The youth pastor was preaching his first sermon to our church congregation. It had only been a few months, but his infectious enthusiasm had already captured the hearts of the youth and their parents within the church. We sat attentively, listening to his exposition of the Bible passage.
“Young people! I love you!”
With that impassioned declaration, the pastor set the tone for his ministry for the next few years. His fierce and unwavering devotion to the youth of the church was inspiring, surpassed only by his love for Jesus Christ. He shepherded the youth in our church with Bible studies, monthly newsletters, and countless hours of counseling and mentoring. He gently but firmly persuaded my children to learn to choose the sometimes difficult sacrifice to serve God, above all else. At times, I was chagrined to learn that my faith was not as mature nor as steadfast as his. This was an inspiring young man who backed up his heavy words with equally weighty actions.
Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
1 John 3:18 (ESV)
I am deeply grateful to this godly pastor who more than lived up to his bold declaration as commanded by the Apostle John. He was a living embodiment of God’s command to live a life consistent with our speech. Although I am more than twice his age, I learned a great deal about faithfulness and living a God-centered life by following his example. I pray that God will continue to use him to mentor the next generation of godly Christian believers.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.