“…A man after mine own heart which shall fulfill all my will.” Acts 13:22
When you hear the phrase “…a man after mine own heart,” you might think first of King David; and, it was true of him. However, today, I’m not thinking of King David; I’m thinking about Tyler Gullette.
My friend, Tyler, went to be with Jesus on November 15th, 2019. I often spend too much of my life trying to be like Jesus. In my observations, this was not Tyler’s problem. He was never striving to be like Jesus; he was like Jesus, especially where it mattered the most, in loving God and loving others. Those who knew him can testify to this fact.
How does one determine whether they are “like Christ”? Seems we should start with the what Jesus referred to as the greatest command, the first and the most important. If you and I were able to master this command, I believe we would hear our heavenly Father say, “here is one who is fulfilling all my will!”. The greatest, first, most important command Jesus refers to is to, “Love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” He says, “This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40
Tyler truly was a man that loved God and others as deeply as any man I have ever known. And I am sure, this very moment, Tyler is enjoying eternal life and the unlimited love and fellowship of the saints that are with him in heavenly places. As the song we have all heard says, “I can only imagine…” Tyler does not have to imagine any more and I am sure he is leading the way today in loving God and loving those around the throne of God.
Love and greatness can be measured. Jesus illustrated this by declaring two things. First, “Greater love has no one than this; to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13 Tyler saw everyone as a friend, and he was always laying down his life for those who crossed his path. He may not have made the ultimate sacrifice for them, that of laying down his life physically speaking; but, by affection, service, an extended heart and hand, he gave sacrificially. God is not requiring most of us to give up our physical life for those around us; however, he is requiring that we give up our life daily in some way for those who need Him the most and, especially, for the ones who think they need Him the least. Tyler was just this kind of man and that sensitive to those around him. He saw and served those who needed Him the most and the ones who thought they needed Him the least. I want to be more like that. I want to be more like Tyler and the One he followed, Jesus.
Secondly, Jesus measures greatness by how well we serve others. He challenged us, “… whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, …” Matthew 20:26 Tyler was not looking to be great, but Jesus calls him great because his heart was set on friendship and service. What compels one to put the interest of others so high on their list of priorities? What is in a man or woman that would motivate them to always think the best of others. Is it duty alone or the desire to be seen by others as a caring person? This would be the love of self, not others. This was not Tyler’s motivation. Rather, the love of God compelled him. He could not help himself; it was his only response to a God who loved him so completely! Perhaps Jon Bloom said it best, “The most loving thing we can do for others is love God more than we love them. For if we love God most, we will love others best.” I believe this was Tyler’s theme, his passion. Tyler’s love of others was unconditional just as God’s love for him, for all of us, is. He did not care if you were rich or poor, known or unknown, free or in prison. He was a man full of hope and full of encouragement for all he met.
I remember a ministry situation Tyler shared with me once and, when I am confronted with an opportunity to serve, to love, to give to someone who needs my help but may not be living a Christ-like life, I keep it at the forefront of my mind. When confronted with an opportunity to serve someone who did not believe in Christ, who was not living for Him, and who questioned his motivation, Tyler replied, “I do not need to approve of what you do in order to love you.” That sounds like Jesus. That sounds like…Tyler!
We will meet again, my friend. Until then, keep enjoying L.I.F.E. to the fullest, Love’s Influence For Everyone. It pleases me to know that you are doing just that at this very moment.