Eagerly Awaiting

Contemporary Thinking

Have you ever had a time in your life where you were having a conversation with somebody that said something so unbiblical that it left you discouraged and heartbroken? For example, I was talking with a man one day who professed to be a believer and he uttered these striking words, “I do not understand why it is such a big deal that God had his only Son crucified; if I could raise my kid from the dead I wouldn’t mind killing him either.” That is a statement that leaves you shocked right? That is unbiblical in every aspect!
Now, the remark by the man mentioned above is the first and last time I ever heard such a statement made by a professing believer in Christ. However, I have heard one statement, time and time again, by professing believers that is so unbiblical that it leaves me shocked and discouraged. I have heard this specific thing uttered by laymen in the church as well as seminarians training to be pastors. The statement goes somewhat like this:
“I want my kids to grow up before Christ returns so I can see them graduate, marry, and have kids.”
Or like this,
“I want to experience marriage before the Lord returns.”
Or,
“I hope the Lord comes back later so I can finish college and have a career and a family.”
These types of comments leave me discouraged and heartbroken. The reason for this discouragement and heartbrokenness is because these comments are unbiblical. They are not unbiblical because such comments exalt marriage or having kids too much. The Bible talks about marriage in a much more beautiful way than any man could. The Bible also talks about the great gift a child is to his mother in father. So that is not the problem. The problem with such comments are that they reveal that the people speaking them have little to no understanding of who Jesus Christ truly is and what he has accomplished. But before we go further, lets look at the Bible.

What the Word of God Says

Titus 2:11-14
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good words.”
Philippians 3:20-21
“But our citizenship is in heaven and from it we await a Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”
Romans 8:19-23
“For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for the adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
And lastly (there are more biblical passages supporting this, but we will end on this one) 2 Peter 3:11-13
“Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

In Light Of What Has Been Said

The idea of hoping Christ delays his second coming so that we can enjoy a little more of the pleasure of this world is completely foreign to what has been stated in Scripture. Believers in the early church were eagerly awaiting the return of Christ. They longed to see the Lord of glory coming down in his entire splendor. They yearned to see the beloved Son of God finally coming to take them to be with him. They desired to be in a place where righteousness dwells and evil is shut up forever. They wanted to know Christ, yes they wanted to behold the slain Lamb of God that suffered unto death so that they could have a hope that is beyond the grave. They wanted to see the blessed Savior that paid such an incredibly high price to redeem them from their sin.
Do you not also want to behold him? Do you not also desire to see Christ and worship Him without any temptation to sin? Do you not also want to behold the only begotten Son of God that humbled himself to the point of death on a cross so that you could no longer be an enemy of God, but rather have peace with God. This is what we ought to long for.

Heart Diagnosis

There are a few heart problems that are the direct cause of thinking the unbiblical way that I mentioned earlier.
One diagnoses is that you are simply speaking without thinking about all that what your saying entails. If this is you, confess to God that you have often spoke quickly without thinking. Also, plead with God that he will grant you grace to refrain from even thinking about Christ in such a minimal way.
Another diagnoses, which is dangerous, is that you have a small (very small) view of Christ Jesus. There is great danger in wanting to enjoy marriage, see your kids grow up, or whatever else, rather than enjoying Christ’s return and seeing him in His entire splendor. If this is you, then I urge you to confess to God that you have sinned by not acknowledging the supremacy of Christ above all things (husband, kids, sports, career, etc.). Also plead with God to grant you wisdom that you may increase in your knowledge of Christ Jesus and the great work that he has accomplished through his life, death, and resurrection.

The last diagnosis, which is the most dangerous, is that you do not know Christ. You feel all to at home in this world and would like to stay in it rather than go to be with Christ where righteousness dwells. If this is you, plead that God would save you from your sin. Repent of having never worshiped Christ throughout the entirety of your life, and place your faith in this glorious Christ that was crucified, buried, and resurrected so that the worst of sinners could have a peaceful/beautiful relationship with God.

Reflection


Hebrews 9:28 “So Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly awaiting for him.

Just ponder on what is being said in that powerful verse. Look at who Christ will save when he appears a second time. Is it not those who are eagerly awaiting for him?

Family Devotion

Scripture Says!

There are many Scriptures that you can quote when it comes to family devotion. Here are a few:


1) Deuteronomy 6:4-7

“Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and with all of your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up.”

2) Psalm 78 is actually titled “Tell the Coming Generation” and is all about telling the great works of the Lord to the coming generation.

3) Ephesians 5:25
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with he word.”

Ephesians 6:4
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”

It is obvious from the Word of God that God intends that we proclaim His excellencies not only to unbelievers (1 Peter 2:9) but also to our families (Deuteronomy 6:4-7; Ephesians 6:4). This makes complete since when you think about it. Husbands always tell their wives the things that are important to them. Dads always pass on to their kids what they love most. For an example, take the dad that played baseball all throughout his life. When that dad finds out that his wife is pregnant with a boy, how thrilled is he that he will be able to train his own baby boy to play the game of baseball that he loves so much. This is how God made us. We talk and teach our family the things that we love and adore.

If Scripture Says!
If Scripture makes it that evident that we are to do family devotion centered around the Word of God and God made us to talk about the things that we love the most, then why are there so many families that are not doing family devotion? I think there are many reasons but here are a five to think about:

1) We have never seen family devotion done. Most people have never witnessed a man lead his family in prayer, reading the word, teaching the word, and singing praises to God. It is hard to do something you have never seen.

2) We have never heard this taught from the pulpit. Many people have never heard their pastors talk about the necessity of leading their family in the things of God, and if they have they have never heard their pastors talk about it practically to where they can do it.

3) We do not have a personal devotion time ourselves. There are many that do not have family devotion because they are not even doing a personal devotion.

4) We do not truly care about our wives sanctification. We do not really understand that God uses means to conform his people into the image of Christ and one of the means God uses in conforming our wives into the image of Christ is us (their husbands).

5) We do not understand the depth of sin and the depravity of our kids souls. One main reason that we do not teach our kids in the ways of the Lord is because we have bought into the cultures teaching that our kids are good. This is not the case. Our kids are born as rebels and enemies to God (Ephesians 2; Colossians 1:21-23; Romans 3:9-20; Psalm 14; Psalm 51:5). 

Because Scripture Says!

I am writing this because this has got to change. I will let your hear from one of the greatest preachers of all time:

“We deeply want a revival of domestic religion. The Christian family was the bulwark of godliness in the days of the puritans, but in these evil times hundreds of families of so-called Christians have no family worship, no restraint upon growing sons, and no wholesome instruction or discipline. How can we hope to see the kingdom of our Lord advance when His own disciples do not teach His gospel to their own children?

Oh, Christian men and women, be thorough in what you do and know and teach! Let your families be trained in the fear of God and be yourselves ‘holiness unto the Lord’; so shall you stand like a rock amid the surging waves of error and ungodliness which rage around us.” Charles Spurgeon

What This Looks Like For Me

Kahlie and I have recently been walking through the book of Luke. We do not attempt to go over whole chapters of scripture at one time, rather we take our time by going through 10 to 30 verses every day. The first thing I do is pray to the heavenly Father before we begin studying His Word. The next thing we do is read the passage out loud (we take turns reading). Then we go on to paraphrase the text that we read in our own words. Then we ask a crucial question. The question is, “What is God’s divine purpose in inspiring Luke through the Holy Spirit to write what we have just read?” This is crucial because it keeps us from reading the Bible in an individualistic way, which we Americans are accustomed to doing. Then Kahlie and I will sometimes read a hymn that is Christ centered and God exalting. Lastly, we pray to the Heavenly Father once more. 

What Then Are We to Rejoice In?

“The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, ‘Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!’ And He said to them. I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:17-20

What Does it Mean?

This is a remarkable passage that can teach us a great deal. Within this passage we have the seventy two disciples that Christ had commissioned out in the beginning of Luke 10. He told them to go ahead of him, two by two,  into every town and place. These disciples obeyed the voice of their Lord and went. 

As they were going, these average, ordinary disciples began realizing that they had remarkable power given to them. They began seeing demons submit to them. Fishermen were seeing the forces of evil submit to what they were saying. Farmers were seeing the works of satan stopped by the command of their mouths. Fathers were seeing the powers of darkness defeated with their spoken words. This was incredible. They had seen the Christ do these certain acts, but they never had seen each other do them. This was cause to celebrate, right? 

They begin returning to Jesus wide eyed and full of joy. They all begin telling Christ with enthusiasm that the demons were subject to them in His name. Jesus responds telling them about seeing Satan fall like lightning from heaven and about how He has given them authority to tread on serpents and scorpions. He continues telling them that they have authority over all the power of the enemy and that nothing shall hurt them. This is cause for more joy. This is good news. The disciples are hearing this from the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. But then the word “nevertheless” appears. 

Rejoice in This!

When the term”nevertheless” is used in a sentence it means that in spite of everything I just said, what I am about to say next is what your focus needs to be on. This means we should take heed to what Christ says in the last sentence. He says, “Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” What? Do not rejoice in Satan falling from heaven like lightning? Do not rejoice that we have the power to stop the works of Satan? Do not rejoice that demons are submitting to us? 

Why?

The reason is because sinners names being written in heaven is far more astonishing than demons submitting to a sinner’s command. Satan falling from the heavens is no where near as glorious as sinners ascending to the heavens. Having authority over all the powers of darkness is nothing compared to sinners being accepted by the Creator of the universe. 
Believer, sometimes you may experience great victories in this life. You may see a harvest produced by your labor day in a day out. You may see people that you have been praying for get saved time and time again. You may see all kinds of victories in this life. But if your rejoicing is always based upon those things then your rejoicing will stop. Believers in this life go through droughts. They, at times, see people they pray for perish apart from Christ. They see family members continue on in disobedience against the things of God. They see defeats as well. If your rejoicing is because of the victories then your lack of rejoicing will be because of the defeats.

This is Glorious!

This is why we must rejoice that our names are written in the heavens. There is nothing that can change this. God the Father, from before the foundation of the world was laid, predestined His beloved Son to come in the fullness of time and give His life for His Church. In the fullness of time, Christ Jesus came and fulfilled what God had willed for Him to do. His death and resurrection secured the salvation of those whom God elected to eternal life. This is eternal. This never changes. The victory of Christ is once and for all. If we always rejoice in this, then we will always be rejoicing, for Christ has saved us to the uttermost. 


Romans 8:37-39
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

1st Writing Assignment

This semester I am taking a Christian Missions class. The instructor for this class is Dr. Greenham. He is from South Africa and seems to be absolutely infatuated with the Gospel. As you sit in his class, you begin to realize the great zeal he has for the glory of God and for the exaltation of the name of Jesus. This, in turn, also makes him yearn for the salvation of people because the salvation of people glorifies God and exalts Jesus! 


Dr. Greenham’s first assignment for all of us was to write a one page paper about our conversion. This assignment of his was not to be graded but was to serve in making sure that each one of his students had a story. He did not want to assume that all of his students were saved just because they were in seminary.

I am thankful that he issued this assignment. It was a joy to meditate and write about what God did in my life when I was a freshmen in college. He adopted me into His eternal family and for that I am forever grateful.
Here is My Story

The first time I walked an aisle to pray a prayer that had to do with asking Jesus into my heart was when I was in the fourth grade. This, however, is not the time that God saved me. I went on to live my life in such a way that made it clear that I was a child of the devil (1 John 3:10). I was walking around as a professed believer in Christ but in reality I was dead in my trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1). Scripture declares that there is no condemnation for those in Christ (Romans 8:1) but I was not in Christ. I continued to profess Jesus all the while living a life of complete rebellion to the things of God all the way through my senior year of High School and the summer leading into my freshmen year of community college. Then something changed.

I made it to college and I had already been told about the specific girl that I ought to pursue. I began hanging out with this young lady and attempting to get to know her. A few weeks into getting to know her, I learned that she was going to church by herself. In an attempt to impress her, I asked if she would mind if I joined her in going to church the next Sunday morning. She said that she would love that. So, here I was pursuing her and using church as a means to do so.

I began attending church with her and going to all the different types of college ministries that were on the campus as well. I started picking up the Word of God to read it for myself in my dorm room. The Holy Spirit, through the reading of the Word of God, began convicting me of the sin that I was in. I was led to an awareness of the deep depravity of my soul and my need for a Savior. The Holy Spirit began leading me to repentance and to believing upon the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ. I am not sure as to the exact moment that I was born again from above through the supernatural work of regeneration. I just know that the Spirit of God began leading me to more and more repentance and faith in Christ Jesus.

So, with that being said, I have no idea to the specific time of my regeneration during my first semester of college, but I know with all of my heart that the first semester of my freshmen year the Holy Spirit brought about a conversion. I was no longer the man that I was when I walked onto the campus that August. I was a new creation in Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit was beginning to conform me into the image of Jesus Christ.

Do you have a story?
Ephesians 1:3-4
“In love He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace, with which He has blessed us in the Beloved.”

Thoughts

I have not posted on this blog since last week, but it has been for certain reasons. My wife and I had some friends come out for a few nights. When I say friends, I mean we had seven people fit into a 575 square foot apartment for three days and four nights. That was quite interesting. After they all left I began attending my first classes at the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. This has kept me busy as well. 


This morning I have a little free time before my first class and chapel so I do want to post a little something. I want to express some of my thoughts about this semester so far.

First of all, I just want to begin by saying that I never could have imagined that I would be attending a seminary that is absolutely infatuated with the inspired Word of God. The verse for the whole campus is 2 Timothy 3:14-17 which says, “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man or woman of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” Southeastern believes and holds this verse dearly to them. They quote it often and esteem the Bible as it truly is, the inspired, inherent, infallible, and authoritative breathed out word of God.

Secondly, I would have never thought that I would be attending a seminary that cared so much for the great commission. For those of you that do not know what the great commission is, it is stated in Matthew 28:18-20 saying, “And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in Heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Every professor that has spoken in front of me so far has talked about the great commission. The first chapel of the semester was dedicated to the great commission. Southeastern is eager and yearns to glorify God by sending out the people of God to the unreached people groups of the world that they may believe upon the Gospel of Jesus Christ and sing praise to the glorious grace of God. 

Thirdly, I would have never even considered that I would be attending a seminary that holds marriage in such high esteem. The president of the seminary held a marriage seminar for all the new students that were married. He spoke on the importance of the institution of marriage. He made it clear that marriage was given by God to a woman and man and proved it clearly from the teaching in Genesis, the teaching of Jesus, and the teaching of the Apostle Paul. Dr. Akin spoke on his love for his own wife and how much his marriage has meant to him and it was beautiful. He also said that the goal of Southeastern is this, not that we come to seminary loving our wife and we leave from seminary loving our theology while our marriage fails, but rather that we come to seminary loving our wife and we leave the seminary loving our wife more because everything that we have learned has not gone straight to our head but rather to our spirit leading us to look more like Christ which in turn leads us to love our wife like Christ loves His Church (Ephesians 5).

Lastly, I never believed that I would come to a seminary that loves the Bride (Church) of Christ so very much. Day after day this week we have been going through the syllabi for our classes. Each time it is handed to me I am in shock at the work load that the seminary gives. This is not going to be easy but there is a reason that it is not going to be easy. You see, for far to long, churches have been field with unequipped and unprepared ministers that are just flat our not ready. These professors love the church too much to not do something about that. This is why they give us a course load like they do. They want to send out preachers, missionaries, church planters, teachers, doctors, lawyers, carpenters, and many other types of professionals that are deeply passionate about the Gospel of Jesus Christ that are able to “equip the saints for the work of ministry, for the building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”(Ephesians 4:12-13).

In conclusion, pray for seminary students. It is dangerous to be in seminary. You hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ every day. Pray that we will not lose the awe of the Gospel. Pray that every time we hear, sing, or learn about the Gospel of God’s immeasurable grace given to us through the shedding of the blood of Jesus Christ that we would have our breath taken away. 

Psalm 115:1
“Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of you steadfast love and your faithfulness.”

Poems

Isaac Watts

I introduced you all to Isaac Watts, the famous hymn singer, last week. This week I want to tell you a little more about Isaac.

Isaac Watts began writing hymns in a day and time when all that was really sung in English churches were the Psalms of David. This does not seem like a big deal, but in reality this was a much bigger deal than changing the carpet color in a modern day church sanctuary. This was radical! Nonetheless, Isaac Watts had a conviction that the Scriptures commanded the singing of hymns so he began writing them and the church began singing them when Isaac was at the age of nineteen years old. 

The church loved the hymns that were being written and wanted Isaac to write a new one every week. By Isaac’s early twenties he had written most of the six hundred plus hymn’s that he would write in his life. Almost all of these are timeless and have and will be sung for many years to come. Among the most famous Isaac Watts’ hymns is “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”. This hymn shows the passion and zeal that Watts had for Christ. Worship while you read this.

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, That I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ, my God;
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to his blood, 

See, from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down;
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine, 
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Inspired by Isaac

I am in no way Isaac Watts. I clearly stated this last week. I do, however, want to continue in writing some poems. This is what Isaac Watts was doing when he was seven and it is what I am aiming to do at the age of twenty three. 

The name of Christ is so sweet
Just to ponder it will bless thee
Lamb of God for sin was slain
Honor and praise are due His name
Up, He came forth, from the dead
Over the church, He is the Head.

Meditate upon the work of Christ today. He is altogether glorious and He reigns forever more. 

Revelation 5:12

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!”

READ!

A Word of Wisdom From an Old Saint

I have recently finished reading “The Radical Disciple” by John Stott. The material within the main chapters of the book were beneficial, but it was what Stott wrote in the postscript that resonated with me the most because it is often on my mind these days. John Stott writes:

“For there is something unique about books. Our favorite books become very precious to us and we even develop with them an almost living and affectionate relationship. Is it an altogether fanciful fact that we handle, stroke and even smell them as tokens of our esteem and affection? I am not referring only to an author’s feeling for what he has written, but to all readers and their library. I have made it a rule not to quote from any book unless I have first handled it. So let me urge you to keep reading, and encourage your relatives and friends to do the same. For this is a much neglected means of grace.”

Thoughts

How beautiful is this? John Stott was 88 years old when he wrote this to his readers. John Stott has since gone on to be with the Lord Jesus Christ, but since he labored to write to the glory of God for the benefit of his readers he is still instructing us to do that which will strengthen our faith mightily. This reminds me of Charles Spurgeon when he said, “As long as there is breath in our bodies, let us serve Christ; as long as we can think, as long as we can speak, as long as we can work, let us serve Him, let us even serve Him with our last gasp; and, if it be possible, let us try to set some work going that will glorify Him when we are dead and gone. Let us scatter some seed that may spring up when we are sleeping beneath the hillock in the cemetery.” It is hard to bear fruit when you are dead unless you have written about Christ and people are reading about Christ. This is what Stott has done.

Stott speaks of books in a way that may seem odd to many of us. He speaks of having a living and affectionate relationship with them. He says that we handle, stroke and even smell them as tokens of our esteem and affection. This is not strange though, not to a reader. Stott realized that books were a gift given by God to his people in order to strengthen their faith. That is what a “means of grace” is. So Stott viewed books as a means of grace therefore he cherished, loved, adored, and handled them as such. He knew that reading a good book helped conform him into the image of Jesus Christ. 

Personally 

I have seen this in my own life. I was not a guy that enjoyed reading five years ago. I was a baseball player that wanted to keep my GPA high enough to play baseball. This all changed when God delivered me from the domain of darkness and transferred me into the kingdom of His beloved Son (Colossians 1:13). I began reading the Scriptures and searching them to find out more about this Almighty God that seeks His own glory in the salvation of wretched sinners so that He might display the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:7). As I read, I began coming across passages of Scripture that I could not understand or that I thought I understood only to come to find out that I did not have the correct context of the Scripture so I also had an incorrect view of the Scripture. Then I realized that God gave His people teachers in order to “equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful scheme” (Ephesians 4:11-14). 

Then I realized that a lot of these teachers wrote books. I realized that these books, when read in prayer with discernment, helped me to look more like Jesus. They fed my soul the truth of God’s Word. They were a means of grace to me. Ever since I discovered this I have fell in love with reading. I can read what John Stott wrote about almost having a living and affectionate relationship with books and not think that it is strange. Praise be to God for changing the desires of my heart from such menial things (cable, television, gaming, social media, etc.) and placing within me a desire to read.

What About You?

So, with all of that being said, I now want to ask you a few questions. How do you view books? How do you view reading? These two questions do not seem important but in reality they are. Reading is a means of grace given by God in order to strengthen the faith of His people. Do you see it as such?

SEBTS…We Made It!

Kahlie and I departed this past Friday to make the long drive to North Carolina where we moved into our dorm at SEBTS. The drive was absolutely gorgeous and the weather was perfect. The beauty did not stop when we arrived because the seminary is breathtaking as well. 


Here are some pictures!
 

              











Kahlie and I came up here with no furniture. This means, when we eat, we eat like this. 
Needless to say, we are having a blast! Kahlie has loved going to goodwill to see if she can find any hidden treasure! Who would have thought that George Washington’s desk would have been at the goodwill in Wake Forest, North Carolina for $12.00?!
Or that this place would come with a built in book shelf?

In All Seriousness

I am so thankful to have a wife that finds her satisfaction in Christ. She has proved to me time and time again that godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Timothy 6:6). She is committed to being my wife, servant, help mate, and provider (seminary cost money and she is the one bringing in the cash)! We are praying that our time here will be a time of conforming into the image of Jesus Christ, for that is God’s will for all His people (Romans 8:29).

1 Timothy 1:17

“To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor, and glory forever and ever. Amen”

Sorrowful, Yet Rejoicing

I have recently been learning what it means to be sorrowful, yet always rejoicing. Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing seems like a paradox but in reality it is not. Let me explain.
This Friday, at around four o’ clock in the morning, my wife and I will be leaving to go to Wake Forest, North Carolina where I will embark on my first year of Seminary at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. This means that for the past few weeks my wife and I have been saying good-bye to some of the greatest people we have ever met. This is a time of sorrow.

 

Sorrowful

Among those of whom we have to say bye to are our family members. Family is such an incredible gift of God and He has gifted Kahlie and I with great ones. We have families that do not reject us because of our faith in Christ, but that encourage and spur us on in our faith in Christ. They always seek to serve us and always show affection to us. It is sorrowful to have to hug the necks of our families knowing that you will not see them as often as you once did.
We also have to say good-bye to our church. The church is the beautiful bride of Christ and the local church is an incredible blessing to the people of God. It has been so to my wife and I. We have been serving in a youth ministry and this has allowed us to get to know some students that have grabbed our hearts. Kahlie has been able to develop relationships with young ladies that will endure far longer that this earth will endure. She has witnessed them grow and mature in their faith in Christ.

I have been able to see young men weep over their sin before a Holy God and cry out in repentance because of the loving kindness of the Father in Heaven. I have been able to witness young men begin sharing their faith and boldly proclaiming the great truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have seen them conform into the image of Jesus. This has been delightful to Kahlie and I. It will be sorrowful to say good-bye to these people that have become all to precious to us.
Lastly, we have to say good-bye to our community. Christian fellowship is to be prized and treasured. Community allows us to better see the height, depth, width, and length of the love of God in Christ Jesus. Kahlie and I have been able to be apart of a community that abounds in love. It is filled with a mixture of people from all different ages but that are united in one thing and that one thing is that Christ Jesus is Lord and that He reigns forever more. It will be sorrowful to say good-bye to these brothers and sisters in Christ that have benefited our walk with Christ, our sanctification, and our marriage.

Rejoicing

With all of the sorrow, there are great reasons for rejoicing. Here are some reasons.
As Kahlie and I depart Friday morning, we know that God looks upon the state of North Carolina and says, “Mine!” This is a God that is eternal, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. He is faithful, loving, kind, gracious, merciful, and just. He is a God that seeks His own glory and is jealous for His people. These are great reasons for rejoicing.
Another reason for rejoicing is that Jesus Christ is Lord. Christ Jesus remains resurrected from the dead and Lord of all. His victory over satan, sin, hell, and death will last for forever. He is seated at the right hand of the Father in Heaven and is interceding for His people. He has promised that He will come to get His bride to take her to be with Him where He is. These are great reasons for rejoicing.
Another reason for rejoicing is that the Holy Spirit is at work. The Holy Spirit is not only at work in one area of the globe but all around the globe. They Holy Spirit is convicting people of sin, training them in righteousness, and warning them of the coming judgment. The Holy Spirit is at work testifying about the person and work of Jesus Christ and people are being saved. These are great reasons for rejoicing.
Lastly, the friendships that Kahlie and I are leaving here are friendships that are in Christ. These are friendships that will go on for all of eternity. We will all dwell in the Kingdom of God one day and be accepted in the Beloved. We will be able to worship the Lamb that was slain to the glory of God for all of eternity together and it will be glorious. These are great reasons for rejoicing!

So Kahlie and I are sorrowful, yet we are rejoicing with great joy. This is not a paradox, but a reality for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Blogs of Interest

Here is a question and answer from Justin Taylor to David Dorsey on a essay he had written titled What was the purpose and design of the Law Of Moses?

R.C. Sproul lays out 7 Truths We Have Forgotten and, in my opinion, he is spot on.

Here is a Short Documentary on Louis Zamperini which I am sure is highly entertaining and informative on one of the most remarkable men of our time.

In this blog, Nathan Schneider list out his five favorite reads of 2014. Go add some of these books to your 2015 reading list.

Quote of the Day

“Why believe the devil instead of believing God? Rise up and realize the truth about yourself – that all the past has gone, and you are one with Christ, and all your sins have been blotted out once and for ever. O let us remember that it is sin to doubt God’s Word. It is sin to allow the past, which God has dealt with, to rob us of our joy and our usefulness in the present and in the future.” 

Martyn Lloyd Jones