I met a very intriguing man yesterday. He was standing in front of a gas station when I pulled into the parking lot. I noticed him standing there as I walked inside, but I really didn’t see him until I came back out to get into my car. We can sometimes miss those important moments in our life where God will speak. If we don’t stop to listen, we’ll miss the ultimate moment. I noticed this man who seemed to be up there in his years, as I got into my car. There he stood off to the side, perplexed and trying desperately to open a pack of cigarettes. I sat there watching him struggle to peel the cellophane from this package and I anticipated him opening it without a care. But, as I watched, he retreated to picking up a stick from the ground trying to use it to scratch open this tiny package. I watched him through the windshield of my car, and as I sat there I was filled with compassion for this man as I quickly got back out of my car. I walked over to him and asked if he needed help. He looked at me and said, “I just want a cigarette, and I think this pack is defective”. I proceeded to open it, and as I handed the man his pack of smokes, I looked in his crystal blue eyes and told him to have a blessed day. Those piercing blue eyes filled up with tears, and he said, “All blessings flow from God, and may He flow through you and bless you abundantly”! As our eyes met, I felt a tear roll down my face and in an instant I knew, that what I thought would be a blessing to this man, ended up blessing me.
Our tiny world is full of people like this, all helplessly trying to fit in. If we pass them by we may miss the moment, the moment of truth for them and ourselves. The moment where we are so connected uniquely by a God who is so powerful, so strong, so loving. This old man standing in front of a gas station shared God’s grace with me, as I too tried to pass the blessing to him. Both of us touched each other’s hearts because we were filled with the Holy Spirit and a love for our fellow man. This man didn’t ask for anything, he simply was standing there waiting on the world, anyone to notice him. I walked back to get in my car as a woman passed by me and handed the man a sandwich. She told him “he was a beautiful soul, and he needed to eat to stay strong”. The man accepted the sandwich, took a bite and washed it down with the half pint of liquid he had been concealing in his pocket. This man stood still in time, and he allowed God to flow through him, blessing those as they passed by.
1 Corinthians 13:1 NIV If I speak in tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
You must truly love the Lord with all your heart and soul to truly resonate the word of Jesus Christ. No matter how much we speak of the scriptures, if our words do not resonate from our heart the love of Jesus Christ, how can people really feel the words coming from our mouths? We can be the biggest scholars of the bible, having knowledge of every chapter of the book; but, if we truly do not have Jesus Christ in our hearts, we are simply speaking words like a poet who cannot seem to get the rhythm in the lines. If we don’t love, we have and are nothing. Even if we are gifted with the greatest gift of knowledge and prophesy, and can quickly tell others of our purpose in life, if we don’t love God with all our heart, we know nothing, we can speak only random, scripted words. We have to have faith, love and believe!
1 Corinthians 13:2-13 NIV If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Love must flow from our hearts. Love never allows us to quit, as a heart overflowing with love will allow us to love others more that ourselves. We won’t want for anything. Ultimately love flowing through us will be enough. We will no longer compete to have the most, as nothing in life will matter but the overflowing of love from Jesus Christ into our own being. We will not be in a moment where the world will revolve around us, and we won’t force our self-centered stories on those around us. We will have so much love in our hearts, we will not stop until our love flows into those around us, and they too cease from spouting words of unjust and truth. We will no longer be first in this world, we will no longer be angry or freak out when spoken to. Our world will soften, until our hearts spring free from this world and are so entwined with the heart of Jesus, we will no longer judge those around us. We will be free of being boastful of our doings, and when others are down and out, our hearts will explode with the love of our Father lifting those up around us. We will look for the good in those around us. We will treasure those moments where the truth of God will hold people still in their tracks. If we are full of Christ’s love, we will never look back at our past, as our future is held in the hands of God and the reality of His will in our lives will set us free!
As love encompasses the earth, God’s love will filter through every being and prophecies will no longer exist. The angry tongues will stop flapping and their knowledge will cease to remain true. For when we love, when we are loved by God our old life passes away, and a newness is reborn in our being.
And when our lives are renewed, when we truly seek only to be face to face with God, our old selves will be gone and cease to exist. Our focus in this world will be to shine for Jesus and to bring those to the cross through our faith and undying love. All of those around us will join in as we see a new hope of our world on the horizon, a hope that is filled with love and faith. Our love for God will ring out for all the earth to hear, until we pass through the pearly gates to and meet God in heaven and have eternal life.