As I write this letter it is with a sense of joy and wonder as I think about the path we have traveled together. When I think about where you were and where you are now I am overwhelmed with what God has done in your life. I take no credit, nor do I deserve any credit for the work God has done in your life. I am simply thankful that God has allowed me to be part of it and to witness it.
I also write this letter today, thinking of those who I have yet to walk the path with, at least not very far. I am moved to think that God is right now, as I write this preparing your heart for our path together. You may not even realize that our paths will be shared and what God has in store for us in the days, weeks, months or years to come, should he not return soon.
My thoughts this morning are for those who God has blessed me with over the years and those God is right now preparing to bless me with. What a blessing it has been to be used by God to build a church with you and to watch you grow. To watch you deal with the disappointment of family struggles and to fight your own personal trials. Through it all I have seen you recognize, ultimately, it is all about God. It has been an experience to encourage you and to warn you in those struggles. To cry with you and to laugh with you. You may not ever know how much you have taught me over the years. I am supposed to be leading you but in many ways you have led me, when I got my eyes off of Him and onto myself. You have reminded me to be always focused on God. You may not know that you were doing it but you were.
To see you grow in your understanding of the word of God and to then see you able to teach it to others. To go away and watch online or watch the video later of you interacting with the people as you teach. Any dad would be proud. As we continue on I so look forward to the next stage in life where you are mentoring others and pouring your life into them. The joy of watching them begin to teach and then to mentor others. If you receive half the blessing I have it will be a full blessing.
Many times I though the work I was doing was not very valuable but you remind me every day when I see you that it has been valuable because it was done with a heart for serving God and it was God’s work through me to change you and to build you up. We still have work to do, so I don’t want you to relax or to give up. I want you to remain excited for the work of the Lord as you are every day. We have new lives to shape coming. We will need to work together to build them up and make them partners with us in the ministry of building HIS church. When the new lives begin to take root, our interaction and work will not be over, it will just change a little, as we pour our lives into those who come behind us. It is very gratifying to see you grow and to know that you will play the role of mentor for some of those new lives coming up. To become a spiritual granddad will be a big deal only to be outdone by being a spiritual great granddad.
Guard your heart and your wife. Protect them because Satan will attack there first. Protect your love for the word of God and never allow the Word of God to be anything other than the your manual for life and practice which shows us a glimpse of God and what God wants from us. Don’t allow it to take a back seat to fads and trends. Remain true to teaching it and not man’s philosophy.
To my new Timothy’s I give the same advice. Protect your families from the darts of the devil. Be encouraged by the work God does through you, even when it looks like the work is not very large. You may never know the impact you will have in the life of others that you may never even know. Learn the Word of God, love it and live it. Live it at home where only your family sees and live where the world sees and live it where the church sees, knowing that God sees it everywhere. Make time in the word of God a priority. If you have to make it a habit. Take time to be with God without the distraction of everything you need to do. Time just you and God, and time with just God, your family and you. Also take time to have fun. Enjoy the people God places in your life and have fun with them, laugh with them and never take yourself too seriously.
I pray that each of you has the opportunity that I have to see multiple generations of “Sons” serving God. To feel the joy or one spiritual generation teaching the next spiritual generation. Remember God is with you all the time and always loves you and He has it all figured out so just stick with Him. Thank you for what you have taught me and for what you will teach me and we walk the path together.