“But I will leave in your midst a people humble and lowly. They shall seek refuge in the name of the LORD, those who are left in Israel; they shall do no injustice and speak no lies, nor shall there be found in their mouth a deceitful tongue. For they shall graze and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.” (Zephaniah 3:12-13 ESV)
My Paul turns 20 today. This day will be like every other day for him. He does not anticipate his birthday, but neither does he mourn what he cannot do.
His life is one long example of how to live free in God!
Simplicity: He is happy with what he has: some food, some time to play, and his chicken!
But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. (1 Timothy 6:8 ESV)
Authenticity: He does not hide what is going on inside of him. God gave him a natural gift of freedom from fear of people and social norms that most people long to have. He easily pleases his Maker in ways that are hard for us because we long to be in control!
There is a wonderful freedom of authenticity that comes with living under the lordship of Christ. It simply doesn’t matter what other people think if you have pleased the Maker of the universe. John Piper
Accepting: Paul knows nothing of race or economic class or educational achievement or professional success or athletic prowess that we normally use to put people into classes of ‘better than’ and ‘less than.’ Are you kind to him? Do you talk to him? Do you sing with him? Then you are acceptable!
Pastor John put it this way:
Every believer is personally accountable to Jesus as Lord, and we do well not to try to take Jesus’ place and pass judgment ourselves on a brother or a sister. Instead, we should accept one another in spite of our differences.
Perseverance: when he wants something, he will ask until he receives it. There can be meltdowns associated with his autism. But frequently there is no change in his mood or any sign of impatience; he just keeps asking! Is this not an example of persevering in faith?
We should not grow weary in prayer because God is . . . kindly disposed to us. As verse 7 (from Luke 18) says, he will surely vindicate his elect, who cry to him day and night. Confirm your call and election, brothers and sisters (2 Peter 1:10). Always pray and do not lose heart. John Piper, sermon from Luke 18.
Expressiveness: it does not matter where we are or what would be considered ‘appropriate’ behavior. If he feels like singing or shouting, he will sing and shout!
Praise the LORD! Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise in the assembly of the godly! (Psalm 149:1 ESV)
Trust: There is no thought in him that the world is a bad place. When he is with his family, he knows that all his needs will be addressed.
Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! (Matthew 7:9-11 ESV)
Dependence: Maybe the greatest lesson of all – happy dependency. He is unashamed that he needs the help of others in every area of his life. He does not lament that he cannot be independent. He exhibits in every hour of every day what God has intended for us all:
Therefore, Christ’s lordship not only implies that we are his possession, but that as his servants God supplies all our needs. . . How do we acknowledge Christ as Lord and live for his honor? By receiving what we need from his hand and giving thanks to God. The lordship of Christ, therefore, implies that he will take care of us and provide our needs. Pastor John
Happy birthday, Paul!