For many years the California coast town of Monterey was a pelican’s paradise. As the fishermen cleaned their fish they threw off the leftover parts and they fed these pelicans. The birds, from these gifts of these fishermen, grew fat, lazy, and contented. Eventually, the leftovers of the fish were utilized; they were able to make some product out of them so there were no longer snacks to throw to the pelicans. When this change came, the pelicans, who were used to receiving their food from the hands of the fishermen, didn’t know what to do. They made no effort to fish for themselves as they naturally would have done, but they waited around and they grew gaunt and thin and many of them starved to death. This became a big problem for the city of Monterey. To address the situation, the city imported new pelicans from the south; pelicans that had never been hand-fed and birds that were accustomed to foraging and fishing for themselves. These were placed among the gaunt, thin, and starving pelicans and the newcomers immediately began to fish. Before long the hungry pelicans followed suit and the famine was ended.
These starving pelicans needed the power of a good example in their lives that would save them from death. God has places someone near you who needs a good example and God has imported you into their lives so that they might look, see, and observe what true, genuine, authentic Christianity is. God desires for you to play a very sacred role, that of a spiritual role model, so that your life would activate and challenge others. This becomes your sacred trust. Actions do speak louder than words and certainly God powerfully uses our words to help others defeat sin and Satan, but words without actions are like weapons without ammunition. Our battle against Satan is not a make believe war that we can fight with toy pop guns. We cannot expect to have a positive impact on the lives of our sons, our daughters, our grandchildren, our friends, our sisters, our brothers, or our co-workers if we deny with our actions what we affirm with our words. The “do as I say and not as I do” approach fails every time. What an empty way it is to live life going around hoping that others would do as we say but not really as we do. It is time for us to take up our commitment following Jesus Christ to the extreme and ultimate level.
Jesus said of the Pharisees, in Matthew 23:3,
“…do everything they tell you, but do not do what they do for they do not practice what they preach.”
May this not be said of us? What a contrast this is to the Apostle Paul who urged the church at Corinth (1 Corinthians 4:16) to: “Imitate me. Follow my example just as I imitate Christ.” Paul embraced the very sacred responsibility of being spiritual role model to both young and old alike in the church. It is in Acts 20 that Paul brings a very personal testimony and he relates what being a spiritual role model really means.
From this passage we are discerning four traits of a spiritual role model. We discussed two of these in the previous study: spiritual role models possess a commitment of humble service which we see in Verses 18 and 19,
18 When they arrived, he said to them: “You know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I came into the province of Asia. 19 I served the Lord with great humility and with tears, although I was severely tested by the plots of the Jews.”
Paul possessed a commitment of humble service.
Secondly, we found that spiritual role models possess a public confession of God’s Gospel. In Verses 20 and 21 we read, as Paul is testifying about his own life, his own model, and his own example,
20 “You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house. 21 I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.”
He is reminding them that when he came to them he wasn’t trying to curry favor, but what he really wanted to do was help them and even in his helping them, when many of the people of Ephesus rejected him, he was willing to take that risk. He tells them that in risking their friendship he never hesitated in proclaiming to them everything that would be helpful to them for life; what they needed was the Gospel of grace. Repentance and faith are the two essentials for salvation.
If you and I are to be spiritual role models we must possess these two necessary elements. We cannot be much of an example and say, “Imitate me!” if we don’t have, first, a commitment to serving God in humility and, secondly, a public confession of the Gospel of God’s grace.
We now turn our attention to two more necessary traits for us to embrace as we model authentic Christianity. As we do so, we consider Charles Spurgeon’s words: “A man’s life is always more forcible than his speech. When men take stock of him they recon his deeds as dollars and his words as pennies. If his life and doctrine disagree the mass of onlookers accept his practice and reject his preaching.”
The third and fourth traits of spiritual role models are these: spiritual role models possess a confidence in God’s sovereignty and spiritual role models possess a consideration of eternal treasure.
Let’s consider the third trait – spiritual role models possess a confidence in God’s sovereignty. Even when the world seems to be in chaos and our lives seem to be in confusion and falling apart spiritual role models point us to the truth that God is still in absolute control. This is our quiet confidence in the midst of the heat of battle. Paul evidences this in Verse 22,
22 “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there.”
Paul knows that the clouds on the horizon look very dark as he considers traveling to Jerusalem, as we see in Verse 23,
23 “I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me.”
Paul’s life is one of quiet and complete confidence in God and confidence in this truth: God knows what He is doing when we do not. Even when we wonder what God is doing I am confident that God knows, even when it brings us into hardship and suffering, what He is doing. When the hardship came Paul did not turn from God and grow embittered at Him. He didn’t question whether God was in control or not, but rather he turned towards God in the midst of hardships, pain, and suffering and he bowed all the more to God in faithfulness, confidence, and trust.
I want you to consider for a moment Paul’s circumstances as he makes this declaration. Let’s look at Acts 18:23, as Paul is on his third missionary journeys. He is making his trip home to Jerusalem, and ultimately to Antioch, after his visits to the churches in Macedonia and Asia Minor. He has received a collection from the churches to help in Jerusalem and he says,
23 After spending some time in Antioch, Paul set out from there and traveled from place to place throughout the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.
So, after a three or four year journey Paul is on his back home to Jerusalem. In every one of his journeys, and this one was not an exception, Paul experienced physical assaults, beatings, imprisonment in dark, smelly dungeons, opposition, and constant dangers. As he set his face to return to Jerusalem he recognized that this would be the most dangerous trip he would take in all of his life. He knew that this assignment was leading him directly into the furnace of the opposition that was established against him and right back to the place where there were people who were devoted to kill him, but God directed Paul to go to Jerusalem and that is where Paul is going.
This point of this is to simply say that despite danger Paul trusted in God’s sovereignty: “God, you are leading me there and you know what is there and you know what the future and I am going to trust you.”
Someone may ask, “What do you mean when you talk about God being ‘sovereign’?” The Bible, as it reveals this attribute of God, says that He is King, He is Supreme Ruler, He is absolutely in control, and He is the Law-giver of the universe. God does perfectly as He pleases in all things. Nothing that happens falls outside of the boundaries of His control. No one and nothing hinders Him from effectively completing His plan. There is no such thing as luck or chance in this world. Everything that happens must first pass through God’s loving hands. This is what the Bible teaches in regards to God’s sovereign plan.
Listen to several verses from the Scripture as God relates concerning Himself. Job says to the Lord (Job 42:2),
“I know you can do all things. No purpose of yours can be thwarted.”
The psalmist says (Psalms 135:6, NASB),
6 Whatever the LORD pleases, He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.
Isaiah would write (Isaiah 46:10),
“My purpose will be established,” said God, “and I will accomplish all my good pleasure.”
Paul trusted in God’s sovereignty in two specific and practical ways and we can also as we follow Jesus Christ. First, we can be confident in God’s plan and, secondly, we can be confident in God’s purposes.
God’s guidance is sure, not only because God knows the future, because God establishes the future. Put yourself in Paul’s position: God has told you to go to Jerusalem where there is a group of people who are plotting to kill you and you say, “Go to Jerusalem, Lord! How about I go back to Troas? It was a pretty nice city to be in. They accepted me there and they loved me there and I didn’t have many hardships. Besides there is this young guy named Eutychus who fell asleep the last time I was preaching and I would like to spend some more time with this young man and disciple him along so that he wouldn’t fall asleep in church again.” Can’t you see how you could be tempted to tell God that His leading might not be in your best interest? That is not what Paul did, is it? God’s Spirit was clear in Verse 22,
22 “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there.”
Paul did not let fear or hardship or threats keep him from obeying the lead of God’s Spirit in doing the work of God. Why not? He was confident that God is sovereign in everything and that following God’s lead is the best way to pursue life and the best way to obtain life. God’s way may be the hard way but it is the way that leads to life and joy.
Many times we miss following God’s will in our lives because we begin with a misguided that the path that God leads us on is going to be the pleasant path; the path without the rocks, thorns, difficulties, hills, and without the hardships. Indeed, Psalm 23 does teach us that God leads us beside still waters, He leads us into green pastures, and He restores our soul, but in the midst of leading us into the green pastures and to those still waters we must understand that the path upon which He leads us is often rugged, very dangerous, and fraught with hardship. To discern God’s will in our lives we must not wet our fingers, stick it in the wind, and wait for the warm and gentle winds to blow and say that we are going to go in the direction of the warm and gentle breezes in our life. That is what we often do, but God often directs us right into the path of the storm. Can we trust Him when He does so? Can we be confident that that is where we are supposed to go when He leads us in that place?
I thank God for faithful saints throughout the ages who followed God into the hard places. One of those whom I have been reading about is John Bunyan who lived in the 1600’s. I want you to consider his life. He was called to preach and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that is what he did, but then politics changed England and as politics changed the laws changed and it became illegal for a person to preach the Gospel apart from a license in England in the 1600’s. John Bunyan went out to preach anyway and one November evening, Bunyan was to preach at a particular estate in England. When he was greeted by the host, the hose said to him, “You shouldn’t preach today for the Magistrate of Harlington has sworn a warrant for your arrest if you preach here.” Bunyan replied, “I will not dismiss our meeting on that account. Oh, come now, be of good cheer, our cause is just. To preach God’s Word is such a good cause that we shall all be well rewarded for it, even if we suffer for it now.” I wish I could tell you that God protected John Bunyan so that he wasn’t arrested that night, but that is not how the story happened. In fact, John Bunyan was arrested and he would spend years upon years of his life in prison. Consider Bunyan’s life at the time he spent in prison: he had a wife who was pregnant; he had four children, a blind daughter, Mary, age eleven, another daughter who was seven years old named Betsy, a five year old boy named Johnny, and a three year old boy named Thomas; and he was thrown into prison without any opportunity to make money for his family to be able to eat. That is what was at stake! Many of those who owed him money said, “Since Bunyan is in prison we don’t have to pay.” All Bunyan had to do throughout this entire time was simply look at the authorities and say, “Okay, I agree. I will not preach the Word of God anymore. I will not preach Him publically. I will just preach Him in my own home.” The authority would have told him to go home and set him free, but Bunyan knew that God had called him to preach and that was the leading of God upon his life and he knew that he would be well rewarded for it even if he should suffer for it now. He listened to God and he trusted. He had a great confidence in God’s sovereignty. You ask, “What of his wife and children?” I tell you, they suffered as well for the sake of the Gospel, but they, too, trusted and had a confidence in God’s sovereignty.
Listen to what his wife would say to John while he was in prison, “Yield not John for we will beg from door to door before you will yield for our sakes. Do not do what you feel to be wrong in the sight of God. I pray much that we may see you again by our fireside. I look through the stone lattice, often longing to see your brave face through the pane, but I pray more that you would stand fast, like David against the giant, that thou will one day, too, conquer. Think not of us but be firm.” John Bunyan replied, “Yes, I will,” as his wife and Mary, who was blind, visited him in prison, and he nestled his blind girl in his arms and he continued, “but what of my Mary. What will my Mary do if her father has to die for the Truth.” His eleven year old daughter responded, “Do, father? Why I will love thee all the more and I will pray for them that will kill you, and I will come as I may to be with thee. Oh, father, I shall look upon thy dear face in Heaven. How I strive to picture thee, but I should like to see you as you really are. When I feel your warm breath upon my cheek and rest in your arms I feel I fear nothing and want nothing, but oh, father, my mother taught me that thou art Christ’s servant and I am proud that thou art called to suffer while the great ones deny the Lord.” “My little maiden then loves my Christ,” asked Bunyan bending his tearful eyes over the clear, white face of his daughter. “Yes, Father! I have loved Him a little for a long time, but I have loved Him. I cannot tell you how much, since these dark days began.”
Beloved, we could go on and on reading biographies of this same testimony. Paul followed God’s Spirit to Jerusalem. John Bunyan followed God’s Spirit to prison. This was not because either of these men was deluded into thinking that, by following God in their lives, this world would become easy and this world would be fraught with comfort and fields of daisies, but they followed because they were more confident in God’s plan for their lives than they were for their own plan for their lives.
This question we have to ask ourselves is this: are we confident in God’s sovereign plan for us? Are we ready to follow God’s lead regardless of where that might take us?
We can be confident in God’s plan. We can also be confident in God’s purposes as we consider God’s sovereignty. God causes everything to end up the way He desires and if we submit to Him we need not fear that things will work our poorly for us. We always look to this reward. Look at Verse 22 and 23 again,
22 “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. 23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. 24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race…”
Paul understood that there was a finish line yet ahead of him. Why could he be so confident in God’s sovereign purposes? It was because that he knew that he never really took risks when he was following Jesus Christ. Indeed there were physical hardships and pain that would come upon him, but it was never a risk. It was all in God’s sovereign plan. There was never luck or chance that were left to it. Paul gives us glimpses into his attitudes about following the Lord’s lead when it looks really, really dangerous in his letters.
First, let’s look at 2 Corinthians 4:16 and following,
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
I am amazed that Paul would ever call his trials “light and momentary”, but that is what he calls them. He is telling them that we do not fix our eyes on the changing times, but we fix our eyes on the unchanging, sovereign God; let’s keep our hearts and our eyes and our souls focused upon the Sovereign Eternal God.
Then, there is the great verse in Romans 8 where Paul says,
28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
Paul’s great fear was not what life would throw at him, but his great fear was getting outside of the purpose of God because if he was outside the purpose of God that is where the danger is and that is where a life of futility, vanity, and emptiness resides. Paul said that he was going to trust God and that is what spiritual role models. Whatever our hardships, we can know that God is sovereignly working in them and through them to benefit our lives.
I want you to notice that trusting in God’s sovereignty and having confidence in God’s sovereignty does not mean that we resign ourselves over to fate. It does not mean that we become fatalistic or deterministic in our understanding of our life and we say, “What ever happens happens!” We should act wisely and take appropriate action to avoid hardship where ever possible. Our first determination is to follow Jesus Christ, but as we are on that path we don’t need to take upon ourselves unnecessary pain. Where does that come from?
Let’s look at Acts 20:2-3. This describes, between the lines, what is happening in Paul’s life.
2 He traveled through that area, speaking many words of encouragement to the people, and finally arrived in Greece, 3 where he stayed three months. Because the Jews made a plot against him just as he was about to sail for Syria, he decided to go back through Macedonia.
Did you catch what happened there? Paul is in Corinth and he would like to get to Jerusalem in order to celebrate the Feast of Passover with the saints in Jerusalem. He is planning on taking a ship. If you look on a map you can see how a ship from Corinth would be so much faster to get to Syrian Antioch, the church that sent him out. But, he found out that there was a group of Jews that were plotting to kill him and he knew that weeks and months on the open sea would give them abundant opportunity to kill him and toss him overboard so that no one would ever see him again. So, he decided to walk the land route and it took him almost seven weeks longer to get to Jerusalem, not to celebrate the Feast of Passover, but to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost.
Again, the Apostle Paul acted “wisely” in the midst of God’s sovereignty.
There is a great story in the Civil War of a colonel who was giving his men a pep talk prior to battle that day. We remember that the battles during the Civil War were ugly, brutal, and horrible. There was fear in the troops and he was giving them a talk on God’s sovereignty and how God had appointed a day for every man to die and that if this was not that day nothing could cause them to die that God hadn’t planned. He told them that God was absolutely sovereign and God’s sovereignty would protect them. Later, in the midst of the battle, one of the enlisted found the colonel hiding behind a fence post as bullets were whizzing by. The private came up and said, “Colonel, I thought you said that God’s sovereignty was going to protect us. Why are you hiding behind the fence post?” The colonel replied, “Soldier, this fence post is God’s sovereignty! God placed this here so that I could hide behind it.”
A belief and a confidence in God’s sovereignty does not mean that we do not act wisely in this world. Paul certainly did and other faithful people throughout the Bible acted wisely, but it means that those things that are outside of our control are in God’s hands and we don’t have to be concerned about those things. We just have to follow them.
The fourth trait of a spiritual role model is that they possess a consideration of eternal treasure. Let’s look at Verse 24,
24 “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.”
Everything in Paul’s life was subject to the pursuit of treasure that God offered him and offers everyone who faithfully follows Him in this life. For Paul, and for authentic Christians all through the ages, any price is worth paying to obtain God’s reward of finishing the race well.
There are two commitments that are necessary to live our lives with eternal values in mind. Commitment Number One is: we absolutely refuse to pursue the comforts of this present life. We need to make that a goal. Paul would say at the beginning of Verse 24,
…I consider my life worth nothing to me…
He is not saying that he wants to die and has a suicide wish. Paul is not saying that he willingly abuses his body and that he is careless about his physical life. Paul has the same love for life as you and I have. He didn’t want to die, but he valued what God had in store for him even more than his present physical life and his present comfort. He refused to make the comfort, the protection, and the security of his physical body a priority above and over the priority of doing what God had him to accomplish. For Paul, the most important value was not the life that he was living here in the present world, but it was the life that he would live forever and ever, eternally, with God. That was his focus.
Paul took seriously Jesus’ words in Luke 12,
15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s
life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ‘
20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
21 “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”
There is a line in that story that fascinates me. This guy is thinking, “What can I do about my future?” and there is nothing wrong with planning for the future, but it was the goal of his future that was so wrong and so tilted. He said to himself, “I will build bigger ones and I will store all of my stuff and my money and my security there and then I will say that I can eat, drink, and be merry and I can do whatever I want to do.” There is where he went wrong. It wasn’t wrong to build bigger barns, but what was wrong was to have the idea that his life was all about getting to the point where he could say he could take it easy.
I think to myself as I read that story, isn’t that the American mindset towards retirement: “Let me get enough money and build a big enough barn so that I can have money salted away in the bank so that one day I will be able to get up in the morning and say, ‘Hey, take life easy. Eat, drink, and be merry. Do whatever you want to do.’ Won’t that be great?” God says to us, as we think that thought, “You fool. This very night your life will be required of you.” What then?
That kind of life is impoverished, not because it is wrong, because it is wrong, but it is impoverished because it is such a foolish way to live a life. “Don’t you know that there is an eternity to be had?” Jesus would say.
The pursuit of creature comforts in our leisure will rob us everything important. The point is, if we do not fight to free ourselves from the desire for ease and comfort, we will waste the precious life that God has given us. As a spiritual role model I have to ask myself, “Do those who watch me see that this is true of my life; that I am free from the love of things, free from the desire for ease and comfort, and for the protection of my life at all costs. Paul was clear in what was worth living for and what was worth dying for and so should I be clear on these important matters.”
Commitment Number Two is: we embrace the infinite value of God’s reward even if it means suffering and loss for us in this life. Let’s look at the end of Verse 24,
“…if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.”
Paul set his eyes upon the finish line. He was determined never to quit. He was determined to never be disqualified. He ran in such a way as to win the prize. This is what Jesus did, also. The writer of Hebrews 12:2 said,
…Jesus…who for the joy set before him endured the cross…
He ran in such a way so as to win the prize the Father set aside for the Son which was His glory. Jesus kept His eyes on that prize, the prize that really mattered. The call of the Bible is clear: set your eyes on the eternal prize.
Let us consider this for a moment. Suppose that your company you work for asks you to go to Asia for two years. The company says that they are going to provide everything that you need while you are there. They will get you an apartment and will furnish that apartment adequately for you to live. They will provide food and transportation and they will give you a salary. But, they tell you that everything you purchase in Asia cannot come back to the United States with you. The laws are such that you can buy whatever you want to make your life even more comfortable for the two years, but whatever you buy has to stay in Asia.
You can, however, instead of using your salary to buy a bunch of stuff for those two years, you can send your salary back to the United States and you can enjoy the benefits of your labor in Asia for the rest of your life because when you get home you can buy whatever you want or you can invest whatever you want. Let me ask you, how many of you would buy a Louis Vitton purse or designer furniture or a very expensive car that you know you can’t take it with you? You are just renting it and the price is so large that it is not worth renting for that amount of time.
This is a very small temporal picture because some might say that two years is a long time and who know how much longer they have to live. There may be some wisdom that you might be able to apply to justify luxurious items for that two-year period of time, but consider what it is in an eternity. The things that we invest in our present life to make us comfortable all stays behind. We don’t take any of that with us, but the things that we invest in our home: our energy, our time, and our money, those things we can enjoy forever and ever and ever because there is going to be a day when we leave here and we leave everything behind, and only what we send on ahead will we be able to enjoy.
Let me give you another illustration. Imagine that you are on an archeological dig and you find the skull of a man from the time of the Apostle Paul. You look at this skull as you hold it in your hands and you think of the person that once carried that skull around, thinking with it and expressing life through it. Let me ask the question: What consumed this man’s life? What were his values and priorities? What was so all important to him? What did he have to be proud about?
Do the answers to those questions mean anything at all to him or to anyone else? No, not at all! They only matter if that person valued things that weren’t here, because the stuff you might find in that person’s house, or the stuff you might find that person wearing, is nothing.
I recently went to see the musical Messiah. One of the arias that a soprano sang was from Job 19:
25 …I know that my redeemer lives, and…he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26 And though…worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God…
That struck me as I heard that and I looked down at my hands and thought that one day worms will destroy these hands that are so precious to me and so important to me and to my life. They are going to turn to dust. They will be in the ground. What is truly important for these hands to accomplish in life and to hold onto? What really matters? Look at your hands. That is what Paul says:
“…I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.”
What is really important? Paul says it here. It is the Gospel of God’s grace.
How can it be important to you and to me? First, you have to receive it. The Gospel isn’t important to anyone who hasn’t embraced it themselves. You cannot taste a feast by proxy and you cannot receive salvation through another’s experience. You must be born again yourselves. The Gospel of Jesus Christ tells you that you were born in sin and that you continue to sin against God and that you stand condemned by Him. That is eternal condemnation, but the Gospel then tells you that God loves you and He sent His Son Jesus to die in your place and take the punishment of sin upon Himself so that you might be free. This Jesus, He rose again the third day so that you might have life through Him.
In the Gospel, God calls you to repent of your sin and believe and embrace Jesus Christ as your own, to bow to Him in faith, asking Him to provide for you this deliverance and this redemption and this forgiveness of sin, this life eternal in Heaven itself. God’s Gospel calls you to take hold of Jesus by faith in order for this all to be so precious, and it all precious. The glorious Gospel, you must receive it.
Secondly, you also need to testify to it and give your lives for it. That is the challenge now for us. Have we set aside our lives and said, “Here is what my life is all about: to testify the effect of the Gospel upon my life and to give my life freely for it.” We probably won’t have to die in this country for the sake of the Gospel, but we have to die a thousand little deaths to a thousand little things to say that our home, possessions, time, and energy is all focused on bringing testimony to the Gospel of God’s amazing grace.
God has called us to be spiritual role models. God has imported you into the life of another one so that the faith that has been delivered to you and to me will be passed on.
I urge you and encourage you to grad hold of the sacred trust. God will bring joy to you through it.