Summary: Three things to remember.
“Some Things I want You to Know Before I’m Gone”
April 15, 2018
“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”
As I am winding down my Pastorial ministry, knowing I only have a couple of times to share with you as your pastor, there are a few things I want you to know; there are a few things I want you to get; there are a few things I want to leave with you.
First of all, I want you to know how much you are love. I want you to know – really KNOW – God loves you. I love you, too. I feel like we are family. I have been pastor here long enough, and have known many of you long enough, to see you grow in the Lord. Some I have seen pass from death to life; from sinner to saint. I feel like you are my children; my spiritual children or brothers and sisters. I couldn’t love you any more than if you were my own flesh and blood. And when you love someone like that – when they do well – you do well. When they hurt – you hurt. When someone you love is struggling – you struggle with them. On the other hand – when they are blessed – you are blessed. John wrote, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” I feel the same way. I am so proud of you when I see you growing spiritually and using your spiritual gifts for the Lord. My heart rejoices. That is one of the blessings of the ministry. Now, with four decades of ministry behind me, I see facebook posts of my spiritual children serving the Lord and I am a proud pastor. John wrote, “It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it.” Well, I have facebook and emails and I experience great joy when I hear about your faithfulness to Jesus and how you continue to walk in the Truth – even in the midst of great trial. I want you to know you bring me great joy and I love you very much. As long as I live you will have a special place in my heart.
I want you to know I love you – but more importantly – I want you to know that God loves you. Sometimes God seems kind of distant. Sometimes we feel alone and unloved. Sometimes the ‘False Accuser” of the brethren (Satan) convinces us we are worthless, unimportant, and alone. Nothing could be further from the truth. God is doing some kind of mighty work that involves us and often we have to walk by faith. God wants us to become stronger spiritually and to grow in faith and to be committed to doing the right thing no matter what. And he will use pain, problems and passions to do it.
The other day I was going through some feelings of fears and insecurities when it dawned on me that when I feel that way I kind of disrespect God. In reality I am not believing His promises. In reality I am not trusting His word. I apologized and asked God to help me not doubt Him in any area. I choose to believe that He loves me. He said He did. Remember?
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you…” John 7:9
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him” 1 John 3:1-2