My grandpa passed away from this world a week ago today, and he left me a rich inheritance. He was generous in that way. And it was not just for me, nor just for his family -- he wanted everyone to have it.
The good news of Jesus Christ, the Gospel, – He believed it. He breathed it. You could see it in how he valued people. No one was beneath him to talk to, nor did he have the character of being a busy or hurried man. He stopped and saw the real person and wondered about their soul – the cashier at the store, his doggy’s veterinarian, the nursing assistant in the hospital.
My grandpa was an encourager. He had three favorite verses that he commonly used to encourage me, and it was clear that these were the foundation of his life with Christ because he lived them.
1) Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
His grandmother imparted this verse to her own children and had desired for all her grandchildren to memorize it. It became his life verse. He truly believed that when we turned to God, He would “direct” our paths. But it will not necessarily be an easy path. Sometimes the path may have obstacles and hindrances, but when we trust the Lord, he will lead us around them or through them.
2) Isaiah 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.
When faced with major life decisions and transitions, this was a verse he would quote to me and tell me that he was praying. And when he said he prayed, I knew he really was. His mind stayed on His Lord, and in the overflow of his heart he wanted others to experience this peace. When God gave him an open door to testify to His goodness, to share the good news of Jesus, or to offer a word of encouragement, he never hesitated. It was second nature to him to want to know what one’s relationship was with Jesus and then encourage them to seek Him.
3) I Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
This verse was my grandpa’s mission statement. His life goal was to continually be in a position where God could use him. He didn’t sit around wondering what God’s plan or purpose was for his life. He didn’t know what each year, each month, or even each day would bring. He just knew that all he had to do was be ready for the next task. He was a humble servant of the Lord.
This is the legacy he leaves behind. He would want us to trust God with all our hearts, to keep our minds firmly rooted in Him, and to also give our lives as willing and humble servants knowing that each God-assigned task set before us will not be done in vain.