Friday, May 30, 2014

Wisdom From An Awesome Teenager

Since 2001, I've been blessed to write for Good News Daily, a publication of devotional writings with global reach. Last year, our teenager was asked to submit a series of devotions to be considered for publication. So toward the end of his sophomore year, our son wrote a series of thought-provoking and inspiring pieces. Here is one that's received quite a bit of feedback from adult readers. It is published here with permission from the author and publisher.

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. (2 Thessalonians 3:16-17)

"While today's reading (2 Thessalonians 3:1-17) speaks about being strengthened in every good deed and word, in the following chapter we see the result of this strengthening: 'And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good' (v.13). Never tire of doing what is good. That's quite an idea. No, Christianity is not about good works. Ultimately, Christianity is about putting aside the religion-y ideas of living as a 'good Christian.'

It's simple, really. We are called to love Jesus, the Lord our God, with all our heart/strength/etc. Through this love come all good things one who never tires in loving God will never tire of doing what is good. Doing good will stem from loving God, and then loving your neighbor as yourself. The rules do not lead to love of God: love of God leads to leading a wholesome life. 'Against such things there is no law' (Galatians 5:23).

"Jesus tells us that 'a good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.' If we love him, we will in turn love others (his creation), and life will flow in an unimaginable harmony. Just imagine a world in which everyone was looking out for his neighbor, making their own needs secondary. It sounds nice, doesn't it? Yes, the unimaginable, invincible, perfect world is within our grasp. It is the mark of a Christian to pursue it."

* This was published in the May 18-24, 2014 edition of Good News Daily, a weekly publication of Bible Reading Fellowship. *

Well done, son! We are so proud of the young man you are and know that your life and future are in God's Hands. He will continue to guide you to use your many gifts for His glory.

I thank You, Lord, that as You become the center of our lives, everything we do is transformed. 
Help us come near to You, Lord, and live to fulfill Your purpose for our lives.

Be blessed!
Dr Mari

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