Dear Children

Letters From A Father's Heart

Set Your Sights On A Godly Life*

Dear children,

In the life that is now set before you, you will every day be faced with choices between living for just that day or living in such a way that sets you on a course toward a destination.  Everything that you achieve will be the result of God’s grace and your own intentions.  Those who are good at what they do do not wake up one morning with a desire, and that night go to bed as masters. Some devote their entire lives to a certain destination or goal they hope to achieve.  For others, the seemingly random circumstances of life determine their course.

It is not my desire for you that you would accomplish great things, at least not as man considers great things.  While I do desire that you be productive members of society, able to provide for and raise a family, my hope, my deep prayer to God is that you would spend your lives serving and worshiping Him.  But to do even that will require that you set your sights on that end.

Know that this is not just your father speaking.  I know these things from reading the scriptures.  The writer of Hebrews says as much as he uses a metaphor of running a race to describe our lives.  It says:

…let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  (Heb 12:1-2)

This is an excellent picture of someone who is facing the road of life with a specific destination in sight.  The fact that there are encumbrances is a given.  It is not a highway but a path that will have twists, turns, snares, disappointments and challenges of all sorts.  But the runner is not concerned with these things.  His sights are set on something much better, just like his forerunner, who endured the cross, despised its shame, and then sat down at the right hand of the Father.

There is also this passage:

Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.  “And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. “Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.  “The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell — and great was its fall.   (Matt 7:24-27)

If you make the decision in the future to build yourself a house, you will notice that the first thing that goes in is the foundation.  The competent builder will know that the house is not built to withstand the elements that are present on the day it is built.  It is built to withstand the elements that it is expected to encounter.  The builder will build your house with his eyes set on future expectations and possibilities.  It is wise to do so.  It is foolish not to.

I have, by God’s grace and providence, done my best to lay, and help you lay, a foundation for your life.  I have set my eyes on the future in doing so.  It might well be said that I was never raising a child as much as a future father and mother, and man and woman, who will be leaving the protection of my house and heading out into a Godless world that will subject them to the floods, and blow against their upbringing and course.  To be wise or foolish will ultimately be up to you.  You will either hear the words of Jesus, and act on them, or you will set your course to a strange land of shifting sand.  I pray daily, often with tears, that God would have mercy on you and deliver you.

There are so many more scriptures that teach us to plan ahead, not to be caught off guard or easily ensnared, to be prepared spiritually and mentally, and to not wait until adversity strikes to think about preparing for it.  The Proverbs are a great source of wisdom on this.  Read them and contemplate them with the course ahead in mind.  Watch. Learn. Discern. Prepare.

I realize that there are many things which we can set our sights on, many of which are noble and praiseworthy.  And I encourage you to do just that.  But unless you set your sights first and foremost on Jesus, all else will never stand the test of time, and I can say this with the utmost confidence.  The Bible says that God will not be mocked, whatever you sow you will reap.  It is said, it is so.

I pray for you dear children that you would not wonder without direction through this thing we call life, but instead realize that you have a destiny.  I pray that God’s word would be a light onto your feet and that you live lives straight and true, never forsaking wisdom, but instead setting your faces like flint toward the life God has willed that you live.

Your father.

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