We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3)
2020 was a hard year for most people. Besides the normal issues of life, we had to face the Covid pandemic. Loss of income, jobs, health, and even death touched nearly everyone. I even lost my mother on December 29. So, from personal experience I know the verses above have real meaning.
Though we want to forget last year, we must remember our loved ones and give thanks for the time we had with them. I give thanks for my mother who introduced me to the Bible and taught me to be a Christian by her example. With faith in Jesus, she prayed earnestly, continually, and powerfully in good times and in bad. Who are you praying for and who is praying for you?
If you are uncertain that real prayer in faith can impact life, here is an example. In 1994 while preparing to graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy, I planned to become a Naval Aviator (pilot). However, the only aviation slots that were available when it was my turn to choose were for the Marine Corps. I want to fly so I took one. I told my Mom I was going to be a Marine pilot. She knew I want to be a Navy pilot and said she would pray about it. I said, it’s already done, I’d be happy just to fly. She prayed anyway. One week later, more Navy pilot slots opened up and I was allowed to take one. I became a Navy pilot because of my mother’s prayers!
Though my mother was not perfect, she was a great example for every Christian. She worked in faith and labored in love 40 years for Jesus. How did she do this? She took Jesus with her wherever she went, just as the Lord said,
Go therefore and make disciples of all (Matthew 28:19a)
Mom was an educator, and even in the public schools, she prayed for students and told them Bible verses. She invited them to Sunday school, and once they came, they were typically followed by other family members who would meet Jesus and have their lives transformed. Mom fed the hungry, visited the sick, and helped widows in the name of Jesus. She labored in love because she wanted others to experience the love God had given her. Are you sharing God’s love with anyone?
Mom had her priorities right, and did not waste time. I remember getting on an elevator with her and Mom immediately asked a perfect stranger, “Young man, do you know Jesus?” Her boldness and faith was inspirational. I’m challenged by it, and I challenge you, to share the love of Jesus however you can whenever you can.
If you made it through 2020, thank God for the people who impacted your life. And pray about becoming a person who impacts others with “hope in our Lord Jesus Christ”. We have a real hope with Heaven as our ultimate home. That hope can help us and others make it through difficulties on Earth.
Thank you Lord for blessing me with Evelyn Lindsey as my Mom!