You might recognize this blog title as a line from an oldie, but a goodie, “Mark of a Man of God” by Steve Camp. That song takes me back to 11 years ago during your first year of seminary when you and Kevin Ball would blare it in your rental on University and then humble your hearts in earnest prayer that God would make you both into godly men like the song praises.
I’m a witness, honey, that God is answering your prayer. Today, on your birthday, in the spirit of Hebrews 13:7, I want to remember and honor you as one of God’s appointed leaders in my life who speak the word of God<sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(B)”> to me. I want to consider the outcome of your way of life and by God’s grace imitate<sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(C)”> your faith.
I know exactly what you are thinking because I know you better than anyone. “I’m the last person you should imitate.” But as one of our favorites has recently pointed out, “God uses crooked sticks to draw straight lines.” And He is drawing straight lines with your life.
I see your passion for those who don’t know Christ and I’m compelled to tell others too. I see how you tirelessly work to draw others in and extend friendship and I’m motivated to move outside my comfort zone and reach out as well. I see how you respond in times of uncertainty when you’re tempted to judge God with your senses but instead trust Him for grace. I see your brokenness as you face your sin and your determination to remedy those holes in your holiness. I see your love for the gospel and how it becomes sweeter to you with each passing year. I see you put your hand over your mouth when God is “crossing the fair designs you’ve schemed” and submit because you know He’s working to release you from yourself and pride. And I’ve seen you fight for the joy of finding your all in Him.
Today marks 33 years for you. Of course as we celebrate your birthday we’ll be celebrating the gift of life God has given you. But also remember to celebrate your death. “For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:3) Reminding yourself of your union with Christ is what will ensure you continue to draw straight lines and keep the faith. It will help you set the mark as I, and at least three others I know, keep the pace.
Happy Birthday to a godly man!