The Best of 2015, Part One

Looking back over the year can be a daunting task. The fact that our lives are divided and moved forward on 365-day cycles makes it natural at the end of each passing year to look back and evaluate all that’s in our rearview mirror. We look back at all we learned, experienced, struggled through, and it can be overwhelming. It’s quite a bit to take in and chew on when you’re looking back at an entire year with an entire collection of emotions and memories.

What I want to do is share some things that have been enormous encouragements to me throughout this year. These are writers, preachers, singers, and verses from Scripture that have brought much blessing. The Lord breathed such joy, patience, endurance, and conviction through each of these. And looking back over 2015, it is a joy to share them in hopes that Christ be more prized, dearly treasured, and made much of in your life. Our great God has certainly done that in my life through these vehicles of grace.

Scripture

  • Psalm 19:12-13

“Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me!”

  • Proverbs 18:1-2

“Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment. A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.”

  • Ecclesiastes 12:11-12

“The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd. My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.”

  • Jeremiah 17:7-8

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream , and does not fear when heat comes, or its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

  • Jude 24

“Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy”

Authors

I have been supremely challenged by the work of the Puritan theologians this year. Their writing is so rich and so immersed in Scripture. It can be dense at times, sure, but it is so life-giving. I would encourage a reading of one Puritan Paperback per month.

  • Richard Sibbes
  • John Owen
  • Thomas Watson

Preachers/Expositors

One man takes the trophy here. The late Adrian Rogers, without a doubt. I started out the year with Dr. Rogers’ podcast, Love Worth Finding, which uploads his sermons regularly. Dr. Rogers was the pastor of Bellevue Baptist in Memphis, TN from 1972 to 2005.

Songs

There are two songs that I believe I had on repeat almost the entire year. Both drew my mind and heart upward to think on Christ and the future that He is bringing and the glorious saving grace that he offers daily.

 

Jonathan C. Edwards (@NotThePuritan)

Jonathan (M.Div, Th.M) is the founder & CEO of Peel, a social media startup directed at redeeming the value of social media in everyday life. He is the author of "Left: The Struggle to Make Sense of Life When a Parent Leaves," available now!

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