By Evan Pyle


It happened so suddenly. My daughter and I were sitting in the den with my wife Nancy at the counter, having a bite to eat. Then Nancy was choking, making violent wheezing sounds that told me this was very serious. I immediately began performing the Heimlich maneuver on her. I could hear Christine urgently praying in the Spirit behind me. It didn’t seem as if my actions were helping and my mind raced with actions to take. Call “911,” have Christine run to the neighbors, three of whom are nurses. We only had a few precious minutes remaining or all was lost. But just as suddenly the crisis was over and Nancy was catching her breath.

As the adrenaline wore off and the obligations of the day took over, I became increasingly aware of how deeply this episode shook me. I found myself looking at my priorities with a critical eye. What am I doing? Why am I doing what I’m doing? What will this matter in the big picture? In the end we will all meet the Lord face to face. Am I really living my life in preparation for that day? More questions crowded into my consciousness. What kind of husband and father have I been? Have I prepared adequately for my family should I be taken from them? Do they really know my love? Will I have left a legacy of faith in God to carry them through a lifetime? I must admit, some of the answers were as troubling as the questions.

What about you? Are you moving through each day simply propelled by the obligations at hand? Do you, like me, often find yourself simply pursuing life’s little pleasures with little thought given to the bigger picture? Or is there a higher purpose, a higher goal that motivates you and colors your motivations and actions? Even Spirit-led, tongue-talking Christians can lose their way.

1 Corinthians 13:1-3:
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

In the immediate wake of our little crisis, the first thing that flooded in on me is the love I have for Nancy and my family, and my concern that I am actually giving them that holy love from above. The qualities of love are easily identified.

vv. 4-7:
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

The people of the world will know we are Christians by the love we have one for another. They may be able to identify our denominational affiliation through our dress or our speech. But it is through our love that they know we belong to Jesus and are his disciples.

John 13:35:
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

If we are led of the Spirit we will bear the fruit of the Spirit. Why? So people can look at us and be amazed at all the wonderful qualities in our life? No, we bear fruit so we can be these qualities for others. Fruit is a tangible thing that nourishes others and provides seed that causes more to come into the Kingdom. Just think about each of the following fruit and how they are provision for others in need.

Galatians 5:22-23:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Yesterday’s events reminded me yet again how fragile and fleeting this life is for all of us. The Bible often refers to this life like a vapor that appears and is gone just as quickly, or as a tender grass that shoots up after a rain but is quickly withered in the heat of the day. Naturally, my thoughts turned to life eternal, of meeting the Lord face to face and giving account to him. Everybody on earth will have this meeting. How will it go?

Romans 14:12:
So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

1 Corinthians 4:5:
Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

I believe that having praise of God in the end goes far beyond just doing the right things at the right times. More to the point, are we walking in the unique plan God has for each one of us? God knows you intimately, and when He called it was with a unique calling that only you can fulfill. If I were hired to clean your windows and cleaned other windows instead, you wouldn’t be very pleased with me, would you? The body of Christ needs each member walking in their unique calling to make the whole body function as it should.

1 Corinthians 7:20:
Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.

Ephesians 1:18:
The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

2 Timothy 1:9:
Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

Let us walk in that holy calling today, not tomorrow. Is your calling unclear to you? Start walking and it will unfold as you carry out what is before you. The Body of Christ needs you.



From the June 2003 issue of The Vine & Branches