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Hey there, I'm Sunny Shell, a wretch saved by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ the Lord. I'm married to the most incredible man on earth, who loves Jesus more than he loves me, and we have two precious adult sons.

The compassionately endures me through my metabolic disease (since 2004) that enables me to be more prayerful and careful about commitments I make and helps me to make the best use of my short time here on earth.

If you want to know more about me, click HERE.

Love Extravagantly, Just Like Jesus


ADVENT ~ Day 14
December 13, 2008

Scripture Passage:
READ 1 John 3:11-18



Extravagant adj. - excessively high; exceeding the bounds of reason; going beyond what is deserved or justifiable


I'll make a list of God's gracious dealings, all the things God has done that need praising, All the generous bounties of God, his great goodness to the family of Israel— Compassion lavished, love extravagant. He said, "Without question these are my people, children who would never betray me." So he became their Savior. In all their troubles, he was troubled, too. He didn't send someone else to help them. He did it himself, in person. Out of his own love and pity he redeemed them. He rescued them and carried them along for a long, long time.
~ Isaiah 63:7-9 (The Message)

Our Father God's love for us is extravagant: excessively high, exceeding the bounds of reason and goes beyond what any of us could ever deserve.

He didn't pay for us with the fleeting, rotting, things of this world. No, instead He paid for us with His very life. Our Lord Jesus, left Heaven; willingly bound and limited Himself in human flesh, lived among us, ate with us, cried with us, felt hunger and pains He had never felt in Heaven. Our Lord Jesus chose to to put Himself in our place and sit with us in our troubles. Jesus did not come rescue us out of our troubles, for even we can do that for others. But He chose to sit in our troubles with us and felt our pain and suffering; then went far beyond, and suffered what we could never bear.

Often, we think the best way to intercede for others is to "fix" their problems. We think if we feed the hungry, clothe the poor, send money to dig wells to give drink to the thirsty we are sharing Christ's life and love with them. But are we? I say that we are not.

If we merely spare them or rescue them out of their troubles, while we sit in the comfort of our own homes; if we merely send money and sit quietly and pray; yet we do not physically go to sit in their troubles with them, then have we loved others as Christ has loved us - extravagantly? I say we have not.

Let us do all these good things, but let us not neglect to go to the hungry, go to the poor, go to the thirsty and be the hands of feet of Christ by touching them, like He touched us. When you feed the hungry, give them a hug - a long, tight, Christ-loving hug. Then tell them the Good News of Christ. If you feed them without preaching the Gospel, then you have merely "rescued" them from their physical pains, but have left their souls just as hungry and destitute as it was before. Therefore, you have accomplished nothing. The hungry are not surprised anymore if someone feeds them, no they expect it. But they are surprised when you sit with them, when you hold them and stay by their side while they eat. No one but Jesus would do that. We say, "But they really smell bad." This is true, but you know what? Our sins are like the stench of a cesspool in the nostrils of our holy God and He touched us, kissed us and held us anyway.

We so often think we have to go to some foreign land to be the hands and feet of Jesus. But look all around you. As Jesus said, we will always have the poor and hungry all around us; and we do.

There are plenty around here who are thirsty, and there are plenty here in America who are naked and who are need of the physical touch of Christ Jesus our Lord. And there are plenty of lost souls here in America that desperately need disciples of Christ to feed, give drink and clothe their cold, naked, hungry, thirsty dead souls.

So if you want to pray for someone, go to them and pray for them. Go to the abortion clinics and offer prayer to those who are there. Take Gospel tracts with you that do not water down God's truth, but opens their eyes to expose that they are sinners in desperate need of a Savior.

If we're going to do "good", then we must do it like Jesus, for we know, that no one is good, but God. Therefore, if we do "good" deeds, but not in the name of Jesus (meaning in His likeness, with His character), then we are not doing "good", but only something that might seem "nice". For if God alone is good, anything absent of God is absent of good.

"Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that."
~ Ephesians 5:1-2 (The Message)


Thought to ponder:



Gracious Lord God in Heaven, thank You for Your extravagant love poured out on us! Thank You for despising us not, but loving us still. Teach us Father to love like you; without ceasing and without judgment or personal cares. Teach us Father to give our lives away, just the way Jesus did. As we come closer to celebrating the first coming of Your Son, Father, help us to remember why He came and how He came; and send us out with His heart.

May You be well pleased with our offering of extravagant love for You, as we love others extravagantly in Your Name. Amen

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9 comments:

  1. My precious sister Sunny,

    I appreciate this message. I need to remember to be there to love with the love of Jesus. The loving hug of the Lord is a great comfort. I think we forget how much it means to others, without love, to be hugged. Physical evidence of God’s love is very important.

    There are times when we ALL need evidence of God’s love, even though He tells us of His love in His Word, we may be hurting, and God sends someone to show us His love.

    A wonderful friend shared the love of Christ me this week with me, and I am still in awe of how God has touched me through their precious love. I contemplated this wonderful love of God so much yesterday that I went to bed exhausted. Then I awoke refreshed and began again today rejoicing in the love God bestowed upon me. I cannot contain the praise His love brings forth.

    We may do something for others out of obedience to God, and we may not understand how it will touch their life. However, when we obey, even without understanding, God will do a mighty work that will cause those who see it to turn their hearts to Him.

    Thank you for being a faithful servant of our Heavenly Father.
    Love, Ernestine

    ReplyDelete
  2. P.S. Sorry for the confusion of the extra “me” in this sentence: A wonderful friend shared the love of Christ me this week with me
    Love, Ernestine :0

    ReplyDelete
  3. What great thoughts my friend! I am so thankful that Jesus chose to come and sit with us. What greater love! Thank you for the reminder. And may we always be open to sharing His love with others.

    Take care my friend!
    I pray you have a good Sunday!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sweet Sunny,

    This is such a great and truthful post! I know when I go to work at the food bank ministry there are times the Spirit just moves me to hug that person or take their hands and ask them how I can pray for them.

    I always try to interact with them in a kind way to show them that I care for them and then I always ask them how I can pray for them...I never want them to leave without at least making an attempt to share Christ with them.

    It is so important for us to 'go'...we are to be His hands and feet! Love you sweet sister!

    ReplyDelete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  6. So true Sunny...so true! Thank you so much for sharing. Love extravagantly...love extravagantly! Amen!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love coming to your blog and just basking in it all. God blesses me through you!
    Hugs to you.
    Kim

    ReplyDelete
  8. P.S. Sorry for the confusion of the extra “me” in this sentence: A wonderful friend shared the love of Christ me this week with me
    Love, Ernestine :0

    ReplyDelete
  9. Sweet Sunny,

    This is such a great and truthful post! I know when I go to work at the food bank ministry there are times the Spirit just moves me to hug that person or take their hands and ask them how I can pray for them.

    I always try to interact with them in a kind way to show them that I care for them and then I always ask them how I can pray for them...I never want them to leave without at least making an attempt to share Christ with them.

    It is so important for us to 'go'...we are to be His hands and feet! Love you sweet sister!

    ReplyDelete

"If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him." ~ C.T. Studd
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