As a participant this week in the Grace Brethren Leaders FOCUS Retreat, we were asked by my friend Dave Guiles to read 2 Timothy several times before the retreat. Then during the retreat, we were given the assignment to write a one-page letter to our “Timothy,” or our spiritual son. These “final words” certainly reflect what I value most and hope “he” has learned from my example.
I’m thankful for this exercise and have actually printed out my letter and given it to each of my children as well. Maybe this will encourage you…
First I must tell you – you are a gift from God to me. What a joy to know you and see you grow and mature. You have blessed my life and I’m proud of you. I have been spurred on to love and good deeds because of you. Thank you for being who you are.
There are some timeless values about our journey and leadership with our Lord…and the first one is Him—Jesus, our good and gracious King. It is all about Him! “For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things.” (Romans 11:36)
Know Jesus in all the complexities of that relationship; as friend, brother, counselor, Savior, Redeemer and King (and more). What a deep and abiding joy is ours to be His and with Him in this life and the next!
Out of that relationship will rise a value on what God has captured in His Word for us. Know the Scriptures for they point to Jesus and they are a rich well of His Wisdom. They help us to know our God: Father, Son and Spirit, and how to live in this life. They stand as a forever testimony to God’s work and His will in our world. What a gift to have something that stands on it’s own and for the Truth.
Because of God and His Word, I invite you to always be:
- living radically in grace and in love
- extending the Gospel in word and deed
- making and multiplying disciples of all the peoples of this world
- and making and multiplying community with your brothers and sisters who follow Jesus.
I’m not sure the “how-tos” for living out these things for you, but I trust you have seen some sliver of these in me. Living this way is worth doing because it shapes our lives to be like Jesus and these things last forever.
I could go on and on, because of how much the Lord has given to me, but this essential framework can propel you into even greater service and fruitfulness than I have ever experienced.
I love you.