I am writing this post as a jumping off point because what used to be a pretty regular blog became sporadic for several months courtesy of some challenges I was facing. Some of those have resolved themselves. I will be blogging much more regularly from now, Lord willing. I wanted to say again, Thank you to all who have been supportive of me in the writing of this blog. It is your encouragement that keeps me going at times.
Along the journey of this blog it has been suggested by some that I make my posts more brief. That they would be easier to read and perhaps gain more readers if they were shorter. I was given examples of devotionals that people receive via email. I did not mind this at all. I am always open to feedback. The challenge was that this blog has developed more as a sort of mini-sermon concept rather than a daily devotional concept and that is ok with me. I never started it with the idea of popularity or broad success as a goal. Mostly it was a means by which to get what was in my head and heart regarding different issues surrounding Christianity out in some format. That is still the goal but I am going to aim for a goal of shortening my posts, not by removing material, but rather by doing it in stages. Sort of the same idea as a sermon series in a church setting. Hopefully, I can say what I want to say and create a more digestible length at the same time. I can't say they will all if any be like a brief devotional but at least if it isn't all coming at once it will not be so intimidating and potentially a turn-off. I do, after all, want to draw people into thought and growth through brevity rather than run them off with length.
So why do I do this. First, know that I do this all for God's glory, not for my own. At times it may seem I am fussing, being super preachy, maybe even harsh. I try to temper this with love and personal perspective. I am always including myself as a part of the audience as I am not perfect or holy but I am striving for these attributes as commanded by God's word. Whatever your perception may be please know this. I love you! I don't know some of you personally, but I feel a burden for people to know the love that God has for them and thus I love you as Christ loves you. Sometimes Jesus was soft and other times very direct and no nonsense. You will see both here. I want people to understand the full character of God from his wrath, jealousy, and justice to his mercy, grace, and self-sacrificing love. I want people to know that it is not enough just to say they believe or pray a prayer. Their lives must reflect their belief and their surrender to Christ's lordship through the visible fruit of obedience. I want people to understand the fullness of what Christ did for them and what is expected of them. To understand the free grace that is available to them and at the same time to understand the cost of discipleship.
It is a wonderful and exciting thing to be a Christ-follower. If you are a Christian I want to inspire you to growth and a pursuit of holiness in your relationship with Christ and by God's grace to create in you a hunger for making disciples as Jesus commissioned every true believer to do. Jesus is infinitely worthy of all honor, praise, and glory in every aspect of our lives. Thus you will not only find encouragements toward obedience but challenges regarding dominating areas of disobedience in Christian culture today that I feel we all should keep a close watch on in our own lives.
If you are not a Christian, or maybe you think you are but your life does not really reflect that, I pray that God will use my words to create a sense of urgency through an understanding of your sin, guilt, and condemnation without Christ. I also pray that God will use my words to move you into a place of belief in the sacrifice and the price that was paid for your sins. That you would understand that Jesus took your place of punishment for sin so that you would no longer have to be condemned and feel guilty. That you would be so grateful for what God has done for you that you would be motivated to obedience not out of a sense of duty or obligation, because you can never repay this gift. Rather that you would be motivated by love for your Savior King.
If these are not accomplishable goals through this blog then it is all for nothing. My words are empty and my time is wasted. However, since scripture says that God's word will not come back to him void, but that it will accomplish that for which it was purposed (Isaiah 55:11), I believe that these goals are accomplishable. I believe that God will use this blog to change hearts and inspire growth. Some have already expressed to me the impact that it has made on them. That it was uncomfortable at times but good for their hearts. I pray it is so for you.
Please pray for me as I strive to be faithful in this. I will be praying for you that you will either come to a saving knowledge of the grace of the Lord Jesus or that, if you are already a believer that you will be set ablaze as a selfless representative of the grace of the Lord Jesus to others. He is MIGHTY to save.
In the words of the prayer offered in Colossians 1:9-14, "Asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."
In Jesus name.