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Vol.  9  No. 10 October 2007  Page 11
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Louis Rushmore

Life, As a School

By Louis Rushmore, Editor

    Do you realize that all of life lived is preparation for life to live in the future, especially regarding Christian service. Life is a school! We learn until we die. Every day lived prepares one for a future day, a future job, a future relationship or a future mission in life. Furthermore, every child of God has been preparing all his life for the Christian service that lies before him now. Not only so, but life lived hereto now and one’s current Christian service foreshadows Christian service that may lie before him or her in the future. The Bible contains examples in the lives of biblical characters where either preparatory time preceded some great service, or useful service throughout one’s life prepared him or her for even greater service later in life.

    Notice some Bible characters whose life lived prepared them for godly service later in their lives. Noah was no spring chicken when God called upon him to build an ark to preserve a remnant of humans and animals from the universal flood. Noah was more than 500-years-old when God called upon him to build the ark (Genesis 5:32). Noah had demonstrated for hundreds of years that he was a righteous man, though living in an extremely ungodly world (Genesis 6:8-13). Noah’s long life of godly living prepared him for great service, without which through him or someone like him, all humans and most of the animal kingdom would be extinct today.

    Moses was one such Bible character who could not serve God in the task God had in mind for him until many years had passed. When Moses was 40-years-old, he thought to liberate his people, the Israelites, from Egyptian slavery (Acts 7:22-25). However, Moses attempted to operate on his timetable instead of the timetable of God. Only after four more decades passed was God ready for Moses to liberate Israel from Egyptian slavery (Acts 7:30-34). Ironically, when Moses was ready to serve God in this way, God wasn’t ready, but when God was ready for Moses to lead Israel out of Egypt, Moses wasn’t ready (Exodus 3-4). In part, Moses was in the school of life for 40 years, waiting the moment in time (another 40 years) when God would have him lead Israel from Egypt to Canaan.

    Both John the Baptist and Jesus Christ began their respective ministries when they were 30-years-old. Jesus experienced the preparatory period of childhood where he was subject to his parents and grew physically and in wisdom (Luke 2:40, 51-52). Our Lord began his ministry at the age of 30, evidencing the preparatory preface to his ministry expected of those in the flesh (Luke 3:23). Likewise, John the Baptist, who was six months older than his cousin, Jesus, matured in body and spirit previous to the beginning of his ministry (Luke 1:24-27, 80). John began his ministry at the age of 30, evidencing the preparatory preface to his ministry expected to those in the flesh.

    Now notice some Bible characters whose lives of service prepared them for even greater service later in their lives. The prophet Samuel was a Bible character who served God from a very young age throughout the balance of his life. From childhood, Samuel served his fellow man and God faithfully (1 Samuel 2:26). Samuel was one through whom God revived new revelation to mankind, and Samuel became a great prophet (1 Samuel 3:1-20). Samuel became also a Jewish priest (1 Samuel 13:8-13). In addition, Samuel became one of the greatest and the last judge of Israel (1 Samuel 7:15). Every aspect of Samuel’s life was preparatory for the next stage of godly service.

    Josiah is an example of a Bible character whose service to God increased with time. Josiah became king of Judah when he was 8-years-old (2 Kings 22:1). When Josiah was 16-years-old, he especially turned his attention to God’s Word (2 Chron. 34:3). At age 20, Josiah began to rid the Jewish tribes of idolatry, even beyond the tribes over which he was king, (2 Chronicles 34:3-7). At the age of 26, Josiah repaired the Temple and restored Jewish worship (2 Chronicles 34:8-35:19). Successively, godly service in Josiah’s life led him to even greater service to God later in life.

    The first century evangelist Timothy was a Bible character whose godly service began while he was young and continued. In Timothy’s case, his grandmother and mother taught him early about God and his Word (2 Timothy 1:5; 3:15). Timothy became a young evangelist (1 Timothy 4:12). Timothy was one on whom the apostle Paul could rely for faithfulness and Christian service (Philippians 2:19-20). Earlier Christian service paved the way for Timothy’s expanded and future Christian service.

    In conclusion, life is a school whereby God’s children prepare themselves day by day for even greater service later in life. Several Bible characters illustrate that life is preparatory for godly service presently, as well as ongoing godly service. How have you and how will you have lived your life on earth? Are you a young person who has become a Christian and is now serving God? Have you been serving God tirelessly and faithfully for decades? If an older person, how have you spent your 60 or 75 years or so? It is never too late to come to Jesus Christ and become his servant, as Jesus taught in a parable (Matthew 20:5-6). A life of service, irrespective of one’s age, begins with becoming a Christian (Acts 2:38; 11:26). Only by remaining or becoming again a faithful Christian can one be an effective servant of our Lord (2 Timothy 4:7-8; Revelation 2:10; 1 John 1:9).

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