The Heavenly Photographer

Bible Reading: Matthew 24: 3-31

Text verse: 27
For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the
coming of the Son of man be.

The Internet has opened up a whole new world to me.
It has extended my ministry beyond the walls of this small Church.
But just as important I have made new friends - friends, whom I will perhaps never meet in person
- who have enriched my ministry by sharing with me not only their knowledge but their thoughts,
dreams and sometimes just a story that touched them.
Once or twice my mail box - became a miracle Box - as God answered my prayers and met my temporal and spiritual needs. Indeed we serve a great and mighty GOD.

But what has this to do with today’s sermon, you may ask ?
Well, a while back, a “friend” -
Jeanette Jennings of The Trump of Maranatha Fellowship
sent me and no doubt many others also, a short story under the heading - “This is so cute” !
Yes, it was just a “cute story” but a story I found myself sharing with others where ever I seemed to go
- A story that would not leave me -
It seemed to remain uppermost in my mind. Let me share the story with you:

A mother noticed that it was about time for school to dismiss and since it looked like it would rain,
she drove toward the school to pick up her eight year old daughter.

She turned down the street to see her daughter running towards her down the sidewalk.
A lightning bolt flashed and the little girl looked up towards the sky,
smiled and then began running towards her mother's car.

Another lightning bolt flashed and again the little girl looked towards the sky, smiled and resumed running.
This happened several more times until the little girl finally arrived at where her mother was parked.

Her mom immediately inquired as to the strange behaviour.
"Why did you keep stopping and smiling at the sky," she asked her daughter.

"I had to, mommy. God was taking my picture."

As I pondered over this story, it slowly dawned on me that if God were indeed to take our photographs,
then HE must have an album in which to place those photographs.

Family Album
The Family Album - that collection of photographs of Family and Friends that we are so keen to show others when they visit us. The photographs of our children as they grew up are proudly displayed.
Photographs of places that we have visited, those childhood photographs are viewed with nostalgia.
With sadness we examine the photographs of those with whom we have lost contact
or who have past away but are not forgotten.
But stop for a moment, and consider:
What if GOD were to open HIS Photograph album - What would it reveal ?

Quickly, you will answer - HIS Son - of course ! Yes, God’s Album will reveal Jesus !
With pride the Heavenly Father would show us the photographs of HIS only SON and as we view them we will be able to appreciate the greatness of HIS life.
Each photograph will reveal the love and compassion that Jesus had for mankind.
Perhaps some of the Photographs will be “action shots” taken while Jesus performed HIS miracles as HE walked the dusty streets of Israel. Photographs, a little boy sharing his lunch, with 5000 - what a miracle !
That Wedding in Cana ! Those Photographs taken when John baptised Jesus !

Funeral Photographs are normally so sad.
BUT we must not forget those Photographs taken around an empty grave to remind us that
Jesus is not dead but still ALIVE !

It is claimed, that miracles ceased with Jesus and the Apostles
BUT friend, Jesus is not dead HE is alive and the Bible says:
Hebrews 13:8
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Malachi 3:6
For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

And if these Scriptures are true then surely that which Jesus did two thousand years ago
- HE is still able to do today ?
We do not believe in a “day of miracles” but rather friend, in the “LORD of the Miracle” !
Remember always:

Luke 1:37
For with God nothing shall be impossible.

But as we page through God’s Photograph Album we suddenly realise from the photographs that God
has other sons and daughters that HE loves in addition to HIS Son.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Those who believe in HIS SON, He calls His sons and daughters !

2 Corinthians 6:18
And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Friend, will you be found, in the Heavenly Photograph Album ?
Before, you answer, consider this:
Only those who believe in JESUS are called sons and daughters of the Heavenly Father !
Do you believe enough in Jesus to follow HIM ?
Do you believe enough in Jesus to heed HIS word ?
Do you believe enough in Jesus to worship HIM ?
Do you believe enough in Jesus to put HIM first in all areas of your life ?

But friend, what about your family album ?
There is a Scripture that “haunts” me as a Preacher:

Song of Solomon 1:6
......... they made me the keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept.

It is all well and good, friends, to proclaim the Gospel to all the world BUT are we doing enough to ensure that those of our “own vineyard” - those whom God has entrusted to our care - our immediate family -
hear and heed the Gospel Message ?
In that day - will we be able to open our “Family Album” and say: Lord, all these have together with us,
have inherited your Kingdom ?

The Final Photograph
The little girl in our story - likened lightning with a photograph been taken but lightning in the Scriptures also reminds us of the Return of JESUS. Remember our Text verse ?

Matthew 24:27
For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the
coming of the Son of man be.

The final photograph will be taken when Jesus returns and friend, when that Photograph is taken
where will you be found ?
Are you ready for the return of JESUS ?
Next time you witness the lightning striking, imagine that a Photograph has been taken of you
by the Heavenly Photographer and ask yourself:
Am I in the place God wants me to be ?
Am I busy doing what pleases God ?
Would, I mind if this photograph is shown to those I care and love ?

The Heavenly Photographer will take a final photograph of each of us.
Of this I am certain because:

Hebrews 9:27
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

What will happen to that Photograph, Friend ?
Will it become part of the Heavenly Father’s Photograph Album ?
Where will you spend eternity ?
The answer is found in Jesus.

John 14:6
Jesus saith unto him:
I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

In that day He is all that will matter.

Mark 8:36-37
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul ?
Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul ?


Pastor CSJ Claassen
PO Box 99

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