"The Subject of Christ"
The Lord called me to preach thirty eight years ago this month. In the early days of ministry, I wondered if I could accumulate enough knowledge and understanding of Biblical subject matter in order to be able to consistently speak and write. Nearly four decades later, I realize the dilemma actually involves the opposite of my original concern. That is, I grow more and more aware that I do not have enough time to ponder and communicate the truths of Scripture I'd like to address.
This has nothing to do with my knowledge and understanding, which remains far less than it ought to be after all these years. It rather concerns the subject matter, or more literally, the Subject.
"Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ" (Ephesians 3:8).
An infinite Christ graces the pages of God's Word. The more we learn of Him, the more certain we become of how much more we need to know. We shall never reach the end of discovery regarding the God who is man, and the man who is God. "Great is the mystery of godliness; God was manifest in the flesh" (I Timothy 3:16). We learn of our Lord's character, nature, and way as we read and study the Bible. We also "learn Christ", to echo the Apostle Paul's intriguing phraseology, as we we walk with God along the pathways of our lives (Ephesians 4:20). Thereby we know Him, as well as knowing more and more about Him. We also realize the eternal vastness of His being and His way. In both this life and forevermore, we set forth into the infinite glory of the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Enough about which to ponder, speak, and write? More than enough, more than enough for an eternity.
A friend once told me of a preacher who retired because he claimed to have run out of preaching material. ?????!!!!! Certainly preachers, through illness or infirmity, may run out of the ability to ponder, speak, and write of Christ's unsearchable riches. But we will never run out of things to consider and preach because the "things" are unsearchable. The things are Christ. He provides an inexhaustible wealth of glories to discover, to remember, and to learn ever more deeply and truly. There is not enough time to study and communicate it all in this lifetime. Nor is there enough eternity! Keeping this truth and expectation much in mind prepares us for the ongoing voyage upon a shoreless Ocean. More than any other contemplation to which a human heart and mind can devote itself, the subject matter - the Subject of Christ - fills, fulfills, and thrills the soul as it beckons us come ever onward, ever upward, and evermore.
"For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God."
Weekly Memory Verse
Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering, for He is faithful that promised."