January 2, 2023

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

 -Jeremiah 29:11

I truly got into riding, seriously, a little over 3 years ago.  At the same time there was a lot going on in my life that seemed to be converging to direct me where I now find myself.  My faith was growing in ways I had never truly imagined, I was being drawn towards God in a way that I had never fully experienced.  I found myself becoming diligent in daily Bible reading, becoming more aware of what I was saying and how I was saying it. My marriage was taking a turn in a direction towards a unity and closeness that we had never known.  In short I was entering a period of spiritual growth that has not been matched in the 41 years prior.  Buying that motorcycle was, in a way, another part of this spiritual growth because no sooner had I bought the motorcycle, I was immediately searching for a faith-based group of riders to share this passion with.  I did not realize how many organizations existed, solely to focus on growth in Christ, as well as a shared love of riding.  Eventually, I was asked to join the Baptist Bikers of Kentucky and my spiritual growth continued on a trajectory that I could have never fathomed.  The date of my salvation is permanently etched in my memory, it was March 3, 2005.  From that date, up until 3 years ago, my spiritual growth was slow, filled with more setbacks than forward movement.  I knew I was saved, there was no doubt, but I also knew that I wasn’t completely doing my part in living out that salvation.  What happened was, in short, God slapping me around and opening my eyes.  My focus started to become less on myself and more on God, which naturally leads to a focus on sharing Him with others.  This is where the Baptist Bikers come into my life, I watched these men and women demonstrate genuine love for each other and for the souls of total strangers.  I learned from observing their encounters with others just what it means to love the lost and how a gospel conversation doesn’t have to be a hellfire and brimstone moment of trying to frighten someone into accepting Christ.  It was genuine seed planting, in the most loving and urgent way I could ever imagine.  Soon, I found myself WANTING to have these same conversations with others.  

As we enter a New Year, we become more acutely aware of the unknown that lies before us.  We are filled with excitement, trepidation, and maybe a little cautious skepticism.  This is how I felt the day I bought that first motorcycle.  Yet here I am, utilizing a passion for riding to fulfill the Great Commission.  I had finally started listening to God and what it was that He wanted in my life, rather than me solely trying to direct my life in the way I wanted it to go.  Now, here I am with a growing ministry, the strongest marriage I have ever known, and a closeness within my small family that has been missing for some time.  All of this is because I placed my trust in God, and stopped relying on myself.  

So I ask you to not just focus on the New Year itself, but on each day that God gives you as a treasure, an opportunity.  James summarizes everything I have said in just a few brief sentences:

“Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” 

-James 4:14

Maybe you are a follower of Christ, you’ve already accepted that precious gift of salvation.  Perhaps this serves as your wake-up call to do all you can to glorify His kingdom.  Reach out to those around you, even to strangers, and share the life-changing impact of His love, grace, and mercy in your life.  Your testimony can be the very thing someone needs to hear that opens their eyes to the truth that they have been seeking for so long.  Don’t wait, start today, do not wait for what you may feel to be the “right time” because that moment never happens, it doesn’t matter how you feel, it only matters that you make the effort to share Him with others.  Proverbs 16:9 tells us:

“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” 

-Proverbs 16:9

Make sure that your plans are in alignment with the Lord’s plans and you will find the path so much easier.  Had I been doing that, right from the start, I am sure that a lot of my self-inflicted troubles could have easily been avoided.  Listen to God, submit to His will and you will not experience a moment of regret.

Maybe you are not a follower of Christ, maybe no one has ever taken the time to share the Gospel with you, then I want you to take this moment to actively seek Him, discover the truth of Him and his ultimate sacrifice.  Reach out to me, or to anyone you know that has experienced life-changing salvation.  Don’t wait, do it now.  You don’t know if you will have another opportunity to invite Him into your life before it becomes too late.  John writes this in the book of Revelation:

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” 

-Revelation 3:20

Jesus is knocking, please don’t put Him off.  Open the door.  Regardless of a New Year, a new day, the next moment is never promised to you.  Seek Him, share Him, glorify Him.  In every moment, in every action, in every word.  Trust in Him to provide for you and to cast out the fears you may have of the unknown.  Give thanks for now, this very moment, and let God take care of whatever may come next.  Tomorrow is a myth, a hopeful idea.  All we have is today, don’t waste a moment of this precious gift.

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