I am in my mid 30's. Blessed with a great wife, and two wonderful children.
I don't want to boast at all here. God has been good to me. But I feel there may be some value to let readers know a bit of who I am and where I'm coming from.
I want to assure you I am not someone who wants a more liberal view of Christianity so I can live at peace with my sins. I don't want to water down the gospel message in any way. I just seek to clarify what the main gospel message is.
In a similar way as Paul wrote:
Phil 3:4-11 (NIV)
"though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless."
So here's my list of things a religious person could be proud of:
- My father was a pastor of small rural inter denomination churches.
- Instead of seeking money as a youth I spent 7 summers working at Bible camps
- I attended Bible College for 2 years for personal growth
- I've been involved in regular weekly 'church' activities all my life
- I've faithfully given financial support to God's work locally and around the world
- Our family is planning our second 'short term missions' trip to some orphans in Mexico
- I don't smoke, drink, dance, swear
- I only listen to Christian music
- I don't hate anyone
I do have sin issues in my life.... I'll omit listing those here though. I don't compare with the likes of Paul and many other giants of the Christian faith... but that's not the point here.
"But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead."
None of the stuff in that list of mine means anything compared to knowing Christ.
Thank You God for all the good things you've blessed me with, they are all gifts from you!
I want to know Christ, and seek His will, and learn to follow Him better.