My own road to faith had a very negative start. During the war one of my tent mates on Basilan Island in the Philippians was a Baptist preacher that drank, cussed and told dirty jokes during the week then preached the gospel on Sunday. I also struggled to understanding why a loving God would allow hundreds of thousand decent men to be slaughtered in a terrible war.
I was lucky enough to cross paths with Frank Walker, a Presbyterian preacher in Uvalde in 1950 who spent hours with me helping me understand the ways of our loving God and the extreme importance of God’s Holy Word, His Bible. So many folks, especially young professionals, are consumed with jobs, sports, and other interests. They feel they do not have time to read and study the Scriptures and I was no exception. I was missing so much because those words opened up so many new vistas and answers to so many of life’s questions.
Without God’s Word, we are not able to give our children that basic foundation of faith so that they may live a fulfilling life full of joy, peace and trust in Jesus. For dads and moms, there is no greater privilege and responsibility than to build a strong spiritual foundation in our own homes with our own children and grandchildren. (Malachi 2:15) The heritage of believing offspring that we leave behind us is the real story of our lives, not what we said, what we did or what we accomplished in the world.
As I approach the end of this almost 90-year walk of my life I cannot help but reflect on the many side roads I encountered along my path. Each crossroad required a decision as to which way to go. Some decisions in our life are insignificant but some are very important, even life changing. (Proverbs 3:5-6) Life is a constant decision making process. Sometimes we make good choices and sometimes bad ones. How do we learn to make good decisions? I firmly believe it is controlled by our principles, based on God’s Word. If our principles are sound, honorable and unshakable then we are going to make good choices and avoid the problems caused as a result of bad choices.
Hopefully, we begin to learn good principles early in life from our parents. Later, your experiences and problems that you encounter on your own walk through life provide increasingly good judgment as you lean on God for strength and perseverance. I firmly believe the best source of information on living a life controlled by principled decisions is God’s Word. The Bible is not a book of stories but rather the inspired Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16). For the last 50 years I have tried to keep my nose in our Bible. I am amazed that I am still learning new truths. We never stop learning new truths to make better decisions. God’s Holy Word gives us great principles for daily living and a foundation for making good decisions as we are confronted with new and challenging situations we encounter along our path.