It’s been a little while since my last post. We just returned from the funeral of my brother in law, my wife’s younger brother. He died unexpectantly at 27 years old. His father found him laying on the floor of his apartment. It was an accidental death and it has rocked our family’s world. What is even crazier about the whole situation is that one of his former roommates died just a few months earlier. It just doesn’t seem real. How could someone pass away that young from something so senseless?

It made me recall the time in my life where I realized all of the hundreds of times that God spared me from my own bad decisions. I remember waking up from a druken stupor trying to figure out how I got home and in bed and how I got everyone else home as well. I remember thinking, “I could have easily died last night.” It put a fear in my heart. Was I ready to die? But just like most people, after a few days, that feeling went away as I convinced myself that it would never happen to me. Others, but not me. Thank God that by his grace I finally was convinced that I was ‘skating on thin ice’ and that my life was not promised to me. I became convinced that I was living a senseless, purposeless life without God and without hope in the world. I can tell you that he saved me from my self, from my sin.

This situation also made me take a closer look at my relationships and my responsibility to the people God places in my life, even the passing momentary daily encounters. I felt especially convicted that we must push past people’s “force field” of rejection at times and speak what God gives us to speak. We must boldly speak the truth in love and continuously let people know that we love them, that God loves them, and that we are here for them. We must tell them the truth even if it hurts, even if it will invite rejection, because healthy relationships can only be built on the basis on honesty and transparency.

When referencing sharing our faith, alot of people quote Francis of Assisi, “Preach the Gospel at all Times, Use Words if Necessary”. Someone else has put a different twist on that saying. I agree with it more than ever, “Preach the Gospel at All Times, Use Words They are Necessary.

JL

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