An intentional life.

On Friday morning July 21st my father was transferred into hospice care. I followed the transport ambulance and met my mother and sister in the lobby. Two dear friends joined us shortly after. The staff wanted to get to know Dad. They asked us to describe him. The first thing my mother said was He loved the Lord. We all nodded. After agreeing with her the word that struck me was “intentional.”

Intentional means to do something on purpose, to be deliberate and to have a plan. My father intentionally loved my mother and all us kids and anyone else the Lord put him in contact with. He intentionally modeled what a good earthly father should look like not only to us but to the church, the neighborhood and anyone he came in contact with. He intentionally fixed his eyes on heaven daily and did more than his share of bringing the kingdom one step closer. He intentionally put his whole self into teaching others and training up the next generation. Whether it was a packed convention center or a one on one chat in his office. He gave his all. He was truly sold out.

Reflecting on my father’s life has been convicting. When people see my life, do they say “Steph points people towards Christ, she is sold out!” Or do they say, “Oh, she’s a nice person.” Being nice is great, but it won’t get you into heaven. I’m reminded of this Parable Jesus taught in:

Matthew 25:14-30

“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who has received the five talents went at once and traded with them and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master. And he also who had the two talents came forwards saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents’ here, I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ He also who received one talent came forward saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invented my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will be more given, and he will have abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Brothers and sisters in Christ. Are we investing what the Lord has given us? Are we living sold out? Is the vision of heaven fixed in our minds? I pray it is. When my time comes I want to hear the words. “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Let’s be kingdom minded, let us thirst and crave the word of the Lord. Let us be light upon the earth until the Lord calls us home. Let us be intentional.

For those of you who don’t know Christ as your personal Savior, please stop and consider. If today was your last day on this earth. Do you know where you’d end up? The Lord is soon returning. Let’s spend every day as if it were the day He calls us home.

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4 thoughts on “An intentional life.

  1. Brings tears to my eyes. Very well written, and full of truth. We must redeem the time! I am proud to have known your dad for the short time I attended LCC, and still think very highly of your mom. And you ladies and entlemen….well, Your parents have done well. Blessings!!

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  2. You’re right. Nice won’t get you there. And Jesus wasn’t “nice” in many occasions. He spoke truth even when it was harsh. Because love goes far beyond being nice. Being nice is often trying to get along with other people and go with the flow – Dad didn’t do that. He spoke the truth even when it hurt. That’s real love.

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