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Friday, November 2, 2012

Extravagant Love


Extravagant. I keep hearing this word in regard to Jesus' love. Last night it was in a book I was reading called, Loved, by Rebecca St. James. Casting Crowns has a song. Your Love is Extravagant. I thought it must be written in the Bible for this particular word to be the one chosen to describe His love. It's not used in the Bible directly, though many use the story of Mary in Bethany using expensive perfume to anoint Jesus' head (Matthew 26:7, Mark 14:3) and feet (John 12:3). The disciples felt that was wasteful to do that when it could have been sold to give money to the poor. Instead, Jesus told them to not fret about it and to know that it was a beautiful thing she had done for Him. Her love for Him and desire to be with Him was always extravagant.


If you look up extravagant, so much of how it is defined is so true of the love Jesus has for us as well: Lavish; Profuse; Exceeding reason and necessity; Lacking in moderation and restraint; Excessively elaborate. I for one am thankful for His extravagance. His love and mercy is extended to us until the end of days and beyond. He paid an extremely high price to show us this love He has for us; His life. I would bet my life that He would do it all again for us. Even just me. Though we don't deserve it. The price for sin is death, our death (Rom 6:23). He instead took that punishment and became our sin on the cross after being whipped 39 times for our transgressions. All the while showing us His love through His actions. His love is an extravagant gift of grace and mercy. It is abundant. Unconditional. A love I am so glad to know.

I feel blessed to know that He first loved me and that it is because of His love that I also know how to love (1 John 4:19). Him. Myself. Others. As I continue studying Henry Blackaby's Experiencing God with my small group, I cannot help but be amazed by how extravagantly God loves me. How He initiated this relationship with me. How He pursued me even when I stood as an enemy to Him as I clung to the things of this world in my sinful nature (Col 1:21). It is this never-ending, ever-present, and completely unconditional love He has for me which always calls me back to Him. He fights for me--even when I have given up on Him.


It is this love that reminds me that it is not by anything I will do or become, for the battle is His (2 Chronicles 20:15), and all He is asking me to do is to stand there; to be still and know that He is God (Psa 46:10). Standing here is hard for me, but waiting on the Lord means leaning into Him and being swallowed up in the lavish, profuse, lacking in moderation or restraint, excessively elaborate, and highest priced love there is. Thank you, God, that you sent your Son, Jesus, to die for me and to cover me in the extravagance of this love you have for me (and for all)!

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