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When Familiarity Kills Your Awe!


Rapt-in-AweDuring this period of transition and preparation for our next adventure, going to corporate gatherings and worshiping hands-free, listening to other preachers, and getting back into my reading habits, has brought back the joy, peace and awe of grace.  Oh, the wonder of it all!  I know I haven’t arrived, but God’s gracious hand is everywhere and I am so thankful.

Has there been moments in your life when the wonder of grace barely gets your attention in the midst of your busy schedule?  Are you no longer amazed by grace?  Have you lost the awe and wonder of it all?  I hope this quote below is helpful.

The great Princeton Seminary theologian B. B. Warfield told his students in 1911:

“We are frequently told, indeed, that the great danger of the theological student lies precisely in his constant contact with divine things. They may come to seem common to him because they are customary. As the average man breathes the air and basks in the sunshine without ever a thought that it is God in his goodness who makes his sun to rise on him, though he is evil, and sends rain to him, though he is unjust; so you may come to handle even the furniture of the sanctuary with never a thought above the gross earthly materials of which it is made. The words which tell you of God’s terrible majesty or of his glorious goodness may come to be mere words to you—Hebrew and Greek words, with etymologies, inflections and connections in sentences. The reasonings which establish to you the mysteries of his saving activities may come to be to you mere logical paradigms, with premises and conclusions, fitly framed, no doubt, and triumphantly cogent, but with no further significance to you than their formal logical conclusiveness.  God’s stately steppings in his redemptive processes may become to you a mere series of facts of history, curiously interplaying to the production of social and religious conditions and pointing mayhap to an issue which we may shrewdly conjecture: but much like other facts occurring in time and space which may come to your notice, it is your great danger.

But it is your great danger only because it is your great privilege. Think of what your privilege is when your greatest danger is that the great things of religion may become common to you! Other men, oppressed by the hard conditions of life, sunk in the daily struggle for bread perhaps, distracted at any rate by the dreadful drag of the world upon them and the awful rush of the world’s work, find it hard to get time and opportunity so much as to pause and consider whether there be such things as God, and religion, and salvation from the sin that compasses them about and holds them captive.  The very atmosphere of your life is these things; you breathe them in at every pore: they surround you, encompass you, press in upon you from every side.  It is all in danger of becoming common to you!  God forgive you, you are in danger of becoming weary of God!”

In the humdrum monotony of lifeless formality, the beauty of the Gospel that first attracted you is still there, but you’re no longer amazed by it.  If you’re not amazed, you can’t celebrate!  May God’s grace awaken us to the beauty of Jesus day by day, as we pause often, and as we rest in Him.

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