Saturday, April 18, 2009
Sunday night I walked in and said to my wife: “While there are people I miss in Georgia and Florida, I have never had more joy and felt more like we were at home - than at Trinity.” As the Spirit of God is working, people are being saved, families are joining & that causes my heart to rejoice… but that is not the source of my joy. When we had a discussion in staff meeting this week about opening up new nursery rooms (because we had almost 100 children ages 3 and under Sunday), my heart rejoiced! I was thrilled by the way the choir and orchestra blessed us Sunday, and the way Bro. Rob Thomas led us in worship, but none of these things are the source of my joy. While these things are exciting - they are not what causes Trinity to feel like a place we must plant our life. I can sum up the goal of my preaching each and every time I step behind the pulpit - it comes from a Puritan Prayer that says this: “Thus my end in preaching is to know Christ, and impart His truth; my principle in preaching is Christ Himself, whom I trust, for in Him is fullness of spirit and strength; my comfort in preaching is to do all for Him.” Obviously, the source of my joy is Christ, but what makes my heart leap is the way our people are getting God’s truth. From the group of husbands that recently went away and prayed and spent time discussing Disciplines Of A Godly Man, to the receptivity of our men on Sunday evenings humbling themselves under the Word of God. I see so much growth and desire! When I walk in the door to spend time with our folks before the service, the encouragement and exhortation is for me to “Preach the Word!” – you are not desiring some pep talk, not desiring a shallow “encouraging word” but desiring the Word that brings with it exhortation. That has been a refreshing theme. You come in expecting the Word of God to reveal something for you to work on this week. This is sanctification at work by the grace and Word of God. This is what we all need - the closer I get to God, the greater His grace becomes - not because I feel better about me, but because I better understand His holiness and my wretchedness. Man hates this talk! I don’t want anyone to tell me how wretched I am, but how “blessed” I am. I want to be reminded of all that the Lord has done by giving me my wife and children, by providing my home, etc….While it is true that we are a blessed people, when I see my sin and His grace, I should understand my true blessings are found in His salvation and work in my life. Oh, I would gladly die a thousand deaths rather than harm come to my family, but I am aware that unless the Lord returns, death will separate us one day. When I think of the blessings in my life, my mind should first run to the cross, where mercy and grace took me. The wrath of God was turned and His righteousness was given to me! I guess all that to say thank you for “gladly receiving” the Word of God - by that you have been a blessing and joy to proclaim God’s truth to each week!