Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. – 1 Timothy 6:17-19
I’ve always been a big fan of February 29. I like to think of it as “Extra Day,” a bonus, a rare gift that only comes along once every four years. Today is my 15th leap-day (out of 21,890 days) and I am beyond grateful for the privilege of a life where I can count my blessings on a daily basis.
Yesterday at WFPC was a great example of why I am so thankful. Pastor John shared a good word about Christian unity in a world that loves to draw sharp lines that divide; my discipleship class enjoyed a powerful discussion about why Jesus makes such a strong case against judging one-another; and then, as if to underscore the message with a brilliant illustration in real time, several new families made the commitment to join the church.
BAPTISM & UNITY: One of the new members is a teenager, and – just before her baptism – her words of personal testimony brought everything else into clear focus. Because it’s about Jesus; it’s about responding to the invitation to receive God’s healing, cleansing, reconciling love; it’s about the decision to move forward with Jesus as friend and guide; it’s about trust; it’s about becoming a disciple.
Nothing else matters outside of our commitment to live what the writer of 1 Timothy describes as “The life that is truly life.”
This is what we celebrate with such joy at Wake Forest Presbyterian Church! We celebrate the fact that we are chosen, loved, forgiven, reconciled, and set free. Set free for what? To love God and to enjoy God forever!
When we’re thinking clearly, we remember that we all have this overwhelmingly wonderful status as grace-recipients in common, and that our differences – political, doctrinal, social, ideological and more – are nothing more than interesting (and valid) conversation points.
An extra day every four years? Bring it on! Give me all the bonus days available! Just remember how blessed we all are to be forgiven and free, and how deeply it blesses the heart and the spirit of God when we stand in the light of his grace and love one-another.
– In love, and because of love, DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.