Lawrence Brooks, the oldest known World War II veteran, lived to be 112 before he recently passed away and went home to be with the Lord.
Walking this earth for 112 years, it’s clear Brooks learned a few things along the way.
As his loved ones mourn his death here on this side of heaven, they also rejoice in the amazing impact he had on their lives – and shared what Brooks claimed was his secret to longevity.
Of course, we know God has numbered our days – and He is the only one who knows when we will take our last breaths.
While this is true, we can still choose to live our lives a certain way – either in obedience to God – or in rebellion.
Lawrence made the decision to live for God – and it showed.
In a touching email to church members, Rev. Morris Thompson Jr. had this to say about Lawrence and the life he lived – and challenged readers to honor Lawrence by striving to follow his example.
“When asked about the secret of living a long life, he would say: ‘Serve God and be nice to people,'” Thompson wrote in an email to church members.
“On this day, take a moment to honor his faithful service to our country and to the church by being kind to everyone you meet.”
So simple, yet so profound.
Often, we complicate life – and make it seem as if living as a Christian requires keeping a bunch of legalistic rules.
We make life more complicated than it needs to be – and think we need to perform certain rituals or routines in order to be “good enough” for God.
Of course, Jesus is abundantly clear that our works won’t save us – our greatest efforts will never be the enough – only by the blood of Christ are we saved.
If we look to the Bible – Jesus tells us what the greatest commandment is and reminds us how we are to live as Christians.
“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31
This is what it means to live out one’s faith.
Brooks nailed it when he kept his life simple and focused on loving and serving God, and others.
We are grateful for the service of Lawrence Brooks to our country, and are inspired by his public and apparent love for God.
Let us pray that God will give us the strength to live out Mark 12:30-31 – and love Him with everything we have – and care for our neighbors the same way.
If we serve and obey God, and love Him, the fruit from our lives will be evident.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” – John 3:16-17
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