Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "This Is My Father's World"1 (Lyrics)
John 1:6-7 – There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through Him all men might believe. (NIV)
There was a man sent from God whose name was Jim. God chose him to be a witness to Jesus Christ, the Son of God, so that all men who believed on the name of Christ might receive the gift of eternal life.
When Jim came to Jesus, he made a complete commitment of his life to serve the Lord in any way His Father requested.
Thus, the Lord equipped him with many specific gifts and talents in order to carry out his divine assignment.
To begin with, he was filled with love by the Holy Spirit, and he shared this love unconditionally and generously with all he came in contact with. And the love was always wrapped in a warm hug.
He was gifted with a special charisma that attracted people to him so that he could share his Lord in any number of ways.
If anyone had a need and Jim heard about it, he was there to help, be it in a material way or a spiritual way. He was given a scholar's mind, and he loved to study the Scriptures, which he shared in teaching Bible studies, counselling, and always in his everyday walk with the Lord.
He was a family man, and the primary desire of his heart in this situation was that each of his children would come to know Jesus Christ personally as Saviour and Lord. And God answered his prayer.
He was never sick, and he cared for his body in the same manner as he cared for his spirit, because he knew that his "body is a temple of the Holy Spirit" (1 Corinthians 6:19 NIV).
At age 73, he was diagnosed with acute leukemia. For two long, pain-filled years, many hundreds of people prayed for his healing, and we believed God would answer that prayer.
However, the day after we had shared a wonderful Christmas family celebration in 2012, he fell and struck his head, which resulted in a massive brain bleed. He never regained consciousness, and that same evening, the Lord called him home. Never once during all of this time did he utter the words so many of us tend to say when our suffering is intense and on-going, namely "Why, Lord?"
His wisdom and his beliefs were summed up in the single sentence he lived by: "Everything that comes to us in this life is Father-filtered." Living with the certainty of that knowledge is a wonderful source of comfort, encouragement, and peace.
I am proud to say that this man was my brother-in-law, and I loved him deeply.
As I considered the life of this man whose entire purpose was to glorify God in all that he did, the Holy Spirit challenged me to evaluate my own spiritual walk in light of Jim's total dedication. Many incisive questions arose in my mind, and you might join me in pondering them.
In all honesty, how deep is my commitment to my Lord? Is it full-time or part-time? Do I put Him first in every area of my life by faithfully reading His Word prayerfully and meditating on how it applies to me? Do I make the time to listen for my Father's daily instructions before I rush off every morning to do my own thing? Am I using the time, the talents, the strength, and the material gifts God has so freely given to me to help others by sharing His love in a meaningful and practical way?
Now I am left to deal with the answers. How about you?
Prayer: Father, teach us to accept all that comes into our lives, whether for better or for worse in our estimation, as Your perfect will. Help us not to question or to become bitter but to live in the truth of Romans 8:35 and 37 (NIV): "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." Amen.
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Wonderful story and challenge Sharon.
Thank you, your message came through loudly and clearly for me.
What a testimony to encourage us all in our walk with the Lord.
Nice to hear about Jim and his commitment and to take up the personal challenge.
Sharon: Your devotional today reaffirms that God works in mysterious ways. Thank you.
Dear Sharon: What a story. What a family member!
His time was short but he did what our Lord wanted him to do!
Thank you for sharing this beautiful testimony Sharon. It was very well written.
God bless you as you continue to write for His glory.
What a lovely tribute to your brother-in-law and an inspiration to our readers today. Thanks for sharing and have a blessed week.
Sharon, What a blessing to have had Jim in your life! But even more, what a blessing to have the grace of God! Thank you for sharing this example of grace at work. Blessings.
Beautiful story. Thanks for writing and submitting it.
Thank you, Sharon, for sharing a very practical devotional based on the life of someone who apparently was “a man after God’s own heart.”
Thank you for sharing this with us today. Through you God is still using the witness of your brother-in-law, Jim. I am blessed and encouraged by your message.
May God bless you with His joy and peace today and always.
Sharon, this devotion was excellent and so exactly written for me. Your questions are so thought provoking. Ones I needed to ask myself this morning. Thank you for this timely devotion and may God continue to bless you as you continue to inspire us with your writing.
Be Blessed, Be Surprised.
Thanks for sharing with us this wonderful account of your brother-in-law’s life. It is an encouraging account and shows how God can call a saint to His home to effect the final and perfect cure for his/her sickness.
Looking forward to more devotionals from you.
Thank you for sharing about your lovely brother-in-law. Thank you Jim for your wonderful witness that will go on forever and all because of your obedience and love to our wonderful Lord and Saviour. Thank you for asking those piercing, important questions. They really touched me to the core. May God help me and your readers to be the witness He wants us to be!
May God continue to bless you and your family with His peace and comfort and joy.
Your devotion was an awesome testimony to the love you had for your brother-in-law and his life. You certainly were blessed by knowing him!
Thank you for sharing!