Last night, Ruthe and I had the privilege of participating in a commissioning service for one of our sons. He and his wife and children are headed to the Middle East to live and serve Christ.
Here are the words we spoke to our son:
Dad: Your mom and I want to say publicly what we’ve said in private: you go with our blessing and full support. We will miss you terribly, but we believe in you, God’s calling and His hand on your life.
Mom: I gave you a life verse:
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
How do you do this?
By knowing who you are in Christ. This is Christ-centered confidence in your Christ-centered worth.
Learn who the enemy is and resist him victoriously.
Jesus is your Jehovah-Nissi, your banner of victory. As you lift up the name of the Mighty Warrior, He fights your battles and you can stand against the enemy.
Dad: We are proud of you.
We are proud of the choices you have made in your life.
We are proud of your heart for God.
We are proud of the way you have persevered through suffering.
We are proud that you have not been disobedient to the heavenly vision – you turned from West Point to go to the nations.
We are proud of the fact that you have chosen obedience over security and comfort.
We are proud of the way you have stewarded your gifts and prepared yourself for effective service.
We are proud of the work you have done at your church in developing the international missions program.
We are proud of your boldness in sharing your faith.
We are proud of the men you have discipled. You have followed the example of Jesus and Paul.
We are proud of the way you have sought to humble yourself and deal with your besetting sins. We are under no illusions about your need for Jesus, so we are grateful for your understanding and appropriation of the gospel.
We are proud of the way you honor your wife and lead her and your children in the ways of righteousness.
We are grateful for the way you have honored us.
We are grateful for the Muslims you brought into our home Christmas after Christmas.
We want you to hear these words from the heart of parents who love you dearly.
You then, our son and daughter-in-law, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything. 2 Timothy 2:1-7
Mom: Remember, more than anything, Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. He will be with you wherever you go!
Given on July 22, 2011, Commissioning and Prayer Gathering for our son and daughter-in-law