A girlfriend, last night, told me, “Kelly, I know you care for me, because you spend time with me.”
She was right; I care for her. Another girl at the table could have said, “Kelly, you love me, because you serve me.” Yet, another, could have noted, “Kelly, you love me because you give gifts to me.”
Loving is giving (giving: words, time, gifts, time, service, hope)…
“For God so loved the world that He gave…” (Jo. 3:16)
Jesus gave His life, so we could experience death-defying love.
Love accomplishes much and it never fails. It takes bold risk. Many have led the way in love…
One woman gave, at least, a year’s worth of savings (some say it could be her life savings), and poured it out as a perfume-offering, a pre-burial anointing, on Jesus’ feet…
“She stood behind Jesus and cried at his feet. And she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair. She kissed them and poured perfume on them.” (Lu. 7:38)
Giving from her heart she gave away her greatest treasure.
Crying, she didn’t care about the Pharisees, who were likely judging.
Letting go, she gave up what she had rights to.
Due to love. Due to honor. Due to someone greater than she.
Another woman, Martha, had her own love-act. She gave up the pressure to please man and to meet societal expectations, by ditching the dinner preparations — to sit at Jesus’ feet. How dare she?!
(But,) Jesus said, “But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Lu. 10:42)
She knew love was her highest calling.
She focused on a ministry to God’s heart, first.
She kept first-things, first.
Beyond this, this verse strikes me: “And as He rode along, the people kept spreading their garments on the road.” (Luke 19:36)
Again, love and honor, to the very heart of Christ prevailed.
They laid down what they owned, due to love.
They shed layers, because Jesus was greater.
They likely recognized, God in their midst, and honored Him.
I want to love Jesus this way, don’t you? But, sometimes things hold us back from extravagant, courageous, all-out love. What are they?
For me? If I am honest, it is: fear.
Fear that the time I spend reading the Bible will make me miss out on something else.
Fear that giving will leave me high and dry.
Fear that if I’m with God, I won’t get a chance to do important things for God.
Fear that I’ll be judged.
“The greatest of these is love.” (1 Cor. 13:13)
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Cor. 2:9)
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Ro. 8:28)
Love never fails. And, it is the one thing that — endures forever…
“Love never ends.” (1 Cor. 13:8)
Prayer: Father? We want to love more. We want to love Father, Son and Holy Spirit more. We want to give from deep inner reserves. Because all things are from you, to you and through you — will you fill us with love? Will you help us to pay attention and to have great devotion to love? We want to honor you more. You are our greatest ministry. First, we love you! Give us your grace to sit and to talk, to hear and to understand, to minister to your very heart. In Jesus’ All-Powerful, Ever-Saving Name, Amen.