James R. Horne
P. O. Box 650
Bessemer, AL 35021
The Church of God
197 Tillie Road
Cleveland, TN 37312
What Matters Most in 2015?
James R. Horne, State Overseer
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man” (Eccl. 12:13).
As I began to reflect on this subject, I found myself writing about my own life. Although I couldn’t begin to write all of the little things and personal instances that I would like to share, I hope that what I have written will convey the heart of what I am trying to say and what the Lord has laid on my heart.
When I was very young, I remember thinking that the most important thing in life was getting what I wanted. As a toddler I thought that a toy or candy or whatever “something little” my mom and dad would buy me was so important. Soon, I found that whatever thing I thought was so great at that moment lost my interest and I was looking for something else to satisfy my wants. Life passed by so slowly then, especially during school. Although for the most part I enjoyed the school days of my life, there were many times I couldn’t wait for the bell to ring so I could ride the bus home and be free again. That freedom was short-lived because there was always a mound of homework to do, especially in Mr. Attivo’s class. At that age, you wonder what life is all about and where you will go and what you will do. I feared the unknowns of high school then.
On Sundays each week the most important thing was going to church, according to my parents. My mom was a real stickler for me going to church. If I was too sick to go to Sunday School I wasn’t allowed to do anything else that day, thus making any attempts to stay home unprofitable. Thank God my little heart changed and in attending services, I found a love for God and received salvation, later sanctification and the Holy Ghost and my calling into the ministry. These things truly were the most important things in my life and have been for almost 25 years now.
Let me rewind to my childhood again, back to the time when all I could think abut was driving. Time started speeding up a little for me and it wasn’t long until I had my driver’s license and a car and I thought, “This is the most important thing!” Then my mind turned to graduation and college which would be 10 hours from my home in Pennsylvania. Each of these things seemed to be what mattered most at that time. Later it was one of the many jobs I had or a life change such as finding my wife Rebekah, being appointed or moving in the ministry, having children, and so on. All of these were no doubt the things I thought were the most important, with God being the first.
Now on death’s door (at least as far as VLBs are concerned!), I see my life passing by even faster. Those little babies my wife and I were blessed with are growing up, each with their own strengths and many talents. I know that it won’t be long until those babies that we dedicated to God and have done our best to raise and equip will be aspiring as I was at their age to find their place in life.
My mom and dad have been blessed through the years and for the most part are doing well. I thank God for them. Even though when I lived at home I thought in certain situations that I was right or perhaps that I knew more than they did, I have come to realize more and more that wasn’t the case at all. I have come to understand the many sacrifices they made for me and I have found myself doing the same for my own kids. I guess you come to the realization that life is very short and those things you thought mattered or were the most important things, really don’t matter all that much. We strive our whole life to have things: a home, a vehicle or two along with the “necessities” of life (I say that loosely as so many define that word in different ways), and then hopefully we come to the realization that there really is only one thing that matters most. I have honored many who have gone on to their reward who have lived full lives and no doubt went through many of the same things I have and made many decisions as I have made. With that being said, there are so many things that others have faced that I have not faced yet, although they are on my mind a lot lately. What about the kids getting married and having families of their own? What about the life changes that will come? What of our future and what things lie ahead for this family? What about those Christmas cards we wrote just this year to precious ones who have lost spouses and are now living alone? They no doubt wonder how quickly their lives have flashed before them. Should the Lord tarry, I will also find myself called to an appointment destined for all men and I pray that small dash God has given me between two dates will be pleasing to Him and will have affected others in a positive way.
What really matters? Is it a car or a home? Is it your station in life or in the things that one possesses? Is it found in being right or wrong in an argument (I write this as my kids are arguing in the other room). I don’t think so. I thank God for the life lessons He brings us through and how He uses all things for our good. I’m thankful that I am not the same Christian I used to be in that I feel closer to Him than ever before. In reflection, I have been very blessed and I thank God from whom all blessings flow for all that He has done. However quickly 2014 has passed, I thank Him for keeping us through it all.
I have learned what matters most is knowing the true and living God, and to know that my soul is at peace with Him. It is to know that I have done my best to show my children the ways of God and live my life most pleasing to Him. It is to be a blessing to others, show His love, His truth, and stand for Christ and His Church. As the Bible so beautifully sums it up, what matters most (even the whole duty of man) is to fear God and keep His commandments. What will matter most to you in 2015?
January 9-11, 2015 – Ladies’ Retreat at WorldSong Camp near Cook Springs
January 16-18, 2015 – Revival in Red Bay with James Horne
January 24, 2015 – District #3 Convention
February 7, 2015 – District #2 Convention
February 7-13, 2015 – Statewide Revival with General Overseer
February 21, 2015 – District #1 Convention
March 27-30, 2015 – Men’s Retreat at Poplar Point Campground, Rockford, AL