Original post from FB on 5/7/22
I know it sounds strange, but I’ve always loved celebrating people’s earthly lives at funerals. That is, if they’re believers. Do you find that to be true with you?
Yesterday (5/6/22) I went to a memorial service of a large godly family who lost one of their native sons. I laughed and cried so much, and so did many others in attendance. The Lord taught me something while I was there about life in the Spirit that I am learning at an accelerated pace every day.
WHY WAIT UNTIL A FUNERAL?
Why is it that we wait until a funeral to honor and appreciate a departed one? What if you knew one of your loved ones or good friends would be leaving us tomorrow? How would you treat them? Why not treat them that way now? Love them now. Honor them now. Celebrate them now. Now that they’re gone, what is it that you wish you had told them that you never did?
As some of you know, I am a very different man since my recent trial and brush with death. While in the hospital, my precious Momma died. It broke my heart that I couldn’t be with her in her final days after preparing her for her homegoing for years. As the minister in the family I felt this absence so deeply. During this time one of my pastor friends also shot himself. Another fought his demons and almost lost his mind like me. The pandemic was hard that way with many people fighting battles and losing loved ones. Since returning home I’ve gone to several funerals and memorial services even of people I didn’t know very well. And I find that I always receive a great impartation.
For example, yesterday I had never met the deceased brother of this large family, but I feel like I became very acquainted with him at his funeral. It made me wish I knew him in this life. Although he was mostly a wayward son, God worked mightily in him during his last few months on earth. What mercy he was shown! God knew his time was up and it seemed He made his latter days greater. I’m convinced from what I heard that his reward followed him.
WHAT I AM GAINING DAILY
But here’s what I gained again from this memorial service. We’ve got to treat our friends and loved ones like we do after they are gone. You see, the tender love and honor we show at funerals is the love and honor that is known in heaven. And it should be the love and honor we show here on earth.
I sat still in the sanctuary for the longest time once the funeral was over. I was just praying, reflecting, and watching the tenderness people demonstrated toward each other. I was in this holy bubble and stayed in it all night. Even now I’m still there. This is the walk in the Spirit, friends — to be shut in that bubble with God each and every day with love oozing from your spirit and overflowing to others. I am now seeing everyone through the eyes of the Father. Oh how I love Him and His family! Prodigals and sinners and all.
Oh! if I could only live my life all over again with this high intensity of tenderness of heart! I am in this bubble of glory, people, and how sweet it is! You can live there, too, friend, by just getting your eyes off yourself and more on others.
When I walk this way His love grows in me by the day. It’s so wonderful and amazing. If this is just a little bit of heaven on earth, imagine the glory that is beyond the veil of time and space in that eternal realm. These days the glories of Ephesians 1 & 3 are continually being unveiled to my heart. But it all starts with this tenderness we normally display at funerals, and allowing that sensitivity to be cultivated each and every day.
“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
Oh how this verse lives in my heart! Human beings look so different to me now, especially those of the household of faith. The Father is sending us to so many different places now both nationally and internationally. I don’t necessarily go with a sermon or message any more. I go full of love. The joy is unspeakable and full of glory. Hard to contain at times. Even locally my life is so different. I love our little community so much! I’m a minister of the gospel, but I love being a father, a brother, a mentor, and a friend to so many. It’s Christ in each of us, the hope of glory! Oh, to live this life drunk with His love! To live in awe of the wonders of His love and of this glorious redemption!
What better days so many would experience on this earth if we as believers would just love others a little bit more.
After years of fire and intensity and the zeal of God that I still carry, my life and ministry has made a big turn. I am addicted to love.
I hope these heart-felt words have ministered to your heart. Let’s spend the rest of our days on earth laughing and crying together a lot more, shall we? May the love and honor of heaven fill our hearts so that we never again speak an unkind word to one another.
I love you all so much.