Love With Abundance, Just Like Jesus

ADVENT ~ Day 26
December 24, 2009

Scripture Passage:
READ 1 John 3:11-18

Abundance n. - an extremely plentiful or oversufficient quantity or supply; overflowing fullness

"I will recount the steadfast love of the LORD, the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD has granted us, and the great goodness to the house of Israel that He has granted them according to His compassion, according to the abundance of His steadfast love.

For He said, 'Surely they are my people, children who will not deal falsely.' And He became their Savior.

In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them; in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; He lifted them up and carried them all the days of old."
Today is our the last day of our Advent - that is, preparing our hearts, minds and souls for the day we celebrate the first coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Tomorrow, many will come to give honor, glory and thanksgiving to our God Most High for His greatest and most generous Gift to all mankind; His one and only begotten Son. And sadly, tomorrow, many will also come to celebrate, having no idea what this glorious and holy day means.

Therefore, let those of us who know Christ and God's abundant love, deeply meditate on the meaning of that awesome love today.

Our Father God's love for us is abundant: extremely plentiful; overflowing fullness, exceeding the bounds of our imaginations 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 only out of our troubles, for even we can do that for others (and only to a certain point). 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 - at least not completely and not abundantly; not like Jesus, that is.

If we merely spare them or rescue them out of their earthly, physical 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 and sit in their troubles with them, sharing the Gospel of God's mercy and grace, fully demonstrated in Christ Jesus alone, then have we loved others as Christ has loved us - with abundance? 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 provided them with temporary relief from their physical pains, but have left their souls just as hungry and destitute as it was before. Therefore, you have accomplished nothing.

The homeless and hungry are not surprised anymore if someone feeds them and/or clothes them; no instead, 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 more putrid than the stench of a cesspool in the nostrils of our holy God and He touched us, kissed us and held us anyway. How do I know this for sure? Because we can give a homeless person a bath and their foul smell will be washed away with merely some soap and water. As a matter of fact, even if we all bathed in a cesspool, our foul smell can be washed away with soap and water, along with some other things God has created to help us get clean from the filth of this earth and our bodies. But I know for a fact that our sins are worse, more putrid than this because only the blood of Jesus could cleanse us, for Jesus cried out,
"My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as i will, but as You will."
~ Matthew 26:39
And we know for certain that truly, if there was any other way, God the Father would have more than gladly spared His one and only begotten Son, just as Jesus asked. But there was obviously nothing in all  of God's creation that was powerful enough, pure enough and  holy enough to clean the stench and filth of our sins -  only  the pure, perfect, holy and powerful blood of Jesus Christ, God incarnate is able to cleanse us from our abominable sins.

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 the eyes  of their hearts that clearly reveal to them 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.

"Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God."
~ Ephesians 5:1-2

Thought to ponder:

With the love of God and perseverance of Christ (2 Thessalonians 3:5), may those of us who know Him, go and share the Good News of our Savior in God's abundant love that lives within us, because of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Gracious Lord God in Heaven, thank You for Your abundant love poured out on us in Christ Jesus our Savior! 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 in humility and abundant love; and send us out with His heart.

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