I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.Philippians 1:20 NIV
THE BATTLE was fought long and hard. Parkinsons disease. Slowly it took away my dads physical vitality. All of his life, Dad did not have a slow gear. He was always on the move, tackling whatever job needed to be done. From preparing and preaching a sermon, cooking meals at a youth camp, rushing to fix an overflowing toilet with plunger in hand, to raking the little-league infield during one of his sons ballgames, he attacked life with gusto. Everything he did demonstrated his love for God. This was at the very core of who my father was. Because of this extreme love for God, Dad had a way about him that always seemed to exude the joyful presence of Jesussometimes to the embarrassment of his children, namely me.
Several years ago, my dad wanted to visit a friend in the hospital. I drove him. In the hospital, as we stepped onto the crowed elevator, Dad immediately greeted everyone. Instead of turning to face the door, like all normal people do, he stood there, facing those in the elevator and stated: Going up! Im going up, all the way up one day! How about you? Dad possessed a truly joyful anticipation of the day that he would go up all the way. It was not just a song and dance or the standard expectation due every preacher. It was a genuine eagerness to be with the One he loved with all his heart, soul, and strength.
As we watched dads physical life ebb away, we saw his love and trust in God grow stronger. Towards the end of his earthly life, he was more heaven-aware than earth-bound. The very moment God called dad to his eternal home, the palpable presence of God was evident to all who were there.
Our extreme love for God isnt a one-time experience. Nor is it something that is felt from time to time. It is an all-consuming fire that permeates all that we are and affects everything we do.
Lord, remind me today of all you have done for me and of all you have gifted and called me to do. Whether I live or die, may I glorify you in my body by showing concern for others and by expressing faith in all circumstances. In Jesus name, amen.
-Tim Kufeldt, Senior Pastor, Dayspring Church of God, Cincinnati, Ohio