Monday, February 1, 2021, marked an anniversary of sorts, forty (40) years since I came to the persuasion that the Lord Jesus desired me to pursue the ministry. These forty years have been marked by His grace, mercy, and faithfulness. Heights, valleys, and biblical humility have characterized these years. Goodness and lovingkindness are its banner.
My earliest recollection to teach God’s people, God’s Word came soon after I was born from above. How soon, I cannot date, but often I conflate these two moments. A call to ministry must begin with a strong and abiding inclination to know the Lord Jesus Christ by knowing His Word. That strong and growing inclination of soul manifested itself immediately after my rebirth in a verbal commitment to Jesus Christ to follow Him wherever He led, upon this one condition — “as long as You teach me your Word.” Christ has proven faithful in every way. My steps have been haltingly forward. On the campus of Clemson University forty years ago, that day settled a change of heart from pursuing a career in mechanical engineering to the ministry of the gospel of His dear Son.
Little did I understand that Christ’s desire to manifest His love by teaching me Himself by His Word would become the driving motivation in my heart to love His church by teaching His Word to them. The greater my hunger to know Him, this gave birth to a greater desire to serve His people through teaching and preaching.
I want to express a full heart of thanksgiving to the risen Lord that His grace to know Him (and therefore, the grace to make Him known) has not only not left, but it has matured and increased these many years. How many years left in this body, I do not know. However, I do desire this, that I want to lay hold with all my might the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I am confident that as this grace abounds, I will also continue to desire to teach God’s people, God’s Word.