Wednesday, 23 November 2011

The crucial 'if'...

Continuing our travels through Scripture brings us into 2 Chronicles with a couple of things worth noting today.

1) the frequent refrain ' He is good and His love endures forever' appears a few times in the back end of 1 Chronicles and now in the early chapters of 2 Chronicles as well. Seems to be a regular liturgical refrain used by the people to acknowledge the goodness and faithfulness of God.

2) More famously perhaps is the verse from 2 Chronicles 7:14 "...if my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land."

Struck me afresh as i read this morning the power of the word 'if'. With all the means of grace we have , scripture, prayer, communion, fellowship - the onus is on us to take hold of that which is freely offered. It seems as I read this vesrse again that there is a longing in the voice of God, so desperate for His people to take up the opportunity that He gives.

This verse appears in the midst of Solomon dedicating the Temple and God warning Solomon and the people about the consequences of abandoning Him. Just because there is a temple doesnt mean the people will always be under God's favour - a lesson for us building-worshipping Methodists out there. In the midst of warnings of judgement comes a powerful 'get out clause' allowing God's people to draw on His grace and mercy rather than His judgement. But the key thing is it's up to us. If only we would appreciate all that is on offer for us. If only we would rediscover the power of prayer, if only our eyes would be opened again to the Might of our God, if, if, if,. If only, God's people would seek Him out for renewal and restoration, if only....

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