A pastor was murdered Wednesday, by his own parishioner. He was in his own front yard, praying for the man….
That’s when the man sliced his neck with a sheet rock cutter.
I mean, who kills a pastor? Especially one who was light to his community, helped thousands of people, and gave His life as a servant endlessly?
Who cuts a man who helped orphans at Christmas, countless drug addicts, visited prisons…
Turning many from gangs and addictions to pastors and missionaries?
Yet, we have one little life, will we live it well?
One of Pastor Herb Valero’s friends, councilman, Tony Barrera, spoke of Herb’s life, not just his dead. His interview stated, we are not mourning, we are going to have a celebration for how he lived.
Yet, Pastor Herb was left bleeding in His own front yard, after going outside to pray for the man who killed him.
Tony goes on to describe Pastor Herb as…
- A man who held people accountable.
- He was a visionary.
- He got things done.
- He helped rehabilitate and change the lives of many.
And yet, will we sit stagnant, scrolling social media, wasting our life, living as slaves to somebody else’s agenda?
Will we live our one little life well, selfless and compassionate…or will we be emotional vacuums, stagnant with fear, self-centered, apathetic, or isolated?
After all, haven’t we caught on?
Fear, discontentment, and unhappiness sells. Self-centeredness is the well that feeds corporate wallets.
When we compare and give into media messages of, “We are not enough”, what do we do? We buy.
- Feel ugly? Buy that face cream. $
- Feel fat? Spend on the latest diet. $
- Have a midlife crises, feel old? Buy the newest Jaguar. $
Don’t you see? Fear, discontentment, ingratitude, or greed, only leads to more and more spending, more wasting of the resources, and this life He has given us?
And either we can pull inward, give way to social media’s ignited jealousies, greed and ungratefulness….or we can choose to be generous and give our one little life away, living as He intended.
We can donate to charities, give up our time to see our aging neighbor, invest in our church, or find a million other ways to think of others…
Or we live self-centeredness, trapped in self-pity, playing messages of “why me”, over and over in our heads.
The pastor that got stabbed Wednesday, was praying for the man who stabbed him. What does that tell us?
- Pastor Herb Valero knew where his hope came from.
- He knew he wasn’t the Savior, just a vessel.
- He knew any hope or redemption could only come from God.
- He understood, he was just a servant.
And I wonder, when people come to us with problems, do we offer solutions, listen to their complaints, making them feel justified for their behaviors…Or do we stretch our hands out to pray for people?
Do we point them to the Savior, or to books and theology, man given suggestions, void of any real care and emotion….
Or do we weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice, giving
God center-stage regardless of what people are going through?
I don’t know about you, but I was humbled when I saw the interview from Congressman Tony.
Humbled because he knew Pastor Herb had poured his life endlessly….and that he finished his one little life well, despite how he started…
Don’t we still have this chance to finish our lives well…regardless of where we began?
Or do we make excuses why we don’t do anything? Do we say we are too old, too young, not rich enough, or not educated, waisting this one life He has given us?
And wouldn’t it be tragic if we realized we missed our purpose, after it was too late?
When I was in High School, I had a friend. Her and I would say, with our hands stretches, a little laugh, and looking up to heaven, “Live without regrets.”
It was kind of our silly, teenage motto. We said it, kinda flighty, not really rationally, and probably not in a way that God intended….
But that motto still sticks with me today. That call is still relevant.
Let’s live completely, brave, and fully, doing everything of what He has asked of us…
Because no one wants to die, look back and realized they lived in fear.
“We often regret what we don’t do, more than what we have done.” Isn’t that still true today?
Isaiah 32:20 in the Amplified tells us…
“Happy and fortunate are you who cast your seed upon all waters [when the river overflows its banks; for the seed will sink into the mud and when the waters subside, the plant will spring up; you will find it after many days and reap an abundant harvest]”
So, I ask…
- Where are we throwing our seeds?
- How are we living our one life well?
- What needs to change so we can live as He pleases….fully, free, and walking in the fullness of His purposes?
Tomorrow isn’t promised. Let’s stand right now and be all that He has called us.
A world is waiting to meet Him. We are His Light dispensers, displayers of His purposes.
Let’s stop taking His Light, and putting it under a bushel.
Let’s rise, and let’s live, our one little life well.
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