Wednesday, September 4, 2013

This Generation.1

"Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in these days of sin and unbelief, of that person will the Son of Man be ashamed when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."

--Jesus

One of the best pieces of parental advice I ever received came from a fellow father who urged me to pay better attention to the things my kids were involved in.  Not long afterwards I was sitting at a wrestling practice while my son, Paul, was working on a particular "move".  Sorely tempted to reach in my coat pocket for some mental distraction from the endless repetition of the practices, I looked up in time to see Paul catch my eye to see if I'd seen his perfect execution of a move he'd worked on for a long time.  

Thanks to that bit of wisdom, I went on to become the father of a three time high school state wrestling champion!

Just kidding. Of course, it was Paul's undistracted devotion to excellence that drove him to the highest level of accomplishment in his sport!  To reach the pinnacle of the medals platform is great reward for the hours of practice needed to enjoy the honor of being the best!  As the ribbon, upon which the champion's medal hangs, is placed around the victor's neck, the audience rises in appreciation of the dedication and character it took to win this moment!

Not unlike, I'm sure, Jesus' vision for those who would put in the practice necessary to learn to live His words.  'Well done, good & faithful!' is the pinnacle of our effort to reach the highest level of Christ-like obedience. 

Consider the rich young ruler who came to Jesus looking for some deeper level of spirituality to validate his desire for eternal life.  Rather than criticize the man's own assessment of his keeping of the commandments, Jesus challenged him to a remarkable new level of commitment: rid yourself of the corrupting distractions of this dying world and take on the "patent of peerage" with Life itself!

And, unlike a distracted dad, Jesus, our Master, is also our coach, teacher, disciplinarian, cheerleader, affirmer, enabler, conditioner, validator, and example. Always leading us in the way of righteousness, i.e., doing the right thing in the right way at the right time, so that when we stand before Him, not only will we not be ashamed, we will be honored to know we were like Him.

Run the way of His commandments, cultivate faithfulness, put His words into practice. And keep looking up, you know you'll see he has His eye on you!