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Playwright T.S. Eliot wrote, “In my beginning is my end.” The statement has been interpreted in many ways, but I see in it a reflective note of someone older who realizes that who we end up becoming is set in motion and already at work at the beginning of our lives. Oh, how I wish I had known that when I began my ministry.
This year I turned 52 years old and I am realizing very quickly that my end is closer than my beginning. As I reflect on 20 years of ministry, I wish I could go back and tell my younger self a few things — things that had I known at the beginning of the race would surely have served me, and others, well. If I could go back in time, here are four pieces of counsel I would share with my younger self.
Bible - Christ
1. Knowing the Bible is not the same as knowing Christ.
The apostle Paul said, “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14). That was his greatest passion: to know Jesus, to experience his resurrection power, to participate in his sufferings so that he might be conformed into his image. And that ought to be your greatest passion.
Training - Knowledge - Hebrew - Greek - Doctrine
Seminary training is great. A working knowledge of Hebrew and Greek will serve you well. Reading your Bible, learning doctrine, and preparing gospel-saturated sermons are a must. But none of those is the same as having and cultivating a vibrant relationship with the risen Christ, fueled by regular drinking from the fountain of living water — Christ himself.
Never stop studying the Bible. But above all, never stop pursuing Christ. He is the pearl of great price and the greatest treasure in the universe. He laid hold of...
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