June 23, 2020 - Best

"Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15

"Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ." Colossians 3: 23-24  

When I woke up this morning I reflected on the many virtual tributes members of Grace made to me on Sunday, June 21, 2020 regarding my retirement. It is rewarding when you know that you have given your best and you are recognized and rewarded for it. I am thankful for all the years of service to God and to my community. In serving, I am so glad that I can say, "I did it God's way and I always intended to give him my very best." If you can work hard and give our best on our secular jobs, surely we can do the same for Christ.     

We were taught at a very early age that hard work pays off and we should always give our best to whatever the work assignment or calling might be. It is a wonderful feeling when you can look back over your life and say, "I have had the best of everything in life." I have had the best parents anyone could ever have. They struggled to raise 9 children, but they were the best in so many regards. I had the best brothers and sister that anyone could have. They have always supported me in all of my endeavors. I have the best wife that anyone could have. One that is more than a wife, but a true friend also. I have the best three daughters any parent could have, for they are kind, respectful, honest, caring, loving, joyous, trustworthy and encouraging. I have been blessed to serve in some of the best positons one could imagine in my career. I have been exceedingly blessed to have served 20 years in two of the best churches you could pastor. I can truly say that I have the best friend that anyone could have and His name is Jesus. 

Scripture suggests that we work diligently for the Lord without grumbling and complaining. We should work in such a way that we are attempting to please God and not man or woman. I believe that if we please God, we don't have to worry about pleasing our brothers and sisters in Christ. Giving God our best should be an honor and privilege. We should strive for excellence and not settle for mediocrity.

To all of the young people I leave this message. The protesting and marching is being done so that there will be a better life for you and the generations to follow. Don't let this opportunity pass you by. After covid-19 has run its course, we should be ready to take advantage of privileges and opportunities we as a people hopefully will have. Justice and police reform will take place, but we must be ready for the calling into service.    

My message to all today is, "Live your best life right now." To live your best life means being the best that you can be for yourself first. Feeling good about who you are and whose you are is key to a happy and successful life.  Too often we attempt to live and be what others want us to be, but we must live out our own lives to the fullest. The question becomes, "If I had to take care of myself, could I do so without the intervention of family and friends?  In living your best life, ask yourself what your best life should look like? Even during this pandemic we should still live our best lives, but in a cautious and safe manner. If you wish to live your best life, just know that you can do that with a mask over your nose and mouth. You can do it by even practicing social distancing and washing your hands regularly.

Sometimes living the best life requires discipline and commitment. Let us put forth a concerted effort to make sure this message will not go undone or unheard, for your best life awaits you. 

It is my prayer that all of us at some point and time in life will make sure we give God our very best.

As I look back over my life, I would not change a thing, for life has been mighty good. Live your best life while you can!  

Not a sermon, just a thought!

 Robert Earl Slade, Pastor