My dear son,
I call you son because I have helped raise you in your faith in Jesus Christ. I am elated to know that you have chosen to submit your desires and your very life to Him. I want to share with you in this letter a few “parting shots.” Soon, I will not be around to talk with, ask questions to, or ask for prayer from. Please read this letter knowing that I love you and that I desire for Jesus to always be your motivation…in EVERYTHING!
I have five simple lessons that I have learned. These lessons are enduring. They will never, NEVER be obsolete. You will serve the our Lord well if you do them.
The first is simply to always understand the gospel of Jesus Christ. Your sin separated you from communion with God, as my sin did for me. Jesus did not wait for you to clean yourself up before he suffered and died for you. While you were still sinning, Christ died for you. He has given you a relationship with The Almighty God. That is good news, and you must preach the gospel to yourself everyday.
Secondly, learn the scriptures. Devote yourself to understanding what the Word of God says, and to knowing the truth found in it. God’s Word is alive and active. It is not just a history book or a book of poetry…it is life. We cannot claim to love the Lord and then not give a second thought to what He says. The scriptures speak clearly to us. They were written by 40 authors over 1500 years and yet all point to the common theme of God’s love for and redemption of us through the blood of His great Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. You can trust the Word of God. It is truth. It is relevant. It is life.
Third, do not forsake the power of the Holy Spirit. When you submitted your life to Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit took up residence in your body. The power of God is living inside of you. Use it. He wants to guide, direct, give strength and boldness, give peace, further understanding…He wants us to rely on Him.
Fourth, remember how we spent time together? We talked about the things of God; His Son, His Word, and His Holy Spirit. Remember how we navigated through a lot of struggles in both your personal life and ministry? Remember how you came to me confused, upset, brokenhearted, joyful, thrilled, and with many other emotions depending on the circumstance? Remember how I was there for you? Do that for others. Show them what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. Teach them as I have taught you. Model for them as I have modeled life with Christ for you. As I have done with you, do not feed them all the answers all the time, but point them to the one who can, Jesus.
Lastly, make sure you mission is the right one. This life, if we allow it to, can swallow us up with seemingly good ideas and directions, only to disappoint us in the end because those ideas, directions and missions are not grounded in ultimate truth. Your mission needs to be directly from the mouth of Jesus: Go and make disciples. Never cease to talk about the gospel of Jesus Christ. In good times and in trials, talk about the saving grace of Jesus. Whether it is with family, friends or enemies, talk about the mercy, grace and love of our Lord. If you are at work or at play, talk about the cross of Christ and the power of the resurrection. My son, your mission is to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ so that others might hear and believe.
It is no coincidence that these five thoughts go hand-in-hand. All of them are essential.
Never forget that you are His child. Your identity is in Him and no one or nothing else.
I love you, but more importantly and with more ferocity, Jesus loves you…and He proved it on the cross.