Why should we go to such effort to teach our children and disciples the principles, applications, and motivations of God-dependent self-denial? One day as I was thinking about my responsibilities to disciple my wife and daughters, I realized that “the biggest day” of my daughters’ lives will not be the day they get married or the day that one of them has our first grandchild. And though my wife and I consider the day we were married a stellar day, it was not “the biggest day” of our lives. That day is yet to come. It will be the day when we all stand before Jesus Christ to give an account of our usefulness to Him during this earthly pilgrimage. The significance of that day is defined by the significance of the one before whom we will appear.
All of our work on earth—every thought and action—will be tried by the fires of His omniscience, and the degree to which we lived to please ourselves or lived to please our Lord will be exposed. Everything we have done will be evaluated for its effect upon His purposes on the earth and will be consequently discounted and disqualified or rewarded and celebrated. It will be a momentous, awe-inspiring day for us! It will eclipse every other day any of us have ever had up to that time.
Being a ministry-minded overseer
My greatest joy in that day will be in seeing His joy, if my wife and children can give a good account to Him. The apostle John urged his “little children” (see 1 John 2:1, 12–13, 18, 28; 3:7, 18; 4:4; 5:21) to continue in what he had taught them so that “when [Christ] shall appear, [they could] have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming” (1 John 2:28). Paul was driven by the same forward look. He said in 1 Thessalonians 2:19, “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?” (see 1 Cor. 1:8; 2 Cor. 1:14; 5:10; Phil. 1:9–11; 2:16).
May we too be driven by a passion to delight our God by preparing for Him another generation of God-loving, Word-filled, and ministry- minded disciple makers who can stand before Him and hear “well done, thou good and faithful servant: . . . enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matt. 25:21). This is our mission—getting them ready for the biggest day of their lives!