Brothers and Sisters, Thank you! And, I’m sorry!
For my part, those two statements will most likely be appropriate on several (if not all) occasions, so I felt it would be best to start there. I thank you for joining me here, for your attention, and for your time. I’m sorry, because I disappoint in so many aspects of my life that I fully expect to fall short in this endeavor as well. Even so, the glory of God is my motive, not my own success. Therefore I will press on, and I pray that you will all profit from this. So here we go!
Now my reason for starting this all off in a letter is twofold. First, I want this blog to be something that I’m writing to you. Otherwise, I’m just trying to build myself up. I need to be accountable to someone besides myself. Second, I’m writing this letter to all of you because I’ve come to develop a newfound appreciation for letters and cards.
When I used to get cards or letters in the mail, I would just read them quickly and then toss them in the trash without a second thought. Yet, over the past couple of years, I’ve been keeping some if not most of them. And a while back, I found myself looking at them. Reading them. Words of gratitude, of praise, wisdom, encouragement, well-wishes and longing. And it hit me what all of these things have in common. They convey the one thing that we all seem to desire the most,.. Love.
When someone thanks me, or compliments me, teaches me, helps me, wishes the best for me, or just tells me how much they miss me; what they’re really telling me is that they love me. It can be really easy to miss sometimes, but it’s there. That’s what makes them so special. And better still, is we get to hold on to them. Perhaps we’re not supposed to get the whole message the first time through. Give it a day, or a month, or a year… read it again. What does it say?
If you apply that idea to a blog, then the effect is magnified by every person that reads it. What can I learn about who I was yesterday, a month ago, or last year? Could someone in my family understand why I was so quiet, or vulgar, or inconsiderate? Or, could someone that I may never meet see both themselves and their faults in my life, and learn from my mistakes?
Is that a vain notion? You bet it is! But things are a little different, because I have Christ. Learning about myself does me no good, if it doesn’t show me that I’m drawing nearer to Jesus. My family can learn every detail of my life, to even the smallest degree. Yet it will profit them nothing if they don’t see Jesus there. And what of those struggling day to day with fear and doubt? There’s an entire section of the bookstore filled with authors boasting of ways to solve their problems… and yours. They won’t find anything more valuable here unless they see that I never fixed anything,.. Jesus Christ did it all!
Jesus took all of my cares and flaws and grief and He made me whole again. So now when I have a problem, I turn to Jesus. If there is anything that I truly lack, Christ will provide it for me. And If I struggle, I turn to the cross and I take refuge in Him. And while I, just as all those other books on the shelf, claim to know the answer, I would never claim to have found the answer. He found me!
So then, let this blog be a labor of love. Let these words gratify, praise, teach, encourage, admonish and yearn, and let them be written in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let me be honest and humble, even to the point of humiliation, so that all those who read will know that Christ came into the world to save sinners. The love of Jesus, and the forgiveness He offers is free to all who would repent and confess Him as Lord.
In closing, please do not read this blog to seek me or even yourselves, because I write these things so that you may know Him… The way, the truth and the life. May God bless us in all that we do according to His will, and I pray that you will be given ears to hear His word as He calls, and His exceeding grace will be gifted to you for His namesake.
To God be the glory forever, Amen!!