The Exceeding Worth of God

Oh, the worth of God.

When I woke up early this morning to do my daily Bible reading, I felt the conviction to approach it differently than I usually do. I pulled out my journal and penned a short little prayer:

O God, You are my God. Early will I seek Thee. Earnestly will I seek Thee. As I meditate upon Your Word this morning, O Love of my soul, let me not approach it through the lens of mental stimulation, principle formation, dignity elevation, nor secure foundation. Neither let me approach it as a means of achieving knowledge of promise, calling to office, counters to the doubting Thomas, nor seeking power dishonest. No! I read not this book, O Lord, to stimulate my mind or discover principles or make my life successful or discover blessed promises or provide myself with a sense of safety or to defend it against the heathen or to receive sermons to preach or because it is my job or because I seek some mystical power. No; I read Your Word that I might know You more. I meditate upon it all the day because I search for the Man who wrote it. Meet me here this day, O God, and let my searching not be in vain. If You provide those other things, all the better, but this alone do I seek: Do not let me lose focus on You! Help me read it as You would read it; reveal to me that which lifts Your name highest. May each word be a conviction to my very soul. Meet me here, O God. I pine for Thee.

Then I began to read…

The Exceeding Worth of God

On a Trip Fully Paid

In one of my classes this morning – amidst talk of morality and revenge and Nietzsche’s [frankly odd] views of justice and punishment – we arrived at the happy tangent of the Gospel promise and what it meant for the Christian life, especially as it pertains to the factor of human choice coupled by divine sovereignty.

“imagine you have been offered the chance at a luxurious trip by which you can skip school without punishment, and that trip is fully paid,” said one student, or something along those lines. “That is the Gospel.”

“If it’s been fully paid, why would you not accept the offer?” asked another.

Precisely, thought many people throughout the room. A few said it out loud.

“But if you get on the plane and go on the trip, what prevents you from doing bad things?” asked another, this in response to the matter we had been discussing, that idea of a true Christian not continuing on in an abundantly sinful life. “What motive do they have to do the will of the one who paid the price? The metaphorical salvation has already been grasped, so why do good things at all?” From this broke out discourse over definitions of mercy and grace and sin, and in no time we had wandered so deeply into the weeds that every Calvinist and Arminian in the room was getting sweaty at their palms.

Then Nietzsche came calling once again, and our tangent came to an abrupt end. Back to what we were actually supposed to be studying.

But this thought stuck with me throughout the day…

On a Trip Fully Paid

1 Pasadenians

From David, your brother in Christ, to the youth ministry at First Baptist Church in Pasadena, those brothers and sisters in Christ with whom I have had the pleasure of spending the summer.

I wanted to begin by thanking God for giving me the opportunity of working with each and every one of you for the past three months. I consider each moment a blessing, I truly do, and I think it would be sinful of me to not also extend my gratitude out to each of you as well for welcoming me in and making the job not feel like work at all. I have thoroughly enjoyed each moment spent with you all, and before I headed away, I felt the need to, at the very least, extend that gratitude. So thank you. Of course, I will be returning quite frequently to check in on you and make sure I am not totally absent from your lives, but wanted to still send a letter of encouragement to you as your new school year quickly approaches.

1 Pasadenians