My dear child,
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…
Know Jesus. Not just from the Words of Scripture but because you have a relationship with Him. Just as in any relationship, you must spend time with Him. You must listen to Him more than you talk to Him. Make this relationship an unashamed priority in your life. Surrender to Him and obey Him always. You see this relationship is not just an intimate friendship but He is Lord and King and must be seen as the authority in your life. Seek to know Him in every level of your life.
Know God’s Word. Don’t settle for the bending of God’s Truth or the slighting of His full Word to us. It must be seen in its entirety. Allow the living and active Word of God to penetrate your heart, mind and soul. His Truth is absolute, do not bend or twist it, remain confident in it. Do not be ashamed of the Gospel but rather know its power in you and through you.
Love others, especially those who are far from God. Love and help those in need, who are without support, this is the religion He finds acceptable. As you love others, point them to the One who has redeemed and restored your life. Let your life be filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Forgive others, for you have been forgiven and the cross paid the penalty for all. Be humble so that the power of Christ in you will be your strength.
Do not give up. Life will be hard, but His love and faithfulness endures forever. Persevere and do not shrink back but be counted as one who believes and is saved. Always know there is hope. God wins and the gates of hell cannot prevail against His church. The battles are inevitable but the victory is yours in Him.
And child, know that you are loved. You have been brought up out of the pit and He has restored your life. He is enthralled with you. Cling to His love and find healing and power in it. He has redeemed your life; now surrender it to Him so that He might be brought all glory and honor now and forever.