A Perpetual Trip Down Memory Lane16
by Josh Reagan
A perpetual trip down memory lane:
Every Tuesday & Thursday I wake up about 4:30 a.m., make some coffee, & make my way to Jackson for 50 minutes of Hebrew. The drive is a bit boring in regards to scenery, and a bit depressing knowing that I will be making the same drive 50 minutes after I arrive. I am good at grumbling. Though the drive isn’t ideal there are some perks to it: I get to listen to a podcast or two, and if time permits I may listen to some 80’s or 90’s pop music.
Once I arrive on campus I love visiting with my classmates and listening to their stories. There are students from different countries, different denominations, and different stages in life, but we all share a common desire to love Christ and love His people well. After we chat a bit we sit back, and learn God’s word in it’s original language from one of the best language professors in the country. Dr. Miles Van Pelt is a true gift to the church; he is very passionate about the original languages ultimately stemming from his passion for Christ to be loved and preached among the nations. I want to thank you, our Westminster church family, for making opportunities like this possible. Your support has been a blessing, and it is a tangible way to see the love of God through your gifts and prayers. We love y’all.
As much as I love the visiting and learning, it is not the most meaningful part of my weekly trip. You see, Reformed Theological Seminary is located on Clinton Blvd. in Jackson, MS. 8 years ago I used to travel to Clinton Blvd. on a daily basis and it wasn’t to sit in a seminary class, it was to buy Oxycontin. I would spend anywhere from $70 to $140 every other day to supply my “need.” Starting around my freshman year of college, due to a couple of sports injuries, I began taking pain medication on a regular basis. My gods were a pill bottle and a liquor bottle for the better part of 10 years. I can so relate to the language of Ephesians chapter 2: I was following the course of this world, following Satan, carrying out the desires of the mind and body. To put it bluntly, as Paul does, I was spiritually dead. There was no hope for me, or so I thought. I had convinced myself that I wouldn’t live to see 30, and was so wrapped up in my sin and Satan’s deception that I didn’t care. But God cared. God didn’t owe me a thing but His wrath. Instead of giving me what I deserved, God pursued me through His people. God sent some people into my life to share His gospel with me. Remember that, according to Romans 1:16, the gospel is “the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.” The gospel is a specific message laid out (1 Corinthians 15:1-4), and it is a message that must be preached and believed (Romans 10:9-15). God gave me life in April of 2010 when all I deserved was death. I had forsaken the fountain of living water and hewed out broken cisterns for myself, cisterns that could hold no water (Jeremiah 2:13). My biggest problem wasn’t the drugs; they were just the fruit of a deeper problem within my heart. I was an idolater, murderer, fornicator, etc. and needed to be reconciled to God. Only through repentance (turning from sin) and faith (trusting in Christ) can we be reconciled. God is merciful and gracious beyond our wildest imagination. No matter if we are drug addicts or self-righteous bible scholars, we all need reconciliation with the God who created us. Turn to Him and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For He is God, and there is no other (Isaiah 45:22).
God has truly redeemed my trips to Clinton Blvd. Every time I make the trip I am reminded of His unfathomable mercy and grace. I’m reminded of the power of His gospel and the worthiness of His Son. Let us thank God today and everyday for His salvation. Let us pray for the lost. Let us share the gospel with them for there is no other means of salvation, and the Lamb deserves to receive the full reward of His suffering!
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