Most of you know that my Dad lives in a Care Facility. He is 86 years old and has a few health issues. He had his right leg removed a few years ago after suffering through poor circulation. Dad also does dialysis three times a week for kidney failure. He is a tough old guy! I can tell he is struggling, but he continues to carry on good solid conversations almost every time I see him. I try to see him on days when he does not have dialysis.
I want to share with you what he tells me when I get ready to leave him. He almost always says, “Be a good boy.” Yes, he is eighty-six and I am sixty-four, but I still like to hear him say it! “Be a good boy,” sounds good to me, I enjoy hearing him say those words. It reminds me a little of how he used to introduce me to his friends at his garage. He would say, “This is my son Mike; he’s a preacher.” I always enjoy hearing him say that too. I could tell he was proud of me, even though he didn’t say it!
The reason I am sharing this is really pretty simple. It’s bigger than my father and son connection. First, I want to bring honor and glory to the Lord. He is worthy! I, in no way want to shame the name of Jesus! I want to please Him! Secondly, I represent a Christian congregation, and I do not want to embarrass them or bring reproach upon my church family! When a pastor is embarrassed for whatever the reason, his church is embarrassed as well. Thirdly, How could I ever let down my wife of forty plus years? Cheryl has supported me and loved me through two careers, one as a teacher and coach and now as a minister of the Gospel. Fourthly, My two sons and their wives look up to me as do my five grandchildren. But that is enough about me! What does this have to do with you?
Over the past forty two years I have served with a number of fine young men. You, no doubt, have many of the same reasons I mentioned above to “be a good boy.” You may not be able to relate to my connection with my Dad, but you have other reasons for living out a holy life for the Lord. First, Remember that everyone is not on your side. For whatever reason, everyone doesn’t want you to succeed. This has been true in my ministry. I wish I could say that everyone has been for me, but I would be lying if I said that! Romans 8:31 makes this clear, “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” Secondly, Satan wants you to fail. He is a loser and a liar. Put on the whole armor of God, and go to war against the Devil and his strategies. Pray above all! Thirdly, Live your life above reproach. Your testimony and credibility as a Christ follower is absolutely essential if you are to be used of the Lord. I know you want to be used. I do too! Stay away from anything that would raise questions about your loyalty to Jesus, His church or your family, especially your wife! What Paul told his brothers and sisters at Thessalonica is just as important now as it was then. Paul said, “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” Paul mentored numerous young men as well as pastors and teachers. His counsel is as good today as it was the day he wrote it! Let’s make a brotherhood pact and follow what he said.
As I mentioned earlier, I have served Jesus with a number of fine young brothers. Sadly, some are no longer in the ministry. They made poor choices! Some settled for less than fruitful ministries because they choose to do what they wanted to do without thinking about those around them. Focus your best attention and deepest affection upon Christ and the family He has given you. Reproach and shame can be unbearable! God has called us to glorify His Son, Jesus Christ. Grow up as a man of God and let pass anything that could in any way jeopardize your calling! Being happy is not as important as you think. Being holy, as He is holy, is where your testimony and credibility rest! 1 Peter 1:15-16 underscores the importance of this truth, “But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”
“Be a good boy” is important to me because it is how my Dad encourages me and blesses me. But being holy for the Lord is the cry of my heart! Brothers, keep your eyes on Jesus and He will use you for His honor, glory and praise! God bless you!
Romans 11:36 For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to Whom be glory forever. Amen.