First let me say how proud of you I am. I would be proud of you just because God put you under my care, but you show such love and joy in your life that it is an honor to walk with you and help guide you. I pray that all your life the light of love will shine from you undimmed to draw people to be reconciled to God who is making a strong appeal through your witness.
From the start, what I’ve wanted most for you is to know Jesus Christ our
Master. I want you to bask in his love and be overwhelmed by his grace. I want you to live, move, and find your whole life in Jesus by the Holy Spirit. And I want you to see God our Father magnificently unveiled in Jesus.
Love God. Follow Jesus. And just live!
You’ve noticed by now that love for God is naturally followed by love for other people. We were made in His image. Christ died for us. So serve every person as though you were serving Jesus personally. Your love and work will not be overlooked.
You’ve also seen by now that being a minister of reconciliation and an ambassador for King Jesus doesn’t allow for a casual or lazy life. Pursue knowing God with everything in you. Anything that threatens to slow you down – throw it off! As you represent our Lord, pray that you would understand His message with clarity. Make sure you deliver His message as faithfully and simply as you are able. Then pray for His Spirit to fill in where you were lacking so everyone might come to God! Do not depend on the precision of your understanding or cleverness of your words to do the work of God. Trust that His Word is true. Trust that He is drawing the world to Himself. And trust that your obedience will be used by Him in ways you cannot see.
Cherish the treasure that is the Word of God. We know God because we see Jesus. We see Jesus because the Word became flesh. We know the word because the Spirit guides us into truth. Then you can be ready for whatever comes!
Serve others. Don’t hold back from any opportunity to love another person, because you have been loved. We were made to know God personally, but we were also meant to know Him in the community of his people.
Serve in the church and love the church. After all, these are the people – imperfect as they are – through whom God has chosen to get His work done.
Honor them for that and encourage them every day to love and do good. Watch your attitudes and your desires. These will be areas in which you will be tempted and tested all your life. Sin wants to be your master and it is a terrible overlord. Give every part of you every day to Jesus and learn to say no to pride and lust! This will help you live the clean life that Jesus pours into you!
Don’t be afraid. God is real and He is powerful. Jesus is true and His way is good. If you will trust God and love Him deeply, you will never have to shrink back from anything. The one who defeated death is in charge of your life! Don’t be afraid to follow Jesus even if you have to go alone. Know that if I were there I would go with you. There are many others who have followed Jesus and gone home to him and their lives in Christ cheer you on like a roaring stadium crowd! The goal will come sooner than you think and it will astound you!
As you study God’s word, hold on to anything you saw in me that fits what you learn. Follow only what is like Jesus in me. As you become more like Him, others will be drawn to follow you. Teach your heart that it is good for them to do this because they are actually following Christ. But make sure you are pointing them to Him with your life!
You won’t get everything right. You won’t figure it all out. God is greater than both your heart and your mind so trust Him! He will not fail you. Trust God more than you trust your strength or your knowledge. Let God be true. Honor Him and give Him credit in everything, then let Him outshine you.
I can’t wait to celebrate with you on the other side of the darkened glass. When we see each other fully, it will be my joy to find out who God built you to be and what you did for him. Until then, do what is right, love mercy, and walk humbly before God.
I love you, son.