“Truth is, you and I are in constant need of lots of help.” – so concluded my words in last week’s blog.
We need help in our quest to love – to love as Jesus loves.
In John’s first epistle he proclaims that, “God is Love.” He continues with, Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.
God is productive. We see that from the beginning of the biblical record. Therefore, He works to produce great things in the lives of those He indwells. He dwells in you to produce LOVE.
I thank God that when I was a new believer in Christ, my family and my home church took the time to instill in me the understanding that God loves me too much to leave me alone in following Him.
God loves you too much to leave you alone in following Him.
Therefore, this week, and maybe even today, as you encounter those who strain your capacity, know that God, who is love, is with you - offering the strength for you to love the unlovely and to hug the prodigal who left home.
Several years ago, a homeless alcoholic man, for several weeks in a row, visited the church I pastored. He was a commanding presence - taller than I (I’m over 6 feet) and about twice as wide (I haven’t measured myself in years). He was dirty from head to toe and the stench of his clothing filled our wood-paneled building. He came week after week; and to my delight, our members welcomed him with love.
On one particular Sunday morning, Wendell (as I will call him) sat near the back and all indications revealed that Saturday had been a rough night. He joined us in welcoming one another and singing praises to God. Then everyone was seated and I began to preach.
Ten to fifteen minutes into the message, “arose such a clatter,” as Wendell’s lack of sleep and reliance on the bottle caught up with him. I was a young boy the last time I heard snoring like that; and that was from a cabin-full of whitetail deer, deep-fried eating, belly-scratching hunters named Bud and such. Wendell put the whole deer lease gang to shame.
Larry, one of our members went up to him to stir him awake. His words and light shaking were of no use. Instead of continuing the feeble exercise, Larry sat down right next to Wendell, picked up his head and placed it on his shoulder. With Larry serving as his pillow, Wendell slept like a baby. I did not need to finish my sermon. Larry “preached” a profound message that day and he never said a word!
“Love is patient, love is kind . . .Love never fails.”