For Starters

Hi. My name is Michael, and I’m a long way away from where I want to be in life. I struggle with sin, I’m impatient for my future, my mind wanders where I don’t want it to. But, in a way, in some beautiful and redemptive way, I’m exactly where I want to be in life. Why? Because each step I take, each circumstance in life that I come to, is part of a divinely ordained plan that God has designed with my best interest in mind. What that means is that while I may feel pain or doubt about where I am at this very moment, I can know with absolute certainty that this very moment is one that God masterfully created for me. So as I wander through the beginning of adulthood, I can know without any trace of doubt that each trial and temptation that I come across is one that God has allowed to be part of my life on this earth. And that is a beautiful and freeing realization.

Throughout the small amount of time I’ve spent on this earth so far, I’ve chosen to learn many of my lessons the hard way. Deep down, I’m stubborn. It’s something I’ve struggled with ever since my life began (both of my parents will surely attest to that) and something that I have to continue to fight every day. And because of that I’ve chosen many times to ignore the warnings and teachings of those around me in favor of “blazing my own trail” and serving my own interests. So for me, a kid who grew up with God-fearing, church-going parents, the world quickly became a captivating and dangerous object of my affection. I was fascinated with the instant pleasure that sin would bring me. My “faith” was no more than following rules, and that led me to seek my own desires instead of those that my Savior had for me. Because of that, I fell into sin time and time again. I struggled with drug use, underage drinking, lust, and pride (among many other things). The decisions I made have lasting consequences: consequences that will affect my future marriage, consequences that have affected my relationship with my family, consequences that I am reminded of all the time. But through God’s unfailing love and extravagant grace, my eyes were opened to the perfection of my Savior and I gained a desire to seek Him daily. And the beautiful part of that relationship with Christ is that it wipes away my sin. Yes, there are still some consequences to the foolish decisions I made before I chose to pursue Christ, and I have had to work to rebuild the trust that I broke with family and friends because of my sin and deception. But the point of my relationship with Christ is not that he takes the day-to-day consequences away, but rather that he is working in my life each day to help me keep from sinning again in the future. It’s called progressive sanctification – through his immeasurable impact on my life and my decision to follow him, I am made more like him. It’s beautiful, it’s redemptive, it’s freeing. And it allows me to reach my full potential on this side of eternity: the potential to glorify God and enjoy him forever¹.

So that’s a little background to who I am: a sinner, saved only by God’s glorious grace. Redeemed only by Christ’s substitutionary atonement. Sanctified only by Jesus’ unfathomable power. I’m not sure what path this blog will take, what I’ll talk about, etc. But I do know what purpose I want it to serve: that the words I write would, by Christ’s power, move others to see his glory and appreciate it more fully. I don’t think this will ever have some huge impact on our society or be read by more than a handful of people, but if it can change just one person’s perspective on the majesty of our Creator then its purpose will be fully served.

So as I draw this opening post to a close, I’d like to thank you. Thank you for investing a few minutes of your day into reading the thoughts of a sinner. I hope it encourages you in your walk with Christ, wherever you may be in that incredible journey. And for those of you that have not entered into a relationship with Christ yet, I hope it has inspired you to explore that option and experience the infinite joy that stems from our Savior’s heart. May God bless you and keep you.

¹ Taken from the Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question 1.

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