In 1997 my Pa Pa graduated from this life to the forever Life he was meant for. While on this earth, he was a natural teacher and eventually became a high school principal. Later, he served as a rehabilitation counselor for students at Auburn University where he seized every opportunity to share his faith in God, proclaim profound thankfulness for the grace of Jesus, and give all credit to the Spirit that empowered him. While counseling fulfilled his desire to serve, preaching as a lay minister for the Methodist Church fed his deep desire to continue teaching.
Just a few weeks ago I received a suitcase full of his sermons. Most were in his handwriting, while others were typed on onionskin paper with his old, black Royal typewriter – the kind you can’t plug in. This may look like a musty old suitcase to you, but to me it is a treasure chest!
It’s interesting how his creative process seems to have been so similar to mine. Same kind of paper, same kind of scribbled notes in the margins, same No. 2 pencils. You’d think we were related!
With Saturday’s conference still on my mind, I began looking through a few of his timeless messages. It was no coincidence that my grandfather typed many of my thoughts for Saturday’s message over thirty years ago, capitalizing and underlining as he went! Please let your eyes fall on these words straight from his heart and remember our conference topic is “Becoming: Living God’s Plan.”
We never become perfect in this world, but as Christians we are always moving in that direction. When the decision to become a Christian is made there’s a simple turn around in the road and movement in the right direction. At first, we’re not much further “up the road” than we were. Then, we BEGIN TO BECOME.
John 1:12 says, “As many as received Him, to them He gave power to become children of God.” Christians have not achieved a status of perfect love … or perfection at all, but we move in that direction. We fall many times and then begin again.
It’s human to take the attitude that this business of being “good enough”, being Christian, is too demanding. We can’t live up to it! Well, that’s right … none of us can. The Bible says nobody was ever good enough except Jesus. Too many people believe we have to be perfect.
In Jesus’ dealings with us, regardless of how sinful we are, His key attitude is always LOVE. I believe if we’re looking for the best illustration of the kind of attitude needed to develop a growing Christian faith, we should look at that of a child. For the most part, they’re innocent, humble, and growing. They fuss and fight, but in a few minutes they’re hugging and loving each other again. Jesus said, “Unless you become as a little child, (that is, to have a childlike, not childish, attitude) you won’t enter the Kingdom of God.
A question was asked of a famous theologian, Dr. Karl Barth, “What was the greatest truth you ever learned in seminary?” His answer was, “The greatest truth I ever learned was not in seminary. The greatest truth I ever learned was from my mother when I was a child. She taught me a simple little song, JESUS LOVES ME THIS I KNOW, FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO.
Thanks, Pa Pa! There’s no better message!
Ladies, there is still time to register for Saturday’s “Becoming” conference. Just click here.