An Example of LOVE and FAITHFULNESS by John Hannah

       We have all seen Christian leaders publicly exposed for being privately carnal. The secular news media always makes sure to get that story. It's no wonder that Hollywood often portrays Christian leaders as schmucks, weirdos and those driven by personal agendas.

       Unfortunately, Christian leaders are rarely, if ever, lauded in the public lime light for living a life of integrity loyalty and faithfulness. Actually, it's the exception and not the rule, when someone who is living an exemplary lifestyle gets media coverage.

       In light of all of the so-called Christian ministers, who have recently and so easily forsaken love and faithfulness and divorced their spouses, I am aware of at least one Cleveland preacher who understands the importance of covenant.

       He is a man who, when he totally surrendered his life to Jesus, left behind a life of degradation and vile sin only to discover that the only thing his wife wanted to leave behind was him. She promptly divorced him, and maintained custody of their three children.

       Although the pain of rejection was there, he did not stop believing God for his wife. Not only did he continue to expect to be restored to his wife, he also believed that he would be restored to his children.

       In time, through his faith and God's faithfulness, he was restored to his children.

       Now, even in the year 2000, he continues to believe God for the restoration of his marriage. It does not matter that it has been 19 years since his wife divorced him. He maintains the same love for her that God has given to him.

       The man is Pastor Joe Terry of the Palace of Praise, a small, storefront church on Pearl Road, across from Deaconess Hospital, in Cleveland.

       In an hour when men are covenant breakers, unholy, unfaithful, lovers of self, and lovers of pleasure, rather than lovers of God, it's a blessing to know someone who represents the undying love that God has given to all of us through Jesus.

       But even when the love of others forsake us, God's love will never fail. And it's this undying and unfailing love that God wants all of us, as Christians, to walk in.

       Then we will see the power of God, fix troubled marriages, restore broken relationships, cover a multitude of sins and lead sinners to repentance.

       Yes, the Bible warns us that in these last days, most men's love will grow cold. But it also tells us that true believers will be known by their love for one another.

       If your reeling from the pain of rejection and the loss of love in your life, you need to know that God's love will never let you down. And when the devil tries to tell you that love is dead and buried, remember that there are faithful witnesses like Pastor Joe Terry, whose very example declares that love is still alive and resurrected from the dead.

Note: Pastor Joe Terry's wife was recently in Cleveland for a visit. I'll be happy to report the news of their reconciliation as soon as it happens.