Share Jesus without fear. One of the things I’ve always wanted to be better at was with personal evangelism. I never tried to share Jesus until I was out of the Army and in college. I’ve often wished I had learned how to do it earlier in life. One of my greatest regrets is that I wasn’t more active in sharing Jesus when I was in the Army. I had great friends that desperately needed to know about Jesus and I never really tried to tell them. I hate that and don’t want you to have similar regrets. I want you to know Jesus in such a way that you long to tell others about Him. I want you to know the Bible well enough to be able to answer questions people may have. I want you to know the Gospel well enough that you can accurately explain the Gospel and tell people how to be saved. But knowing all of this won’t do a lot of good if you don’t actually tell people about Jesus. The world will try to make you afraid to tell people about Jesus, don’t let it. Your own insecurities will try to keep you from telling people about Jesus, don’t let them. Fear of telling people about Jesus is common but it is not from God. God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and of a sound mind. Recognize this fear as what it is, the world, the flesh and the devil trying to keep you from doing the greatest good there is. Share Jesus without fear.
Find and follow God’s vision for your life. Scripture clearly teaches that God has a particular plan for each of us. We are saved by grace through faith so that we can follow and fulfill this plan. Now, I have no idea what God’s plan for your life is but I know that He has one and I know that it’s the best thing there is. There is no way I would have ever imagined I’d be a pastor. Public speaking was never something I was particularly good at and certainly not something I enjoyed. But I’ll be honest with you, I’d rather be a preacher/pastor than anything else. Following God’s plan in this has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life. You’ll discover the same to be true if you follow God’s plan for your life. Spend time praying for God to show you what He wants you to do. Ask God to give you a massive desire to do what He has planned for you to do. God will certainly answer these prayers. He doesn’t want you left in the dark about His plan for your life. He will show you and when He does go after it with all you’ve got. No regrets, no retreat and no surrender. God’s plan for your life, whatever that may be, is the best thing ever.
People will hurt and disappoint you but love them anyway. This one is brutally hard but so very important. Even the best people in the world will hurt and disappoint you. If the best will do this, imagine what the worst will do. Yeppers it can be rough at times. The temptation will be to build barriers around yourself to protect yourself from the hurt. Honestly, my inclination is to tell you to do that but Biblically that’s not what’s best. We are to follow Jesus’ example of loving people. Jesus loved Judas who betrayed Him. Jesus loved Judas knowing he would betray Him. Jesus loved Peter who denied knowing Him. Jesus loved Peter knowing he would deny Him. Jesus loved the rich young ruler who rejected Him. Jesus loved the Romans who crucified Him. This is the example we are to follow. I know it’s tough and I know there’ll be times when you are disappointed and hurt. But take the risk and love people anyway.
I love you more than you can possibly know. I know you girls are enough like me that you’ll likely remember best what you read first and what you read last. So I put the most important thing first and the second most important thing last. I love you girls. Oh mercy I love you girls. I have loved you before you were born. That love grew the moment I first saw you, and that’s amazing because you girls were quite the mess the first time I saw you. I cannot put into words how much I love you girls. If we lived in Neverland, you girls would be the happy thoughts that enabled me to fly. I tell you this because it is so important that you understand how much I love you. My love for you will not change ever, no matter what.
However, you also have to understand what my love does NOT mean. My love for you does NOT mean that I have to approve of every decision you make. My love for you does NOT mean I have to embrace everything you do in life. My love for you does NOT mean that I have to like every relationship you have. In fact, I can almost guarantee that my love for you will at some point mean that I take an opposing view to a decision you make, something you do or a person you are in a relationship with. It just will. My love for you makes me fiercely protective of you. This at times will cause me to disagree with you and your decisions. But always know that my disagreements flow out of my great love for you. Since these things will flow out of my love for you, please at least consider what I say. I may not be right but at least consider my thoughts because you know they flow from a place of love. Give me the benefit of the doubt and do not assume that I’m trying to ruin your life, keep you from fun or make you miserable. I love you and I want what is best for you. You may disagree with my opinion but NEVER doubt my love.