Becoming Who We Are

“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord,
are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory,
just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”

2 Corinthians 3:18

Today is the last day of class in my third summer session at the Master’s College. As always, the teaching has been wonderful and the days have gone by far too quickly! The Lord has blessed my soul in numerous ways through the natural beauty of His creation in Southern California and through the supernatural beauty of His Word and godly fellowship. Each morning, I thank God for the privilege of being able to begin a day of class by praying together with my professors and fellow classmates. Such an experience is becoming increasingly rare in our culture, and I never want to take it for granted!

During this week’s classes, we’ve studied a number of amazing doctrines from Scripture, including the doctrine of progressive sanctification. My professor Dr. Ernie Baker shared this quote by Martin Luther which captures well the encouraging truth that although we have not reached Christlikeness, we are heading toward our destination…

This life therefore, is not righteousness but growth in righteousness, not health but healing, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise.  We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it; the process is not yet finished but it is going on; this is not the end but it is the road.  All does not yet gleam in glory but all is being purified.

Photo: dlockeretz

California or Bust!

“How much better to get wisdom than gold!
To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.”

Proverbs 16:16

Back in the late 1800s, people began flooding by the droves into Santa Clarita, California, after a man named Francisco Lopez discovered a few nuggets of gold while digging up some wild onions. News of his expensive lunch blazed like a prairie fire across the country, luring prospectors to the site with big dreams of striking it rich, and so began the period in history which we know as the California Gold Rush. Even though mining has long since been prohibited in Santa Clarita, I can tell you from experience, there’s still gold in them thar hills. Actually, there’s something even better than gold there, and that’s the reason I’m on my to Santa Clarita right now.

The time has come for my annual trip to the Master’s College to take more classes in the Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling program. This is my 3rd year in the program, and I’m so grateful for the way the Lord has used the MABC to supply my soul with that which Solomon described as being more valuable than gold–the wisdom of God’s Word. Next week, I’ll be soaking in lectures for two classes I’ve been working on for the past few months–Theological Basis of Biblical Counseling and Methods of Biblical Change. I am more than a little excited about the prospect (no gold mining pun intended).

Since I will be busy, busy over the next 8 days, things may be a bit quieter than usual at Precious Adornment, but I hope to continue posting daily Beauty Supplements for you to enjoy and maybe a little update or two about what I’m learning. Oh, and if I happen to see John MacArthur while I’m out there, I’ll be sure to let you know. ;)

The Soul Authority of Scripture

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“The Law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul…”

Psalm 19:7

In the Scriptures, God provides us with glimpses of the countless aspects of His character and beauty through the use of His many names, names overflowing with rich meaning such as El Shaddai “God Almighty,” El Elyon “The Most High God,” or Jehovah-jireh “The Lord will provide.” God used each of these names to teach His people something more of Who He is and to reassure them of His ability to meet their souls’ every need. Of all the names of God in the Bible, there is one that has always held special meaning for me. In Isaiah 9:6, the prophet speaks of the coming of the Messiah saying, “For a child will be born unto us, a son will be given unto us…And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor…”

Since I was young, I have been especially fascinated with the thought of Jesus Christ being our Wonderful Counselor. Perhaps this was an early indication of where the Lord would one day lead me in my service of Him. I honestly can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t firmly convinced that the Lord is the Answer for every need of the human soul. Whether the issue is a troubled marriage, a rebellious child, continual feelings of despair, eating disorders, loneliness, the pain of childlessness, or any other symptom caused by this sin-sick world, I know that true hope and healing may be found in the pages of God’s Word. While I was still a child, God motivated me to help hurting people through the encouragement of Scripture. Today, my desire to introduce others to the wisdom of the Wonderful Counselor is stronger than ever.

Psalm 1 says, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly.” Unfortunately, in the church today, godly counselors seem to be in short supply, and as a result, believers often seek answers to the needs of their souls by listening to the counsel of the ungodly. This is a great tragedy. The Bible teaches that God has “granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3). His Word is sufficient, and the church should be filled with people who wholeheartedly believe that truth and are ready to share Biblical solutions with souls desperate and in need of hope. 

After many years of desiring to do so, I thank the Lord that He has given me the opportunity to begin formal training which will better prepare me to minister in that way. Last December, I started the master’s degree program in Biblical Counseling through the Master’s College in Santa Clarita, CA. As a ministry that strongly upholds the authority and sufficiency of God’s Word, the Master’s College is the school where I have long hoped to study. Today, I began the first of two weeks of classes on campus, and I have already been tremendously blessed. I was told by a second-year student that when I arrived here I would feel like I was part of a family, and my first day experience has proven that to be true. Sweet fellowship, deep sharing, and genuine enjoyment have marked my interaction with those around me since my arrival. In fact, it would not be an exaggeration for me to say that I have never before experienced such a remarkable sense of unity with people I had only just met.

God has been overwhelmingly gracious to take this time of preparation for future ministry to others and use it first to minister to my own soul. As I look forward to the coming days of study in this special place, I am truly grateful to God from Whom all blessings flow!