Summary: To focus on how and when, we ordinary mortals can end-up making even the Wonderful One (Isaiah 9:6) wonder...

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First things first. What is the chief and highest end of man? Let the revered Christian Book namely the Westminster catechism give the answer. Man’s chief and highest end is to glorify (worship) God, and fully to enjoy him forever. When it comes to glorifying Him and fully enjoying Him, let it be said that the entire exercise ought to be “absolutely genuine emanating right from the innermost core of one’s being (read spirit)”. This would lead to the next question, how could the process of glorifying Him originate right from the depths of one’s heart? It is only possible, when a person is truly fascinated by His unique traits. Remember, worshipping God for WHAT HE IS, is the highest form of worship, standing head and shoulders above other forms of worship, which come with strings attached, such as worshipping Him for the blessings, He showers upon us. While on the subject, at this stage, it would serve us well to look at the synonym of the word “Glorify”, which is “Magnify”. When, one magnifies Him, that is to say, when one keenly observes His Divine nature, with a magnifying glass, as it were, the “spiritual explorer” (if you permit me to use this expression) in you is bound to come across several unique attributes of the Almighty, which would evoke awe, and in turn lead to spontaneous, heart-felt worship and praise.

Amongst so many of His noble attributes, one which evokes an instant Hallelujah from me is that our God is a God of surprises!!! While there may not be distinct Scripture portion to this effect such as that which portrays our God as love (I John 4:8), from the Scriptures we can discern that it is in Him to spring a surprise, when least expected. Widowed Ruth who had handed over the reins of her life to the Almighty (Ruth 1:16) may not have expected to meet her future husband, when she left her home one morning during the season of Barley harvest (Ruth 2-4) with so many question marks looming over her gloomy future. By the same token the Shunammite lady worried stiff about her land issue may not have bargained for the pleasant surprise which greeted her (2 Kings 8:1-6) when she walked into the King’s presence (read the hyperlinked Scripture portions before reading any further).

Speaking of surprises, imagine the delight in King Solomon’s heart when the good Lord answered his plea for wisdom, guaranteeing so many other blessings besides wisdom (I Kings 3:4-13). Trust the good Lord to give you MORE THAN YOU ASK FOR (Ephesians 3:20). Any doubts on this score? Ask Peter and co… they never thought, after a disappointing fishing session, they would NET…not once but twice so many fish with the help of ONE who loves to give a surprise…(Luke 5:1-7/John 21:1-11)!!!

Now for the twist in the tale!!! Has it ever occurred to you that we ordinary, mortal men can also end-up surprising God of surprises? Surprised? Let me go on…we can surprise Him both for negative as well as positive reasons. In this sermon, I would like to present before the congregation instances, when we can end up surprising God of surprises …make the Wonderful One Himself (Isaiah 9:6) wonder!!! Time to look at relevant Scripture portions for gleaning some valuable lessons (I Cor 10:11) on this subject…Firstly…

When our own disappoint…

And he(Jesus) went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him. And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands. Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. But Jesus, said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he MARVELLED because of their unbelief…- Mark 6:1-6 (KJV)

How true is the saying that familiarity breeds contempt! A true Prophet who is seen as a normal human being day in and day out gets (nine times out of ten) rejected by His OWN GENERATION, later on however with passage of time wisdom would dawn upon the next generation (who face no danger from the dead and gone Prophet) that the World had not given its due to that poor Saint. During Jesus’ time OT Prophets who had been persecuted by their contemporaries such as Jeremiah were venerated (passage of time bestows a halo upon the departed Saint) but the Son of God had to swallow the bitter pill of rejection by His own people.

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