Lightning and Thunder and the Power and Presence of God
Shep Johnson
Sunday, August 21, 2016

Weather can be a terrifying phenomenon.  Tornados, hurricanes, hail storms, and floods often do incredible damage.  Today our hearts go out to the flood victims in Louisiana where 40,000 homes have suffered damage.  Right now Southern Baptists are working hard to minister to the flood victims there and you can offer financial assistance by making out a check to First Baptist Church and designating it for “Louisiana Flood Relief.” The money will be forwarded to the Georgia Baptist Convention and 100% of it will go directly to flood relief.  You can also participate in our “Buckets of Care” program.  That information is available at the welcome desk.

  While weather can prove very dangerous, there are times in my life when flashes of lightning and peals of thunder provide a profound sense of peace, comfort, and wonder.  Thursday night as I retired for the evening a thunderstorm moved across our area.  As I lay in bed lightning flashed in the windows and thunder rumbled and rolled across the house.  The rain fell and a sense of peace came over me.  Why?  Because the lightning and thunder remind me of the great power and presence of the God we love and serve.

  In Revelation 4:1-6 (NASB95) John writes, “After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, ‘Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.’” 
  “Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne. And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads.  Out from the throne come flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder. And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God; and before the throne there was something like a sea of glass, like crystal; and in the center and around the throne, four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind.”

  What sights and sounds John the Apostle must have seen and heard!


Barbara Fowler Gaultney once wrote;

In the lightning flash across the sky

His mighty power I see,

And I know if He can reign on high,

His light can shine on me.

When the thunder shakes the mighty hills

And trembles every tree,

Then I know a God so great and strong

Can surely harbor me.

When refreshing showers cool the earth

And sweep across the sea,

Then His rainbow shines within my heart,

His nearness comforts me.

I’ve seen it in the lightning, heard it in the thunder,

And felt it in the rain;

My Lord is near me all the time,

My Lord is near me all the time.

What a mighty God we serve!  His truth is like lightning and His voice is like thunder.  And He lingers near us all the time.  May you abide and be blessed in His powerful presence this week.

Bro. Shep