Monday, April 30, 2007


Ryan Townsend is a dear brother that I got to know a bit while in DC. Since most of you don't know Ryan, here's what you need to know. A mega-watt smile seemingly ALL THE TIME, great joy in the Lord, and an abiding sense of being undeserving... gospel humility really. Ask Ryan how he's doing and what you get with that big ol' smile is "Better than my sins deserve."

In Living the Cross Centered Life, C.J. reminds us that this is of first importance: "Christ died for our sins." Indeed, and that is better than we deserve. And it points out the fact we are undeserving of so much more.

I'm undeserving. Of:
1. The love of God
2. The grace of Christ
3. The fellowship of the Holy Spirit
4. Forgiveness for my wickedness and sin
5. Adoption into the family of God
6. Justification before a just and holy God
7. Union with Christ the blameless and pure
8. Escape from the wrath of God that is coming
9. The grace of preaching the gospel of Christ
10. Having a people, Christ's people, to care for in the Christian ministry
11. The privilege of looking each day into God's Word, of either having this as a "job" or the sight and the mental ability to do it
12. Association with Christ by wearing the name "Christian" or participating in baptism and membership in His body, the church
13. Eternal life
14. Seeing Jesus by faith now and by sight when time gives way to eternity
15. The favor of the Lord in the form of my wife
16. The fruit of the womb, three children on loan to us for the glory of God
17. Friends who have loved me enough to teach me, correct me, bear with me, rejoice with me and pray for me

And so much more! So, I am grateful today for all that I have in Christ--more than I can imagine and list on a blog. And I'm thankful, that above all, Christ himself is mine and I am His. Though I'm undeserving.


Anonymous said...

I'm just curious as to what the discussion of Ryan Townsend has to do with the discussion of C.J.'s book. Did something happen to Ryan Townsend?

FellowElder said...

Ryan is doing well, serving his Savior at a church in Kentucky and his lovely wife and children.

There's no particular association between Ryan and C.J.'s book... just that Ryan always says "better than I deserve" and C.J.'s book (which we're reading for staff devotions at the church) makes it clear just how much better than we deserve every Christian is.

Thanks for dropping by!

icet402 said...

amen to that my brother. being undeserving is what gives way to grace.

"And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace" (John 1:16).

may we never lose the wonder of the grace upon grace that is poured out on us in every moment, pleasures and pains alike, because of the fullness and infinite sufficiency of Jesus Christ.

Brother Hank said...

Ditto on the "Amens". The minute we forget that we are undeserving of anything but wrath is the minute that pride scampers in like rat and starts eating a whole through our hearts. But there ain't no better rat-trap than good old gospel centered humility. May the phrase "but for the grace of God" be the constant inmate of our souls...