Thank you, dear Readers, for allowing me to think out loud and then put on paper my thoughts lately on how I could come to the end of my life and not consider it a waste, that I had not lived in vain. Know that I write firstly to me and if you are blessed or encouraged, then I am thankful and if I have ever sounded condescending or in a manner that suggests that I have it all together, please forgive me. I know that I have far to go but I also know that my goal is to know more of God, to love Christ my Savior in a deeper way, and then to walk worthy of that calling in Him!
Several times in the N.T., (Eph.4:1, Phil.1:27, Col.1:10, 1 Thess.2:11-12, 2 Thess. 1:11, and 3 John,6), we see the phrase- "walking worthy" or I think being everything the Lord desires and empowers us to be. "Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of His goodness, and the work of faith with power: That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ."John Piper defines it thus: "Acting in a way that fits the great value and glorious nature of God and the Gospel and your calling." When I saw the phrase in 3 John, 6 today, I read and meditated on those short 14 verses and noted that three characters are mentioned, two positively and one the opposite. Here's some thoughts from that passage which instruct us about some attitudes of walking worthily. I can model Gaius' example who was a generous giver in extending hospitality to his fellow laborers. I read a simple statement as I studied different commentators, one asking- "What's more important to God- your carpet or people?" I will waste my life that God has given to me if I value my possessions more than people. One is temporary and the latter is eternal! We live in a materialistic culture and if we don't guard our hearts, we will find ourselves competing with "the Jones". (I wonder how that cliche came to be- they must have been the wealthy family in that day??)
Now, I reiterate that having things isn't necessarily wrong and taking care of those things isn't evil but we must take constant inventory that we own our possessions (actually, God does) and that they don't own us. Here is a good test- are we happy when others gain what we don't have or do we become envious and seek to outdo them? If you think I jest, then you haven't been very observant because this goes on even in the church world. People or possessions? Trivialities or truth? Demetrius is commended as a lover of truth. It seems that truth has been relegated to a low spot on the scale these days. Some think it's relative and so long as one is living their "own truth", then being true to yourself is your greatest virtue. My deepest concern is not that the world operates on this theory, they are supposed to do so. Blind people don't see but Saints, our churches debate over issues today concerning if there is a hell, if homosexuality should exclude such from the ministry, if pre-marital sex is wrong so long as they are committed and even questioning if Jesus really meant that He is the only way to the Father. It's time that we let the Bible say what it says and get back to some bedrock truths.
Truth is important- we can't walk worthy if we don't even know and then adhere to the basic fundamental tenets of our faith. Gaius rejoiced that his children were walking in the truth. America is more concerned that theirs are walking in popularity, power, position and pleasures, all temporary trivialities at the end of life. Truth lasts! Jesus said "Heaven and earth shall pass away but My words shall not pass away." Matt.24:35. Two men are commended and the other, Diotrephes, is rebuked and denounced. A very sad statement is made about this man, basically, that he always looks out for number one. A wasted life equals one that has been lived selfishly for itself, always looking out for ourselves and being divisive because of our pride. Diotrephes' life was filled with control instead of compassion, putting others' out instead of receiving them as the beloved Gaius had done. Gaius did well because he sent them on their journey in a manner worthy of God. Let me try to encourage you who are doing that. I think of and pray for pastors and especially on Saturdays as you prepare and study to feed the flock of God. We know who you are and we recognize your labor of love for the saints and you aren't forgotten here and won't be when the Chief Shepherd appears. Keep on keeping on, Preacher! We need the truth today and need examples to follow.
If somehow, we encourage other pilgrims to continue on their paths, our lives will have meant something. I think of my precious Mother on this day before Mother's Day and how her godly life inspired me and countless others. She cared more about people than what she owned and I never can recall when she put herself first, even if Dr. Phil and Oprah were preaching that is necessary. (Actually, I think she was before their time.:) ) She had an approachable way which drew people in and didn't put them at arm's length because of a divisive spirit. (I wrote about her last Mother's Day- if you missed it, it is listed in May 2010.)
Well, this has probably been scattered thoughts in the last three blogs but when my Jeff and Pastor Scott come to speak over me, if others know that I knew God, loved His Son, Jesus Christ, and had purposed to walk worthy by serving people, by helping to bring them forward on their journey, then my life was not wasted.
To God Be The Glory, Great Things He Has Done!