I TURNED 40 TODAY
I turned 40 today. Funny, it feels just like any other day. I got up around 5:30, took out the dog, made some coffee, read a chapter from the Bible, a section in a book, and spent some time in prayer before beginning my work. I don’t really know what I expected 40 to feel like. But for those who haven’t hit 40 yet, I can tell you it feels just about the same as 39 did, just a little more so.
I turned 40 today. This, for those who may not know, means that I spent just about half my lifetime so far running from God. I was born into a Christian home and raised by godly Christian parents. I went to a Christian school and to church every Sunday (twice usually). But for my first 19 years on this earth I could not for the life of me understand Christians. They seemed to enjoy being Christians, I’ll give them that. But it made no sense to me. I figured they just didn’t know what they were missing out on. Not to mention the very thought of God just made me uncomfortable. So I kept running, kind of like a hamster on a wheel.
I turned 40 today. This means I have spent about half my life now getting to know the God I formerly ran from. My life changed forever about 20 years ago. The Bible text that best captures what happened to me is Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourself, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” I was saved by God’s grace through a gift of faith in Jesus Christ. I did not expect to be saved, but the Lord saved me. The particular verse of Scripture He used was a few short words from the Old Testament book of Haggai: “Consider your ways!” I was living my “way.” I was headed in the way of destruction. I was on the road to Hell. “Consider your ways!” Christ Himself met me on that road. I’ve never been the same again. And now I get to spend the rest of my life getting to know Him. He still makes me uncomfortable…but in a different way, an inviting way, an accepted way.
I turned 40 today. I have a lovely wife whose outward beauty is surpassed only by her inward beauty, and whom I have enjoyed the company of for almost 17 years. I have four children, two boys and two girls. I love them so much and it is my heart’s desire and prayer that they would come to know my Savior as well. There are many other precious people that the Lord continues to bless me with: my parents and in-laws, my brother and his beautiful family, my church family who are all so dear to me, my other friends and wonderful acquaintances I have made along life’s way. I have a good job doing work that I enjoy. At age 40 I am quite humbled by the goodness of the Lord toward me and can say with David “Who am I, O Lord God? And what is my house, that you have brought me this far (2 Samuel 7:18)?”
I turned 40 today. That makes me a 40 year expert in the field of sin. I am not a great man. But I have a great Savior. I am a transgressor. But as I read in Mark 15:28 this morning, a quote from Isaiah 53, “He was numbered with the transgressors.” That is why I am what I am today. Christ died for me. And I died with Him. And if the Lord is pleased to give me 40 more years I want to spend them all getting to know Christ, and helping others to know Him too. Do you know Him? I do not ask if you have a religion, or a church, or if you have been baptized. Those may be good things. But do you know Christ? Or have you, like me, spent a good portion of your life running from Him? If so, “Consider your ways.” Where are you headed? What do you hope to accomplish? "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul (Matthew 16:26)?”