We teach our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and others we might have influence on to say “please” and “thank you.” I’ve always taught that these two phrases spoken in sincerity will open the doors to many blessings and opportunities in life. We do those we influence a great service when we teach them these truths both by word and example!
It was the apostle Paul who wrote the inspired-by-God words of Philippians 1:3, “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.” What an encouragement this must have been to the brethren at Philippi. What memories and fondness Paul must have treasured in his heart for them. Paul was grateful to God for who they were, what they had done, what they were doing in the present, and what by faith and love they would be doing in their future service to God.
We’ve just celebrated our countries’ birthday in various ways with parades, picnics, fireworks, etc. The fact is … we should always be thankful for the devotion and sacrifice of others who have helped to make our freedom what it is today!
My mother made tremendous sacrifices out of a great love for me and my brothers and sister, and of her deep desire to see each one of us grow up to become responsible and caring adults … but most importantly … to grow up loving and serving our great God! She possessed such a deep love and devotion for God, His Word and His people … and she passed this love and devotion on to her children! Paul reminded Timothy of the influence and devotion of his mother and grandmother in 2 Timothy 1:3-5; 3:14, 15. It was not that Timothy would forget these influences, but Paul is encouraging Timothy to strive to be the same kind of influence on others! Thank you Mother for leaving such a wonderful legacy … now it’s our turn, just as Paul writes in 2 Timothy 2:2, “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”
Our culture, our world, is working very hard to change things that have always been able to withstand to this point in time … the family, the home, the workplace and yes, even the church! (We will have more to say about this area next time —Editor’s note).
In the meantime, let’s not forget:
- The price that was paid by others for our freedom! Keep the sense of patriotism alive.
- The price that was paid by God in the sending of His Son to this world and the sacrifice of His Son’s blood on the Cross to make our salvation possible!
- The price that was paid by so many through the ages in their proclamation and their defense of God’s message to mankind!
I remember with great fondness hearing the men of faith who lived a generation or two before me! What love for the Truth … what knowledge of God’s Word these men possessed. They were unafraid to declare “the whole counsel of God.” Men like H.E. Phillips, Roy Cogdill, James Adams, James P. Miller and so many others … some well-known names, others whose names were not known, but who faithfully and gallantly shared the message of God’s saving Word! May their tribe increase!!! I thank God every day for those of yester-year who had such devotion to God! These men weren’t Pharisees, Sadduccees or any other ‘ees’ … they were just men of God who shared a common desire to serve God!
This is our time … this is your time! What will we do with our time? What will you do with your time? I understand with each passing day that I have more days behind me than days that may lie before me. You see … I need to ‘buy up’ every opportunity to declare the truth of God’s Word … to stand up for all that is found within its inspired pages … to defend the truth against all efforts to demean, re-structure or even re-design it in some way that makes those who seek change happy!
May the Lord be able always to count on me as one of His faithful servants who goes about “teaching others also.” (2 Timothy 2:2).
“Lord, please help me to remember the devotion and sacrifice of others and to show the gratitude I have in my heart by demonstrating the same devotion and sacrifice in my own life. Help me, O Lord, to become a servant in Your kingdom just like Your only begotten Son was!”
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.” (Matthew 24:35).
Bill Fairchild, Jr.