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W.O.W.


"O Lord, Thou art My God; I will exalt Thee, I will praise Thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth." Isaiah 25:1

A few days ago I looked out our kitchen window and wow; a pear tree was in full bloom! As far as I am concerned, we have had a long, cold winter, at least for South Georgia. What got my attention about this pear tree was that it appeared barren, lifeless, even dead. Then voila! What a transformation! A WOW is something that interrupts our daily routine, stress and struggles and brings us near to the heart of God. When that happens, we rest in His amazing presence and work just as an anchor of hope steadies our ship on life's tempestuous seas.

There is so much to praise God for and we should be ready to wow in every waking moment of our lives. Wows come in many shapes and sizes, but they always come when we need them most. Whether it's a baby crying (or laughing), a friend's visit, a bird singing, a married couple holding hands, a congregation singing hymns, or a spirit filled sermon, we know it's from God when it takes our minds off ourselves and our problems and reminds us that there is a God who loves us and is faithful and true. WOW! God is so good and He deserves all the WOWS we can muster. Take a deep breath! Wow! That's Gods air you're breathing. Place your hand over your heart and feel your heart beating. Wow! Do you realize that God started your heart to beat while you were yet in your mother's womb? Go look into a mirror. Wow! See that person there who is unique and fearfully and wonderfully made. There is not a person in all the world just like the person you see in the mirror, and besides the uniqueness, the image reflected is made in the very image and likeness of God. Feel that pain in your soul when you commit a sin. Wow! You feel that because you are a child of the King and the Holy Spirit who lives inside you is grieved. Confess your sin and feel the peace and joy of being forgiven. Wow! That's greater than any pear tree blooming and it happens because Jesus Christ died for your sin and rose again the third day testifying that the sin debt of all of His people was paid in full.

Christians are containers. A believer is indwelt, or contains the Holy Spirit. Christians are the temples of the Lord! Christians are alive and will live forever because the Lord Jesus Christ took our place on Calvary's cross, died for all our sins, and was resurrected to validate the cancelled sin debt and to give access to the Heavenly Father. Christians are eternal, spiritual beings living in a can called the human body. Christians are preserved in Christ because they have been sealed by the Holy Spirit. Have you ever heard jar tops "popping" after they cooled a bit from the hot water during canning procedures? When God says "Let the redeemed of the Lord say so," He does so because we have been delivered from the hot waters of hell and His wrath! We ought to do a lot more "popping off" for God than we do.

God wants us to live by faith. That means we should walk with wows. Walking with wows results in interpreting all of our life as being from God. Even when faced with circumstances and situations which we cannot understand and are painful. There is a wow around every bend in the road of life. Here is portion of a letter I found in a book a while back which I imagined can be interpreted as being written by God.


"My child, I have a message for you today. Let me whisper it in your ear, that it may gild with glory any storm clouds which may arise, and smooth the rough places upon which you have to tread. It is short-only five words-but let them sink into your inmost soul, use them as a pillow upon which to rest your weary head:

THIS THING IS FROM ME (WOW!)

Have you ever thought of it, that all that concerns you concerns me too? I would have you learn when temptations assail you, and the enemy comes in like a flood, that this thing is from me, that your weakness needs my might, and your safety lies in letting me fight for you. Are you in money difficulties? Is it hard to make both ends meet? This is from me, for I am your purse-bearer, and would have you draw from and depend upon me. My supplies are limitless. I would have you prove my promises. Are you in difficult circumstances, surrounded by people who do not understand you, who never consult your taste, who put you in the background? This thing is from ME. I am the God of circumstances. You came not to this place by accident, it is the very place God meant for you. Have you not asked to be made humble? See, then, I have placed you in the very school where this lesson is taught; your surroundings and companions are only working out my will. Are you pulling through a night of sorrow? This thing is from ME. I am the 'man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.' I have let earthly comforters fail you, that by turning to ME, you may obtain everlasting consolation. Have your plans been upset? Are you bowed down and weary? This thing is from ME. You made your plans, then came asking me to bless them, but I would have you let me plan for you, and then I take the responsibility; for this thing is too much for you, you are not able to perform it by yourself. You are only an instrument, not an agent. Have you longed to do some great work for me, and instead been laid aside on a bed of pain and weakness? This thing is from Me. I could not get your attention on your busy days, and I want to teach you some of my deepest lessons. 'They also serve who only stand and wait.' Some of my greatest workers are those shut out from active service that they may learn to wield the weapon of prayer. This day I place in your hands this pot of holy oil, make use of it freely, My child. Let every circumstance as it arises, every word that pains you, every interruption that would make you impatient, every revelation of your own weakness, be anointed with it! Remember, interruptions are divine instructions. This sting will go as you learn to see me in all things."


WOW! Walking with God means carrying a bag full of wows. We miss a lot of blessings because we don't look for them. So how about cleaning our spiritual windshields with WOW, right NOW.

W - Wonderful - Webster defines wonderful as exciting, wonder, marvelous, astonishing. Wonder means; a cause of astonishment or admiration, marvel, miracle, the quality of exciting amazed admiration. Everything about God is wonderful. Not only is God good all the time, He is wonderful at the right time. Springtime expresses just how wonderful our creator God is. Just when things look the bleakest and most dormant, when hopelessness and despair overwhelms us, that's when our wonderful God shows up to remind us that He is God and we are not.

Not only is God wonderful in creation, He is also wonderful in salvation. May we never cease to be totally amazed that God sent His only begotten Son to live and die and rise again for our salvation. The fact that God would have anything to do with sinners like us is truly wonderful.

God called His son wonderful hundreds of years before He was born to the virgin Mary.

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6

The wonder and WOW of the pure white blossoms on the pear tree remind us that the blood of Christ shed for us has cleansed us from all sin, and made us white as snow. The blood of Christ is truly wonderful because this blood is the only blood that would pay our sin debt and give us eternal life. One of the first trees to blossom in the south, even before the pear tree, is the red maple. As you are driving through the country or around town, notice the trees with small red blooms this time of year. Say WOW and remember the wonderful blood of the precious Lord Jesus was shed for you! You will find red maples in the most manicured botanical gardens, in fence rows, in well drained soils or boggy swamps or growing wild in the back side of the woods. And in like manner, the shed blood of the Lord Jesus covers every sort of sin and situation a child of God could inhabit. WOW! Isn't that wonderful?


O - Omnipotence - Right in the middle of WOW is omnipotence, or God's power. To witness the transformation of a tree which appeared to be dead, to overnight becoming full of vibrant, lively blooms is surely worth a WOW! Don't ever give up on miracles. God is able to do all things. Here's what Stephen Charnock says about God's omnipotence:

"The power of God is that ability and strength whereby He can bring to pass whatever He pleases, whatsoever His infinite wisdom may direct, and whatsoever the infinite purity of His will may resolve... as holiness is the beauty of all God's attributes, so power is that which gives life and action to all the perfections of the divine nature. How vain would be the eternal counsels, if power did not step in to execute them. Without power His mercy would be but feeble pity, His promises an empty sound, His threatenings a mere scarecrow. God's power is like Himself: infinite, eternal, incomprehensible; it can neither be checked, restrained, nor frustrated by the creature."

We are about to be surrounded by evidence of the power of God. Springtime is nature's resurrection, proving that God in nature can bring new life out of dormancy. The WOW of the Christian faith is the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. If the Lord had not risen from the grave three days after he died on Calvary's cross, then we would still be in our sins and have no hope of eternal life. But He did rise again, the tomb was empty. Mary Magdalene was changed from dormant despair to a spirit filled worshipful wow when she recognized her risen Lord.

"Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto Him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master." John 20:16

When Mary said "Rabboni," she really meant "WOW." Rabboni means that Jesus was greater than Master; He was the most powerful of all masters. How many times has the Christian been brought out of the pit of despondency and gloom to the joy and comfort of knowing our Lord is our Master and Loving Ruler over all. And we don't have to go to a special place, or take a course in theology to experience God's gracious power either. It can happen right in our own back yard, just like it did to my pear tree.

Yes, God is going to send a revival to SPBC. It's going to start any time now and the power for it will come from God. Prayers are already in God's ear and they are being said in Jesus name, the most powerful name. God made Aaron's rod to bud, leaf out, and bear almonds and He can take coldhearted, dry believers sitting on hard church pews and cause them to blossom and bloom as they confess their sins and consecrate their lives to the service of the King of Kings. Furthermore, the reality of the WOW of the pending revival at 4 South Zetterower Avenue is that it's going to begin in you. You won't be able to resist God's irresistible grace. And that pain you're dealing with will only prove the strength of the power of God as His almighty grace leads you home. There won't be any excuses because your marriage can be fixed, your sickness has a cure and God has the power to make it happen now. Even though you don't understand or particularly like the doctrines of election, you will embrace it because the Holy Spirit has convinced you that it's the only way you can get in God's Kingdom. Baptism won't be a hang-up either as you realize the Lord's great love for you and the people's around you, you will welcome the privilege to publically commit or recommit your life to Him. I know what you're thinking. Go ahead and say it - WOW!


W - Wisdom - Every WOW ends with acknowledging God's wisdom. The pear tree in my yard blossomed so fast and so completely that I was surprised, even shocked, given the recent frosty mornings. It seemed like only a few weeks ago our yard was covered with snow and instead of blooms, the pear tree glistened with icicles.

There is a timing to it all though. The weight of the WOW was the "when" in the buds and blooms. When I was younger I didn't appreciate the fact that small starts are necessary and wonderful. There are no pears on the tree yet and even if there were, I don't think I would have an appetite for them. Pears taste best in the fall and it's best to wait for the fruiting process to run the course the wise creator designed. Actually if the growth happens too fast, it will be weak or frost bitten.

When I was young, I was a lot smarter than I am now. As I have grown older, I've realized how dumb I am and how wise God is. That's why I want to learn more about Him. To really know God results in knowing ourselves better which enables us to see our keen need for the wisdom of His word. And when we believe His wise word and obey it, WOW, we are happy! Make sure you get the WOW right though because most of the time we think somebody, something or someplace can make us happy and so we press toward that goal and are disappointed. Yet, when we seek God first, those other worthy goals find their rightful place behind the author and finisher of our life and faith. God is more interested in what we're becoming than where we are going. Please remember that the next time your plans don't seem to be working out like you want, or you face setbacks and disappointments, God knows and desires what's best for us. He is our wise Heavenly Father who delights in us. Although we may go through the oven of affliction, God has His hand on the thermostat and His eye on the timer.

As a young, "brilliant" boy, I had a "WOW" experience hatching chicken eggs in a home incubator. When the first two of twelve eggs hatched, I figured I should help the other chicks break their shells, so I proceeded to crack open their problems. Those ten chicks died because the pecking out of the shell on their own is how God in His wisdom designed their healthy entry to life be made. Knowing that God has designed our course in life so that we are being conformed to the image of his dear Son should really excite us and cause us to rejoice in each day the Lord lets us live here on Earth. The Apostle Paul realized God directed his course and in spite of all his failures and persecutions, he ended up with a WOW.

"But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy..." Acts 20:24A.

So, the next time grace stops us in our tracks by a bloom on a tree, a tear in an eye, warmth around the heart, or a still small voice on a starlit night, remember to WOW because it's God's wonderful, - omnipotent - wisdom at work.

Brother Randy



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