Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The Lavish Love of God

1 John 3:1 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society
1 John 3
1 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

Ever since I first read this verse long ago, I have loved it. It expresses so much about God and the wonder of the privilege he has extended to us.

The word "Lavish" is defined in Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary as, "to expend or bestow with profusion: SQUANDER." Inherent in the word (as confirmed by Barbara Ann Kipfer's Flip Dictionary) is more than a hint of excess, waste, overindulgence.

God loves us recklessly, crazily, foolishly even! He dotes upon us in his love. His love is not measured, restrained, conditional, rational or sensible. He loves us wildly!

This verse opens a wide a window for us into God's heart . Do I dare to ask to be conformed to his image in this respect? Am I willing to love lavishly, without measure; foolishly?

How is this lavish love demonstrated to us? "That we should be called children of God." Children of God...I am his child. And the only way this could be accomplished was through the ultimate sacrifice, the sending of his son Jesus, in whom was only goodness, love and mercy, knowing that what awaited him was brutality, humiliation, loneliness beyond imagination and physical agony.

Prayer: Dear Lord there are no words to express my adoration and love to you, my deep gratitude and awe at your lavish love for me and all mankind. Will you teach me to love without restraint and reservation? I cannot reflect you to a world that needs you without doing so.

John 3:16 (Amplified Bible)
Amplified Bible (AMP)
Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation
16For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.

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