 11:21).

Now we have a choice. Worship or curse. There was a
group at Lazarus’ grave whose facts were right and hearts
were wrong. They said, “Could not he who opened the eyes
of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?” (John
11:37). The answer to that question is, Yes. Jesus timed his
coming to Lazarus’ home so as to let his friend die. He waited
two days, then said, “Lazarus has died, and for your sake I
am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe” (John
11:14-15). Yes, he could have saved him. Just as he could
have saved Job’s children, and ten thousand more in
Honduras and Guatemala by commanding Hurricane Mitch
to turn out to sea, the way he did in Galilee.
Will we worship or will we curse the One who rules the
world? Shall sinners dictate who should live and who should
die? Or shall we say with Hannah, “The LORD
kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol [the grave] and raises
up” (1 Samuel 2:6)? And shall we, with ashes on our heads,
worship with Job, “Blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job
1:21)? Will we learn from James that there is good purpose
in it all: “You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and
you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is com-
passionate and merciful” (James 5:11)? Should we not then
face the wind and stand on the waves of affliction and sing
with Katharina von Schlegel,

Be still, my soul! Your God will undertake
To guide the future as He has the past;
Your hope, your confidence let nothing shake;

All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul! The waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.


A PRAYER
O Lord, the suffering in the world is so widespread and
the pain is so great! Have mercy, and waken the souls
of suffering millions to the hope of some relief now and
unsurpassed joy in the age to come. Send your church,
O God, with relief and with the word of the Gospel
that there is forgiveness of sins through faith in Christ
and that no suffering here is worth comparing to the
glory that will be revealed to the children of God.
Protect your church, Father, from callous thoughts
about calamities that leave millions destitute, and pro-
tect her also from cowing to critics, like Job’s wife, who
cannot trust the wisdom and power and goodness of
Christ in the midst of inexplicable misery. Oh, help our
unbelief. Incline our hearts to your Word and to its
assurances that you “work all things according to the
counsel of your will” and that “no purpose of yours
can be thwarted” and that you are doing good and act-
ing wisely in ways that we cannot now even dream.
Keep us in peace, O Lord, and forbid that we murmur
and complain. Grant us humble and submissive hearts
under your mighty hand. Teach us to wait and watch
for your final and holy purposes in all things. Grant
that we would “rejoice in hope” even when present cir-
cumstances bring us to tears. Open the eyes of our
hearts to see the greatness of our inheritance in Christ,
and send us with tender hands to touch with mercy the
miseries of the world. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.



AND NOW...
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