I will turn 44 this August. I keep thinking at some point I will get a mid-life crisis. I can't remember having one or if I did, it was such a mild case there wasn't even a blip. If it is still to come, it make me feel better about mid-life. I'll take 88 or better.
I want to take a few posts to ramble about 4 foundation stones that have supported me, so powerfully, that my life is filled with excitement and peace. The architect of these stones is God the Father and the cornerstone is Jesus Christ. May all the glory go to Him as I relate these pillars of Purpose.
Dedication- I begin with dedication. What is the source of the sustainable desire to live for God and practice His truth? My dedication is wholly due to the glorious providence of God. Before the very foundation of the world, He graciously chose to adopt me into His family. At the right time, His spirit called be with an irresistible draw to which I responded by repentance and faith in the death of Christ as the covering of my sins. I am now being sustained by the power and working of His spirit. It is a persevering power. When I was little, I would 'turn over new leaves' and be a good boy for a little while. I actually made my bed everyday for 2 whole weeks! But every endeavor always wore thin and fizzled out. Since God's spirit has been in my life I have endurance to live and love. So when I say, "I'm dedicated"- it is due to His preserving sustenance and nothing within me. Sometimes, when I think I am at the end of my rope, tired and doubting, He comes to the rescue and fluffs the sails. Praise and thanks to Him alone!
Preparation- This dedication leads to preparation. God has given me a voracious appetite for truth. It begins in His word, which is my only rule of life and faith. But He has also given beautiful blessings of music, preaching, writing of other Christians and non-believers to push and prod, teach and transform. The internet can be used for evil, but it is my favorite source of knowledge. My hats off to monergism.com for pulling together the greatest resource of reformed ideas on the web! I could spend the rest of my life there. But with that I enjoy Ravi Zacharius, tons of itunes music, and random news from Matt Drudge. The Bible study, understanding doctrine (especially the Westminster Confession of Faith) and church history, and outside sources has prepared me even though I have miles to go. I am especially indebted to Covenant Theological Seminary and Reformed Theological Seminary for putting some of their courses online. I especially recommend Dr David Calhoun's courses at Covenant (all free!).
Proclamation- Preparation leads to proclamation. I am growing more excited about sharing my faith. Not just in a teaching ministry, but one on one. The Lord is making me aware of people that I need to share the gospel with and I am getting where I truly love doing it. Evangelism is not an activity for me to earn brownie points with God, but it is a privilege to be my Father's ambassador in this world. I want my words and actions to proclaim Him at all times!
Celebration- Finally....worship. Why has it taken me so long to learn how to worship my Creator and Savior? I can't explain how.. but my worship has been transformed. It is not a 'style'- I can worship in any environment. It is not a building- I can worship in a garbage can Worship is where I come to cry out to my God in celebration of all He has done for me. It is prayer and praise! It is hearing the Word being preached. It is especially sweet in the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's table.
I still have a long way to go in these 4 pillars. But my prayer is that you would find the sweetness of Christ in just this same way!