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Aiemmat blogit

Life Lessons

3.12.2016 6.12

Juttua muokattu:

8.3. 22:29

“I al­re­a­dy have my af­ter school snack at home,” I brag­ged to my brot­her as the school bus boun­ced down the dirt road to­ward our stop at the ed­ge of the corn­field. I thought about how sweet the Brach’s ca­ra­mel chews hid­den in my dres­ser dra­wer would tas­te. The night be­fo­re, on a trip to New Mar­ket gro­ce­ry store with mom, I had put them in my jac­ket poc­ket as we wal­ked down the can­dy ais­le, and no­bo­dy no­ti­ced. What a score!

Their gold foil wrap­pers glin­ted as I sna­ked them out from their hi­ding place bet­ween my dres­ser dra­wers. The fact that they had to be ea­ten in sec­ret would make them on­ly tas­te swee­ter. But of cour­se, af­ter brag­ging to my brot­her about my af­ter-school snack, I re­fu­sed to share any with him. So he told on me. When I he­ard mom cal­ling my name from downs­tairs, shame and guilt exp­lo­ded wit­hin me, ig­ni­ted by my sin-scorc­hed cons­cien­ce.

That eve­ning, I ex­pe­rien­ced the lon­gest five-mile car trip of my life. Just Mom, Dad, me and an over­po­we­ring air of dread. In the store ma­na­ger's of­fi­ce, my ey­es wel­led with te­ars, my nose be­gan to run, and my voi­ce qu­a­ve­red out an apo­lo­gy as I pro­du­ced the few re­mai­ning une­a­ten can­dies, se­ve­ral emp­ty wrap­pers, and all the coins from my pig­gy bank.

On the way back home, Dad tal­ked about how the Bib­le te­ac­hes us not to steal, how ste­a­ling is a sin, and how God ha­tes sin. But he al­so tal­ked about how God lo­ves the sin­ner, des­pi­te ha­ting sin. He tal­ked about how God gave His on­ly son, Je­sus, to wash away our sins. Dad and Mom both as­su­red me that my sins were for­gi­ven in Je­sus' name and blood, even the sin of ste­a­ling. My bur­den was lif­ted. All was for­gi­ven. The trip home was so much quic­ker than the trip to the store.

I would gu­ess that ne­ar­ly all be­lie­ving fa­mi­lies have si­mi­lar sto­ries to share. We all fall in­to sin. And when our ac­ti­ons cau­se harm to ot­hers, we in­cur a trip­le debt: to the of­fen­ded par­ty, to so­cie­ty, and to our own cons­cien­ce. Fee­lings of guilt lead to a sin­ce­re apo­lo­gy for wrong­doing, and we seek to make amends to ot­her pe­op­le and to so­cie­ty. But be­lie­vers are ext­ra luc­ky be­cau­se God’s child­ren been gi­ven to know the po­wer of God, and faith to be­lie­ve sins for­gi­ven in Je­sus’ name and blood: the per­fect balm to soot­he a brui­sed cons­cien­ce. And this know­led­ge and faith are ins­til­led and rein­for­ced through the eve­ry­day ha­bits of a be­lie­ving home.

Faith gui­des the life of a be­lie­ving home. We le­arn the ABCs of faith at ser­vi­ces, Sun­day school and dis­cus­si­ons at home. Faith ma­kes us long for God's word and fel­lows­hip with ot­her be­lie­vers. May this lon­ging ne­ver sub­si­de! My pa­rents grew up in be­lie­ving fa­mi­lies and ho­mes, where it was a pri­o­ri­ty to gat­her with be­lie­vers, and Mom and Dad en­de­a­vo­red to rear their child­ren in the nur­tu­re and ad­mo­ni­ti­on of the Lord. Christ, the Chief Cor­ners­to­ne, is the foun­da­ti­on of faith, and in a be­lie­ving fa­mi­ly and home we re­cei­ve sup­port and en­cou­ra­ge­ment to walk up­right on the way to he­a­ven.

I re­mem­ber he­a­ring a pre­ac­her say, “When you ser­ve God's child­ren, you ser­ve God.” When we ser­ve and en­cou­ra­ge each ot­her, inc­lu­ding the child­ren who share a place in our li­ves, we al­so ex­pe­rien­ce God’s bles­sing our­sel­ves. I’ve had to le­arn this les­son many ti­mes sin­ce that day I took can­dy from New Mar­ket gro­ce­ry store. But there is much more yet to le­arn, and much re­mains to te­ach the co­ming ge­ne­ra­ti­on. So­me­ti­mes this res­pon­si­bi­li­ty seems overw­hel­ming, but then I re­mem­ber that God pro­mi­ses to al­wa­ys pro­vi­de a way to hand­le wha­te­ver chal­len­ges He lays be­fo­re us.

With my wife and fa­mi­ly at my side, I hope to con­ti­nue le­ar­ning and ser­ving. But my most fer­vent pra­yer is that God would pro­vi­de strength to con­ti­nue be­lie­ving, and to re­main among His flock where li­ving faith and hope flou­rish.

Much of my time is spent being an insurance agent. However, in addition to my earning a living, I am active in a few community groups, as well as working in the local congregation on various committees, as a song leader, and as a teacher of Sunday school and Bible Class. I also serve the North American central organization, LLC. Life is busy. But busyness is something to be thankful for because these activities reveal God’s blessing and care.

Jumala on rakastanut maailmaa niin paljon, että antoi ainoan Poikansa, jottei yksikään, joka häneen uskoo, joutuisi kadotukseen, vaan saisi iankaikkisen elämän. sJoh. 3:16

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