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The Mystery of God- Part 2

David Shin

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Pastor David shares part 2 in his series entitled the Mystery of God. 

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David Shin

Dr. David Shin is the President of Ouachita Hills College.

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  • February 25, 2017
    11:30 AM
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Good morning. Happy saveth so good to be with you today in the house and Lord and says We pray our Father in heaven we thank you for this privilege and opportunity that we have to worship you in your house we thank you for Jesus the revelation the character of God manifested on Calvary we thank you for your goodness towards us in your tender mercies and we pray that as we pause for a few moments to reflect on you and that you would inspire us instruct us through your Holy Spirit for we asked these things in Jesus name Amen. If you have not already I want to invite you to open your Bibles to Luke Chapter 2 verses 41 through 52 as James read our scripture reading this morning Luke Chapter 2 verses 41 through 52 this is the only story from the childhood of Jesus that is recorded for us in the Gospels this is when he was 12 years of age the next time that you seeing Him Jesus is about 30 so we don't have a lot of Jesus' life but this is a fascinating story because of what takes place he's 12 years old it was a transition point between childhood and manhood in Jewish society it was the equivalent of turning 18 and in Jewish culture he was considered a son of the law and this was going to be the 1st time that Jesus was going to camp meeting. 12 it's more like the equivalent of G.C. Passover all the Jews from around the world would be gathered there they would caravan together and this was the high point in the Jewish annual cycle so Jesus goes and according to desire of ages he realizes who he is a 12 year old watching the Passover take place watches the lamb being slain placed on the altar and he sees himself what an epiphany desire of a just tells us that he is wrapped in contemplation as if to be solving a great problem 12 years of age realizes his true identity that he is the Son of God His mission to the world. Is met being manifested before him at this Passover at the age of 12 and he is so consumed in thought and meditation that he is left behind in Jerusalem His parents think that he's in the caravan and they come to the evening ritual about to break camp for the night and in my imagination I imagine that Jesus was very helpful in so his Helping Hands aren't there Mary perhaps says Joseph Have you seen Jesus you know I haven't seen him I thought he was with a group and they go out to the relatives and acquaintances and say Have you seen Jesus and then this sinking feeling sets in he is left behind in Jerusalem what a horrific. Journey that must have been parents imagine ever lost a child at the mall at the supermarket. All of these visions of what may be taking place in it was a seemingly eternal 3 days. We don't have children yet the only thing I can quote it to is is our dogs we like smart dog owners on July 4th thought Oh oh let's have a family outing so we went to Grand Rapids downtown took our 2 Golden Retrievers thinking they would enjoy it sat down right by Grand River there and the fireworks went off right in front of us in education that night their eyes lit up like saucers frenzy in our female went crazy she slipped out her collar and we're in downtown thousands of people went underneath the feet of all these people and before I knew it I was chasing her through downtown. Good luck never caught or and that was a horrific night. We went everywhere got a hotel went the next day up and down like a needle in a haystack went to the police station no avail put put the last dog thing on Craigslist and it's striking the parallel I recently days went by I had to go back to work in East Lansing and then we got the phone call she ended up in someone's backyard Paul's were raw from running all over the place and we we have her back praise the Lord now that's a dog we're talking about a child. I don't think any of you if you lost your child would go back to work right now this is from the Justice Department the Justice Department estimates that an average of 2185 children are reported missing every day. And the article I read A.B.C. News It's quotes and I quote parents always wonder if they could have done something to prevent this they always play back the last day or the last week and here are some quotes from that article parents of missing children listen to this this is a nightmare says one parent you don't wake up out of it one other parent says at this point I just want some closure I need to know where she is and if she's not alive I need to know the article says parents of missing children say that the pain is excruciating and psychologists confirm that the loss can be even greater than when a child dies so I just imagine Mary and Joseph 3 days a Grand Central Station New York City in a terror they had sleepless nights I imagine them running through the streets of Jerusalem disheveled hair tears straight street thesis and just in a frenzy looking for Jesus everywhere the most horrific eternal 3 days as parents and then they're like let's check the seminary walking through the seminary Old Testament Department czar of ages says they hear a voice. And they say that there was no voice like Jesus' voice earnest yet full of melody and I imagine Mary's there and she says we did that voice. It sounds like Jesus and they peer around the corner and there is their 12 year old son surrounded by professors and Ph D's department heads and they're taking notes Jesus is having a theological dialogue and the Bible says that they were amazed at his understanding. Now it's amazing the transition that takes place yet you ever see a parent that has lost their child at the mall and they've been searching for hours perhaps they found them find them at Barnes and Noble and they're just chillin out reading and the transition from fear or from relief to frustration right where have you been I've been looking for you everywhere I've seen this I've experienced this all you know the parent transitions from relief to frustration and let's pick it up Mary's word to Jesus after he find she finds him at the seminude to seminary in this deal logical discussion in verse 48 here it is so when they saw him the parents of Jesus they were amazed and his mother said to him Son Why have you done this to us like the N A S B Why have you treated us this way In other words inconsiderate irresponsible you should have texted. It's been 3 days do you know what you put us through. Why have you treated us this way you can sense the frustration in the in the tone or in the nuances of this question why have you treated us this way why have you done this to us and look your father and I have sought you anxiously we've been a basket case these 3 days we've been frazzled it's been horrific anguish care oh why did you do this to us and you would think that Jesus would illegally ate. Their anxiety and answer the question but it gets worse but in verse 49 and he said to them why did you seek me. Parents How would that go over. A long time visit a you know a long time looking for your child let's say ours then you find them and they're not even looking for you they're just relaxing and then you're like why did you do this to me and then your child looks at you with an innocent face and says Why are you looking for me. Any red blooded parent would have an aneurysm. About to blow a gasket. Wow. And then it gets worse why did you seek Me Did you not know that I must be about my father's business. In other words you know my real parents. Or an answer to a parental authority that is higher than you was. This is a challenging dialogue and then the next verse says but they did not understand the statement which he spoke to them they're like on all will push talking about that from my let's just go home and he went down with them to to Nazareth and he was subject to them but his mother kept all these things in her heart in Jesus increased in wisdom in stature and in favor with God and man. What a mysterious story out of all the stories they could have put in the Bible they put this one from his childhood and there's more questions than answers you see it was very easy for Mary and Joseph to get familiar with Jesus. After all saw him take his 1st steps saw him go from milk to solid food like any other child in some respects develop grow he was their son but he was more then their son they thought that they had gone all figured out and then this incident happens in the Bible tells us that Mary stored these things in her heart and I want to circle back and highlight for emphasis this morning our message I want to circle back to this verse from the N.A.S. be why have you treated us this way the words of Mary to Jesus why have you treated us this way have you ever asked God this question. Why why didn't you save my marriage come on now why didn't you save my dad from cancer why me this is a question that all of us have or will ask at some point in our life. Why have you treated me this way the marriage the words of Mary to Jesus and and the thing is in this verse there is no answer notice that Jesus responds to a question with 2 more questions why were you looking for me did you not know that I must be about my father's business there's more mystery in this verse than the answers why have you treated me this way the words of Mary to Jesus are words that we ask in our experience with God and friends there are questions that we many times have in our relationship with God that there are no good answers I think of this disease called progeria that inflicts children they never get beyond 3 feet tall they die an early adolescence it hyper accelerates the aging process what do we come up for answers like this and I and I know the classic answers right the devil great controversy theme these are all good theological questions the results of sin but I have sat with families that have lost their children and it seems so insensitive when that Rall moment at the memorial service when you're sitting there and you're trying to come up with words to to help to comfort. I just can't bring myself to say the logically speaking you just can't articulate what where is the explanation in these times I just finished a book a couple weeks ago by Paul Miller. It's on prayer and he tells a story of how him and his wife were expecting a child they were excited it's all parents are and were praying for a healthy baby girl she's born the delivery is a nightmare the doctor administers too much to Towson which induces labor the baby comes out almost suffocates he said the baby was blue and he called his mom and he said there's something wrong with our baby and then the baby caught pneumonia and then she was diagnosed with a rare form of autism. Where the answers for these types of things and goes to you have ski in his book says if all must suffer to pay for the eternal harmony what have the children to do with it tell me please what about the children what am I to do about them you know it's fair that if I make a mistake I reap the consequences of that but shouldn't God intervene when children suffer that's the question that Dostoyevsky's asking I What purpose does it play even in the great controversy and what did they do and so you're faced with this challenging question yes we don't believe that God originated evil we believe that God gives free will but it's kind of like this analogy if you see a child in the middle of Seward Highway and a semi truck is coming down at 70 miles an hour and you are there and you have the ability to swoop in and save the child from being run over wouldn't you do it and this is the question to you have C. is asking look shouldn't God intervene when children suffer what purpose does it play. My last district received a phone call. From a member that their son was driving home that night lost control of the vehicle crashed into a tree and died instantly went to the memorial service said a few words and then we walked down to the site for his car had lost control and where he had died afterwards we send living room and I want to tell you I don't know what to say sometimes you feel like the friends of job just sitting there for 3 days in silence they should have stayed silent in that situation but these are questions that we all ask in regards to God Just when we think we have got it all figured out something happens in our lives that leaves of devastated and we are tempted to rethink everything that we ever thought about God. So what do we have to hold on to in these moments that we have more questions and answers and we ask like Mary why have you treated us this way perhaps there's a circumstance in your life a family member that is feeling you with grief because of the situation they're in Perhaps you have a personal challenge in your life a relationship a marriage is a disease whatever it may be this is this thing is weighing you down and you are looking up to heaven in your saying Lord why why is this happening to me and you have absolutely no answers What do you do in these situations and this is where the Bible takes us when frustrated by the mystery of God trust the character of God. This is where the Bible is leading us in other words yes this is what God is this is what we know but there is an infinite amount of God that we don't know that's the reality we can't fit God into our little box and say you know this is God because you're up for disappointment Mary and Joseph thought they had Jesus all figured out and then they go to the Passover they ask questions no answers just miscarry God is bigger than our conceptions God is bigger than what we think he is but in regards to his character These are things that he has clearly revealed there are going to be some things that happen to us in our lives this side of heaven that we have more questions than answers I went to the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. walking around that museum from the 3rd floor down and I want to tell you I had a lot of questions absolutely no answers I simply could not rectify the senseless genocide of 6000000 men women and children no answers when frustrated by the mystery of gun trust the character of God steps to Christ page one of 6 God never asked us to believe without giving sufficient evidence on which to base our faith his existence his character the truthfulness of His Word are all established by the testimony that appeals to our reason and this testimony is abundant it Dawn has never removed the possibility of doubt our faith must rest upon evidence not demonstration those who wish to doubt will have opportunity while those who really desire to know the truth will find plenty of evidence on which to rest their feet now the question is has gone given us evidence on which to believe in God's character the cross assured in our Sabbath school this morning when my seminary friends asked me a question and it made me smile he said you know when we're squeezed our character comes out. You know I'm talking about a person cuts you off. Character you want to know what someone is like in character be in the most intense stressful situation with them you'll see all kinds of things coming down and he asked the question what do you get when you squeeze God he said Jesus when you squeeze gun you see Jesus the cross and intense moment for God You see the revelation of his character as never before this is who God is the most profound revealing of God's character at the cross and in those moments that there's things that we don't understand God appeals to us hang on this God has always and will always have your best interests in mind Amen you believe that he's love he is good and there's going to be things in your life that you simply don't understand but you have to go back to this and say Lord I don't know why this is happening I don't have the answers but Lord I believe me that you are who you reveal yourself to be at the cross you care for me more than I can ever imagine you have my best interest in mind and I believe that some day even if it's not this side of heaven you're going to reveal to me why these things have happened I love from desire of ages to 24 the sin of this god never God wot never leans his children otherwise than they would choose to be led if they could see the and from the beginning and discern the glory of the purpose which they are fulfilling as coal workers with him in other words. When we stand with Gone in heaven on the sea of glass and we look back from the eternal perspective we'll say Lord. I would not have been led any other way while. All the tragedies all the heartache in our lives we can look back and say Lord I see your divine hand through all of this it is like a golden thread that is loomed into the fabric of my life your story in my life ministry of healing for 74 in the future live the mysteries that here have annoyed and disappointed us we will be made plain I don't understand how it's going to be but I believe because God is good and God is love that one day as I look back on my life the tragedies the heartaches the frustrations the things that just seem to crush me to my very soul I can say Lord thank you the curtain will be pulled back and will be able to see as never before. On read this excerpt from. William Lane Craig in his book gives this personal account of someone that he visited at a nursing home on this particular day I was walking in the hallway of a nursing home I had not visited before looking in vain for a few who were alive to receive a flower and a few words of encouragement this always seemed to contain some of the worst. Some of the worst cases strapped on to cart or on to wheelchairs and looking completely helpless as I neared the end of the hallway I saw an old woman strapped up in a wheelchair her face was an absolute horror the empty stare and white pupils of her eyes told me that she was blind the large hearing aid over one ear told me that she was almost deaf one side of a face was being eaten by cancer that was discolored and running sore recovering part of her cheek and it had pushed her nose to run one side dropped one eye and distorted her jaw so that what should have been the corner of her mouth was the bottom of her mouth as a consequence she drooled constantly I also later learned that this woman was 89 years old that she had been bedridden blind and nearly deaf and alone for 25 years this was Mabel I don't know why I spoke to her she looked Lesley less likely to respond and most of the people I saw in that hallway but I put a flower in her hand and said Here is a flower for you Happy Mother's Day She held a flower to her face and tried to smell it and then spoke and much to my surprise her words although somewhat garbled because of her deformity were obviously produced by a clear mind she said Thank you it's lovely but can I give it to someone else I can't see it you know I'm blind I said Of course I pushed her chair back down the hallway to a place where I thought I can find some alert patients I found one I stopped the chair Mabel held out the flower and said Here this is from Jesus that was when it began to dawn dawn on me that this was not an ordinary human being Mabel and I became friends over the next few weeks I went to see her once or twice a week for the next 3 years. It was not many weeks before I turned it turned from a sense that I was being helpful to a sense of wonder and I would go with her go to her with a pen and paper to write down the things she would say during one week of hectic exams I was frustrated because my mind seemed to be pulled in 10 different directions at once with all the things I had to think about the question occurred to me what does Mabel have to think about hour after hour day after day week after week not even able to know whether it's day or night so I went to her and asked Mabel what do you think about while you're lying here and she said I think about my Jesus I sat there for a moment of the difficulty of me thinking about Jesus for even 5 minutes and I asked what do you think about Jesus and she replied and slowly and deliberately as I wrote in this is what she said I think about how good he's been to me he's been awfully good to me in my life you know I'm one of those kind who is mostly satisfied lots of folks would think I'm kind of old fashioned but I don't care I'd rather have Jesus he's all the world to me and then Mabel began to sing Jesus is all the world to me my life my joy my all he is my strength from day to day without him I would fall when I'm sad to him I go no other one can cheer me so when I'm sad he makes me glad he's my friend this is nonfiction incredible as it may seem a human being really live like this I know I knew or how could she do it seconds ticked and minutes crawled and so to days and weeks and months and years of pain without human company and without explanation of why it was happening and she lay there and seeing him how could she do it. She had power lying there in that bed unable to move unable to see unable to talk to anyone she had power to. Think of any Johnston Flint she wrote these words to him going through pain cancer blind Here's what she penned he give it more grace when the burdens grow greater he send it more strength when the labors increase too added affliction he added his mercy to multiply and trials has multiplied peace when we have exhausted our store of endurance when our strength has failed air the day is half done when we reach the end of our hoarded resources our fathers full giving is only begun they are not that I need shell exceed his provision our God ever yearns his resources to share lean hard on the arm everlasting of ailing the father both he and I load well up there his love has no limit his Grace has no measure his power has no boundary known and to men for out of the infinite riches in Jesus he give and give and give again. God may not give you all the answers but he has promised a down payment of grace. Equal and exceeding the heartache that we go through this side of heaven we can trust that God is good. We can trust in his character and in those months moments that we have more questions and answers got says hold on. Going to bring you across and I promise you that when I turn your head you can look back you'll see. That you would not have been led any other way let's pray. Oh Father in heaven. We think you. We thank you for that revelation of the character of God. At Calvary we thank you for this reference point that we can always look to that in those moments that we just ask like Mary why I am I being treated this way. In those moments frustration anguish and we say Lord I just don't understand why this is happening to me Lori thank you that you give us more grace to endure that you carry us in those moments that we cannot walk. And we thank you for the promise of your character that you are good that you are love and that you have our best interests in mind and that when we stand with you in heaven will look back. And say Lord thank you I would not have been led and the other way so keep us father in these moments. Support us with your Grace sustain us. We claim the promise that when you started in our lives you'll be faithful to complete for me as he sings in Jesus' name. This media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more servant leader Visit W W W audio verse or.

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