February 13, 2007
Dear Katie and Luke:
My writing has slowed a bit of late, but my love for you grows stronger every day. Because of the freezing rain, I stayed home for the morning and worked upstairs. Luke, you don't quite understand why you can't just come upstairs and see Daddy anytime you want, but all was well when I came down, had lunch, and tickled you silly before I came into town.
In the morning hours, I worked on Sunday morning's sermon--Mark 9:43-50. I already preached a sermon on this passage this past Sunday, but I just can't leave it behind. I'm quite confident that the Lord has more things to teach me from this passage, and hopefully those who will hear me preach it again. It is a sobering passage where the Lord Jesus speaks about the necessity of amputating sin, or else spend eternity in Hell. And Jesus is not denying in that passage the doctrine of justification by faith alone. He’s talking about the sanctification that inevitably results in the one who has been justified; He’s talking about the pursuit of holiness that will characterize every person who is truly His follower, and the eternal consequences for lacking this seriousness in your life.
This afternoon I'm meeting with a dear pastor friend of mine named Chris Stewart, and maybe another leader in their church. Katie, I was watching you at gymnastics one night, and I looked up and saw this gentleman (Chris) reading R.C. Sproul's Chosen By God, and I thought, "Now there's a guy with whom I can have fellowship!" and the rest is history. Chris is the main preaching elder for Oasis Fellowship which currently meets in home groups during the week and at a middle school in Pomeroy, Ohio on Sunday mornings. Oasis is a God-centered, Scripture-loving, Christ-exalting, Spirit-led church that the Lord is blessing and I'm privileged to have a growing friendship with Chris. In fact, next Wednesday, I'll be leading a group from their church through the Childhood Conversion seminar that I am now doing in partnership with Mr. Elliff and Christian Communicators Worldwide, and then the following Sunday Chris has invited me to preach for Oasis. The providence of God is sweet, isn't it?!
Speaking of the seminar, I've now taught two (West Union and Portsmouth, Ohio), and both times have been thoroughly enjoyable. There is a joy in doing the will of God that is unmistakable, and I have felt that when doing this seminar. I'm not sure who said that the Lord has been better to us than we deserve, but that individual knew what he was talking about. Indeed, having you as my kids is yet another proof of that statement!
Looking Forward to Baking Valentine's Day Cookies With You Tonight,