I came across a card along with the names and birthdates of my friends kids that I sent over several years on their birthdays. These were the men that invested 16 years (2010 blog about these guys) during the time of early marriage and raising children that we retreated to Estes Park for a long weekend of reflection and planning for the coming year. We all talk about committing to pray for each others kids but I wanted the kids to know and be reminded each year on their birthdays that their fathers friends were committing to pray for them. The inside of the card tells the specific prayers that we are committed to praying. Most of our kids are grown and several are starting families of their own. A good practice to share with you and I can report to date have been 100% answered. Praise to the Lord.
3 John 1:2-4 2 Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. 3 For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth. 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
… to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Occasionally I have the opportunity to meet men who have read Lead Your Family and used the resources to create a Vision, Mission and Core Values for their family. My friend Marlin Sosa is a father of a young family with a passion to lead his family to be a light in his community. I was so encouraged by his efforts, I wanted to share this on the blog. Enjoy.
Mezuzah Sosa Purpose: Vision
Bring Light to Darkness, Order to chaos, And peace to others.
““Then I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ “ ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied. ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me. I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’”
Acts 26:15-18 NIV
What God did for us we will do for others: Mission
Producing life in our house and the people around us by being light and trusting that God will guide, provide and empower us.
Genesis 1:2–3 (NIV)
2Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
3And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
The Lord will provide.
God will always give us what we need for every circumstance.
Genesis 22:8 (NIV): Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.
Genesis 22:13–14 (NIV): Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.
14 So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”
Stand on your feet.
We cannot be defeated, because the one that sent us cannot be defeated.
Acts 26:16 (NIV): 16 ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me.
2 Samuel 23:9–12 (NIV): Next to him was Eleazar son of Dodai the Ahohite. As one of the three mighty warriors, he was with David when they taunted the Philistines gathered at Pas Dammim for battle. Then the Israelites retreated,
10 but Eleazar stood his ground and struck down the Philistines till his hand grew tired and froze to the sword. The Lord brought about a great victory that day. The troops returned to Eleazar, but only to strip the dead.
11 Next to him was Shammah son of Agee the Hararite. When the Philistines banded together at a place where there was a field full of lentils, Israel’s troops fled from them.
12 But Shammah took his stand in the middle of the field. He defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the Lord brought about a great victory.
Being attached to the body of Christ:
Supporting one another, focusing in where God has me now and being faithful to all God has given me in my allotment.
Joshua 17:17-18 NIV — But Joshua said to the tribes of Joseph—to Ephraim and Manasseh—“You are numerous and very powerful. You will have not only one allotment but the forested hill country as well. Clear it, and its farthest limits will be yours; though the Canaanites have chariots fitted with iron and though they are strong, you can drive them out.”
Rejected by some and loved by the Righteousness.
Not everyone will love who we are and as darkness flees from light, some will flee, some will love us.
Acts 4:11 (ESV): 11 This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 1 Peter 2:4 (ESV): 4 As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious,
Our Family is a Sign to others.
We live by the example Christ gave us and we invite others to it.
We start being life at home first putting things in right order and then bringing peace to others around us. We will do this anywhere God puts us.
Isaiah 42:6–7 (ESV)
6“I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations,
7to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.
The Apostle Paul tells us that according to the commandment of God AND revealed by the Scriptures of the prophets AND the preaching of Jesus the Christ, the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past has been revealed to all nations. Romans 16:25-26 The secret has been revealed.
What has been kept secret for long ages past?
Since the creation of man, God has had a plan for man. Through the writings of the prophets and according to Gods command He has NOW made this eternal mystery known to all nations. What is this eternal mystery? Through the sacrifice of God’s own Son and His defeat of death, God has delivered His redemption plan for man. Paul has unpacked through his writings to the Romans and shared the secret for all men in such a powerful way.
- First, the God who created all that is desires to have a relationship with us who He created. Colossians 1:16, Colossians 1:21-22
- We all are separated from God because of our sin. Romans 3:23
- The just penalty for our sin is death and eternal separation from God. Romans 6:23.
- Even in our sinfulness, our creator died for us that we may be restored to Him. Romans 5:8
- We only need to believe in our heart that He conquered death and confess with our mouth that we accept Him as our Savior and Lord and we can be restored and saved from death. Romans 10:9-10
- Therefore, we can know that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ. Romans 8:1
The secret has been revealed and the mysteries of God have been made known. What great news and great responsibility we have as stewards of this mystery to be faithful to share this to all people.
“Do you fear death? This is not the typical question you get at a business lunch. The Sales Manager of one of our key material suppliers was visiting our facilities today. They are a major supplier and I have had the privilege to get to know him at industry best practices conference where he also has joined me at a small breakfast that I host to discuss the best practices in leading your company according to biblical principals with other industry leaders.
Today, I joined he and my team for lunch. After they asked me to give thanks for the meal, the conversation jumped to current events and catching up on family. We all have aging parents and the question was asked, “Do you fear death?” Quickly all eyes turned to me and the question was reframed, “Seriously, I am afraid of dying. Don’t you all want to hear what Jeff has to say about death?” Not prepared, I stumbled and fumbled around and came up with a few comments about fear of the unknown, missing loved ones, watching my grandfather in his last few weeks embrace the inevitable with grace and confidence, and my own confidence in the Scriptures. (Which I could not come up with off the top of my head) I thought about my clumsy response, reflected on my true convictions, and sent an email to clarify. This is what I wrote:
I did not do a good job explaining my reasoning for why I am not afraid to die. First let me admit that the other side of death is mostly unknown and would cause anxiety for everyone. The feeling of loss in leaving family, friends and world that we know behind is a significant factor.
BUT, the Holy Spirit has revealed to me in a real and supernatural way a faith, knowledge, and experience to firmly trust in Him for all aspects of my life, my health, my family, my career, His provision for my needs, and my confidence in His providence in the midst of suffering. The Word of God given to us in the Bible is trustworthy. In the end, as death approaches, I believe that He is faithful to His Word and that I will be judged, but by the grace provided to me through the death and resurrection of Jesus, I will live with Him for eternity. He has been faithful to me for my entire life, how could I not fully trust Him with my future and, therefore, I am confident of the promises given to us in Scripture and do not fear death.
P.S. My faith has been tested as I faced a brain tumor, a pulmonary embolism, and melanoma that all brought me to recognize the brevity of life and the realization that death is immanent. There was a sense of regret or sorrow of what I would miss or responsibilities I would not be able to fulfill, but there was no fear. The emotion that was present was an overwhelming desire to communicate my love to my family. Similar to those on the doomed flights on 9/11 when the planes were going down, the priority for those destined to die on those flights was to call their loved-ones to tell them they loved them. Fear was overwhelmed by love.
Thanks for challenging me to think through this. A few Scriptures to contemplate. 1 Corinthians 15:51-57, Ecclesiastes 12:7, Luke 23:43, John 3:16, 1 Thessalonians 4:14, Matthew 10:28, John 11:25-26, Hebrews 9:27, Revelation 14:13, Romans 8:38-39, 1 Corinthians 15:22, John 11:25, John 5:24, John 14:6, Matthew 11:28, Romans 8:17,
Grace and peace,