My dear son,
I realize that you will be serving Christ in a world far different than the one where I was trained and first released into ministry. Your methods, your dress, your vocabulary, the technologies you use and even the problems you face may have little in common with the world I knew, or even the world in which we both minister today. You will be a faithful servant of Christ not because you mimic my words or imitate my ministry style, but because you live out the timeless values we share- values that come to us from the Word of God and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
So while I still have the opportunity, I want to take a few minutes to summarize in writing the values and life lessons I have attempted to live out before you and most want to pass on to you…
There is value/truth in God’s Word! “All Scripture is breathed out by God and it’s profitable…” This never came about by human wisdom, but men were carried along by the Holy Spirit. The truth is timeless. Never waver or compromise your beliefs and standards when tempted to by the world. We know that sin can easily entangle and it’s end result is death, that spiritual separation from God. Continue to put into place godly men that can hold you accountable as you make your way through this life. You will continue to be tempted by your flesh with your eyes, your heart and your actions. Try to “take every thought captive” because sin unchecked can have disastrous consequences later on in life and ministry. Remain vigilant and stay close to brothers that have the same values!
Be committed to your family! You represent Christ and his love for his bride, the church. How you love your family, your kids, your friends says a lot about your relationship with God. Never let ministry overwhelm you and set good boundaries so your family knows they are your first priority, not a church, a ministry or a good sermon.
When the world is attacking and it seems like everything is against you, dwell on Romans 8- that NOTHING can separate us from God’s love! Rest in the fact that we can have eternal life (John 10:27-30) through Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection and that NO ONE can take us out of our Father’s hand.
Remember that this hope and joy that you have received is not a free gift meant to be selfishly held onto, but to share, to make disciples of all nations, to baptize and teach everything Jesus said. May you continue to find ways to “rub shoulders” with those that don’t know Jesus yet. Don’t get stuck in your comfortable routine! Always “be prepared to give an answer for the hope that you have.”