The power of love l Worship

By Pastor Jeff Dutra, Mukilteo Foursquare Church | Aug 29, 2018

In addition to being the lead pastor at Mukilteo Foursquare Church, I’m also the lead singer for a Christian rock band called “Stormwalker.”

You might be thinking, “Huh? A pastor in a rock band?” Yep! I love preaching the Gospel, but I also love rockin’ the stage!

What I love about it is that whether I’m preaching in church or rockin’ the stage with my bandmates, the purpose is the same; to share the message of God’s love and grace with people.

Our band Stormwalker plays at a variety of venues, and two weeks ago we had the opportunity to do a concert at Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission. I’m sure there aren’t a lot of bands beating on the door of the mission to do a concert there, but we feel it’s part of what God has called us to do.

As Jesus said in Matthew 9:12, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.”  Jesus was very intentional about spending time with people who many consider to be the undesirables of society, and we want to follow His example.

Truth be known, each of us in the band feel that we’d be that person in the rescue mission, if not for the grace of God. However, someone at a some point in our lives, when we needed it the most, took a risk and shared with us the message of God’s love and grace found in Jesus, and now we want to share that love with others.

One of our songs is called “My Heart In You.” It tells a story about an encounter with a homeless man, and it deals with the uneasiness most of us feel when we walk by a homeless person in a downtown city street, and our tendency to avoid them or look the other way.

However, the song also challenges us to see people the way Jesus sees them, and to engage them “that they might see God’s love is true,” as the lyric goes.

As we started playing that song at the mission, I couldn’t help but notice that the room was filled with the very people this song was talking about, and I could tell people’s hearts were being touched. In fact, one man actually approached the stage with tears in his eyes, and he reached his hand out toward me as I was singing, clearly wanting me to take hold of his hand, so I did.

As I continued to sing and the band played, I wanted to make sure I didn’t lose my place in the song and forget the lyrics, but I was also very aware that this was a moment orchestrated by God, a divine appointment if you will, and I didn’t want to miss that appointment.

After I took his hand, the man began to pull me in even closer, almost as if to hug me. The smell of alcohol on his breath was strong, but so was the love of God that began to fill my heart for him.

He may have been under the influence of liquor, but God is greater than that, and I believe this man was now under the influence of the Holy Spirit.

He continued to stand up front for most of the concert, and while I would hope that we may have made some sort of a lasting impression in this man’s life, even if it’s just that he understood God’s love in a better way than before the concert, I have no idea if that man’s heart was changed in any way.

However, I do know that our heart as a band was, as God helped us feel just a little more of the love and compassion He has for people who are hurting and in need. It’s funny how that works; the more we allow God’s love to shine through us toward others, the more we come to understand the power of His love for us personally.

The Bible says in Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” That’s the nature of God, to reveal His love to unworthy sinners such as us. My hope in sharing this with you is that the power of God’s love would touch your heart, and that God would use you to touch someone else’s heart in need.

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