A few weeks ago, I lost a dear friend. This was a guy who had a heart for ministry like few people I’ve known. He had experienced the best of ministry and some of the hardest, and just about the time when it looked like he landed on his feet in a place that was a wonderful fit, I saw his obituary online. I was floored. This was a guy who had an amazing gift of encouragement and even though we lived many miles apart, I really miss him, but there is something that we can learn from this.

This creative life, especially in the context of ministry and the church can be a real mixed bag. Some days there are wonderful highs, other times really hurtful things can happen. It’s in those moments that I think of my friend. You see he used to sign all his letters, notes, emails, articles and pretty much everything else he got to sign with these words, “Keep lovin’ Jesus!” That really is the key. When we are in the midst of our ministries whether we are feeling the love of the people around us or not, or whether we feel effective or not or whatever, we have to keep our focus where it belongs. We ultimately do what we do for Jesus. If we keep loving Him, we’ll be okay because He will never stop loving us.

I’ll miss my friend. I loved the guy and to be honest when I heard he died, it hurt and I wanted really badly to ask God, “Why him and why now?” Can I tell you that’s the wrong question? My friend loves Jesus and today he is with His Lord and mine. His passing makes me think I better be sure to make each day count and through it all, whether my faithful work looks like success or failure, I need to two things: Keep being faithful and…

Keep lovin’ Jesus!

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