I will celebrate the Lord's goodness to me. Yesterday was September 23rd. Every year, on September 23rd, I celebrate the goodness and steadfast love of the Lord to me, the chief of sinners. I did that yesterday and today I will share it with you.
I magnify my God because on that day, 16 years ago, He rescued me from the pit that I had cast myself into and crowned me with His love and compassion ... a rebel child who deserved death, but instead received forgiveness, mercy and life.
...What happened 16 years ago is a work of God and should be celebrated publicly. I believe that the Lord saved me at an early age, but for many years as an adult I was a gravely backslidden believer. This was mostly characterized by a life of partying, drunkenness and all kinds of dissipation. In fact, I lived a life that could not be described as Christian at all, a life that was focused on me and what pleased me. Many of you reading this know this to be true since you went to high school and college with me and worked with me. The good news is that even though I was unfaithful, my gracious God was very faithful to me and pursued me relentlessly with His amazing steadfast love... a love that would not let me go. I was miserable and never enjoyed my sin because I was living a double life, a life that was not what God had redeemed. The Lord was very, very patient with me. I marvel at His patience today and am very grateful for it. He loved me so much that He went to great lengths to bring me back to Him. But even in His discipline of me He was unbelievably merciful. I deserved much, much worse. I received my second DUI on the night of September 22, 1995. The next day, September 23, 1995 I remember sitting on my bed in my apartment and I knew that I could no longer resist. The Lord's hand was heavy on me. I humbled myself before Him and repented of my sins and turned to Christ. I won't lie to you, years of unrepentant sin had created very bad and sinful habits in my life. They did not disappear overnight. But the Lord continued to show His goodness and faithfulness to me and has done so ever since.
I love the life that comes from obedience to Him. I regret the sins of those years and the wasted time, but I also am not looking back (except to give thanks for my deliverance) and am pressing forward by the grace of God. He continues to sanctify me and conform into the image of His mighty Son. I am so grateful for my salvation, I am so thankful for my wonderful savior, Jesus Christ, who went to the Cross to die a miserable and humiliating death, taking all of my sins, every last one, on Himself and the punishment that I deserved in my place for me. Because of that costly sacrifice I now possess His righteousness which I wear. I look forward eagerly to the day when I will be with my Savior eternally in glory. For now, though, He has graciously allowed me to do work here for His Kingdom.
I don't want to waste any more time ...
This is the theme of my life from now on -
"I have decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified."