70 THINGS I KNOW ON MY 70TH BIRTHDAY

November 17, 2021

70 THINGS I KNOW ON MY 70TH BIRTHDAY

There are many things God allows us to know in our brief life if we are listening. These are a few that God has reminded me of on my 70th birthday today. This is not intended to be a comprehensive theology or even all my best understandings about God. These are just thoughts that come to my mind in on this day about God, the wonders of His goodness to me, and how we must aggressively cooperate with Him. I would know nothing of value apart from Him. Nothing.

GOD

  1. God is sovereign and His sovereignty rules over all. Every doubt about God’s character you have now will be eliminated in eternity. He is complete, holy perfection in every dimension. Righteous in all His ways.
  2. He can be—and must be—fully trusted.
  3. His love for me is ever-lasting. Perfect in every way.
  4. I love Him! I don’t love Him like I should and like I want to, but I love the Lord. The greatest goal and joy of my life is to know, serve, and worship Him.
  5. Worship is seeing God as He is and giving Him what He deserves. Worship can and must be done through every act of the common day.

MY SALVATION

  1. I was perfectly sinful, sold into bondage to sin. In my depravity, I was utterly unable to save myself.
  2. Christ’s coming to earth was the greatest act of humbling imaginable and the solidarity path to my deliverance from sin and Satan.
  3. Christ paid for my sins in full on the cross. He paid the penalty of separation from God that I should have borne. His resurrection means I have a living Savior, victorious over sin, and death, and hell, and that everything He has ever said is true.
  4. By grace through faith, Christ brought me into the Throne Room of heaven, and I now have peace facing God.
  5. My old man (who I was before Christ) is completely dead. I will never be the same again because I have Christ living in me and He will never leave.
  6. Christ has made me perfectly righteous in my spirit. The Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death.

MY SANCTIFICATION

  1. My soul (mind, emotions, and will) must be progressively renewed from the inside out during this earthly life. My mind must be renewed, my emotions tamed, and my will broken to allow Christ to live through me.
  2. Biblical brokenness (or meekness) is the surrender of my will to the will of God, just as a horse is broken to its master. This releases the life of God through me.
  3. I can sin. I will sin because of the weakness of my flesh. But because of God’s grace I don’t have to sin anymore because Christ is in me. The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:1-12).
  4. One day, in heaven, I will be eternally free from sin! I long for that day.
  5. The precious Holy Spirit, who is God in spirit form, indwells me!
  6. I can choose at any moment to let God’s Spirit fill me and have control.
  7. The filling of the Spirit is my path to godliness, power, and spiritual fruit. Without His control, I am completely powerless.
  8. The mark of a godly man is that everything he does is by God-initiation. This is exactly the way Jesus showed us as He was here. He did nothing by His own initiative. What He saw His Father doing, He did. What He heard His Father saying, He said. Thus, He brought the Kingdom of heaven to earth everywhere He was, and I can do the same by His grace.
  9. Pride is the mother of all sins. We must be aware of its subtle entrance in every thought and action. The path of humility is the foundation for the Christian life. Without question, it has been my greatest battle and is still with me, though hopefully somewhat lesser.
  10. One of the greatest marks of humility is to embrace the sovereignty of God with continual thanksgiving. He knows what He’s about in our lives and we must humbly trust Him.
  11. Pride’s great indicator is a lack of attention to the Word and prayer. If we don’t listen to Him and look to Him in prayer, it is clear we think we can live our lives without Him.
  12. The overcoming of pride, as Keller says, is to be so enamored with Christ and others that you simply forget about yourself. The freedom of self-forgetfulness. It is not to think less of yourself, but to think of yourself less (C.S. Lewis)

THE WORD

  1. Other than God Himself, His Word is my highest possession and greatest joy.
  2. We read the Word, not for mere knowledge, but to know and experience Him. It is a conversation with God each morning. “Not knowledge, but Thyself, my joy, for this I pray.”
  3. The single greatest key in my walk with God is the discipline of rising every morning to meet with God through His Word and prayer. The cumulative effect of this practice is staggering. You discover this effect greatly in your later years.
  4. Writing down what God says to me each morning, by His Word and Spirit, is the key to greater retention and understanding. This discipline will yield great fruit.
  5. I wish I had memorized more of the Word when I was younger. We should pour Scripture into the minds and hearts of our children and those we disciple.

FAITH

  1. Without faith it is impossible to please God.
  2. The Word is filled with 7,000 promises, which indicate God’s operating system with man, which is faith.
  3. Every experience of my life is an exercise from God, trying to bring me back to dependence upon Him, to greater faith.
  4. There are two wings to faith, both necessary. I must believe God IS (everything) and that He will reward those who trust Him. This is dependency and expectancy.

PRAYER

  1. Prayer is not what most people think. It is the means God has provided for a Father to communicate with His children. He loves us and longs to have unceasing, loving conversation with us, all day long.
  2. God has ordained that there are many things He will do only by prayer.
  3. Prayer is part of His training, preparing us to rule with Him eternally. He wants us to learn how to trust Him and look to Him and walk in intimacy with Him. This is part of prayer’s purpose.
  4. We will defeat the enemy by no other means than prayer. And our battle, ultimately, is never against flesh and blood.
  5. Prayer is to be unceasing, for our need and the mission of God is unceasing.
  6. Because God has commanded it, and He cannot command anything we cannot do by His grace, unceasing prayer is entirely possible in this life and assured in the life to come.

CHRIST’S BODY

  1. The church is God’s plan to bring His kingdom to men.
  2. The church is being built by Christ, using His people, and is His only plan to accomplish His purpose on earth. There is no Plan B.
  3. It is worth giving your life to the planting and building of Christ’s church. It is a noble thing to be used by God in redeeming His Bride. And the highest privilege.
  4. The great mission of the church, made possible by Christ’s presence and authority, is to make disciples of all nations, baptizing and training them.
  5. Most Christians rarely witness. I believe this is because of fear and a lack of love for lost people. We must be filled with the Holy Spirit and speak the Word with boldness.
  6. We must not make mere disciples, but disciple-makers.
  7. The principle of multiplication is the hidden secret of the rapid expansion of Christ’s kingdom on earth. Making disciples who make disciples. Planting churches that plant churches.
  8. No work of the devil or man will ever prevail against the ultimate building of Christ’s church. Our sin may cause us to miss being involved in His plan, but HE will build His church.
  9. The unity of the church is one of the most important means to our witness and joy and is vitally important to Christ. This is why sin in the Body must be lovingly, but firmly dealt with in my life and the lives of my brothers and sisters.
  10. Gossip and slander are two of the greatest enemies of the church and must be vigilantly, lovingly confronted.
  11. The church is to be led by a plurality of godly Elders. They are the silent rudder of the ship. I have been a part, for several decades, of such a group of men and it has been the great joy of my life and the health of the church we’ve been honored to lead, but it takes much humility, spiritual effort, and unceasing prayer.
  12. There is one Head of the church. And each member of the Body is gifted with wonderful spiritual gifts to make the Body complete and effective.
  13. The key to an effective church is to so cooperate with Him that His presence fills the people and the church.

GOD’S PRESENCE

  1. Everything flows from the presence of the Lord. Everything.
  2. The most important evaluative question for a life, a family, a church is: Is God here? Without Him we have nothing. With Him we have everything that matters and lasts.
  3. We must work to understand God’s presence and to make a highway for our God in every environment of our lives.

MY HOME

  1. My family is my first church.
  2. Who I really am is who I am when the doors are shut and the shades lowered. Real Christianity is worked out in my home.
  3. I believe it is God’s will for us to allow the Creator of life to determine the number of children we have. He knows what we can handle. And He knows the highest and best use of our lives. For some, He gives no children, for others many and each is in His loving, providential purpose. We must trust Him in this. I would never have thought it possible to raise eight children, but by God’s grace, He has done this miracle. And now, those children are our most wonderful legacy.
  4. My family is the greatest joy of my life and my first disciples. Seeing them walk with God and serve Him is an unexplainable privilege.
  5. Training our children must be intentional and “along the way” at every juncture. Every moment of the common day is an opportunity to affect their lives for Christ.
  6. Our children must see that Christ is relevant for every moment and the conscious awareness of His presence must be sought constantly.
  7. Loving my wife is my most important responsibility in my marriage. We fail at this so often, but we must keep pursuing God in this vital task.
  8. A godly wife is a phenomenal treasure. My wife is one of the godliest people I have known in this life. She is a tireless servant to Christ and others and understands the sovereignty of God in all circumstances like few others. And she prays all day long and loves me relentlessly despite my sin and failures.
  9. Kindness, a fruit of a Spirit-controlled life, is one of the most needed components of a healthy home. I need to be filled with Him and kinder to my wife.
  10. We must let “no unwholesome word proceed from our mouths. Every word must be good for edification (to build up), fit for the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4;32). Our families should memorize this verse and rehearse it often. This is only possible through unceasing prayer and reliance upon the Holy Spirit.
  11. Truth and grace—in the home and in all of life—is a common couplet taught throughout the Scripture. We must be, like Christ, full of grace, but also full of truth. Compassion and conviction.

REVIVAL AND AWAKENING

  1. Revival and awakening are part of God’s plan to periodically open the windows of heaven to remind us of what the Kingdom is really like. It is a vital part of Kingdom life. During revival, the work of God is accelerated. It brings a course correction for a life, a family, a nation at moments when we are farthest from God. It is a sovereign work of God, but we are called to pursue this work through repentance and prayer.

THE KINGDOM

  1. Life is brief. We must do what God says when He says it and for His Kingdom’s sake. To fail to do so is to miss opportunities that will never come again.
  2. All of life is about God’s kingdom. He wants to bring His kingdom to our lives personally and to the lives of others through our example and witness and presence.
  3. We can look into Heaven all the time as believers. We now live in two worlds and have access to both. We are to so pray and live that His kingdom comes, and His will is brought from heaven to earth. (Colossians 3:1-4)

MY FUTURE

  1. Soon, through my death or His coming, I will enter heaven, which has been lovingly prepared for me and all those who know and believe in Him. We see it now dimly, but one day we will see Him face-to-face! For all of eternity we will serve and enjoy Him in life as it was designed to be. No sin, no darkness, no pain. No fear, no doubt, no confusion. I long for this day. When I die, do not mourn for me. I will gladly go, as Moody said, like a schoolboy bounding for home!

11/16/2021





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