My dear son, I realize 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…
Embrace God as your friend and companion. Learn to trust him even when it dose not make sense. Believe that He has your back and will always be there for you. Demonstrate your love to Him by choosing to follow his example and teaching.
Sit at his feet as an open book and ponder the words and lesson that he wants to impart to you on your journey in life. There will be times of confusion and rough trails that you need to walk to learn these lessons but remember that Jesus is there to not only comfort you but to also be a guide.
Remember that loving God means that we also love others in the same way that He loves us. In order to do this it is important that we learn to die to our selves, which means sacrificing our own desires and wants for the sake of others even if they do not deserve our love. True love is demonstrated most when it is not deserved. Living out the essence of the Gospel is imparting grace to others which is demonstrated by a life of forgiving, being patient, being kind, sharing the truth in a gentle way even when it many be painful to hear. Think of what is best for the other person and not just what is convenient for your own comfort and wellbeing.
Enter into God’s deepest feelings and emotions, His story and plan, and be intimate with His passions and desire to have fellowship with us. Allow your self to get caught up into the drama and adventure of life with God as He invites you to join Him in His plan.
Be strong and courageous as a warrior and soldier for truth, and justice. Defend the week and when they can defend themselves.
Love and care for your wife and children in the same way that Christ loves and cares for you.
Know what is and isn’t worth dying.
My life verse is Philippians 1:21 “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain”.