bright and keen for Christ Our Saviour!
It was on Saturday that I received a really encouraging email from Rose Gage, the wife of Bob Gage who went home to be with the Lord in June of this year. I had shared about Bob being a significant part of my faith journey.
Here is what I passed on as my tribute to him
Bob was an amazing mentor, encourager and friend in my life and inspired me to lead as a young man who was part of CSB Battalion Unit 1235 in Georgetown, ON from ’81 –’85. It was Bob who would take us on a survivorman weeklong canoe trips on the Madawaska River. We would learn to take risks as we navigated through some pretty incredible rapids and I can remember as clear as day how he taught us to be not hearers only, but doers of the Word. He also taught me so much about conversational prayer with the Lord and encouraged me to pursue my Herald of Christ as well. I know he is a big part of who I have become today and it is because of him that I have such a passion to see our church be intentional in our ministry to boys and men.
Others have spoke of Bob as a soldier, but he was a genuine fun loving man of God who taught us the joy of the Lord. It was Rose who shared with me that during Bob's last days that he never complained and always had that silly grin on his face and would look at her to say, "I love you'.
She challenged me with this:
Joy in the Lord is infectious Jack, so use it mightily in your home, in your ministry. I was a very fearful person until I grew in the Lord, Bob always saw everything as a fun challenge. We then both came to understand it's a wonderful opportunity to grow in the Lord.
So, it is my heart's desire to take that challenge to heart in my ministry. The next morning as I was reading the verse in my daily devotional journal from the Bible League, it spoke of joy.
How we thank God for you! Because of you we have great joy in the presence of God. 1 Thessalonians 3:9
I have also been reading through the book of Acts and I happened to be in chapter 2 on Sunday morning where it again spoke to me on this subject,
You have shown me the way of life, and you will give me wonderful joy in your presence.
This of course was Peter preaching at Pentecost and he was refering to King David's words in Psalm 16:8-11
David expounds on this kind of joy further by saying that the 'joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.'
This is what I love about our God and how He gets our attention. He is a God who has instructed me in the ministry of joy and how amazing His presence is. The joy flows out of me as I soak in His presence, as I allow Him to wash over me with His unfailing love.