tonight i said goodbye to an incredibly special group of 6th graders. through a week that was tough (for many reasons) at best, my Savior was precious to give me not only words for them, but for me as well. the focus of my letter to them was inspired by a recent newsletter from anne graham lotz where she was calling all of God’s people to wake up and know we will see Jesus.
August 19, 2011
dear YUC XIII, (Youth Under Construction)
there is no way i can begin a letter to you without first confessing how many times i failed you! for you see, as much as my heart wanted to constantly point you to Jesus, my flesh continued to get in the way. there were times i reacted instead of rested in the fruits the Holy Spirit provides. times i came spiritually ragged and complacent instead of overflowing with His Truth. times you and Jesus deserved my best and i offered up “just good enough.” i am truly sorry, and with that i know that this letter is as much for me as it is for you. (it is also for your precious parents, too.)
as you move forward into this next phase in your life, so much seems too hard, too different, too fun, too scary, and too real. might i remind you that as we may perceive this life as a stark reality, as c.s. lewis reminds us so beautifully in “the last battle”, these captive moments are merely the shadowlands. for you see eternity is our reality and there we will see with unveiled faces, our Savior, Jesus Christ! what we don’t see in front of us is far more important than what is so aggressively forcing itself upon our eyes daily. so with that thought in mind and with the personal challenge God has given me lately, i have but one piece of advice for you as you move another step forward in this vapor that is your life. live like you are going to see Jesus.
seeing Jesus is reality! whether it is seeing Him upon your last breath on earth or when He returns again, you and i will see Jesus. what if? what if, we lived our lives with that very reality? for you see, if we fixed our eyes upon that reality every single aspect of our lives would be touched.
- when you feel like you are “good enough”… live like you will see Jesus. (“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23.)
- when you are walking into the unknown… live like you will see Jesus. He is with you every step of the way. (“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6)
- when your heart is breaking… live like you will see Jesus. He is oh so close. (“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Proverbs 34:18)
- when you are faced with choosing between Him and the world… live like you will see Jesus. (“What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Mark 8:36)
- when you feel like you are all alone, no one understands, and you need courage… live like you will see Jesus. (“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9)
- when your world seems like it is falling apart and you have no peace… live like you will see Jesus. (“For He Himself is our peace…” Ephesians 2:14a)
- when your days begin to get too busy for time with Him… live like you will see Jesus. (“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28)
- when you feel like you have out-sinned His love for you… live like you will see Jesus. (“So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. Luke 15:20)
- when worldly wisdom, ideas, and half-truths seem more “fun” and easier to hear… live like you will see Jesus. (“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105)
- when you feel like you may know more than God… live like you will see Jesus. (He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He. Deuteronomy 32:4)
- when you feel unloved, rejected, unaccepted, and excluded… live like you will see Jesus. (“The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” Jeremiah 31:3)
- whenever you doubt what the One True God feels about you… live like you will see Jesus. (The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17)
may we all live like we are going to see Jesus, because through our relationship with Him we will see each other again beyond the shadowlands and spend forever with Jesus. now, that’s quite a reality!