I wrote this post a few days before I posted this. By the time the first of you are reading this, I will be celebrating my 17th Birthday in some way or another. As I look back on my past year of life, I know that God has been very merciful on me and gracious to me in many ways.
He has continued to give me His gift of salvation, despite the fact that I deserve damnation. He never took away His gift of regeneration. Instead of tossing me into Hell the moment I sin, God has instead gone to the cross in the person of Jesus Christ and payed the penalty for that sin. That would be an amazing mercy if He only did that for a single one of my sins, however He has done it for every one of my sins. Every sin I have committed this year has been forgiven (Even the ones after I wrote this post).
He has also granted me knowledge (Through the Bible), self-control, wisdom, and discernment. While I deserve to be shrunk down to the smallest gnat and crushed, He has given me spiritual growth. He has put people in my life that will help me grow, and He has given me a stronger thirst for knowledge about Him.
He has also given me a platform by which I can glorify Him. I started this blog in April of 2015, and since then I have had 133,664 views on this site. My very first article was shared by a Godly pastor in Beaverton, Oregon named Pastor Chuck O'Neal (Beaverton Grace Bible Church). Back in June of 2015, I wrote an article that launched me into prominence entitled, "My Trip to LifeWay as a Member of #the15". Shortly after I posted it, it was reposted on Pulpit and Pen and shared by Dr. Randy White (Not this Randy White, this one), and this ultimately led to my blog becoming more well-known. I eventually even had one post read on Worldview Weekend with Brannon Howse, and another two (This one and this one) reposted at Berean Research (Here and here).
Not only did He use this to give me a platform by which I can glorify Him, but He also used this to grow me by introducing me to saints like J.D. Hall, Jeff Maples, Seth Dunn, Alan Maricle, Bud Ahlheim, Beth Malarkey, Joe Lanza, and many others. He had also put other people into my life before then who had helped me grow spiritually, such as Deidra Marshall, Leah Ireland, Joe Duprey, Jay Nelsesteun, etc. He has also kept me in a Godly family and a good Church.
He has also introduced me to the edifying, Christ-exalting preaching and teaching of sound teachers like Phil Johnson, Mike Abendroth, Chris Rosebrough, Mike Gendron, Peter Masters, Andrew Rappaport, Ken Silva, Tim Hurd, and Len Pettis. From them (And others like Todd Friel and J.D. Hall), I have learned much in the areas of polemics and theology. I have also picked up Presuppositional Apologetics and Covenant Theology in the past year, and have been granted a fuller understanding of the Doctrines of Grace as well (I had only just became a Monergist when I turned 15). I came to fully understand why I am Protestant, why I believe Credobaptism, and why I am a congregationalist. I learned much about the Atonement, Ecclesiology, Election, and Hermeneutics. God providentially taught me about many false doctrines, cults, and false teachers to avoid and warn about.
I write all of this to thank Him for all He has given to me, and to give Him praise for all of growth in the past year, and all of His grace and mercy on me. I don't even deserve a day, but He has spared me another year and might continue to do so. If one were to praise my intelligence or wisdom, it would really be God who deserves the credit. He has given me the knowledge, the wisdom, the maturity, and the strength to praise Him. One phrase He taught me (Through a brother on social media) was "Soli Deo Gloria". The phrase means "Glory to God Alone". The phrase means that all things on Earth are worked to the glory of God, and my life is among those things. Soli Deo Gloria.
About the Author
Brandon C. Hines is a young writer from somewhere in northern Alabama who writes about Theology, Polemics, and Apologetics. His beliefs are best summarized by the 1689 London Baptist Confession.
You can search for various topics I have written about by going to Google and typing in a keyword, then typing site:Learningthepath.weebly.com after it.