…and nothing else matters

Posted on October 27, 2021 by Catey Stover in Freedom Fighters

“As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness.”

Psalm 17:15 (NKJV)


If you’re reading this and you’re a friend of America’s Keswick then you know that our dear brother, Robert Hayes, went home to be with Jesus. My friendship with Robert began in late July 2003 as a resident of the Colony of Mercy. I got to know him through some of the behind-the-scenes, setting up and taking down things that normally take place in the Activity Center. As time went by, I was privileged to have him call on me to do some teen ministry work. Eventually, that lead to a bigger friendship that included my whole family and to this day Roberts son, Jordan, and my son, Kevin, maintain a very good friendship and are even neighbors in Absecon NJ.


I am really gonna miss Robert. He was one of the coolest Christian men I have ever gotten to know.  I don’t have enough space on this Freedom Fighter to list the attributes he displayed as a Christian man, but I am glad some of them rubbed off. I could count on a nod and a smile from behind the grand piano he played. All though I didn’t get his love for camping. I did a lot of it while I was in the Army (even though we didn’t call it that) but, for a piano player, this guy did it justice. He definitely would have been in charge of the platoon mess, that would have been certain.


But I guess the most important thing that Robert did was finish well…and nothing else matters. Many of us posted his picture on social media and captioned it with the following verse from 2 Timothy 4:7-8…


“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”


We use this verse a lot during times like these when our friends have been taken home but do we take the time to glean a few things for ourselves. For instance, there are two things that determine whether we have fought the good fight or not. The first is what we choose to fight for. Not every battle is worth fighting for so discerning it though Gods Word is key. The second is do we fight the good the right way. There is such a thing a thing as doing something for the right reasons but doing it in all the wrong ways. It’s always good to keep this mind…

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

Ephesians 6:12


Like the apostle Paul, I believe that Robert could look back at his life and say, “I have been involved in that great struggle for the cause of Christ.” When Paul says “I have fought a good fight” he was saying this fight, this struggle within a messed world, ain’t no ordinary fight but the good fight of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, for the glory of God, and the salvation of a broken world. Robert chose to develop relationships with us Colony guys over the years because he knew we needed the Gospel just like he did. I am forever grateful for that.


Something else that we can glean from these verses in 2 Timothy is the hope that drove Paul and we all know drove Robert…to receive a crown of righteousness. I’m not too sure what that exactly looks like but to receive the privilege to lay such a crown at the feet of Jesus Christ says a lot about the Christian that stands in His presence. I may have said in my last Freedom Fighter that it isn’t a good idea to ask God to make me like “Brother So-n-So” but we can ask, in prayer, for the ability to do what needs to be done to receive one.


I know people don’t like to dwell on it, because none of us really like death, even though we are certain to face it. The challenge for us now is to put ourselves in either Paul’s or Robert’s shoes. If we all have been called, by name, to the arms of Jesus, for salvation, then now would be the day to make the changes we need to make. Stuff that displays that we fight a good fight for a good reason.  To strive to be faithful to the Lord, to His word, until we cross the finish line, hear “Well Done, Enter in”, to be at rest, perfectly peace…and nothing else matters. Amen?




Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a husband, a father, has an education in Biblical doctrine and is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy. He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can e-mail at cphughes515@verizon.net.

Think About This: “I would not want an extra 15 years in which to backslide and dishonor my Lord. I would rather go home right now than to live on—if living on was to be a waste of God’s time and my own!” – A.W. Tozer

The Daily Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 3 | You can download our 2021 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here. 

This Week’s Verse to Memorize: I will love You, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my [a]strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the [b]horn of my salvation, my stronghold. –Psalm 18:1-2

Want to get away & have dedicated time to read & learn God’s Word?

Consider a retreat at America’s Keswick retreat center.


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