Men and women in the faith:
What a joy to see you walking in the faith! I love that you serve Jesus and that you are living for Him. My goal in life has been to stimulate vision for the needs of lost people and our need to reach them. I have also wanted to motivate believers to share with present and emerging generations and especially “ the overlooked”. I have also wanted to assure believers of the reliability of following the Scriptures.
Now that I am older I really want you to stay on course with the Word. The Bible is TRUE and the ultimate and only book of authority. I hope you will see that the inerrant Bible is always your standard and that you will be willing to conform your life to the authority of the Word. It is one thing to say that we believe the Bible and it is another thing to be willing to see it as THE WRITTEN TRUTH and change your life to conform to it. Please stay strong in the TRUTH- even though I know people will see themselves as being more enlightened than what God wrote to us. (Crazy world we live in where people see themselves as smarter than what God wrote.) Teach and honor and represent the Bible well.
And be a person who loves and honors Jesus. Talk about HIM. Make HIM your hero to the younger generations. Let people know that Jesus is the perfect Son of God who died for our sins and rose again to show the power of His Truth. Pray to HIM. Talk to Him and make HIM your best friend. Pray with people when you counsel them. Pray with your wife daily. Pray with your kids a lot and pray at meals and pray before people leave for trips and for the day. Why? Not only does God hear but it will teach others that the real reason we live is to follow Jesus and we trust in Him.
Always love people. Really. Engage in conversations all the time with smiles and listening and warmth. Be especially this way to non- believers and those on the fringes. You know the acrostic for FISH. Friendly. Initiate conversations. Share your God story or (serve them). And give them hope through Jesus. And when people do wrong teach them to repent. Don’t let them just move on. Teach them that repentance and coming clean is what God wants. And then love them through the process of repentance. When they repent of sin…and we ALL SIN… they need to talk to God and then to the ones they have offended and get it right and then they need to forgive themselves. We need to teach that and we need to keep loving them in word and actions through it all.
Keep reaching lost people. I fear that believers are so committed to one another that they will lose a love for lost people. The engine that must drive the church (and our lives and ministries) is outreach. Really. We must live on mission. I love 2 Corinthians 5 : 15 for reminding us not to be self-centered. We must see our role to reach people for the Lord. And be bold. Be willing to use God talk. Don’t shy away from saying what you believe. Listen….if people can ask others if they want a drink or want drugs we can just as easily ask people about their faith. Come on….talk about Him in positive ways. Jesus talked to the woman at the well and spent time with sinners and shared Truth over and over. We must too.
This is a hard one but I want you to stay the course. I think the biggest struggles you will face may come from people who are believers who make you feel like you are doing something wrong. Be willing to take a stand for right no matter what others think. Be willing to teach the Word and ask for commitments and say that you are one who believes a narrow way leads to life everlasting. Stay the course please. Don’t fear suffering or criticism or standing alone. Be kind and fun but be strong. Get involved in representing what Jesus and the Bible teaches for our lives. You will be encouraged to live a life of comfort and ease. Fight the life of ease…since it can make you lose focus.
I trust your calling is sure and that you are committed to making an impact for the Lord. That is more important that you love and serve him—more important than power, pleasures, possessions, or anything else in life. I made a commitment to serve HIM with my life and I am sooooo thankful I did. I want that for you so much.
This following of Jesus is awesome. What a ride!! And it is just beginning……