Thursday, December 29, 2016

Dedicated to Learning; Dedicated to God

Like most people, I have many hats to wear. Some I have chosen (husband, father) while others chosen me (pastor, teacher). And some are a little of both (student, friend). In every part of my life, I hope that I am learning. As my #1 Rule of Life says, “When you stop learning, you start dying.” I have learned much in 2016, so in my final post of the year, I will share one brief thought from each of the following areas of my life. As a:

Husband: Cherishing my wife becomes difficult when our lines of communication are strained.
Father: Two great young adults are proof of the decision to raise future adults (rather than children).
Son: The sacrifices our parents made/make cannot be understood until we have been through the process of parenting our children at the same stage of life.
Friend: It is impossible to over-estimate the impact of good friendships.
Student: I have learned so much about Jesus this year, and it makes me want to know Him more.
Pastor: I need to lead better in order to accomplish all that God has for me and His church.
Teacher: When I quit learning from my students, it is time to stop teaching.
Missionary: God is at work around the world. Now that I have found my place, I must press on to know, and complete, the task He has given me.
Child of God: I may make progress most years, but I am nowhere near being an imitator of God (Ephesians 5.1).

This past Sunday, I preached on the idea of our being dedicated to Jesus. It should be the desire of each person to be dedicated each day and yet we all waver constantly. This past year has been met with a particular focus to learn more about Jesus so that I might know Him, and serve Him better.

I woke up on January 1st of this year in Amman, Jordan at the beginning of a ten-day journey to better understand the Bible – it’s places and message. Ultimately, my goal was to “walk WHERE Jesus walked so I can better walk AS Jesus walked.” I did the first part of this phrase (and hope to do so again), but have a long way to go on the second portion. While 2016 was a great year, I must now dedicate myself to continued learning in 2017. I do so not for the sake of learning itself (as important as learning is), but in order that I can become better in each area above. In doing so, I should then become more like Christ and imitate God a little better as one of His beloved children. If God can accomplish this through and for me, then regardless of whatever else 2017 may bring, I will have to consider it a successful year.

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