Anchor Sunday School Class
by Bob Marsh
LIFE’S MOST AMAZING TRUTH
I Corinthians 1:1-9. Notice carefully vs 9. “God has called you into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.” Ruminate on that verse. Digest it. Did you ever see that old CANDID CAMERA television program where a little boy is standing in front of a pet shop, staring at a puppy behind the plate glass show case? Candid Camera has it rigged so that the puppy appears to be talking to the little boy. When the little boy asks the puppy “why would you not speak to my Mommy?” the puppy replies, “I only speak to little boys, not moms.” For the next minute all that would come out of the mouth of that little boy were the words “Wow! Amazing! Wow! Amazing!”
When I read the inspired words in vs 9, “God has called you into fellowship with His Son,” I echo the words of that little boy, “Wow! Amazing!” God has called us! I Thessalonians 4:7, I Peter 2:9 along with other verses testify that the reason we are IN CHRIST, the reason we are no longer in darkness but now in HIS WONDERFUL LIGHT, is that the God of creation CALLED US. He came in Christ looking for us, to call us out of bondage into REDEMPTION; to call us out of alienation into RECONCILIATION; to call us out of condemnation into JUSTIFICATION.
However, go back to vs 4. “I always thank God for you, because of His grace given you IN CHRIST JESUS.” Put these truths together: The God who has called you is a God of grace, who comes to us with compassion and encouragement in order to “KEEP YOU STRONG.” Vs 8. Wow! And in these words we find what I think is the most amazing truth in life: The God who created, the God who sustains all things, knows our name, calls us into a personal relationship, and encourages us, strengthens us, as we face the challenges of life! Amazing!
When you read the GOSPEL OF JOHN, you hear Jesus saying “I call you MY FRIEND. I know your name.” In His prayer for His people, recorded in John 17, vs 3 Jesus tells us what ETERNAL LIFE IS: Know Him, the only true God, and Jesus Christ who has been sent to make God known. That word KNOW is a deep and precious word describing a personal relationship of love and encouragement. When you bring these truths together we are embraced by LIFE’S MOST AMAZING TRUTH: “Almighty God has come to us, seeking us, encouraging us, in order to have a personal relationship of love and grace.” This is why the Apostle Paul could exclaim, “He is the God of all encouragement!” He knows your name, where you are, where you need to be.
A story I have told many times. I was about six or seven, living in Jackson, MS, my father took me with him into the Pearl River Swamps one Friday evening. There we would camp out for the evening, put out some trout lines, build a fire, have supper, and spend the night. My father builds the fire, gets out the sleeping bags, and prepares for a good night’s sleep in the Pearl River Swamp. The sun has set, my father goes to sleep, and I am a little boy watching the fire cast shadows, listening to the weird sounds of a swamp night. I was frightened. Shadows, sounds, fear gripping me. I hit my father. Woke him up. With a trembling voice I ask: “Dad, does mother know where I am?” “Of course, she knows you are down here in the swamp with me. Go to sleep.” The flickering fire cast more ominous shadows, the sounds from the darkness were more threatening, and I was “scared to pieces.” I hit my father again. “Dad, do you think I will ever see mother again?” As he prepared to sternly instruct me to go to sleep, he became aware of what he had on his hands: a frightened little boy who did not know where he was and how he was going to get out of this terrifying swamp. He turned over, looked at me, put his hand on my shoulder and said “Son, I have been down here many times, I know where we are, and I know how to get us home. Tomorrow we will catch some fish, have a good time, and I will get us home. You will see mother. Now go to sleep.” I went sound asleep. It was a good trip. My father knew where we were, where I needed to be, and his promise to get me there was all I needed to hear.” The fire was still casting shadows, the noises from the swamp did not cease, but I had the assurance that ALL IS WELL. Father knows, he promises, and I trust him.
Peter encouraged us to CAST ALL YOUR ANXIETES ON HIM FOR HE CARES FOR YOU (I Peter 5:7). The Christians to whom Peter wrote were going through dark hours, bitter oppression, and ready to give up. Peter gives them an “Amazing” fact: God cares about you, personally. You can “hurl” your cares upon Him. The writer of Hebrews encouraged the discouraged believers of his day to “fix your eyes on Jesus (12:2) so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” The Psalmist was torn by fear and discouragement, but then he realized that “you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel and afterwards will take me into your glory.” (73:23)
When we face the dark hours of the soul, when are walking through the valley of the shadow of death, when we are tempted to “lose heart,” the Word of God shouts “HE CARES FOR YOU. HE KNOWS WHERE YOU ARE. HE KNOWS HOW TO GET YOU HOME. NOW BE AT PEACE.” As the apostle Paul wrote to some believers, “May the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way.” How could he say such encouraging words? Because Paul knew He cares, He guides, He encourages. That is life’s most amazing truth.
Eternal God, we praise you that you are not some aloof deity, seated in icy disinterest, wishing us good luck. Thank you that you have come to us in Christ to reveal to us that you personally care about us, and that you personally encourage us to “cast all our anxiety on you.” We thank you that you have promised to guide us with your love, to embrace us with your grace, and lead us into your eternal presence, where we will dwell in the HOUSE OF THE LORD FOREVER. Thank you in Christ’s name, AMEN.