Love Out Loud

Jon Burgess


36When Paul had finished speaking, he knelt down with all of them and prayed. 37They all wept as they embraced him and kissed him. 38What grieved them most was his statement that they would never see his face again. Then they accompanied him to the ship. Acts 20:36-38


Paul was compelled by the Holy Spirit to go to Jerusalem and he knew that ultimately this was unto death. He didn't want to miss the opportunity to the Elders at the church of Ephesus how much he loved and believed that God would use them to lead this church and protect them from false teachers. Paul was loving out loud in his three years that he spent minsitering to them. In verse 27 he tells the leaders that never once did he hesistate to say exactly what God had put on his heart to share. He was leaving with no regrets. He had given them his best and believed the best from them. This was no stalwart speech given in a sterile manner. The emotion in his words, the tears in his eyes, the clearing of his throat throughout his final charge can only almost be heard and seen in the verses that describe their final embrace and farewells. Paul modeled for each of us what we must strive to do with every relationship in our lives- love out loud. We must not hesitate or hold back to put voice to the thoughts on our hearts.


The Ephesians didn't see this final farewell with Paul coming and all too often neither do we. There's a combination of reasons for my tears this morning as I write this, but I know by God's leading this was exactly what I needed today. The Delovio Ohana were visiting this from Kona week and it had been over a year and a half since Pastor Makana had taken New Hope Legacy and I had taken the Sand Island campus with New Hope Oahu that our families had all been together. They were so happy to spend time with each other yesterday even though their reason for being here on Oahu was not a happy one. Pastor Makana's Aunt had just recently passed away and the family had asked him to officiate the funeral. He shared with me a unique story about his Aunt's request prior to her passing. She knew she didn't have much time left on this earth and so she had asked to have the whole family get together and have a party before she died. Pastor Makana related to me what a joy it was to see the whole family gather together surrounded by food and music telling her in multiple ways with various stories how much they loved her. This really made sense to me. Why do we always wait until it's too late to tell someone of our love for them? Is it because we are too busy? Perhaps we figure we will get around to it when its more convenient to communicate our heart? Maybe we feel awkward because we aren't sure how they will take it or how to put words to what we feel? Regardless of the reasons, we usally don't take a moment like this because we don't make moments like this. We don't get a "Paul and the Ephesians" send off, because we just keep sailing on to the next thing until it's too late! Maybe it's because I'm turning 42 this Friday, but I just feel a real urgency to look my family and friends in the face and tell them how much they mean to me. I don't want to just think it, I want to say it and show it! This is loving out loud!


Lord, thank you for this beautiful scripture passage this morning that has brought me to a standstill. I don't deserve the amazing people in my life, but it is on me to let them know what they mean to me. Life is going by way too fast to not take the moment to make a moment of honest gratitiude and love for the ones I share life with! Let me be one, who like Paul, never hesistates to say what You put on my heart! Let me never get so busy that I miss what really matters! Let me love out loud!

Devotions for October 24

Job 15
Acts 19,20

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