Today marks the end of a journey through a year long Masters Program that I have had the privilege of going through. This year has been one of the hardest yet most fulfilling years of my life. Since many of you have asked “how it’s going” along the way, I wanted to take a few minutes to share some takeaways that come to mind.
Jesus didn’t call me to comfort, but to a life of dependance on Him. There are innumerable opportunities to seek comfort, worth, and acceptance outside of Christ, but all of them lead to an emptiness that can only be filled by who God says I am in Christ (Eph 1:3-14). In trying to juggle a demanding job, family, and school, there were many times I wanted to drop out, and instead, ended up repenting of my desire for comfort and believing the lies that there is hope outside of Christ. I am thankful for the grace that Jesus gives to persevere.
God’s Love for me is a Love that I would never choose on my own. When I think of someone loving me, I tend to define it by others giving me what I want, or what I think I need. Instead, Christ continues to show the most perfect picture of love by giving me what I truly need -- The Cross. I continue to see the depths and glory of what took place on the cross (my crap for His righteousness!) compared to anything else the world has to offer. My only hope is continually repenting of the times I view Him as “mean and unloving” (because He isn’t giving me what I want), to one who wants my ultimate happiness to be found in Him! Thank You Jesus.
Pray. Pray. Pray. I have never been more humbled this year, than by the act of communing with the living God through prayer. It is one thing to know that God is sovereign, it’s another thing altogether to humbly come before the throne of grace praying that God would do what He said He would do. Sam Storms says it this way; “We must never presume that God will grant us apart from prayer what he has ordained to grant us only by the means of prayer". Spurgeon writes as well, “The minister who does not earnestly pray over his work must surely be a vain and conceited man. He acts as if he thought himself sufficient of himself, and therefore needed not to appeal to God.” What a privileged and joy to bow the knee to the very one who gives us the air that we breath.
Leaders are readers. I have read more books and scripture this year than I ever have in my life. Through the pages read I have tasted the depths of God’s glory in so many new and refreshing ways. There will always be an endless supply of books to read, but a greater amount of “unsearchable riches” found in the ultimate author of truth. I thank the Lord for His Spirit that opens the mind and heart to understand the Bible, apply it, and lead others to the living well.
Life is a Vapor. James 4:14 says “...yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” I have come to an even greater conviction this year that the only fulfillment in this life is to seek the Glory of God above all else. This life is truly short, and happiness doesn’t lie in the latest technology, relationship, or affinity, it lies in the finished work of Jesus, and making much of Him. All of life is worship, and by God’s grace I want to proclaim the majesty of our great God and King with what’s left of this Vapor!