How Sweet The Sound
HEARING GOD'S WHISPER THROUGH ALL OF THE NOISE
A decibel is a unit of measure that informs us of the intensity of a particular sound. For instance, if you do your research, you will find different sounds can be measured at a certain decibel. A whisper is first measured at around 15 Db, and the last mention of a whisper at its loudest registers around 30 Db. I am convinced that what we are tuning into on a regular basis informs us on how we look at things, what we believe, and ultimately how we behave and live our lives.
Born and raised on Long Island, New York as a preacher’s kid, I went right to work after graduating high school. Working as a forklift mechanic for 15 years, the things I listened to varied over the years. Work for me involved traveling all five boroughs of NYC, constantly surrounded by the sound of heavy machinery, people barking commands at one another, heavy traffic, and blaring sirens.
I now find myself penning the words to this article as a full-time Pastor in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas. How I found myself moving from New York to Texas is a long story filled with divine intervention. The cause can be credited to nothing short of the Amazing Grace of God, and the Heavenly Sound that was able to find its way through all of the noise straight into the depths of my heart.
The picture of someone driving their car and turning the knob which controls the volume of their music comes to my mind. I can only attribute where I am today and where I am going to the Lord Himself, turning the volume control of my heart to increase the intensity of a specific Sound. This whisper, as I like to call it, constantly reminds me that my identity is not wrapped up in what I do, but in who God is, and what He has done for me through the finished work of Jesus apart from my behavior.
During this season of COVID-19, social unrest, and the elections coming, I think we can all agree there is a lot of loud noise. This truly is an unprecedented time in history, and I believe that it’s God’s invitation for all of us to tune the ears of our hearts to a specific sound. The two words Amazing Grace that have long preceded the words “how sweet the sound” from one generation to the next in the form of song have made a remarkable impact on my life. I want to talk to you briefly about the Sound of Grace. Grace is a word that is seldom used, and if ever, it mostly revolves around your family gathering around the dinner table when everyone is ready to eat. I think that is great! But is it God’s intention that Grace is something that is only mentioned at the dinner table?
The world we live in today is full of so much noise. If you listen to the news for long enough, and the sounds that are being released from all of the available outlets, I don’t think it will be long before you start to feel weighed down, hopeless about your future, and just chock full of the cares of this world.
About 11 years ago, I was introduced to a Pastor by the name of Joseph Prince through one of his books given to me by my father called Destined to Reign. I had heard the gospel before and knew that Jesus died for my sins, but somehow along the way, I never truly heard about the Riches of God’s Grace and what that meant for me. This book completely revolutionized my life because it helped me to see the person of Jesus through the pages of the Bible very differently. Previously I thought that if I did something bad, God would give me something bad in return, and if I did something good, I would get good in return. I began to dig into the scriptures more and saw Jesus getting all of the bad that He didn’t deserve at the cross so that I could get all of the good that I didn’t deserve through the cross, in what my Pastor likes to call the Divine Exchange (see 2 Corinthians5:21). Somehow along the way, even while being blessed to grow up in church, I never once heard anyone preach this beautiful truth found in the New Covenant. This is the Sound that truly put me on a trajectory of seeing the beauty of my savior Jesus Christ not just at church as an event on Sunday, but at work, in the daily grind, and yes, even on a Monday morning ... hello! This is the Sound that brought about and continues to bring about change for the better in all of my behavior.
Perhaps what God was trying to communicate to me as a believer in Jesus was that I was in this world, but not of this world. Perhaps this Sound didn’t originate from this world
but became available to it through the Love of God displayed for us at the center cross of Calvary where the justice of God was satisfied by the Love of God. However, you find yourself reading this, God wants to remind you that your life matters to Him. There is a noise in the form of a whisper that has forever changed the dynamic of my family tree. Maybe through these strange times, we’re all in, He wants to use this Sound to change your life starting today. If you believe in Jesus as savior, chances are you could be just like me, on a journey of tuning your ears to the Sound of God’s Grace (unmerited Favor) that the Bible describes as being the key ingredient to your salvation (see Ephesians 2:8-9). If you find yourself not knowing what you believe, you need to hear His gentle and quiet whisper toward you today, reminding you to stop working to try to get to Him, because He already successfully worked His way in the person of Christ to get to you. When I say salvation, I don’t just mean escaping from the grips of eternal punishment. Salvation is much more than that. It’s continuing to catch God’s generous heart for you on this side of heaven by allowing him to take hold of the volume control residing in your heart and giving Him permission to increase the Sound of His amazing Grace through the unveiling of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the things He freely gave you at the cross.
Getting back to the numbers that I mentioned in the beginning of our time together, I want to draw your attention to the numbers 15 and 30. In the Bible, numbers carry meaning. Fifteen means rest, and 30 is the number of calling and/or going public. The first time the word Grace is mentioned in the Bible it is attached to the name Noah, which also means rest (see Genesis 6:8). God is truly calling humanity to tune into this Sound of Grace so that we can take advantage of spiritual geography within, that transcends our natural habit in which our confidence has been so strongly built around. It is amazing to me that a virus can quickly wake us up to the truth of how humanity is so intricately woven together while co-existing on opposite sides of the globe. I bet there is a Rest on the inside of us all that God is inviting us to access. I truly believe that God is asking us all to participate with His Grace going public in our lives first, as He blesses us with front row seats to His goodness. How do we participate, you might ask? Can I respond with, how much are you willing to receive from Him before you get your act together? Chances are He is willing to give you much more than you are willing to receive.
As you live your life in the middle of the loud, you will begin to realize that He is not in the things that are loud, but in the gentle and quiet whisper to show off how close He truly is. When someone is this close, there is no need to shout “... Ahhhh — Amazing Grace, how sweet the Sound.” (see 1 Kings 19:11-12).
GRACE REVOLUTION CHURCH
8800 N TARRANT PKWY #100, NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TEXAS, 76182 PHONE: (972) 513-0056 | WEBSITE: GRACEREV.ORG