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Reshaped by the gospel

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God,
and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
1 John 4.7

On Monday, I had the opportunity to officiate at the funeral of Verle Everett Holsteen, Pastor Steve Holsteen’s father. The family did a great job honoring Verle and glorifying God. There was so much beauty on display at the funeral. There was so much honor. Although I did not know Verle that well, I fondly remember spending time with him in Caribou Coffee, when I was invited to sit down as hemet with Steve and his grandson, Ben. Verle was quite possibly the most gracious, kind, encouraging and gentle man that I have ever met.

The resounding theme of the funeral service was that Verle loved well, because he knew he was beloved. Everyone who talked, talked about his great love for people. I was inspired to love better and convicted for ways in which I become far more focused on task than on relationship. But over and over again, as I heard story after story, I just kept thinking “Look what the gospel can do.”

The promise of the gospel—the good news of Jesus—is that when we encounter the love of God and bring it into the core of our hearts, it changes us.

The love God has for us begins to reshape our hearts, so that we begin to look more and more like God’s love for us, as we love others.

I don’t know about you, but I would be so grateful and humbled, if one day people could say of me, “He loved well.”

The great hope I have that this might be a reality one day, is that God is concerned that I love well, too. He has secured this concern by giving his Son, Jesus, so that I can encounter a love that won’t let me go, so I can give that same love to others.

Let’s give ourselves to this. Let’s see what the gospel can do in us!

Tim Porter

Lead Pastor for the Mission


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