May 25, 2006
Mark and Al, I am looking forward to our time together tomorrow night. Lig, it won’t be the same without you, my friend, but I am glad you can join us by phone later in the evening. I’m sure our conversation will prove to be edifying and exhausting (from laughing and staying up late).
The reason Mark, Al and I will be together in Louisville is because we are speaking at the New Attitude conference, led by my favorite Senior Pastor, Joshua Harris. This event equips college students with the gospel. As I play the back nine of life, few things bring me more joy than to see the next generation passionate about the gospel and the local church.
And speaking of joy, I just now glanced at a Spurgeon quote displayed on my desk. It’s my daily reminder about the importance and priority of joy:
“Moreover, labor is easy to those of a cheerful spirit; success waits on cheerfulness. The ones who work while rejoicing in God and believing with all their hearts have success guaranteed.”
My challenge each day is not so much working hard, but cheerfully working hard. If I understand Scripture accurately, I will not glorify God simply by working hard. To truly bring Him honor, I must labor with a cheerful spirit. Therefore, I must not only serve my family each day, but I must serve them with joy. I must not only prepare a sermon, I must do it cheerfully. I must not only labor faithfully in the church, I must do so happily. Merely working hard is not sufficient. It must be done with gladness. It is for my good and His glory that God has given this sweet command, ‘Serve the Lord with gladness” (Psalm 100:2).
So, Mark and Al, thanks for gladly serving at this conference. Lig, Mark will be teaching a session on Biblical Theology (“The Story: Understanding the Storyline of the Bible”), and Al will be addressing “Cultural Discernment from a Biblical Worldview.” I have the privilege of speaking on “The Cross: A Meditation on Jesus’ Atoning Death (Isa. 53).” Again, Lig, you will be missed, but I respect you for joyfully serving the local church you love.