Welcome to my blog. If you’ve read my writing before, you may be familiar with its old home (which i also have a link to if you click the button in the top right corner of this blog.) I decided that i wanted a blog with which i could do more and potentially reach more people. The posts will be the same caliber of Biblical exposition and honest reflection, because why change a good thing, even if it limits readership?
But maybe you’re not familiar with my writing. Here’s what you need to know: my name is Joshua Wingerd, and i am 27 years old. I became a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ when i was 18 while at a summer camp. I love writing, and i am currently working on sermons, technical essays, bible study blog posts, and several novels. I graduated from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, MO in December of 2015 with a BA in Biblical Studies, and i moved back to Southern California in May of 2017. I am enrolled at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, though i am not in any classes at the moment.
You may have noticed that i don’t capitalize the letter “i” if it’s not at the beginning of a sentence. I do it on purpose if it is not auto-corrected by a word-processor, and if it is not for a publisher or professor. Here’s my reason: English is different from the Biblical languages (Greek and Hebrew) in that it capitalizes the word “i.” As English writers we have gotten away from capitalizing pronouns that refer to “God”–the Lord of the Universe–but we’d better make absolutely sure we capitalize a one-letter word that refers to us; it’s pride–plain and simple. I’ll respect the “rules of the English language” when it comes to public writing, but my blog is private writing for the public’s benefit, so oftentimes “i” will be left lowercase. Rant over.
But with all that said, here’s the goal of this blog, from the words of two passages of Scripture (unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations on this site are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission):
1 John 4:15-17 (emphasis added)
Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God—God remains in him and he in God. And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him. In this, love is perfected with us so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, for we are as He is in this world.
Mark 12:29-31 (emphasis added)
“This is the most important,” Jesus answered: “Listen, Israel! The Lordour God, the Lordis One. Lovethe Lord your Godwith all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind,and with all your strength. The second is: Love your neighboras yourself. There is no other command greater than these.”
On my original blog i spent three posts dissecting the meaning of these passages, primarily 1 John 4:15-17, from which “live in Love; find your true reward (liLfytr)” comes. The three parts can be accessed here: part 1, part 2, part 3.
In summary, as believers we are called to be the most loving people in existence. Love is more than a thing we say when we are happy, but rather a way of life, even when we are not happy. God is Love. Jesus is Love. Jesus was not happy when He was on the cross, dying the death we all deserved so we could live with Him forever, but that was most definitely the greatest demonstration of love that the world will ever see. In the same way, those who follow Him are called to be like Him in this world: loving. We must give of ourselves even when it hurts. This is what it means to live in Love. And, as 1 John 4:17 shows, this living will lead to confidence in the day of judgment–the truest reward.
So that’s the goal of this blog. How can we better understand God’s love, and how can we better put love into practice, both toward God and fellow humans?
I would be honored if you’d join me in this journey.
Soli Deo Gloria