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Love God, Love Your Neighbor

Words of Faith

Last week I received a call informing me that my Uncle Bo had passed away. Of course, something like this is never welcome news. By the next morning, I was asked if I would fly to Oklahoma to officiate the funeral.

Like many families, there have been dynamics in play which have kept my family disconnected for as long as 20 years. Even though nearly everyone has a phone at their fingertips, it seems people today are as disconnected as ever —  unless its through Facebook.

Somewhere along the way, somebody got offended about something. One family member inherited something someone else “should” have gotten; certain personalities were too intense for others. Arguments ensued, sides taken, lines were drawn and the divisions were complete.

For my part, I got busy living life, following my calling to ministry, attending seminary, moving from here to there, working in various ministries, planting a church, keeping up with some family members and not keeping up with others. After all, I don’t like drama but I have no words to convey how wrong I was! Though I’m not a drama guy, I have a responsibility to love my family members and keep up with them, despite their shortcomings – my own, too, for that matter.

When I arrived in Oklahoma, I felt the Lord had a purpose in all this. My family members couldn’t have been more gracious and we each had moments when we wondered aloud to each other, what happened? How did we allow so much time to be lost between us? Having grown a bit older, the benefit of seeing time pass quickly, we decided we would never allow anything like this to happen again.

As I delivered the eulogy, I sensed the Lord speaking a specific passage of Scripture: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27, ESV).

Uncle Bo was a believer. The Bible says, “… to be absent from the body (is) to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8, NKJV, brackets mine). Only his body remained. Uncle Bo was now with Jesus – he had seen Him face to face. As such, his investment portfolio was no longer important; nor his house or even his beloved golf game. Being present with Jesus would certainly change one’s perspective and priorities.

If he could have attended his own funeral, I believe he would have said none of those things matter. What I believe he would have told everyone in attendance is, “Jesus loves you!  Love Him and follow Him with all your heart.” But a close second added admonishment would have been, “Attend to, love and care for one another, baggage and all.”

One day, our lives will come to an end. When we pass from this life, we’ll take nothing with us. Do you have a relationship with God? Jesus loves you! Do you have issues in your family? I encourage you, do your best to bring peace and restoration to one another. We long for revival, but I believe God longs for revival in the family. Where there’s unity, there’s blessing! (see Psalm 133).

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Rob Granger is Senior Pastor of Faith Harbor Church, a non-denominational church that meets at 10 a.m. Sundays in the Escondido Columbus Hall, 515 W. Valley Parkway. His wife, Becky, serves as Co-Pastor. Videos of Pastor Rob’s sermons can be seen on YouTube by typing faith harbor church escondido ca in the YouTube search box. Visit fhcescondido.com for information about Faith Harbor Church.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Times-Advocate.

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