Extravagant Love

Oct 4, 2018Written Devotionals

“…nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;”       1 Timothy 6:17

Most of us need to raise our level of expectations regarding what we receive from the Lord.  When we understand the depth of His love then we will be prepared to joyously take hold of the exceptional gifts that the Lord has for us.  Think of the times you have gotten something for your spouse just because you love them.  You give them gifts, not for what you will get in return, but because it gives you great satisfaction to see them enjoy the gift.  Have you ever gotten your child something for no reason?  You just saw it and knew that they would enjoy it so you purchased it for them.  Is there anything that can replace that joy and satisfaction you experience when you see their gratitude and surprised contentment?  We understand this in our own experience and yet we do not think of this regarding our relationship with our Heavenly Father.

We have a hard time imagining that the Lord would give us something for no other reason than to just express His love and happiness with us.  We always think of God as having a working agenda that He gives so that I can bless others.  That is most certainly a true statement and a vital principle that we need to exemplify in our lives.  But there is more.  God gives us blessings just because He loves us.  If we can understand this concept in our relationship with a spouse or child or just someone we love, then why would we expect less from Jesus?  He is love; our love is just a fragmentary understanding of true love, the love of the Lord for us.  His love far surpasses ours and if we are capable of such a selfless love, then certainly He is pouring out that kind of love for us.

This is hard for us to comprehend because many of us think of God as being the stoic stern overseer, watching us, waiting for us to make a mistake so that He can throw the law back in our face.  That is not God.  He is love, he is not an expression of love, He is love.  While He does give to us so that we can give to others, He also just gives blessings because He simply loves you and He is satisfied when He can bless you.  What a great vision of God the Father.

One of the reasons we struggle with this concept is that we are constantly being told of the dangers of the so-called “prosperity message”, which says that we should expect God to bless you personally with wealth and riches.  We need to understand that the reason any teaching labeled “prosperity” is denigrated is because that message was abused in the 80’s and 90’s and was not taught with balance.  Now people have turned against anything that sounds like the old “prosperity teaching”. That is a great loss because, if it is understood with balance, it paints a portrait for us of the loving God that delights in pouring out to us just because His love for us is extravagant.  Don’t let the wrong teaching of the past cause you to miss the abundant and extravagant love of the Lord.  Remember that as 1 Timothy chapter 6 tells us that He gives to us richly so that we might enjoy all things.  There is nothing wrong with receiving with joy His demonstrations of love in the same way that you pour out tangible demonstrations of love to those in your life.

What leads to this outpouring of love to us?  It is a reflection of our walk and relationship with Him.  When we are walking in Him with love and obedience, He just wants to express His love to you, receive it with joy.

J Todd Hostetler

www.cityonahillTC.org

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