Thursday, September 8

The power of the Gospel to change lives

Today is my 55th birthday.

In my daily devotional read for today, September 8, Charles Spurgeon writes a truth well-worth being reminded of:

By virtue of our union with Christ we bring forth fruit. Every bunch of grapes have been first in the root, it has passed through the stem, and flowed through the sap vessels, and fashioned itself externally into fruit, but it was first in the stem; so also every good work was first in Christ, and then is brought forth in us. O Christian, prize this precious union to Christ; for it must be the source of all the fruitfulness which thou canst hope to know. If thou wert not joined to Jesus Christ, thou wouldst be a barren bough indeed.

For some reason, the past few days, God's Spirit has brought to mind many people whom, over the years, He sent our way. Lives transformed by the power of the Gospel. Name...after name...after name, fruit of our lives being rooted in Christ. Many have been names I had forgotten, but there was a time in the past when they were at the center of our attention. These, in turn, have gone on to reach others in an ever-expanding ripple of transformed lives. Most of the people who call me friend or hermano (brother) are actually the fruit of those whom we initially poured our lives.

I confess that often I wonder if any of what we do really matters. Is it worth it all? Like many others, I tend to focus on all that is going wrong at the moment, what I don't like, or what is not good. Negative stuff tends to dominate much of my thinking.

But God is actively at work all around us. He chooses to bless the world through our hands, feet, mouth, prayers, eyes, smiles, works, experience, witness, etc. When we allow ourselves to reflect upon all the people whose lives have been touched by the Lord through us, it is a cause of much rejoicing. Our hearts are greatly encouraged!

I can remember back in 1990 when it became evident that my wife and I could not have children of our own. It was quite a blow, but I remember that we both were united in our prayers that if this was God's will, He would instead give us a great harvest of spiritual children. Not only has He seemed pleased to answer this prayer by giving us spiritual children, but even a greater harvest of grand, great-grand, and great-great-grand spiritual children. And to top it all off as icing on the cake, he gave us two of the greatest kids on the planet: Joshua (1991) and Anna (1996)!

Many people see social networking on sites like Facebook a waste of time. What I see everyday are names and faces of precious souls whom the Lord has done great works of transformation. I could tell you amazing stories about each of them and how God has led them today to be the ones loving others, ministering, witnessing, serving, teaching, etc. Indeed they are the ones today ministering to others. They are the ones teaching others. They are the ones helping others!

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.


God'schild said...

Awesome and Encouraging words. Thanks for sharing your heart!

Gary Snowden said...

Happy birthday, young man! I've still got you by a few years, my friend. Hope you have a great celebration.

Aussie John said...


Happy birthday!

Another gift from God. Another year to serve Him. Oh! To be so young again :)