Friday, July 22, 2011
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me...
July 22, 2011
Today I am blessed beyond measure to celebrate my 30th birthday. On this day in 1981 the Lord sent me to Clifford and Greta Jenkins on the island of Manhattan. Through their nurture and care, I was blessed to grow up in a family where I always felt the touch of unconditional love and the breath of God's presence.
It was never crystal clear what my calling would be as a boy, yet I am eternally grateful for parents and siblings who were relentless in preparing the soil of my heart to receive the seed of God's Word. These three decades have been a rollercoaster of both emotions and experiences, yet I am thankful to God for every lesson learned. For I realize now, more than ever, that every high and low was, has been, and continues to be a pruning process preparing me for the purposes that God desires to fulfill in my life.
My formal training in high school and college was geared toward the field of business. But how blessed am I that in ways beyond my understanding... God would entrust me with the honor of handling the business of His kingdom through the awesome work of ministry. In a manner that I could not have anticipated, God asked me to lay aside my desires in order to fulfill His. He asked me to lay aside what I wanted to do, in order to what God called me to do.
I could not see the big picture, (and still don't), but faith is a mighty force that compels us to move forward. And as we move forward by faith, my life is a witness that God will open doors that you never knew existed. I don't mean to preach tonight, but my heart never ceases to stand in awe of God's mighty power and providence.
When I look back at the choices I could have made... the roads I could have traveled... or the pits I could have fallen into... I am overwhelmed by the precision in which God moved and had His way in my life. Accepting the call, attending and graduating from Princeton Seminary, meeting and marrying Courtney, all these blessings can directly be attributed to a willingness to follow God's leadership.
God's blessings abound. Serving the Shiloh Church, Courtney serving Euclid Ave., and on this my 30th birthday the blessing of spending it in the same place where Jesus spent His. I am humbled beyond words.
As I close tonight I cannot help but be reminded of a passage that sits at the foundation of my call to ministry. It is Luke 4:18-19. Jesus is about to begin His Galilean ministry. But before He begins, He goes to His hometown of Nazareth and reads the words of the prophet Isaiah:
"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."
I am so grateful that as God leads and guides me in walking the path of faith, His Spirit goes with me.