This past Sunday, I shared a message that was very close to my heart. We were looking at John chapter 15. In that chapter, the Apostle shares Jesus’s teaching about the Vine and the branches. Jesus teaches that we must “Abide” in, (Stay connected, comply with, obey, observe, follow, etc) or have a daily personal relationship with the Lord. He goes on to explain that we need to stay connected to him, just like a vine to it’s branches. That “apart from him we can do nothing.” and that branches that “bear no fruit” are clipped off and thrown to the fire.
“Bearing fruit” (Doing good works for the father, bringing others to the Lord) is an integral part of our goal as followers of Jesus. Our lives should consist of far more than just visiting the local church every Sunday morning. I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t want to be the branch that is clipped off of the vine, and tossed to the fire. I want my life to bring glory to the Lord, in everything I do. Not just some of the time.
I’m very thankful for people who have illustrated that for me by living a Godly life that I could see, and learn from. Like I said earlier, living A life for Jesus, is way more than Sunday service. It’s putting your beliefs in action, so that the next generation can learn by watching how you live.
Unbeknownst to him, my Grandmothers husband Pastor Charles Robinson, did just that for me. Not only did he live an exemplary life as a servant of Christ that I could watch from afar, he also left me instructions.
Yes, that’s right. He left me instructions.
Pastor Robinson passed away in August of 2011, quite a few years before I stared pursuing my own call to ministry. I watched him live in such a way that brought glory to the Lord, in every aspect of his life. He was a true, man of God.
I was completely surprised this past fall, to receive in the mail, one of Pastor Robinson’s personal bibles. My grandmother found it while she was preparing to move to Florida. She had it sent to me, because she knew how much I would want it. I discovered that this bible had been presented to Pastor Robinson by my Great Grandfather & namesake “Jefferson Henry.” It was gifted to him in January of 1976, 7 months before I was born.
As I began to prepare for the message I shared this past week, I went and Got Pastor Robinson’s old bible. I thought of all the times he must have focused on those pages. The time he spent studying God’s word, preparing so he was equipped to share it. Some of the verses were even underlined in pencil, so he wouldn’t miss an important verse.
Safely folded in the seems of the book, in John chapter 15, I found some of Pastor Robinson’s personal notes. Some thoughts he had written about the scripture that I was preparing to share with our congregation here.
It’s funny how God does things like that sometimes.
What a blessing it was, to be able to incorporate some of Pastor Robinson’s thoughts, into the message that I was writing. He probably made those notes 20-25 years ago, and never had any idea that they would impact me, all these years later.
Moral of the story;
Don’t doubt that God can use your life to impact the generations behind you. Living your faith in public, and abiding in the Lord can spark a revival right in your midst. Or perhaps in the lives of people years behind you.
Thank you Pastor Robinson for living and loving like Jesus did. I am eternally grateful.
Till next week,