Jesus never told His followers to “keep the faith;” He taught us “go into all the world” and make disciples. When we allow our faith to become insular, we miss out on all the joy of serving others and seeing their lives transformed by God’s grace.
Bob almost missed out on that joy. He was a successful businessman who spent decades building his nest egg. As he worked toward retirement, he envisioned all the golf and sunshine in his future. He would split the year between Florida and the Midwest, spending his leftover time on his grandchildren and a smattering of church activities.
Bob had raised his family in the local church, serving faithfully there. As he entered retirement, he planned to ease back on his church commitments, letting other, younger folks take the lead. But God had other plans.
Bob was asked to mentor Louis, a young man coming home from prison. Within a month of accepting the challenge, Bob said, “All of the Bible verses I have learned and the sermons I have heard now make sense, because I am able to teach them to Louis. I can now see what the Church of Jesus is about, and the men we are working with need this faith community.”
As he volunteered, the truths Bob carried in his head came alive in his heart.
Today, Bob still divides his time between the Midwest and Florida, and he still finds time for his grandkids and a few rounds of golf. But he and his wife have become mentors and guides for those returning to their communities. As Bob let go of his own plans for his retirement, he found out that God was trying to give him even more joy than he had planned on.