As we begin this new adventure in Focus Magazine, I am asking myself, “What are you doing?” “Why are you doing this?” “Don’t you have enough to do?” “What can you possibly write that will help anyone?” “Are you a dummy or just arrogant?” “You can’t write!”
So, why? In short, I was asked to be a part and I could not say, “No.” I hope the years of study and applying myself to the word of God will help someone, in some small way, come to desire a greater relationship with Him. I do not pretend to have all the answers. In fact, when I was younger and had all the answers nobody asked me the questions. Now that I am a little bit older, all I have are questions. I just want to be a part of this effort to help those who read, understand God’s word better. Even in this company of contributors there are better Bible students and better writers. I am in awe of them. If I can compliment them in anyway then that will be my part.
We All Have A Part
We all have a part to do in our service to our great God. In Paul’s analogy about the body in 1 Corinthians 12, the eye cannot say to the ear I have no need of you. Even the members of the body which seem to be the weakest are necessary (1 Cor. 12:14-23). We all can contribute something to the cause of Christ. I cannot be someone else. I cannot do what others can do but I can do my part.
Isn’t that the way we work together in a local church? Where I preach we have many talented people, but no two can do the same thing alike. However, when each does what he or she can do, combined together with what we all can do, the local church is stronger, even down to the least honorable one (1 Cor. 12:23).
Isn’t that the way it works in our homes? Men are men and women are women. A man is not a woman and a woman is not a man. I cannot do what my wife does in our home. On the other hand, she cannot do what I do in our home. We work together and our home is stronger. Our home is not stronger because I do everything or I am the best. It is stronger because we complement each other in both strengths and weaknesses. In the first of the movie series about the fictional character Rocky Balboa, Adrien, his fiancé, asks him why he wants to marry her. Rocky said to her, “We fill in the gaps.”
I also find it that way even as a grown child or father of grown children. I can do things my father cannot do and there are things he can do I will never be able to do. My children are young adults. They have exceeded their dad’s abilities. But, I don’t have to keep up with them. I just do what I can do.
I love working with younger preachers. I find their idealism and enthusiasm infectious. They keep me from becoming cynical. I am jealous of their youth. I am envious of their abilities. What they do, I am relearning to do. Yet, age and experience is an advantage.
Get the point! Each one of us will bring something that will hopefully connect with someone who reads or listens. We do not all appeal to everyone, but we can each appeal to someone.
So, here is my appeal. Here is my aim. Here is my goal in this work. I love the words of Paul in Galatians 4:19, “My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you.” True, I am not Paul. True, I may not have met you. True, I have no right to call you “My little children.” But, here is my promise to you, if you stay with me I promise to labor hard to help Christ be formed in you. My ultimate part that I can do is remind you and help you attain to that goal. No, we will not finish that task here. God will perfect us. But, we can grow to become more and more like Him.
I am asking you to make an investment in me and I will make an investment in you. Together we will have a return that we will each have Christ formed in us. I may not always get it right, but I will labor hard. I ultimately want each Christian to be in the image of God. I love how Paul said this, “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren (Rom 8:29).” Yes, I want to be, and I want each Christian to be conformed to His image. I may not be able to do much but if I can do that one small thing then that will be a bunch.
Come Along With Us
So, why me? In part this is selfish. I want the challenge. But, mostly I want to help Christ be formed in every Christian. That is why I am willing to join with Barry, Tim, Shane, Marty and Kyle in writing. That is why I am willing to try. I look at this as a journey, not an end. Each time we will grow because each time we will be brought to God’s word. Each time we approach His throne together we are closer to Him and become more like Him. My small part, with my small ability, is to help you awake in His image (Psa. 17:15). I beg your mercy and forbearance as I make mistakes. I invite you to this journey that will be exciting and hopefully transformative.