I don't normally write largely personal articles on my blog, but I decided to begin including some more personally focused writing in 2018. Why, you ask? I've been inspired for two reasons:
My heart often drives me to desire 'down-time' or 'that much needed personal time'. This often boils down to pursuing whatever passion I'm currently running after, and typically takes it's tole on my responsibilities as a husband and father. Over the past few years, God has been changing my heart to be more servant-minded. I serve him (all encompassing). I serve my wife. I serve my children. I serve others.
How do I best serve God in all areas of my life? One way is by learning. This month was filled with learning opportunities like weekend Biblical-study workshops, counseling classes, and Scripture-oriented child-rearing seminars. These incredible opportunities were a God-given grace (though they required some sacrifice) and were used mightily in my life.
The second way I can serve him is by actually serving him. I need to be doing. This month was also filled with many, many opportunities of sacrificial service. I have been able to spend time down in dirt and grime with people. There have been many opportunities to help people walk through tough situations. This has been such a challenging and growing experience that I am seeing change in myself because of it.
"Why?" you ask? Because that's what has been done for me. I have been the person on the receiving end of other's labor and work. I have been the recipient of much grace in my life. As a disciple of Jesus, I am commanded to act.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.
— 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (ESV) [emphasis added]
God has done a work in my life. I used to be a much bigger wreck. I had deep issues that plagued me, my marriage, my family and my life. Other brothers and sisters walked alongside me and God used them to bring me to repentance. Without their sacrifice and love, I don't know where I would be. They were examples of Christ-like love and sacrifice. They were practically showing me the Gospel.
I am a wretched sinner. I have offended a holy and righteous God. I could not 'work' my self out of my sin. I deserved destruction. I needed saving.
God sent his son Jesus, who was fully God and took on the fullness of humanity. Jesus lived a perfect life. Jesus died, paying for my offenses and sins. Jesus was the ultimate, satisfactory sacrifice for my sin. Jesus experienced my death and destruction so I don't have to.
Now, I live in him. This is why February was a joy. This is why every day is a joyous occasion of loving service to others.
It's not always like February. There are ebbs and flows that increase and decrease. I can rest in the fact that I am redeemed by the work of Jesus. As we continue into March, I'm still looking for opportunities to serve. I have a set of ministry areas of influence that God has provided to me. I will do my best to serve in those ministries to the best of my abilities, while caring for them well.
Time to rest now...sort of.