I have received my grades for my final two classes. I received an A in both of them and have now fulfilled the requirements needed to receive my Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Liberty University Baptist Theological Seminary. I am very excited to be done and I am grateful to the Lord for helping me to finish strong. I am also thankful to my wife for supporting as I sat at the kitchen table and worked on all those papers and discussion boards.
Before I began taking the classes I prayed long and hard about the commitment it would take. I had some concerns about working full time in an insurance claims office, serving as pastor of a church and taking two classes at a time but I was convinced that if the Lord was leading me to do it, the Lord would lead me through it. I wanted to take two classes at a time so that it would cut the time to complete the degree in half. This also cut the tuition just about in half. I also knew that if I only took one class at a time I would spend time going over each assignment two or three times each week before I turned it in anyway so I may as well have two assignments each week that I would only go over once! For me, two classes instead of one seemed like a win/win situation.
I shared my desire to take the classes with my wife and we prayed about it. I had considered taking seminary classes in years past but never really felt that the Lord was leading me to go. After a couple of days we decided that this time, it was right to do it. I signed up and got started. After the first 8 week term was over my wife asked me what I wanted for a graduation present. Though that time was still a long time away, I knew just what I wanted. I wanted a pocket watch. A few weeks later my lovely wife picked up my graduation present. It was inscribed with the verse “Phil 4:13”. This is the verse that captures Paul’s words “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I had told her I wanted to wait until I graduated to get it but she was positive that I was going to finish it and saw no need to wait. She knew that the Lord would strengthen me and that I would complete all the classes and earn that degree. Her confidence in the strength that the Lord was going to provide reminds me of Paul’s words in Philippians 1:6
Phil 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
Maybe there is some task that you are praying about whether or not this is the time to begin. Maybe there is a task that you are in the middle of right now and it is tough. Maybe you just need to be reminded that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. Maybe you need to be reminded that He who begins a good work in His people provides all the strength, wisdom, encouragement, and the resources that His people need so that His people can complete those good works. Be strengthened! Be confident! Be encouraged! If the Lord leads you to do it He will lead you through it! He who began a good work in you will complete it! You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you! Don’t give up! Don’t give in to worries or weariness! Stay strong in your faith! Let the Lord lead you and guide you! Let Him do a good work in you and through you!