This is one of my favorite parts of the conference just to ask Ligon some questions there’ll be some theological personal some serious some enjoyable questions also so Ligon are you ready I hope so here’s the first question which I’ve been asked a number of time were you named after Ligon your ministries or is that your ministry I have more often been asked yet rather than bending former know I was not named after Ligon near ministries nor was leaving your ministries named after me leave your ministries is named after Fort Ligon here in Pennsylvania and if US RC Sproul is the question wisely in your ministries mainly in your ministries he says it’s named after the place explains why you speak French not English not French and that’s a long story starts sorry but my name Ligon came from there was a circuit riding Methodist minister in the Edgefield District of South Carolina who apparently had a great impact on my great-grandparents and they name their third sign Jennings Ligon after him and the name has been passed down you are the second I am the third and minor son is four and did you like being Jennings Ligon Duncan well I got cold little league because my father was a big way and because I was very proud of my father I liked being Little League are you still called Little League I’m not so much a I didn’t know there was a Methodist circuit rider is it true that you carried a briefcase to school it is true really and what sort of briefcase and at what age it was up my own leather briefcase with gold edges or brass you know did you these things in your pocket elementary school probably mashing my tie you know what you brought me know no shame if you anyone else your rings are brand. As I went what he was seated on a backpack you did it start out as authors of agreement Star Wars would’ve been like a Star Wars would’ve been you 1314 and who else among your friends would you say carried a briefcase. There may have been one or two of us that did that but not many marked ever perhaps Mario will have Al Mohler and a lot of them. Briefcase is going to make it up so you can be administered without the definitely more seriously to tell us a little bit about where you’re from your family of a very rich Christian heritage and tells you how he became a Christian I’m from Greenville South Carolina which is in the upcountry of South Carolina’s reports that the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains near the Blue Ridge so I could I could be in downtown Greenville and look at the Blue Ridge since it’s a lovely town and I went to school at Furman University which is just north of Greenville my mother was the choir director in our church growing up my father was an elder there were very godly they had a profound and know no two people have had a greater impact on me for the gospel of the Christian life and my mom and dad I have a grip and a great preaching might my two my boyhood pastor in the past when I was teenage teenager is tremendous faithful Bible preachers huge impact on me I made my profession of faith when I was 10 years old when I was nine I asked to go through the pastor’s communicant class to to prepare to become a church member and after going to that class I realize that my reason for wanting to join the church was insufficient I knew that my had my friends were joining the church knew that was not a good reason to join the church on me that I wanted to drink the grape juice on it that was not a good reason for join the church I need that I want to please my parents and I knew that was not a good reason join the church so I didn’t join with the pastors class didn’t join that following summer I went to Florida I would I would spend three or four weeks my grandparents every summer and they were members at the first Baptist Church of mems Florida I made a very faithful gospel preaching pastors actually difference with Adrian Rogers own brother Joe about right some of you may heard the name name brother Joe he faithfully preach the gospel Billy Graham was doing a Crusade in Orlando that summer I was in the Billy Graham five nights in Orlando preach the gospel that got me thinking again about what it meant to trust in Christ and so I went and talked with brother Joe in my way back, asked the pastor if I could go through the through the communicants class again and heat he’s to this day he says I’m the only got it plunked communicant class metadata you but I went through communicant class and at the at that time I felt like I understood what it meant to repent of your sins and have faith in Jesus Christ and so I joined the church and made a public profession of faith when I was 10 but I really struggle with assurance even though I was under good faithful reformed preaching where the doctrines of grace were explained I I had a release I didn’t understand the sovereignty of God in salvation and on I thought that my faith and repentance preceded regeneration and in some sense caused regeneration and it was at up at a youth conference when I was 14 years old that I heard a pastor preaching on Ephesians chapter 1 and it dawned on me that before I ever reached out in faith to God he had reached out and grace to me and that the only reason that I trusted in him was because he had reached out and graced me and when that clicked everything changed and that profoundly address some of my questions of assurance it really began my sense a call to ministry to grew up in Greenville was it was a racially segregated was it a racially tense United job you had to three of the whole Lobos of the South in the 60s was impacted by the independent course parts of the North as well Boston Chicago elsewhere were flashpoints Cleveland during the civil rights era but your Greenville South Carolina is where Jesse Jackson is from and so here’s experiences as a child very much have colored know his public political response and he had really bad experiences in Greenville John Piper grew up in Greenville and remembers a very very tense bad racial climate they are now in 1967 when I was starting first grade Greenville public schools were already integrated so I never ever went to a segregated public school and my best friends in in middle school were African-American but but there were did you know that the lingering legacy of Jim Crow segregation racism was definitely in the background I’ve only very frankly more recently become aware of how extensive that was you when you’re in the city you don’t you don’t realize it I’ve become more aware of it as a so you’re your call to ministry but when you called did you feel called to academic ministry before pastoral ministry because that’s I started out ion from from the time I began to perceive ministry I had an interest in teaching but my thought was this that I would perceive as much education as I could get as quickly as I could get it but that I would be serving in a local church and then maybe one day serve as a teacher or professor and somewhat but in in God’s ironic providence that’s just I went I went from college to seminary I did 2° in seminary while working in a local church I went immediately to do doctoral work in Scotland serve the local church while I was there and then was called back to that well I’ve never been to Mississippi in my life I was called to Mississippi to teach at RTS and one of things I said to the to the president of the seminary that times look up I’m never been a solo pastor of the senior pastor I’ve been in the system I’ve served in churches, feel like this is backwards and he said every talk about that with the board and your can be serving the local church while you teach here so I literally showed up on campus and the man who was my boyhood pastor was the head of the pastoral theology department and he walked up to me said boy you be my assistant you said yes and I said we every southern boy yes sir and so I ended up being his assistant and he was a great experience serving the local church and teach in some getting a root appear we don’t say yes or no no it’s just that just a Southern parallel to think what what it’s you sir what if you study for your your PhD with and borough who to study when I I studied with Amanda and David Wright wonderful evangelical and but he was a world-class scholar in early Christianity and also in Reformation so I got my the man who was my mentor and seminaries manning David Calhoun and David was a wonderful godly brilliant man and he had met David Wright and and David Calhoun said to me if you’re going to study early church I really recommend you go work with David Wright and so I literally collated right on the phone one day in talk to him from St. Louis to the Scotland and ended up going in studying with him at new collagen and to study patristic’s yes early Christianity II studied the era before the Council of Nicaea 325 so it’s cold pre-Nicene or ante-Nicene theology was it was a topic or was a person I studied unit the covenant idea so I got interested in covenant theology when I was in seminary and I got interested in the history of covenant theology and as I was studying that I wonder did the reformers quote any of the church fathers when they were talking about theology and all you have to do is look at the index to Calvin since you sent answer is yes and they quoted the father’s a lot and so I started wondering I wonder if there’s enough they here to study the covenant idea and when I was having a conversation with David he himself civil not sure there’s enough here for a PhD on that topic and is a well I’ve only found one article on it it’s by this guy that I’ve never heard of before and I’m Everett Ferguson minutes of the covenant idea in the second century and David said oh if Everett says it’s the evidence that any and every turned out to be one of the most important characteristic scholars here in America and so David immediately had confidence that if David that David Everett had written an article on it there must be enough to at least develop the idea and so that’s how it all started so did you have to become an expert in Greek and Latin well I had studied Latin in high school in college and in seminary I studied Greek in college and seminary so I had New Testament Greek the hard thing you have to do is you have to get a lot more vocabulary and you have to get great it’s a little bit different than the Greek of the New Testament so patristic Greek has a much more extensive vocabulary it has regional differences that you don’t have a New Testament Greek so I I continued to study Greek and Latin you don’t use as much Hebrew when you’re studying the church fathers because not many of the church fathers new Hebrew so Jerome new Hebrew there only a few of the fathers that that worked in Hebrew but then you have other languages that that are you serious tray and things like that so I I mostly worked in in modern languages in German French and English and then in Greek and Latin I highly recommend doing doctoral work with people who wrote in English, that’s a good idea is a good idea speaking of the church fathers is it true that you wrap it is true really what what can you tell us about your right I was a DJ and hot with with a brief case the recess in the briefcase land song and I ran the the our school had a low wattage radio station and so I ran it was the station manager for WG HS and on my sign on in the morning was the way I do it in your in your best sort of baritone radio voice right I was known as live league all right morning this is Livelink and would like to welcome you to WG HS station of the Starscream of the crop top of the Pops number one sound of the city and play various seeking and things and so when I was in high school the first rap song ever to be mainstreamed lines of the top 40 by the sugar will gain whole rappers delight really VH theological just that’s right very rich theological and I memorized the whole of rappers delight and that began my wrapping cursor I’m very I’m very old school rap not many of the new stuff is is beyond my talents so you are is a true there are videos online if you read it is sadly true there are videos you online I think is a one with your brother there is one big in and that is a flashback to because my brothers come over and visit me in Scotland in the summer as you can imagine they’re not that many Scottish rappers or at least one in those days and so the Italian students that would come to Milne’s court to study English as a second language in the summer times would all congregate in the windows around the Milne’s court courtyard and we would do wraps for them while cross-cultural ministry set so late and you are the was to tell your the Chancellor palpitating of theological so I said okay you want; and the young you know that goes bad so what does the Chancellor and CEO of RTS my my three main jobs is Chancellor are to make sure that we provide the support that is necessary to keep the institution going to pay the professor salaries to allow the students comes a bite I go and think very generous orders that support our institution and invest in the on because we don’t want to just to just benefit from their generosity we want to serve them and bless them secondly to provide leadership for the institution because we’re spread out all over the place we got 50 faculty members gobs of administrators eight campuses and a global program and it just there only three times a year when all of us are together so it takes some communication working leadership keeps all on the same page and move in the right direction and then finally to cultivate enrollment to to help folks learn about RTS and under the seminary I teach a full load but that’s really not part of my job description I do that for free so I tell people teaching is my golf so I get I get to do that as a reward for the other things that I did and wasn’t a hard decision I know that it was to to relieve pastoral ministry and what went into that decision and what do you miss about being a pastor I I miss everything about being a pastor is the most wonderful job in the world and I love the church I could’ve served my congregation until the day I died and never ever wanted to be anywhere else I’m not a grass is greener on the other side, guy I’m I’m happy content is never been an issue I love where I was and the only thing that he could’ve taken me from that position was the opportunity to pastor pastors and to prepare future pastors and so I tell people it was like dying a death to leave the church and very frankly again it was the Council of friends that impacted me Al Mohler when when this opportunity came on board I called Al up in a similar thought this through with you I’ve been offered the position of reformed theological seminary I’m wrestling through whether I should leave the church to do that before I could get another sentence out of my mouth Al said you must do this and and I started the duck you must do this is no of you must exist and so Al was very emphatic in in challenging me in that area Sinclair Ferguson another mutual friend of ours I’ve known sinker since I was 14 years old when he came to do a Bible conference our church he has been like a big brother to me my whole life I’ve looked up to him as a hero he has never given me advice about anything and he wrote me a letter and he said Ligon I hope that it is the Lord’s will for you to become the Chancellor reformed theological seminary if not who if not you who if not now when and I thought at sinker you’ve never told me anything in my life and in your writing me out of the blue telling me to do this I took that really seriously and so I got good counsel my I went to my elders and us and look you know you support reform seminary Summit seminary has gobs of professors teaching at your church I need I need you my elders to tell me whether I should do this or not and in my elders said we don’t want you to go but we think you should do this and so I had a lot of help in making that decision so I two years ago I took up the the work we are very glad I’m very glad that you know you left a wonderful congregation first Presbyterian there in Jackson so I am sure with hands how many of you are on a church staff or you do vocational ministry okay so a smattering of photos that most of us here and I’ll be a time there’s a leaders breakfast room or the price some folks have signed up for but it be helpful even for people who aren’t pastors on a church staff your pastor for longer did you ever faced discouragement in the ministry yes absolutely over what over what sorts of things will I know I tell people honestly I am my greatest this discouragement in a I think it’s often times that the sense of my failures in ministry mine not taking advantage of all the opportunities before me if you find you more if I pastored better do better job I I honestly had a very easy and wonderful congregation to deal with I have no complaints about the situation the context in which I ministered but ministry is just hard you you bury people that you love you see people who you really love and respect have marital problems and some of those marriages don’t make it you you you you bury children you see people fall away from the faith you you just see things that are really hard and if if you’re not if you’re not grounded in God’s word if you’re not depending on him it’s very easy to to get discouraged in that environment and so I think every minister of the gospel faces discouragement so for the the few pastors that are here that maybe there’s something they wish their congregation members who might also be here they wish they knew or some way that perhaps they could be an encouragement to their pastor what would you say to to people here who love their pastors want to know how how can I encourage this brother brother and what sorts of discouragements might he be facing that most people are unaware of and I think I think one giving meaningful words of sincere appreciation for the Ministry of your pastor is huge you have not just good sermon pastor but you know Kevin what you said last Sunday was an area that I’ve been struggling then or three years thank you for being faithful bring the words could you can write that down so you I I have and I know what when when a patent because you what you feel like you you feel like you have just opened up your chest and and shown your heart to the whole watching world when you preach a message and you just want to call in the hole and die when you’re done and you have the sneaking suspicion that you’ve had an impact on absolutely no one and when someone says that that message today was for me you put your finger right on that sin that I’ve been struggling with that issue that I’m doing with you help me thank you pastor meaningful or in a pastor I know you are incredibly busy the fact that you came to see me in the hospital I just can’t I can’t tell you how much that meant to me just just express meaningful sincere appreciation for four ministry is I think most ministers have days where he wonder am I making any difference in anybody’s life and imitate one reason why is in ministry you never ever get your final report card if if you’re a law your that best case may drag on for three years but there’s an end of the case and you know whether you either one it lost it or settled when your pastor you never ever know when the work is done because it actually never ever will be done until glory so you never get a final report card so you go to your entire life wondering cannot do without having any impact for the kingdom here and you ultimately don’t know so most pastors will will just wrestle with am I making any difference in my mind not doing any good to the people of God and meaningful encouragement means a lot were a gathering of lots of different kinds of people here we saw that the beginning some people even some rest we may have would criticize a gathering like this or say look that this could water down theological distinctives legal why do you think these are the meetings are important and why are you so nice to Baptists answer either question on this will preferably is really good I think especially in our culture today it is very important for people who believe in the absolute truth of God’s word and who believe in the gospel of grace to encourage one another and to know and love and pray for one another and support one another not to downplay the theological differences we may have but because we’re the last people on earth that believe in absolute truth so it’s actually I I love it when I’m with more in a bit people say only the love I love it when Mark never teases you about the sin of them for baptism essay minute and it is not teasing that’s right I there is no teasing as he was your life you ever been in a room with John Piper Mark Denver and Al Mohler for three hours while they go after you about baptism okay I have so that intricate remember that at 240 meetings a few years ago where the only two data Baptists and CJ gets you out in the hall to ask probably something about fantasy football who knows what he gets on the hall my only help so that all of the Baptist like wolves in the database in place it really is an image on paper leads across the table and you question everything you ever believe siphon way for you to get back in a room yes or not teasing but don’t you say is important unless I love the fact that they care about truth and and I I will I love the fact that they care about truth so much that not only does it not bother me that they care about that difference with me if it makes me thankful that they care about the difference with me and so I think is is Bible believing people we never need fear with about being with other Bible believing people even we have really important differences and I I want Baptists to know why there Baptists and I want Presbyterians know why their Presbyterian and I want congregation was no one there congregation and so on but it’s important for us I think as people on the book is people really believe the Bible really believe the gospel to fellowship with one another and encourage one another support one another just remember that the kingdom of God is a lot bigger than just our local church God is doing a lot of stuff out there in this big world and it it’s an encouragement is just an encouragement this is gonna be at work not out of time but this is the rat a rapidfire section here I just I’m just some categories I want you to just give if you can think of off the top your head one or two really good books put the pressure on yourself the best book ever written in this topic but if I were really smart we would have these books all out there would probably have some of them but other people can can write them down and always looking for for good books so quick prayer Matthew Henry’s method for prayer evangelism on evangelism and the sovereignty of God by JI Packer or Mark Denver’s book on personal evangelism styles bookmarks of them is great book good books on evangelism Rico Tice has a new book on Amanda he’s really yet just read that that was really good honest about the struggles of interest about the doctrines of grace sort reformed theology so to rheology the plan of salvation by BB Warfield or I’d redemption accomplished and applied by John Murray marriage go to books on marriage that you hand couples I hand Wayne Max book on marriage which is hold remember I’ve seen the other having the weight when mad I I use it lead me what I love about it is it’s a it’s a biblical study through important passages about marriage with rate questions that force you to really think through in a difference is what it means to love one another that the things that convey laws to men in the things that convey love the women may be different and ranked in different orders and he just asked you how do you show love to your wife how do you show love to your husband and then he asked the same question of the other partner and just to have that conversation is hugely important so maybe our member though the name of the book parenting bolster strengthening your marriage to Wayne Max strengthening your marriage parenting parenting to bring his child’s heart that was maybe that was a very popular and an fine book I I tend to like to read the Puritans on on those passages in the paradigm generally did have a lot of you what about ecclesiology how Jesus once the church by Guy Waters us was a Presbyterians marked ever on for Baptist Scripture others a book called taking God at his word by Kevin Young Julia heard that the other ones I love JI Packer’s book fundamentalism in the word of God if you want to understand the controversy about the inerrancy of Scripture that has gone on for the last 50 years that’s a really good book porn about it, just two or three books maybe in a everyone in their Christian life at certain points there was a book or there was an author and it really depends a lot on where we were when we first heard these trees what one or two or three of those books or authors that were just really set you on fire for God are such a theology in place in it for me I’ve I’ve Calvin and Piper was some of that Lloyd Jones was some of that for me what or who are those guys for you knowing God by J huge for me Christianity and liberalism by Jaeger estimation was huge for me and and I read it in the first semester of my doctoral work so it landed at the exact that Christianity liberal is my written seminary Ned Stonehouse’s biography of Jaeger estimation I read in my first semester of doctoral work both of those books really really important for me no place for truth by David well right really really important for me in understanding what we were facing in this situation and our culture in the evangelical churches the the the letters of Samuel Rutherford Sands of Time is that from which and cousins road sense of time are sinking on Immanuel’s land really almost who was the who is the theologian who said that he wasn’t sure whether there was any any words ever written by an uninspired man that were closer to the language in the theology of the New Testament than Samuel Rutherford’s letters of reference letters so this is an important question and you know maybe you can answer it honestly because it may be you have your friends and family back in Mississippi but is it true that you’re an Alabama fan actually I’m a Clemson fan okay where’s her I I’ve my why would a firm in and we’re FCS you know somewhere where the are the little guy SEC tend to schedule those off the out a schedule clothes for you makes our budget for the year and give some of the young 70 points a so I went to farm and ends in South Carolina you grow up either pulling for Clemson or the University of South Carolina and my father told me that only drunks and crooks went to the University of South Carolina and therefore for Clemson and Gardens O’Neill is in a so so we pull for Clemson and but didn’t you just watch a game and lie safely on ice in the US by the one of our RTS major Alabama supporter and my daughter is a freshman at the University of Alabama and so we were there for the LSU Alabama and sat in the skybox and had an amazing experience you have houndstooth on I didn’t I didn’t have my Alabama tie on and a coat and I’d address to try to dress nicely since it was the skybox and so so being from SEC country just one more question on it so did do they ever did Amherst feel like it’s sort of the revolving door of self-congratulation you know this seems really good because it beats the SEC in a really good is a B the SEC and guess who does anything that’s accurate to see a all right well which conference one the cost of a playoff left you finally they are not SEC team one I’m not sure you’re excited about that though speak to Michigan about the audio you changing your what you go to a lot of churches in probably if they’re inviting you pretty good churches but you been around a lot of places what you think are some of the the biggest challenges you see next 5 to 10 years in the broader culture but also in the the church that you want people here hate just just keep your eye out for this keep your doctrinal discernment years open for these sorts of issues one is Christians in our culture are very very discouraged by the way things are going in our country and in the culture and they are often fed in that discouragement by the histrionics that are played out in television news which is become more infotainment than than real news and it can lead to a sort of a bunker mentality where your cranky and mad and angry and you just want to get together with the purer the purer and have nothing to do with this horrible bad culture and so I think discouragement drives and isolationism in parts of evangelicalism while on the other hand there are some evangelicals that are so desirous of getting the year of the world and the approbation of the world that they’re actually compromising so I think keeping faithfulness and engaging with the culture together is maybe the most important thing we have to do in the next 20 years in the American church but it can’t be one or the other it’s got to be both at the faithfulness people who if we just we just apologize and are nice enough all the bad problems will go away they get the the bunker just sort of the cranky are the the post in person the more the happier times as must be him again in about 10 more minutes and it was some some holiness questions which is another to let people get to know who Ligon is so I’m I’m in a give you some categories and you tell me a favorite so give me a favorite non-Christian nonfiction book favorite non-Christian nonfiction so that’s it on to Calvin and Barbara Tuchman a distant mirror so that I the calamitous 14th-century we were organizing that Barbara Barbara Tuchman is an amazing and this is this book one a number of prizes TUC HMA in what was calamitous well that is the 14th-century is that your of the Black death it’s the era of the Babylonian captivity of the papacy it is that your of the hundred years war and what’s fascinating sheet she wrote it the reason she titled the book a distant mirror she wrote it at the end of the 20th century and she said I see the same kinds of things happening in the 20th century then I said that I saw happening in the 14th-century of course the 14th-century laid the groundwork for the Protestant Reformation we would not have had the Protestant Reformation in the way that it happened had the events of the 14th-century not happen that there is a clear line between so here’s the here’s a message for us today when you see lots of bad stuff happening out there God’s up some and it’s going to get him glory and it’s good to build his church and its illness or the praise of Jesus so that doesn’t mean that bad stuff and bad the Black death was bad the beer that the the Babylonian captivity the papacy that was bad the hundred years war was bad and got used all of them to bring about the Protestant Reformation a favorite fiction book not Tolkien or see a small I can’t use rings favorite fiction book on you if you want to understand the mindset of upcountry self Carolinians the the book and who among us doesn’t on this is good I’m writing this one down to the house with you another no no no no I like South Carolina in the family there I’ve been there had donuts and whatnot so you want to go on a different category is okay this is fiction you can’t be more okay will go back there with what the movie Star Wars yeah this good band musicians fire I got a look that one up to Earth wind and fire TV show anything that you’re watching now do you ever you never home probably just around what’s a movable mail my TV shows role from you that when you know your what does your wife watch HDTV my wife hardly watches still is godly so what what about back in the day back in the day get smart man from uncle yeah the rat patrol I’ve heard of these on Nick at night before further good that’s great okay you want to tell us about this fiction book on South Carolina will I may change that okay with fiction book fiction but not Christian can be pulled the south timing that they they write fiction books this is a of our fiction is just very old reality unit that went on I went to Mississippi I thought that William Faulkner had the most overactive imagination in the history of the world and then after being there for about 10 years I realized all he did is when the family reunions rather much elementary stories alter all all that stuff that you think there’s no way people are crazy enough to do that yet we do that all the so you will move on all right, more questions about and hear talk about holiness describe the person and in don’t get their name and preferably not a pastor or missionary you can think describe the person whose godliness you respect as were talk about holiness and artist asset question needed to paint a picture of in ordinary person that you respect you feel like the that’s what I’m talking about that’s what I’d like to be that’s what I’m praying for my people to be just describe what this man or woman does is sends attitude on thinking one of my elders right now and he’s a lawyer and he’s buried his firstborn son is buried his first wife on he’s buried his best friend he’s Barry’s best friends wife and that man is had his heart broken over and over again and he loves Jesus and he loves the church I had one of his junior colleagues came to me in and he did and I’m never told him this is junior colleague came to me and said you know on Saturday mornings almost none of the partners are in the firm it’s is just all us junior guys were the ones in working in the senior partners get the benefit of our hard work and Paul is the only senior partner the town on Saturday mornings and he thinks he’s alone he denoted the rest of us around and he walks around goonies work singing hymns at the top of his lungs he didn’t even know were there and this this guy would go in on Saturday mornings just to hear Paul sing hymns while at work so just of a faithful man who worked in integrity in his profession he loved the church Trusting when he really really dealt with serious heartbreak after serious heartbreak after serious heartbreak are remember when his wife Jennifer was diagnosed with cancer on and she died in six months are going to his house and we were talking and he described to me the first time he saw her from head to toe what she was wearing what she looked like and I thought my heavens this woman has gotten into this man said he loved that woman you cannot imagine and to lose her to Lucy’s son to believe every word of the Bible to to keep to keep serving the church just got out a one I want to see people built with that kind of resilience with that, character with that kind of trust a methadone is a good man he is Lake how have you grown in holiness in the last 10 years and what what have been some hindrances or helps along the way all I I think that I am more aware of my sin that I was 10 years ago and what I think that that does is having become more aware of my sin I am aware of what I have to fight and I’m aware of my sin in the way of where it comes from and I think if you don’t know why you’re doing what you’re doing your adult lost the fight against and really is that the unit that the the great steps forward in the Christian life that I’ve experienced have often been when God in painful ways has made me aware of something that I didn’t want to admit about myself so soon example on my in my sabbatical in 2009 I thought that my sabbatical was good to be about writing books and getting things done and I realized that what that sabbatical actually turned into was God dealing with my sin and I had had a particular sin that I had I I knew about and I hated and I am and I cried out to God in the night to help me and I couldn’t couldn’t beat it but I also at the same time Justifying myself and that’s it I had a reason why that sin was okay in my mind even though I hated it more do it I kept excusing myself and decided you’re not wondering out what what was he doing that the sin was a is a particular kind of unrighteous ungodly anger that if you had been a member at First Presbyterian Church he never was my wife’s and it was killing her and Don I couldn’t beat it and I think part of the reason Kevin was I kept excusing myself and during that sabbatical up on Thursday night 2 AM on July 30 of 2009 I was walking around the middle when I woke up the middle and I started walking on the beach started praying for print out loud was really glad there’s nobody else rounds of others a crazy man on the beach talking itself and God brought that sin to mind and I started thinking about it and praying about and the same thing happened over and over again it was it was as if God was to bring the sin in front of my eyes and say who send is that in my head I would answer mine in the same question would come again who says that mine that happen for 50 minutes and I am not telling you is an audible voice or anything this just the this it it’s a conversation it was so real going on my in my head it felt like I was having a conversation and and finally at the end of that 50 minutes I screamed out literally out loud my and it was almost in my head was almost like not in and now quick quick thing that’s never happened to me before or since but instantaneously my tendency in that area was changed and I think one thing that happened was in the course of that prayer God made me admit that I didn’t have an excuse for that I’ve been excusing myself I didn’t have an excuse for that and the other thing was I just I I can’t completely confess my utter inability to do anything about and God’s kindness just dealt with me there and he broke the Dominion there and Don that doesn’t mean that I’ve never struggle with that again when I went a long time without struggling with that at all you have to work it everything you getting bad habits it anytime but to me that became a picture of how it if you’re not aware of why you’re struggling with something you have a hard time fighting against it and if you’re not utterly dependent on the Lord especially for fighting against the setting since you got a chance the setting since are usually about a constitutional weakness in and that constitutional weakness is probably not going away and that means you have been really overly dependent on the Lord to help you fight in that particular area and so a minute that’s it that’s just one picture may be of any I think I wrote in an awareness of my sin and where the sins come from wind struggling with that and then with the knowledge that I can excuse myself and I’ve got it on the board if item is a great place to end and of me the perfect reminder that we were talking about for these two days is not abstract right but it’s very real for all of us and there’s not a person here who isn’t who doesn’t have many reasons to be disappointed in themselves and the person who doesn’t find any of those reasons is that we most endanger you for that but there’s not a person here who doesn’t have the same God that met you if you know Christ that same God by his spirit to meet you into want to change each of us and help us grow and help us thanks those things and conquer those trucks thank you for sharing that let me pray for us a gracious heavenly father we thank you for a brother for his time for his reparation for his candor for his humility it may very well be the case that that there are any number of people here who signed up for this conference to to hear some sermons or to meet some people just to have something to do for a couple of days it would be edifying and they didn’t know that the last seven or eight minutes would would happen I didn’t know the can asset question until earlier in the evening ligand and no I was can ask it and yet by your sovereign mercy and kindness you have work that you want to do in our hearts may be a the husband that need to get on the phone and call his wife for a couple that needs to just get some time away or someone who needs to be quiet with you in the Bible or take a walk in start speaking out loud or whatever it is would you be so gracious to to correct us and change us with your severe mercy that we would grow in Christ likeness we we so fiercely cling to these sins which beset us and we believe the lie that it’s a part of who we are and that there’s no help and there’s no forgiveness and we we want to change in our best moments we we want to change we want to be different we want to be more like Jesus so help us would you by your spirit that we might be transformed from 1° of glory to the next that we might not only reflect your glory but know that gladness to be like you renewed in your image the Lord give a safety as we travel from this place a good night sleep safety as we come back especially if there’s snow falling down and would you bring us back here that we may be ready and eager to worship to learn and to grow we pray in Jesus name Amen then

in will

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