Over the last few weeks I have been
writing about a document I keep on the desktop of my computer entitled, “My
Motivation.” It is designed to remind and inspire and focus me toward
Christ-centered living, but it’s comprised of pictures rather than words. Nine
of the fifteen pictures are of various men of God who inspire me for a number
of reasons, the fourth of whom is the fourth century pastor and theologian, Augustine.
When I was in college, I read one
of Augustine’s most famous works, Confessions.
Given my past, it was very encouraging to read the story of a man who sinned so
terribly and suffered the consequences of his actions, and yet who received so
much grace from Jesus. Augustine’s honesty and humility made a great impact on
me, as he helped me see that God could heal and use a broken person like me.
Then over the years, as I grew
in the knowledge of the Bible and theology, I read several of Augustine’s more
theological works and some of his sermons. Having heard the story of how the
grace of Jesus transformed this man, I now began to partake of some of the
fruit the Lord bore through this man.
Specifically, Augustine was among
the first to inspire me to meditate long and hard on the glory of God, the
attributes of God, the nature of God’s creative power, the depth of human
depravity, the greater depth of God’s redemptive grace in Christ, the nature of
the church, the mission of the church, and so on. Augustine’s story opened my heart
all the more to the grace of Christ, and his theological writings opened my
mind all the more to the truth of Christ.
And what is more, Augustine
taught me that the quest for biblical truth is part and parcel of the passion
to worship God. That is, he helped me understand that we can only worship God
in truth when we know the truth about God.
This insight, in fact, has
shaped my life. God has used this man, who lived some 1,600 years ago, to lead
me in the way I should go, and for this I am eternally grateful to God. Like
his Lord, Augustine’s life was characterized by grace and truth.