Amazement is defined as “a strong feeling of astonishment or wonder”. There are some things in this life that absolutely amaze me. I am amazed at how after 26 years, my wife still loves, supports and respects me. (I am also amazed at how I can rack up brownie points with her for saying things like that!!) My kids and my grandkids amaze me. Big cities amaze me, I am sure the people who live there are not impressed at all. (They are too busy trying to stifle their road rage)
I am truly amazed by God’s creation:
To sit out in the early morning and watch the stars disappear and the sun come up.
To see the red sky at night, sailors delight, red sky in the morning, sailors warning.
I am amazed at mountains.
I am amazed at water, be it the ocean or just a calm lake.
I love to be in God’s creation.
All of these things STILL amaze me. But there are some things that once excited or amazed me that just don’t have the same affect on me any more. Air conditioning in a car. Flat screen TV’s. Cell phones. A new car after you own it for a year. When you were a kid did you dream of being an adult? You were amazed by that seemingly freedom in lifestyle and you couldn’t wait to grow up, now you have a job, mortgage, bills and the thrill is gone and you just wish you could be a kid again?
Yes, sometimes the things that once amazed us become reality and it isn’t long before the thrill is gone! I am here to tell you today that there are some things that STILL AMAZE ME, and nothing more so than OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST! I’m amazed that when I, when we surrendered our lives to Jesus, he has the power to change us, guide us, love us, and make us whole again. There is not enough time to even scratch the surface concerning the fact that we can have a personal relationship with a Holy God. But I would like to hit some of the high points today:
1. I’m Still Amazed By God’s Love
2. I’m Still Amazed By God’s Salvation
3. I’m Still Amazed By God’s Mercy
4. I’m Still Amazed By God’s Grace
5. I’m Still Amazed By God’s Son
Our scripture is from Titus 3:3-8 for the background to those 5 things I’m amazed by, so:
1I’M STILL AMAZED BY GOD’S LOVE – Titus 3:3-4” For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, despicable, hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared” Sometimes we are all “hard to love”. I am thankful for children, grandchildren, a wife and a handful of church members who possess unconditional love for me! It is amazing how your family knows you better than anyone else and loves you anyhow!
Well, God knows more about you than anyone. He knows your actions, your thoughts, what you have done, what you are going to do, and knowing all this, He loves you anyway! That, is AMAZING! In this scripture we have a picture of what should be the “old us:
a) “Foolish” – This means to be without understanding or ignorant of the things concerning God
b) “Disobedient” – One who is rebellious toward God.
c) “Led astray” – Continually led deeper and deeper into sin by Satan.
d) “Slaves to various passions and pleasures” – One who is a slave to the desires of flesh.
e) “Passing our days in malice” – this refers to a lifestyle of evil.
f) “Envy” – Always grasping for more and desiring what others have.
g) “Despicable” – This is the natural fruit of all the above. This kind of life makes one mean-spirited and hard to get along with.
h) “Hating one another” – Walking without love for your fellow man.
Would you agree that that describes someone who is hard to love! But notice what Paul says in verse 4 -“ But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared” This means, in spite of what we once were (and who we still are) God chose to love us! Romans 5:8 “But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.” How awesome and amazing is that! God knows us, yet He loved us enough to send His only begotten Son to make a way for us to one day be with Him! – I AM STILL AMAZED AT GOD’S LOVE! – Not only that….
II. I’M STILL AMAZED BY GOD’S SALVATION – Titus 3:5-6 “he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. This Spirit he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,”
Webster’s defines Salvation as “rescue from harm, destruction or danger”. That is what God did for us through the sacrifice of His Son! Our sins carries a great penalty. God sent Jesus to pay that sin debt in order to save us! We were destined for Hell and Jesus came and made a way of escape for us!
Notice in verses 5 & 6 what Salvation through Christ did for us:
a) We were lost “He saved us”
b) We were dirty “He washed us”
c) We were dead “He made a way for us being a new creature.
d) We were empty – He filled us with His Spirit “ the renewal by the Holy Spirit”
You see, religion is man trying to get up to God, Salvation is God coming down to man! It has often been said that “salvation is free but it isn’t cheap!”. Everything that we have received in salvation came through God’s sacrifice of His Son. – Notice verse 6 – “This Spirit he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,” If you just look to the cross, then you will see a big reason to be AMAZED AT SALVATION. Not only am I amazed at salvation as a whole, there are certain elements of salvation that amaze me. Look again at the scripture
III. I’M STILL AMAZED BY GOD’S MERCY- “not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy” Because of God’s mercy toward us, we do not receive the punishment that we deserve .
Each and every person here today that is a believer of Jesus Christ deserves to spend an eternity in HELL! Nothing can change the fact that that is what we DESERVE! We can’t live good enough… we can’t do enough good works to escape the fact that we are deserving of Hell. But we ARE saved and we ARE delivered from that punishment and the reason that is possible is found in verse 5 “not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy. Wow.
If you are just a good man or woman you are headed for Hell. Maybe you are trying to get to Heaven based on the fact that you are a good person, that you have done good things… This verse proves that you will never qualify. You can’t get to Heaven on your own! But God is merciful and He has made a way through His Son. This mercy is available to you today! I experienced this mercy 18 years ago, and…I’M STILL AMAZED!!! That is not all, Let’s go little farther and see that:
IV. I’M STILL AMAZED BY GOD’S GRACE- v7 “so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become 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. Grace is the unmerited favor of God. Our works will never be enough but His grace is more than sufficient. In fact, we find that because of His grace we are justified, pardoned of all the sins of those who believe in Christ, God doesn’t just pardon our sins. He initiates a personal relationship with us. He walks with us intimately, cares for us immensely and blesses us immeasurably!
If God had just delivered us from our sin debt and freed us from Hell that would have been much more than we could ever deserve. But He went MUCH, MUCH farther! We are now HIS and HE is ours! He is our Heavenly Father. And just to top it off, HE SAID THAT WE WILL LIVE WITH HIM FOREVER!!! I don’t know about you but when it comes to God’s Love, Salvation, Mercy and Grace …I AM STILL AMAZED!!!
So we got this AND God wrapped it up and gave it to us in the form of His Son Jesus Christ… so I would like to address the fact that:
V. I’M STILL AMAZED BY GOD’S SON – v6 “This Spirit he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,” The name of Jesus is AMAZING – Acts 4:12 “ There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.” It’s amazing that Jesus Heaven, came to this earth, put on a human body, and became the ultimate sacrifice for sins! It’s amazing that he would go through the pain and humiliation! I’m not done.
Now get out a pen and your bulletin and write down Everything about Jesus Christ is AMAZING: He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, taught with authority, healed the sick, cleansed the lepers, made the blind see, the deaf to hear, the dumb to speak, the lame walk, cast out demons, raised people from the dead, laid down His life, paid the ultimate humiliating sacrifice, rose from the grave, ascended to Heaven, sat down at the right hand of the Father, AND
He has provided atonement for our sins, He is making intercessions on our behalf, forgiven our sins, saved our souls from Hell, changed our lives, provided eternal life, He has gone to prepare a place for us, He promises to come again to get us. That’s amazing, we need to remember all that AND we need to tell people that if they want to know why you love Jesus and are amazed because of all that and if that isn’t enough to amaze you or someone you know, get this list –
He has defeated :
Sin, satan, death, hell, the grave, and soon He will come down from heaven in the sky with a shout and He will call His children home! AND we will rise up out of this world and we will meet Him in the air AND WE WILL BE FOREVER WITH HIM!
Have you ever really thought about all that? Can you remember all that? Could you recite that to those who you desire to surrender to Jesus? Just once try telling others why you are AMAZED BY GOD’S SON!
Some of you today may be here and you have never truly met Jesus, I hope you understand that He came and made a way for you to experience God’s love, mercy, grace and salvation. I pray you stop basing eternity on what you can do or how good you think you are versus others because it will never be enough. Put your faith, hope and trust in Jesus and what He has already done!
But for those who have surrendered to Jesus, are you living as if you are STILL AMAZED by JESUS? Unfortunately, when you look at the condition of the Church (universal & local) it seems that many “professing Christians” have simply “gotten over it”. When you look at their lives, when you examine their actions and priorities it seems that the thrill is gone in their lives. I believe of you are still amazed by Jesus it will be apparent in your life.
1. You will follow what He said when He proclaimed “If you love me, keep my commandments”
2. You will “love the Lord thy God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength”
3. You will “love your neighbour as yourself”
4. You will “not forsake the assembling of yourselves together” (YOU WILL SHOW UP AT CHURCH REGULARLY!!!!)
5. You will give to the Lord: Give Him your time, your talents, your treasures, your tithe.
6. You will take time a talk to Him (through prayer)
7. You will allow Him to speak to you (through study of His Word)
I ask you to examine your life? Do these actions and attributes describe you? 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? I know that this man falls short each and every day, but when it comes to my Lord & Savior Jesus Christ… I’M STILL AMAZED!