As I opened my messenger today, tons of greetings almost blew my phone (and I am exaggerating!). Checking our blog, God providentially directed me to a post by Reformed Reader. The post spoke to my heart and it reminded me of why I am here on earth and the very reason why I persevere, reaching this 33rd day of my existence by His grace in Christ. Let me share with you the major points from T. Watson’s “Three Pillars of Perseverance.”
What a wonder is it that any soul perseveres until he comes to the kingdom of heaven! But great as the wonder is, there is such a thing as perseverance. A saint’s perseverance is built upon three immutable pillars:
- A saint’s perseverance is built upon God’s eternal love. To know that it is not built upon my own (whose will always changed, passion always lost, and life always wasted), is a great motivation to press on.
- “When once the sunshine of God’s electing love is risen upon the soul—it never sets finally.”
- A saint’s perseverance is built upon the covenant of grace. God’s unbreakable new covenant of grace founded upon the blood of Christ is a sure guarantee of my perseverance unto glory.
- The third pillar upon which perseverance is built, is the mystic union with Christ. Oh, what a wonder that a sinner like me is united with Christ! Once united with Him, He will never disown me!
I appreciate those who greeted me (and can’t name you all one by one), especially my wife, who’s been faithful in supporting me in all my endeavors, and consistently encourages me to grow as a man of God, husband, father, and leader of the family. To our adorable daughter who woke me up by showering me with kisses, and singing “Happy birthday, Daddy!” Is it a great thing to be reminded of how long I existed here on earth, but it is a greater thing to be reminded of how God has been faithful to me and my household through all these years!
Above all, if there is anything that I would wish (but you know, this is not merely a wish but a reality in Christ!), it is to grow more in love with my LORD and Savior Jesus Christ by savoring, beholding, and being captivated by Him through His infallible word. I like to pray what John Piper’s reflection prayed on his 67th birthday. He writes,
So just pray that I would not be a drifter either spiritually or productively. By spiritually, I mean that I want to go hard after God in this new season. What strikes me about retirement and the way the world conceives of it, is that generally the world recommends pretty poor ways of getting ready to meet King Jesus. It seems to me that the closer we are getting to Jesus, the more we should be devoted to him in focused ways of fellowship and communion.
So pray for my own personal aggressiveness in spiritual life. I want to go hard after Jesus in my devotions so that I know him better and better through his word in order that when I die, the transition will not be abrupt. It will not be surprising. When I look at Jesus, I want to say, “You are what I saw and came to love in the word of God.” I will not have to radically adjust in seeing him.
And with Paul, I exclaim,
But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order 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 comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.Philippians 3:7-14 ESV
That passage says it all. I desire more to press on! All of my thanksgiving and praises are due to my covenant LORD, my God, my Savior, and my friend. Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.
To the Triune God! To Him alone be the glory!