Monday, March 7, 2011

The fight is done

2Timothy 4:6-8: "As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me -- the crown of righteousness that the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that great day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his glorious return."
This past week, my dad finished his race. He passed from this life to the life to come. I've been thinking a lot about the race that he ran in his life, for Jesus. He was a faithful husband, father, and grandfather. He served his country in the Army. He worked hard and provided for his family. He passed on so much wisdom to me that I can not even name it all. "He fought the good fight." He ran the good race. He taught me how to follow Jesus. He taught me how to be strong, yet gentle, courageous, yet sympathetic. He also taught me to laugh and enjoy the blessings of life.
There's no way to tally up the lessons and love that my dad shared with me. I am thankful for it all. The Good News is that he lives on in my heart and mind, in the man I have become. And most importantly, he lives on in the blessings of eternal life with Jesus. There will be a great reunion one day, when I meet him there.
All this has reminded me that each of us leave a legacy in our lives. In fact, you and I are living our legacy today. We touch so many lives. So, let's also fight the good fight and run the good race by sharing the love of Christ today.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The quest for freedom

Psalm 2:10-12: "Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, with trembling kiss his feet, or he will be angry, and you will perish in the way; for his wrath is quickly kindled. Happy are all who take refuge in him."
Like many of us in the West, I have been greatly moved by the protests, demonstrations, and uprisings for freedom in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and other areas of the Middle East. Something significant is happening. People are fighting for positive change for themselves and future generations.
I do not pretend to understand all the complexities of these uprisings. But one thing seems to shine through: the desire for freedom, the desire for a better way of life, a life of justice and peace.
The psalm for this week is connecting deeply with world events. The psalmist warns kings and "rulers of the earth" to "be wise; be warned." "Serve the Lord with fear . . . or he will be angry and you will perish in the way." There is accountablity for world leaders. They cannot rule without being accountable to God's justice. They cannot oppress and injure without being held responsibile.
Will you join me this day in praying for the rulers of the earth, especially those in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya? Pray for those who have passed and particularly for those to come. Will you join me this day in praying for the peoples of the earth who hunger and thirst for freedom and justice?
I have linked a wonderful prayer for the people of Egypt below. The places where "Egypt" is listed can be replaced with "Tunisia" and "Libya" as well.