Most people use lists. We use them to aid us in grocery shopping, to accomplish our daily tasks, and to work on projects. David Letterman made a name for himself on late night television by including a ten point list during each of his shows.
The Bible also uses lists to recount details, to catalogue bits of information, and to instruct us. Particularly with the instruction type of lists in the Bible, we discover a literary device that is often employed. By understanding this device, our learning and application of listed instructions will certainly be enhanced.
Photograph Title: Crashing Waves
As you read these quotes, treat them not like you would something “inspirational” that has no basis in God or his Word. These have been chosen so that we might hear from godly folks who drank deeply from God.
When we speak of a person being converted to faith in Christ Jesus or when we speak of a prodigal coming to his senses and returning to the Father, we must understand that it is God at work in converting and restoring the wayward person. God typically does this work by speaking through his word. This is the reason that preaching and teaching the Bible is a necessary activity.
Yet we must also understand that the unconverted person or the wayward person lacks the ability to hear the word of God in the depths of his soul. It matters not how loudly the preacher preaches. Conversion and restoration are dependent upon God opening the eyes, unstopping the ears, and quickening the heart.
Nearing the end of his life, Paul wrote young Timothy. Part of his instructions concerned Timothy’s sanctification or being a vessel for honorable use (2 Timothy 2:21). This sanctification would be realized by two contrasting movements. These movements move the believer away from a prodigal path and turn him down the pilgrim road.
At the 2016 National Conference of Ligonier Ministries, Michael Reeves presented The English Reformers as part of the overall theme on The Gospel. His theological and historical presentation deeply stirred my mind and heart. Below you find a written overview and the video of the 23 minutes presentation.
Times have changed. Some churches still have revival meetings, but most have only memories of revival meetings. Many of the meetings of which I was around demanded time consuming preparations. A special “evangelist” or preacher was scheduled. “Special” musicians were coordinated. Posters were printed. Pizza parties were planned for the youth. And on and on we could go.
Listen as Jake O’Connor tells his story before singing the song My Story by Big Daddy Weave. Near the end of his story (at about the 2:49 mark), Jake gives a shout out to the Prodigal Pilgrim theme of this blog.