So, what does one have to do with the other? Well, you may have noticed that my post production has significantly decreased over the past few weeks. There’s good news and bad news associated with this trend. The good news is that my attention and energy has been diverted by the Lord’s tremendous blessings in my life. With a family of six members, we had grown exceedingly close – not devotionally, but physically, in our nice, yet modest sized home. Well, out of the blue 2 weekends ago, we received a phone call from a family member cryptically telling us we must look at this house for sale not too far from where we currently live. My wife and I exchanged puzzled glances, asking each other the same question – Why? We aren’t shopping for a new house. Reluctantly, yet somewhat curious we both drove out to the address and were astonished at the beauty of the home. We saw a sign that read ‘Open House – Sunday’. After church the following day we toured the inside of the home and fell in love with it immediately. It has so much more room than our current home. We were surprised at the very reasonable pricing. The square-footage is a major upgrade, but the neighborhood itself is not quite as nice as ours, as my wife duly noted. This probably contributed toward the fair pricing. However, the street itself is very nice and has a lot less traffic than ours. The backyard is smaller, but much better landscaped. (Less mowing, baby!) The home was reasonably priced, yet still beyond our means to purchase. The providence of God however, quickly put us into a position to buy the house. The next day a bid was put in and to make a long story short, the deal will be closed on April 30th!
Within a matter of a few days we went from not even daring to dream of owning a larger home to actually possessing one. God has blessed us beyond measure and I am incredibly humbled by his continued mercy and goodness toward this much less than deserving family.
Ok, that is the good news. The bad news is that as a result of buying a new house I will be extremely busy over the next 2 months packing up, moving in, and preparing my old house for sale. This means I will have little to no time for blogging. Remember my PPBC Spring Schedule? Well most of my plans, including my commentary on Jude, my new series on Big Bad Bible Words and my study on Unconditional Election will be put on hiatus until probably June. I can hear great sighs of disappointment from my audience (or is that crickets?) but fear not, this Pilgrim will once more pick up his pen and write again. When I do, I plan on being quite a bit more productive than usual. I say this because the Lord has granted me a long-time request. Our new home comes equipped with a study! I have desired a room designated for reading, writing and study for as long as I’ve been an adult. Now, God has given me the desire of my heart. I’m also keenly aware that He has not blessed me simply for my pleasure but for a purpose. God has placed a longing in my heart for both learning and for teaching his holy word. God blesses us so that we may in return be a blessing to others. That is exactly what I intend to do. I have consecrated that particular room as a sacred place where God will be exalted, praised and worshiped. My study will be a holy of holies in our house. It will be the place where I delve into the depths of sacred Scripture and learn and grow in the wisdom and knowledge therein. It will be the place where I catechize my children. It will be the place where I plan on teaching a study on Systematic Theology in the not too distant future. It will be the place where I plan (if the Lord wills) to do seminary classwork, laboring my way to a Master’s degree in Theology. The Lord has given his servant several talents. Will I bury them in the ground out of fear of failure or will I put them to good use, producing a 10, 50 or 100 fold return? For the man whose heart has ever been regenerated by the Spirit of God, the question is a rhetorical one.
You know I can’t resist the urge to turn any and every post into a launchpad for a theological treatise – and this one is no different. I promise to be brief. Allow me to expound on the doctrine of God’s blessings a bit. If I subscribed to the wildly popular theological system that ‘I receive because I believe’, ‘I claimed it because I named it’ or ‘I grabbed it because I gabbed it’, then I would by necessity be forced to admit that I was able to attain to the blessings of God that are freely available to all Christians – because of my great faith. A fellow Christian may come up to me and ask “How is it that God has been so good to you?” I would respond, “because of MY faith in God, I have attained all these good things.” However, my true response, as a Christian who believes the Scriptures, I say, “I have what I have because of God’s mercy and compassion. He has a purpose in granting these blessings to me, that right now I can’t fathom. It’s not because of my faith but because of God’s faithfulness that I am blessed.” Now, don’t misconstrue what I’m saying. I didn’t say faith is unimportant – it is. But my faith is not in the power and intensity of my faith, but in the God who has granted me the faith to believe upon him and to provide me with every good thing. He is God of both the ends and the means of every blessing in life, especially of our salvation in Christ Jesus. Paul wrote to the Corinthians ‘by the grace of God I am what I am’. (1 Cor 15:10A) I realize, too, that by the grace of God I have what I have’.