Standing in for the Spirit

“Tell them I love them.”

Here is what the Spirit of God whispers to us all the time when we are speaking to someone: “Tell him I love him.” It could be to a friend recovering from bypass surgery in the hospital; it could be to a homeless man, smelly and half nuts; it could to be your husband just going out the door for a few groceries—and never coming back; it could be to the lady who cut in front of you in line; it could be to your best friend – the one you won’t ever see again, who left the party early to walk home by himself… In all of these situations, the Holy Spirit wants to have us stand in for him. He wants us to deliver the message. It’s the ultimate gift, and it explains why God sent His Son into the world, but it’s less complicated than that. It’s distilled into three words, one phrase, and it’s the point of it all: “Tell her I love her.”

It’s the Holy Spirit’s whisper. It’s for us as much as it is for them. It’s for us to remember and show God’s love if not say it. He whispers it in our ear while we stand in front of someone it would be impossible for us to love otherwise. And he whispers it in our ear as we casually say good-by to the most familiar face we know. And why do I need to do this? She’ll be back in just a few minutes. Will she? “Tell her I love her.” Don’t miss an opportunity.

Tell it to those who already know it as well as those who don’t. We all need to hear it because we all forget. We know it already, but then we go back to hating ourselves because that’s what we’re used to doing. It’s the message for everyone as well as the message for me.

It’s ultimately what the Father said to the Son when He watched them nail Him to a cross and had to turn His back as He left Him to agonize alone, covered in sin that was not His, forcing Him to forsake His only begotten: “Tell them I love them,” God said. And He did. And now it’s up to us to remind everyone.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

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4 Responses to Standing in for the Spirit

  1. cazakblog says:

    And the message is so important, John! Some time ago, I learned in a powerful way never to write anybody off, no matter how far from the Lord they are. Remember Bob Harrington, the “Chaplain of Bourbon Street?” He recently passed on, but not before a time when he went as far from the Lord as he could, but then was restored.

    I cried when I saw this, and vowed never to write anybody off again. That song “Welcome Back” was going through my mind when I saw this.

    “Sometimes you don’t know what you’re missing till you leave it for a while….”


    • Sandie says:

      I remember seeing Bob Harrington on the 700 Club and PTL Club in the 70’s when I first knew Jesus. Love Song was one of the first Christian bands I ever heard.I always loved And The Wind Was Low. Thanks for bringing me back to where it began for me – I needed it right now – bless you.

  2. Mark Seguin says:

    God loves you. ❤

  3. Sandie says:

    I covered a Petra song when we had our band – For Annie. It was months before I could sing it without breaking down. Every time I got to the chorus – “You gotta tell her Jesus loves her, tell her Jesus cares, tell her He can free her and her burdens bear,” – I saw the face of a teen that was sitting in front of my desk, waiting to see a principal on a Friday afternoon…who didn’t show up for assigned detention on Monday…because he was killed in a car accident over the weekend. The boy who stormed out of his house into a winter night after arguing with his mom…his body was found in the spring when the ice on the Hudson River thawed His friend that committed suicide years later. So many…too many others..I still see those faces all these years later – as well as the family and friends they left behind – and I still cry.My only comfort is that they felt the love of Jesus through me as I dealt with them.
    I took the liberty of changing the last chorus of For Annie:
    “You gotta tell her that you love her, tell her that you care, Help her gain her freedom and her burdens bear. It’s not too late.”

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