By His Grace: When we love like God

Edith Nevis

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 13:34-35 NIV

At the start of each day, before doing anything, I humbly go before the lord in prayer, giving him praise and honor and taking no credit. What I am called to do daily comes from him. He sent me. I ask the lord how I can be used to make a difference in the lives of those I encounter.

At the time unbeknownst to me, the lord led me to my current position at the newspaper for a greater purpose I could not have foreseen. It was out of my desire to walk in obedience to the call and trust in God that many have been affected in a positive way, especially in the area of bereavement.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified." Romans 8:28-30 NIV

I am held responsible to support many tasks, each of equal importance and valued. But and I hold dear to my heart is that of being lovingly dubbed the "Obit Lady."

This position requires a skill set that are gifts from our father in heaven and that cannot be taught in a classroom. There are neither seminars nor tutorials that prepare you for a job that comes from the heart.

"Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." 1 John 4:8 NIV

The gifts of compassion, empathy, listening, love and praying for one another are cultivated through our one-on-one personal relationships with the lord and shared through our interaction with mankind.

It is through my love for you, which is that of the father, that I am able to fulfill these gifts.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God." 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV

When one passes away it, is hard to cope and prepare for the next chapter in life and is especially difficult when death comes prematurely or through sickness. Grief has a way of devouring your sense of thought and ability to navigate the process. Grief can be powerful, leaving a false sense of emptiness.

Remember the promise, "The Lord is near to those who are broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." (Psalms 34:18)

It is usually at this time I get a call for general information on how to submit an obituary. The Holy Spirit then begins to lead the conversation, which includes all five of the gifts mentioned. Often the caller has received the only show of love or understanding, and a word from the lord letting the caller know he cares.

Our loss is no longer focused on the deceased as much as it is on our feeling of not having our loved ones with us. Immediately, you begin to feel guilty for being selfish. The lord said it’s not so. It is not selfish to love others so much you don’t want to see them leave this earth.

We pray for a miracle of healing, failing to comprehend that their miracle happened when they were resurrected at the time of natural death.

"But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body." Philippians 3:20-21 NIV

I know this to be true. I experienced the same loss six months ago. My fiancé passed away from cancer. One week following his death and during a Wednesday night Bible study, while in praise in worship, with tears flowing like a river, I heard clearly his voice say, "Babe, I got a new body and everything works!" All I could do was laugh and praise God. I knew then I could let go and that he was home.

When you come to the crossroad of a heavy heart of any kind, remember we are given an intercessor, the Holy Spirit, to comfort us in our time of need.

"I may walk through valleys as dark as death, but I won’t be afraid. You are with me, and your shepherd’s rod makes me feel safe." Psalm 23:4

To love like God, a relationship must be established through his son, Jesus. Allow me to extend an invitation to experience the love of God. To begin, you must first confess Jesus as lord and savior. You may ask why we need to confess. God knows what is in our heart. There is no other way to the father but through the son. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."

Allow me to extend an invitation to experience his wonderful love for you.

Please repeat this prayer: "Lord Jesus, forgive my sins I committed against you. I believe Jesus died for my sins and has risen again. Please come into my life and heart and lead the way. I confess you as my lord and savior from this day forward. In Jesus’ name, amen."

Welcome into the family of Christ.

Until next week, be blessed and continue to bless others along the way. Shalom.

Contributing Writer Edith Nevis can be reached at 857-2200 or at