I can see the dust flying from the wheels of an extended cab truck carrying off my grown sons into the wonderful, wide, world. And I won't like it one bit. The one thing that keeps me from holding too tightly is knowing that I am raising them for just such a day. It will take continued diligence equipping them with the armor of God and constant prayer. But I'm certain that I will be ready to let them go, and that they will be prepared to fulfill God's plan for their lives if they can remember these 12 core truths.
My boys, never forget:
1. God is: Holy, Majestic, Creator, High, Almighty, Love….
2. We don’t need to understand what He allows…let it go. Trust Him. Period. Remember, if He can...but He doesn't...then it's best!
3. Lose any sense of ENTITLEMENT you may have in life. Obey out of awe for who He is with deep gratitude and love for His sacrifice. God gave His only Son for YOU. Jesus paid the price for YOU. Everything else in this life is gravy.
4. Understand that your purpose in life is to love God and to love people. All people. People who have the same skin color or not, the same sexual orientation or not, the same political beliefs or not, the same religious beliefs or not! True love is unconditional.
5. Don't be distracted by material stuff-houses or cars or toys-acquiring those things is fine, but don't ever make them your reason for your life's work. Approach your work and play as a way to become more like Christ and to love others.Look at your bank account as a way to bless others more than for yourself.
6. Be in constant communion with God-make it your daily priority to spend time with Him and in prayer. Memorize Scripture and meditate on it! You will find that God will speak to you and show you where to go and what to do more prevalently because His Word is already in your heart.
7. People won’t like it when you look like Jesus. You will be persecuted, but your reward in Heaven is great and it will be worth it. It’s an opportunity to identify with Christ and feel a tiny bit of what He felt…for YOU. Endure with joy.
8. Be intentional about ways to bless and lead the people in your family spiritually. Put it in writing on a daily schedule if necessary. It won’t happen by chance.
9. Be thankful. Never stop counting your blessings or enjoying them. Even if everything and everyone in your life forsakes you, you STILL have reason to rejoice for you were bought with a price and you have an eternal home that is beyond your imagination.
10. Surround yourself with people who will run with you, hard and fast towards God-but if they can’t be found, run anyway. People will fail you because we are all sinners, extend grace and overlook an offense. Whenever it's in your ability to do so, live at peace with everyone. Never attach to God the feelings you have at the failures and sins of others when they disappoint you. Don't ever allow a human being's shortcomings to disillusion you about a Holy God.
11. Make certain that your desires and dreams have the intention of glorifying God, and then ask expectantly for God to make it happen. There is no limit to what God can do. Be excited about seeing Him outdo your imagination but hold loosely to your human expectations. Always yield to God's good and perfect will for your life.
12. In case you forget, remember that God is God and you are not. He loves you, so love Him in return with all your heart and with all your mind, and with all your strength. Everything else will fall into place when loving God is your main goal. Nothing else will satisfy and no other life is worth living.
I love you more than my words can ever convey,