8 things from 2018 that I am grateful to God for

I too often take for granted the gift of employment. I’m deeply, deeply blessed to have a job. Not only do I have jobs, but I enjoy all that I do. That’s a sweet gift of the Lord.

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By Chuck Lawless

IT’S been several days since we entered into 2019. But looking back at the year gone by, I noted down some of the things that reminded me how good God was in 2018. Here are eight life reminders that have grabbed my attention in the last year:

Life really is precarious. The unexpected and tragic deaths of my friends and teammates, Randy and Kathy Arnett, in the spring of this year reminded me of this truth. Even still today, I find email exchanges I had with them. Pam and I miss them.

Health is a gift. Several years ago, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. The doctors continue to watch it closely, but God has been graciously faithful to take care of me. With every regular checkup, I’m reminded of His grace.

All of us—that is, every one of us—is susceptible to a fall. Any of us who thinks moral failure is not a possibility is not thinking wisely. Just look around this year—the Internet now makes failures more public than ever.

Grace is real. With each passing year, I think of how much God has forgiven me over the years. He knew when He called me to Himself that I would remain a sinner who doesn’t always win the battle, and still He saved me. I am who I am only because of grace.

I’m blessed to do what I do. I too often take for granted the gift of employment. I’m deeply, deeply blessed to serve at Southeastern Seminary and the International Mission Board. Not only do I have jobs, but I enjoy all that I do. That’s a sweet gift of the Lord.

God’s people are special. I know some believers drive others crazy (and I may be one of those believers on some days); nevertheless, church people are incredible examples of the love of God. They’ve caring, giving, compassionate, encouraging, forgiving, thoughtful and patient.

Access to the gospel is an incredible gift. I know that truth intellectually, but I don’t really think about it enough. This year, I’ve traveled in multiple places where millions of people know nothing about Jesus. All of us who have no such barriers are blessed indeed.

I still have much to learn. Like how to rest well. And not let worry consume me. And give more attention to personal evangelism. And pray more. And love my wife more sacrificially. And read for relaxation. And on and on…. In God’s plan, life is always a classroom.
What reminders have you learned this year?

Chuck Lawless currently serves as Professor of Evangelism and Missions and Dean of Graduate Studies at Southeastern Seminary. 

This article originally appeared here.

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