Focus 40 Day 27: Extreme Living—Growing through Grace and Friendship
Prayer Focus: Pray to bear fruit in your life – Col. 1:10
Extreme Living—Growing through Grace and Friendship
Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.
—Ephesians 6:24 (NIV)
I SOMETIMES WONDER how we can know that when this life comes to an end, we’re really going to be where God is and that we truly have eternal life. I found an answer one morning while walking with my Lord Jesus: “Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love” (Eph 6:24 NIV).
My dad, Walter Bruce, knew the real meaning of cultivating a deep, close, intimate grace-love relationship with his life-long friend Jesus. That intimate relationship, cultivated in prayer and the Word, was good not only throughout his lifetime, but it carried him through death into eternity. On the Thursday night before his death, the intensive care nurses allowed our whole family to gather around Dad’s bedside. He had been in a coma since Monday night, so he could not respond to us. We sang songs, quoted scriptures, and told him how much we loved him. I knew that often when people are in comas, the hearing is one of the last senses to stop functioning. I said, “Dad, I wish you would wake up for just a few minutes so we could visit with you, and you could tell us what you and the Lord have been discussing during the past few days.”
Mom responded gently, lovingly and confidently, “Dad doesn’t need to come back. He has no unfinished business to settle with God or with anyone else!” She was right. His intimate relationship with God across a lifetime carried him gently and faithfully from this life into heaven. Early the next morning, the nurse said that he just quit breathing and he went to be with Jesus. Dad’s lifelong relationship with God was cultivated early every morning as he spent an hour or so in prayer and the Word.
I just wonder if maybe the Lord came to Dad and said, “Walter, it’s early morning, the time we usually spend together. On this early morning, let’s go for a walk; I want to take you to your new home! And don’t worry about your family; they’re in my care too, and they’ll come along home soon.” And Jesus and Dad just stepped across to home together as old friends often do!
We would all do well to cultivate that same close friend relationship with our good friend Jesus so that we’re ready take a walk across to “home” together as old friends often do. Dad’s passing is an awesome illustration of the grace of God. “Undying love,” that’s where extreme living begins and our friendship with God starts to grow and flourish throughout our lifetime.
Thank you, Lord, for pursuing me in that undying grace-love friend relationship that will keep me, for all time and eternity, in your loving care. Help me to walk with you in such wonderful fellowship that when that day dawns, you’ll just come by and say, “You have no unfinished business! Let’s go for a walk. I’ll take you to your new home!” In deep, undying love, friendship, and gratefulness, amen.
Dr. Sam Bruce
Pastor, MACU Professor, and Transformation Team Member