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If your love is crazy, you’re doing it right

By: nick charalambous

NewSpring is giving away a house and more on Mother’s Day.

Many people will be overjoyed for the mother blessed so extravagantly.

But there will doubtless be those who argue that there was another mother more deserving, or that more people, perhaps dozens, could have been helped in smaller ways. That might be a reasonable response, but would it be God’s response? 

God’s love in Scripture is always extreme, even excessive. He’s not like us, fixed on what is reasonable, efficient, or practical.

God’s love in Scripture is always extreme, even excessive. He’s not like us, fixed on what is reasonable, efficient, or practical. He doesn’t parcel out love like we do, wondering how we can spare the least to do a little good for the most people.

Based on His example, God probably would want us to do for one what we could not do for all. 

That is the point of several of Jesus’ parables:

  • Jesus, the owner and creator of all, gives everything He has for the “priceless pearl" of a human life, buried in the earth, to be redeemed for God's heavenly kingdom (Matthew 13:45-46).
  • Jesus, our great shepherd, leaves 99 sheep behind to chase after the one that strays (Luke 15:4-7).
  • Jesus, our great king, cancels practically infinite debts — 10,000 bags of gold! — for one of his undeserving servants (Matthew 18:21-35).

How to Love Like Jesus

Jesus holds nothing back. Everything that is His becomes ours here and in the life to come through faith. (Ephesians 3:14-19).

Jesus’ “new commandment” (John 13:34) was to love others as He loved us. And Jesus never gives us a command we aren’t supposed to be obey and we aren’t equipped to carry out.

The classic example of extravagant love in the Bible comes from Mary, one of His closest friends, along with Martha, her sister and their brother Lazarus.

Jesus praises Mary for anointing Him with a bottle of precious perfume — a year’s wages worth (John 12:1-8).

The act would have been as shocking in Christ’s day as it is in ours. Only the priceless value of God’s love could make sense of such a costly act of adoration.

Extravagant Love Points to God’s Grace

God’s remarkable acts of love for us are meant to point us to repentance and faith: to love and trust God lavishly — with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul and all your strength (Luke 10:27).

That’s why Jesus rebukes Judas who accuses Mary of wasting what could have been sold for the poor. In fact, Jesus reminds the disciples that “the poor will always be with you" (Mark 14:7).

The miracles aren’t primarily about feeding people for a few more days free of hunger or healing their diseases for a few more years of healthy life. Jesus wants us to be alive and happy forever.

None of us need God’s help. We need God’s grace. Totally shocking. Over-the-top. Irrational. Glorious.

Ultimately, the death of Jesus Himself is the greatest sign of God’s love, the most lavish and extravagant gift possible, canceling our sins before God and giving us eternal relationship with the Father (John 3:16 and 1 John 4:9-10). 

Do for One What You Can’t Do for All

We are meant to pour out everything we have for Jesus, because Jesus poured out everything He has for us.

The point of our love is to point people to Jesus’ extravagant love. That’s why the saints gave up their lands, their possessions, their families, and even their lives. 

In the kingdom of God on earth, the inexhaustible fountain of God’s grace poured out lavishly by each one of His people is the only way to supply the truest need of all.

Think about someone in your life or in your community that needs God’s extravagant love this week, and consider doing for that one person what you wish you could do for all. 

That is the way unbelievers and believers alike will be able to "see your good deeds and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:5).

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