Love Does That

It’s been a long day.  This morning we had our first worship service at the Church of God at Baden without our beloved, late Pastor Don Sharp.  This afternoon and evening was his visitation.  And it was stunning…

The line was all the way out the chapel, through the foyer and to the front door nearly the whole time.  I was so blessed to see so many friends, both old and new.  But I was particularly blessed to observe folks who had long standing feuds with one another all standing in that same line.

They stood in that same line because in some way Pastor Don had touched each and every one of them.  And when the smoke clears, nothing impacts people harder than love.  Yeah, love does that.

I have been amazed as I read and listen to the tributes for this wonderful man.  The majority of them say the same thing.  Pastor Don was the best example of a Christ-like person that I’ve ever known.  They are so very right.

But I’ve been thinking about this tonight as I sit in my chair, resting my sore feet.  Pastor Don didn’t transform his own life.  Love did that.  He was willing to sellout to Jesus.  And, in turn, Jesus filled him to overflowing.  Just thinking about that makes me smile.  Do you know why?  Because that means you and I can be filled with that too.

Jesus can love people through me.  He can love people through you.  He needs our willing hearts.  That’s what Pastor Don brought to the table.  He had a willing heart and a keen eye to know that in every moment and with every breath, we have a chance to love someone.

I’m not good at it.  Are you?  It’s just not my first instinct like it was for Don.  But I do know that each and EVERY one of us can be good at it.  In fact, we are called to it!  It just takes practice.

The love of Jesus permeates our entire beings.  It is we who hold back this love in our individual lives.  Pastor Don just didn’t bother to hold it back.  He understood that if Jesus could love us so unconditionally while we were yet sinners, then how can we not love each other and forgive one another?  We’re all in the same boat…  we’re sinners offered the ultimate gift of grace and mercy.

The way I see it, God took Pastor Don home and now He’s got an extra stockpile of love in heaven.  I’m hoping that He pours that out on me and you!  How amazing would it be if Christians like Pastor Don were the norm instead of the exception?

Well, it can happen.  Our hearts must be willing to sellout to Jesus and let Him guide us each and every day.  Easier said than done, I know.  But can we at least start with the willingness and let Jesus work it out from there?

Pastor Don’s grandson told me tonight that he just doesn’t want to say goodbye.  I couldn’t agree more.  So I am going to go with “see you later, bro” instead.

Come quickly Lord Jesus and may our hearts be turned to you that we may learn what it is to walk in true love.