A post by C.J. Mahaney on his blog reminded me of the first time I ever heard him. It was a Nine Marks interview by Mark Dever from February 2003. Three things stood out from that interview: First, the subject of his blog post -- the great stress relief and humility builder that only God always gets His to-do list done. Secondly, his comments on recognizing evidences of grace in the local church, using the example of Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:4-9. And last, but not least, the emotion and gratitude that C.J. displayed in giving his incredible testimony.
I'll let you read what he says about to-do lists, but I will give a few words on the second subject, which is one that I happen to be preaching on this coming Sunday (and I decided that before I saw the blog post). On Sunday, I'm preaching my last message on Ephesians from 6:21-24 and the title is "The Art of Benediction." That discussion in the interview about celebrating God's work in His people convicted me and continues to do so. I tend to be weak on recognizing evidences of grace and showing appreciation. There is a message by C.J. on 1 Corinthians 1:4-9 here. I encourage you to download it and give it a listen.
After that Nine Marks interview, I did some more research on this joyful basketball fan and found a real treasure-trove of material. Juanita and I and our church family have benefited greatly from Sovereign Grace Ministries. We are very thankful for the sermons, the conference messages, music, and even the Sunday School Curriculum that our church uses from this group of churches.
We've seen many people read and benefit from C.J.'s book Living the Cross-Centered Life. We have a book table in our church and I don't know how many copies of that book have gone out. A few others have read Humility by C.J. as well. I read it on the way back from Together for the Gospel in 2006.
I'm aware that showing appreciation and telling others about people can devolve into hero worship, but it's hard to worship a man who so faithfully points to his sin, the cross and the need for humility in the face of God's astonishing grace.