When it comes to Paul’s writing about being “one body with many members” in 1 Corinthians 12, one pastor has a leg up on the competition.
Jack Coultas is the pastor of Park Grove Christian Church in Deepwater, Missouri, a town with a population of 412 people as of 2019. He soon discovered that one of the members of his church, Jeremy Whitman, needed a new kidney as a result of diabetes. Coultas explained that this is when he felt God pushing him to do something more than just praying.
“When it was first brought up that he would need a new kidney, the Lord put it on my heart that I should be thinking about it,” Coultas said. “A verse that was regularly coming to mind was a passage out of 1 John 3:16-17: ‘We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?”
After praying and meditating on the verse, Coultas couldn’t find any reason why he shouldn’t try to help Whitman. Coultas decided to go get tested, and he discovered something amazing – he was a donor match.
“It reaffirmed that this was what God wanted me to do,” Coultas said.
The two scheduled the surgery for Jan. 17, 2020. Coultas explained that not only was the operation a success, but Whitman’s health began to instantly get better as a result.
“The moment Jeremy received the kidney, it instantly started working,” Coultas said. “For two years, he was on dialysis and confined to home. Then, he was able to go out and start to live a normal life. Every test he’s had comes back a little better.”
Coultas provides a stunning example of the sacrificial love that Christians are called to emulate. The Holy Spirit creates in a Christian the desire to love and serve as Christ loves and serves the Church. Christians are saved by grace through faith alone in Christ, and our salvation is not a result of any works that we have done – it is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8-10). But a result of this salvation is a changing of one’s heart to love the things that God loves and hate the things that He hates (John 15:4-11, 1 John 3:9-10). Our works do not save us, but they are evidence of a life that has been changed by the Holy Spirit (James 2:14-19).
“I would encourage Christians to consider the Bible standard – Christ on the cross,” Coultas said. “He paid the price for our sins so we can experience His love. I encourage Christians to love in that same kind of love…love like Jesus.”
“Jesus’ love was not safe. It put Him at risk. Christ didn’t give us the example of easy love.”
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