Are You Amazed?

“From His abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another.” (John 1:16 NLT)

What amazes you? “Amaze” is a word we use often, yet I’m not sure we understand what it means. According to Merriam-Webster it means: “to overwhelm with wonder; astound; astonish, surprise.”

Philip Yancey’s book entitled What’s So Amazing About Grace? asks a question that deserves an answer. If anything should amaze us, it’s God’s grace. Why is that? To realize that God became a human being in the form of an infant is amazing, astounding, something that is filled with wonder and surprise. But the fact He traded His life for ours on the Cross is beyond amazing!

God delights in amazing us, sharing Himself with us in unexpected and underserved ways; at times and in places that we would never expect.

For those of us who have walked with the Lord for a while, it can become more difficult to be surprised or amazed at almost anything God does. We read in the Bible how Jesus healed blindness, sickness, even leprosy; He raised the dead; and walked on water; He quieted storms and cast out legions of demons all at the command of His voice.

Yet, when we get a cold or flu or worse, what’s our first course of action? “Well, let’s see if we have anything for that in the medicine cabinet?” Or “Honey, do you have the doctor’s number handy?” We become so familiar with the Jesus of the Bible, we forget or ignore the fact that He’s also the Jesus of our salvation and His Holy Spirit resides in us who believe. What’s that supposed to mean?

Hebrews 13:8 reminds us that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Then the writer adds in verse 9: “Your strength comes from God’s grace…”  Since Jesus is the same, He’s still able and willing to do today what He did “yesterday” in Bible times. But please don’t hear what I’m not saying. Am I suggesting, as some do, that we should rely totally on God’s grace and kindness and mercy to heal us of every physical ailment? Not necessarily. But what I am suggesting is to BEGIN by asking Him what we should do. Prayer should be our first course of action, not our last resort. Medicine and Medical staff can be, and often are, God’s agents, but they can never take His place.

How often I’ve heard some form of: “Well, I’ve tried everything I know to do, could you please pray for me. Maybe God can do something.” You think? What a slap in God’s face when we think like that. What an insult to the Creator, Ruler, and Sustainer of all that is, including us. Perhaps the reason we find it hard to be amazed by God’s grace is because we’re too focused on other things; alternative avenues of serving ourselves and meeting our own needs.

Every morning as I begin my walk with the pups, I’m amazed at the beauty of my surroundings. The blueness of the sky, the formations of the clouds, the privilege of being healthy enough to walk my dogs. My dad was an invalid when he was my age. It is my goal to never take God’s amazing grace for granted. God doesn’t need me, but I sure need Him. He designed me and you to be objects of His loving kindness. His grace not only saved me, but it is also the context in which I live my life. God’s grace sustains me.

That’s a wonder-filled reality. If you want a clear definition of “sustain,” think of holding a glass in your hand, palm up. Then, as fast as you can, pull your hand out from under the glass. What will happen? It will crash to the floor. Guess what? You’re the glass, without Jesus and His amazing grace.

If God would choose, as He one day will, to pull His mighty hand out from under us, we’d crash as well. Please humble yourself before the Lord in recognition that God is God, and you are not. Willfully confess that apart from Him you are nothing and you can literally do nothing. Honor Him with the recognition that He IS your life and without Him you would be lost.

Allow yourself to admit that everything you are, everything you have or ever hope to have, is by God’s amazing grace! A love gift from your Heavenly Father.

Are you amazed! Check out this music video: Are you AMAZED? – YouTube

Blessings, Ed 😊

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