Around the age of nineteen, Jonathan Edwards, perhaps the greatest American theologian who has ever lived began recording what would eventually amount to seventy resolutions that would go on to define the rest of his ministerial career. Though I will never equate the theological prowess or eloquence Edwards displays throughout his evangelistic life, I am, nonetheless, determined to resolve myself to the Lord’s Spirit and grace for the duration of my ministry.
I am a mere month away from entering my first post as a senior pastor. Last week, that reality felt months and months away. Now, it feels more imminent than ever. For a while now, my wife and I have tried to make sense of our feelings as we entertain this significant season of transition in our lives, explaining our emotions as some strange amalgamation of nervous excitement.
For the last several years, the persistent call on my life has been to spend and be spent for Christ. I have rarely done this vocationally, only volitionally and voluntarily, as the gospel has become increasingly precious to me. This has also taken a number of varying forms throughout the years, with mostly me divvying up my time.
Fundamental to the gospel itself is an understanding of its inexorable testament to a literal devil figure, whose might and minions are at once thwarted in their mission to subvert God’s reclamation of creation by the Son of God’s triumph over death. Evidence throughout the Gospels affirm the real activity and tangible presence of Satan and demons, with Jesus trouncing their operation at every turn.
It’s a turn of phrase that I’ve seen around the Internet and various other places in the past, but only recently has it been actually uttered to my face. I wouldn’t have thought much of it but it was said twice in a few short days and it got me to thinking about how prevalent the sentiment is despite its inherent falsehood and treachery.
Mondays are the worst. That’s not just an Internet cliché, it’s the God’s honest truth. Mondays have a long-standing reputation of being the most loathsome day of the week. Being that they’re the first day after the weekend, they’re usually accompanied by little amounts of sleep and large amounts of coffee.
This past Sunday, I was ordained as a Baptist minister of the gospel by my sending church, Beacon Baptist Church. I have been called to serve Grace Baptist Church of Southwest Ranches, Florida, under the shepherding of Pastor Jay Hartzell. I am humbled by the seriousness of this call and the urgency of the message with which I have been entrusted.