As our vacation days wind down in Florida, Robbie and I are very grateful for the opportunity given to us by our Grace Church family to be away with our children and grandchildren. We have had a great time enjoying the mountains and the beach. Thank you for these days of rest and fun. We look forward to being back with you today and returning to our Walk Through the Bible sermon series.
Sunday I will be preaching from one of the most popular passages in the Old Testament, 2 Chronicles 7:14. This wonderful promise from God begins with a classic statement about the identity of the people who walk by faith. It says, “If my people, which are called by my name…” (verse 14a). This phrase not only tells us about “who” we are as the people of God, but also “whose” we are. We belong to God because we are set apart by his glorious name. We are chosen by and we are covered under the mighty name of Jehovah.
No wonder God pays such close attention to the way we live. He is jealous of our actions because the things we say and the way we act reflects on His holy name. That’s why it is so necessary for me to behave well and mind my manners. People can see Him in me not only through the name by which He identifies me, but through the way I live which identifies Him. That’s why the Bible says, “…but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY’” (I Peter 1:15,16).
“Once, as an experiment, the great scientist Isaac Newton stared at the image of the sun reflected in a mirror. The brightness burned into his retina, and he suffered temporary blindness. Even after he hid for three days behind closed shutters, still the bright spot would not fade from his vision. "I used all means to divert my imagination from the sun," he writes, "But if I thought upon him I presently saw his picture though I was in the dark." If he had stared a few minutes longer, Newton might have permanently lost all vision. The chemical receptors that govern eyesight cannot withstand the full force of unfiltered sunlight.” (Philip Yancey, Disappointment with God, pg. 47).
The light of God’s name should reflect in the way we live. If it does not, then we should spend more time gazing upon Him, for to look upon Him is to be captured by His glorious presence. I pray today, the light of our blessed Lord will make a real difference in you.