And He said to them, Why did you look for me? Did you not know that I must be busy in the affairs of My Father? Luke 2:49
Did you not know? The Apostles knew and they were busy about God’s business and carrying out the Great Commission. Everyone they met, they told. Apollos knew, but he didn’t have the whole story. Paul knew, but he had to go to Arabia for three years to get the whole story. Timothy knew, but he got stomach aches from it. Luke knew, and he wrote about it so centuries of believers would have the story. What about you? Do all you know and are all your loved ones ready? The time is coming soon when the Great Snatch will happen and we’ll have no more chances to tell the Gospel for our time will be over and Satan will rule for a little while.
I often wonder if those actors in movies and on TV know Whose name they take in vain. I am ashamed that I have heard it so often, I don’t always catch it. I shudder to think about the awesomely powerful God, King of the Universe and all in it watching me as some filth comes into my eyes and He wonders at my lack of reaction. Am I too lazy or have I gotten so caught up in worldly ways that I forget the LORD who caused the violent storm to completely still? How could I do that?
Did I not know that the most powerful force in the Universe holds my life in His hands? He has gently cared for it, given me sustenance and clothes and food and provided for my education so that I could sustain my existence. He has wiped the tears from my face, He has watched my heart break into tiny shards then picked up the pieces and made it whole with no scars only to watch it crack and fall apart again. Yet, again He gathered the pieces and put them together making a stronger, more resilient heart that could weather the storm blows of life without shattering a third time. He has cared for those I love. He has disciplined me in a loving and gentle way.
That God Who held back the Red Sea waters… that God Who shattered a proud man’s sanity for seven years and at the touch of Daniel brought him back to his senses… that God Who watched His Son be brutalized and crucified and turned His eyes at the last moment because He could not look upon the Most Innocent take on the sins of the world… That God Who raised His Son from the dead… That God Who waits, and woos, and calls, and performs miracles, and cares for an uncaring world so that His children, those who embrace His living Son can come Home to Him when their time is over is so long-suffering that He allows His name to be taken in vain. He allows people to have other gods before Him. He allows the Day the Lord has made to go unrejoiced, to be defamed and made unholy. He allows fathers and mothers to be dishonored. He allows murder, and robbery, and adultery, false testimony, and covetousness of things that belong to others. All because He loved us first, while we were idolatrous sinners, He loved us first.
Did you not know? Do you tell? Do you exclaim His glory? His righteousness? His suffering? His joy? His long-suffering that is unlike any other powerful force on earth?
Grace, grace, God’s grace, grace that will pardon, cleanse within. Grace, grace, God’s grace, grace that is greater than all our sin.
(Words by Julia H. Johnston, music by Daniel B. Towner)1. Marvelous grace of our loving Lord, grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt! Yonder on Calvary's mount outpoured, there where the blood of the Lamb was spilt. Refrain: Grace, grace, God's grace, grace that will pardon and cleanse within; grace, grace, God's grace, grace that is greater than all our sin! 2. Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold, threaten the soul with infinite loss; grace that is greater, yes, grace untold, points to the refuge, the mighty cross. (Refrain) 3. Dark is the stain that we cannot hide. What can avail to wash it away? Look! There is flowing a crimson tide, brighter than snow you may be today. (Refrain) 4. Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace, freely bestowed on all who believe! You that are longing to see his face, will you this moment his grace receive? (Refrain)
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