Monday, June 8, 2009

Finishing Strong

Today I was shocked as I read the story of a church planter who fell morally in an extra marital affair. A young guy, probably close to my age, I don't know him personally but know of his church. He started a church successfully that grew to over 1,000 people in just five years. There were literally thousands of lives changed by this man. Right now my heart is breaking for him and his family. It makes tremble and makes me sick to my stomach. It scares me to think that a young pastor with such passion and fire fell so quickly. It scares me as I realize that God doing great things through your life does not make you exempt from grip of temptation. The human heart is deceptive and has the capacity to be lured away from that which is most significant and important in life and in the kingdom of God. I pray almost every day that God would help me finish this race strong. Today my prayer is amplified. I want my zeal and passion for Christ to grow throughout the years, I want my love and commitment to Stacie, Caedmon and our future children to continue to develop each year. At the same time, I realize that none of this is a guarantee for my life. I am not exempt from temptation, I have to consistently make choices to protect my heart, to live with integrity even in the small choices and to honor God when no one else is looking. Here is the other thing... If I have to forgo short term fruit in ministry to finish strong I will choose that. If I am not able to handle great success at this point I would rather have a ministry that builds slow and steady over the years than flash out quickly. I am not at all saying I don't want to be as fruitful as possible and impact as many lives as God will have for me to impact... I am saying that I want my character to be able to sustain whatever blessings of influence God sends my way. I make a fresh commitment to living with teachability, humility, and servant leadership in order that I might finish strong. I recommit myself to the vision of loving my wife and my family so that the kingdom of God deeply impacts my home. I recommit myself to developing my personal life so that I finish the strong. I recommit myself to the vision of reaching the SF Bay for Christ while keeping my soul. I am praying for this man who fell and God's amazing grace to restore him and minister to his family and church. I am praying that God would remind this man of His deep love for us in the midst of our sin. I am praying that God would help this church maintain its vision and find hope for the future.