Our theme for this month: “The Gift of Being Yourself”
Our Bible verse for today: “Here I am today, eighty-five years old. I am still as strong today as I was the day Moses sent me out. My strength for battle and for daily tasks is now as it was then.” Joshua 14:10-11 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Live with passion and enthusiasm”
I tend to quote Joshua 14:10-11 a lot. I do so first of all because it’s one of my personal life verses but also, because it communicates such an important message. In it we learn that at eighty-five years old Caleb was still vigorous and strong. This tells us that he remained active and he took good care of himself – probably right up until the end of his life. We should do that too.
But this verse also communicates a sense of passion and enthusiasm for life. Evidently there was no retiring to a rocking chair on the front porch for Caleb. As long as he was still breathing there were things to accomplish, adventures to go on, and a difference to make in the world. Caleb had passion and enthusiasm for life, and so should we. Jesus was like that, so was the Apostle Paul, so were the other apostles. In fact, this is the model for living that scripture gives us. There are no positive Biblical examples of sedate individuals shuffling through life with no real purpose and accomplishing no meaningful thing. Solomon told us to be bold as lions in our approach to life; from Joshua we learn to be strong and courageous; in Caleb we see passion and enthusiasm. This theme is carried all throughout scripture and it’s the model for the Christian life. As I noted yesterday, this is part of your spiritual DNA.
That doesn’t mean you can never retire. It just means you should use your retirement years in constructive ways. And it doesn’t mean that you can’t have a simple job and live a simple life in a quiet community. But you should live it with passion and enthusiasm, in a way that blesses others and helps to build the kingdom of God on earth. As the Apostle Paul taught us in Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as something done for the Lord and not for people.”
I’ll be forever grateful for a piece of advice I received early in life from a very wise man. He said, “Jim, live life large. Live it with passion. Go for the gusto. Life is too short to live small.”
When it comes to accepting and embracing the gift of being yourself, it’s important to remember that God created you to live with passion and enthusiasm for the cause of Christ. Anything less than that and you are not being who God created you to be.