This series of blogs shares my remembrances of the life and death of my father, John Beeke (d. 1993). In this part of the series I am sharing lessons learned from his example.
(2) Laboring for souls in prayer. The second important lesson that impresses me is the great importance of fathers laboring for the souls of their children in prayer on a daily basis at the family table. How often our father prayed at the table, “Lord, have respect unto Thy covenant. Pass not one of our children or grandchildren by.” On the occasion of our parents’ fiftieth anniversary, he told us with tears that his one remaining desire was that he might meet “an undivided family in glory.” May the Lord graciously fulfill his desire.
Oh, the great blessing of parents who labor for the souls of their dear children in secret, but also in their children’s presence! Personally, I believe that one sincere prayer of a father weeping and begging earnestly and lovingly for the conversion of his children often makes more impression upon them than a whole series of harsh, unloving warnings.
(3) Exemplifying a life of service. Not explicitly, but by example our father taught us that a life of service to God and our neighbor is the only lifestyle worth living (John 12:26). By grace, his love for God’s truth, His house and people, and for the souls of the perishing was obvious to us children on a daily basis. In fact, it consumed his life. He had no time for other priorities. His life focused upon spiritual things. He lived simply, without luxury. The tent stakes were never put deeply into earthly soil.
Oh, that we may all take this lesson to heart! Life is so terribly short, dear friends. Let us seek grace to redeem the time, to live more in the light of eternity than in the shadows of time.