One of things I enjoy as a pastor is working from public places. It allows me to see what everyday people are struggling with or excited about in their lives. It also gives me an opportunity to get to know people and interact with them, instead of spending all day in my office.
This past week I went to Cracker Barrel and asked for a seat near the fireplace. I love being near a good fire, and if I am not careful I can get caught daydreaming in front of a fireplace. As I sat there, this particular day, I got caught starring into this fireplace. It had a good fire, and you could feel the intense heat from many feet away.
I have heard others talk about this thought and I experience it first-hand this week. As I stared into the heart of the fire, I could not help but notice how red and hot the coals were in the middle. But as I looked around there were some coals that had gotten separated from the fire and instead of being red, they were black and smoldering.
Amazement is defined as “a strong feeling of astonishment or wonder”. There are some things in this life that absolutely amaze me.
God’s creation amazes me. I have driven out west many times and it always amazes me to see the rocky mountains. I am still amazed by how beautiful my wife and children are and for the deep love God can give you for your family.
Many things STILL amaze me, but there are some things that lose there excitement after time. Some examples would be furniture, vehicles, or things that were once new but after time do not carry the same excitement or amazement. But there are some things that STILL AMAZES ME, and nothing more so than OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST! If you would read Titus 3:3-8 you would find some amazing things.
I’M STILL AMAZED BY GOD’S LOVE - v3 for we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. 4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
Sometimes we are all “hard to love”. But I am thankful for a God that loves me unconditionally. God knows more about you than anyone. He knows your actions He knows your thoughts He knows what you have done He knows what you are going to do Knowing all this, He loves you anyway! That my friend, is AMAZING!
I’M STILL AMAZED BY GOD’S SALVATION - v5b he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; If you just look to the cross, then you will see much reason to be AMAZED AT SALVATION.
I’M STILL AMAZED BY GOD’S MERCY- v5a Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us.
I’M STILL AMAZED BY GOD’S GRACE- v7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. While mercy is not receiving what we do deserve, grace is receiving something that we could never deserve.
I’M STILL AMAZED BY GOD’S SON - v6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; The name of Jesus is AMAZING - Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. “I'm amazed he would accept a manger in trade for a Kingly throne” ”and amazed why he'd take the cross instead of a street of pure gold” Everything about Jesus Christ is AMAZING!
Unfortunately when you look at the condition of the Church it seems that many “professing Christians” have simply “gotten over it”. I ask you to examine your life? Are you still amazed by Jesus? When you look at all He has done for you, shouldn’t that make you want to live for him? Does He still amaze you?
Leaving a Godly legacy is not easy. It takes a lot of work, and a life completely surrendered to the Master. I would like to share three thoughts about leaving a legacy. I know there are many more, but I would like to highlight these today.
First, there is a Choice involved.
Matthew 4:19 says, “And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” It is not God's job to follow you; it is your job to follow Him! You have to choose. My dreams or God’s dreams? My plans or His plans? You have to choose who you will serve.
Second, there is a Change involved.
It didn’t seem likely that lowly Galilean fishermen would become apostles; that those who worked nets would become teachers and preachers of the Word of God, founders of churches, and create an international movement. Yet, that is what Jesus made His first followers to become. We become by being consecrated. Romans 12:2. One reason Christians have so little influence on the world is because so many Christians are being influenced by the world. We become by being one with Him. John 15:4-7. We also become by being obedient. I John 2:6. It may not seem likely that God can use your life, but God can help you become more like him.
Third, there is Challenge involved.
Acts 1:8 says, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” The Challenge is to get up and go witness to the world what Christ has done in our lives. The only way to leave a legacy is to make sure the next generation gets the gospel.
Where do you find your identity? Do you look at the circumstances around you and think, “this is who I am?” or do you listen to who God says you are.
In Judges 6:11-12 we find Gideon hiding like a scared man behind the winepress. He was scared because the the enemy (the Midianites) were always attacking. “…and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites. And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him, and said unto him, The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour!"
I love how when God confronts Gideon he calls him a mighty man of valour. If Gideon finds his identity in his circumstances he is a scared, insecure, no good scoundral. But if he sees himself as God sees him he is a mighty man of valour. How does God see you today?
In Psalm 126 the Bible says, “He that goeth forth and weepeth…” Today more than ever before we need to pray for brokenness. There is no brokeness for the lost among God's people today. Have you wept over the lost lately? If we believe there is a litteral hell, and those that are lost go there if they die without Christ it should drive us to tears. If you don’t have tears you need to beg God for brokenness. If you ask God He is able to give you tears. I want to give you 3 quick thoughts about weeping .
1. Weepers are bearers. When you weep for people who need Christ you will make sure they get the gospel. You will bear precious seed.
2. Weepers are reapers. When you take the gospel to people eventually someone will come to know Christ as their Savior. You will reap from sowing the seed of the gospel.
3. Weepers are rejoicers. The greatest thing in the whole world is seeing people come to Christ. Those who weep for the lost will take the gospel to them, reap a harvest, and have the opportunity to rejoice over seeing others come to Christ.
Many will never rejoice because they never asked God for brokenness and never took time to weep. Are we weeping for the lost? Do we pray more for ourselves than we do the lost? Lets pray for brokenness.