Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Giving Our All because God Gives Good Exchange Rates!
As we wrap up our "Lessons From the Desert" series, I'd like to close with some thoughts this Christmas day and as we are nearing the end the year of 2013. We know of Christmas as the day that Jesus was born and we celebrate by giving gifts to our loved ones. The wise men gave gifts to Jesus, not to anyone else, and Jesus became the ultimate Gift from God to all of us. In John 12:1-8, Mary anointed Jesus' feet with a very expensive oil that was worth a year's wages and she gave it all, not because of anything Jesus had done for her, but because she loved Jesus just the way He was.
Our forefather Abraham, our "father of faith," was described as a jar of perfume with a closed lid (so its fragrance will not go out), but as soon as God asked him to leave his father's household and walk his way into a land which "God will show," its sweet fragrance began to spread and people could smell and trace their existence for generations. Abraham's complete surrender and trust in God allows the love and goodness to be spread to other people and people could trace his presence wherever he went.
There is a story of a beggar who's been begging for rice all day long and found himself only with five grains of rice. Then he saw a prince coming his way and was so happy that perhaps the prince will give him some more rice. Instead, when the prince arrived, he asked the beggar to give him some rice and the beggar couldn't believe his ears. He finally gave the prince two out of the five grains of rice he has while still in a state of shock. Then he realized, after the prince left, that for each grain of rice he gave, the prince gave him a bag of gold. He wished that he'd given it all.
This story is like our relationship with God. God always gives us good exchange rates. As a loving Father that He is, He longs to love us just as our parents love us unconditionally. If we don't give our all, we may not experience the sweet blessings that God has in store for us, but when we give our all and are passionate about walking with Him, we will experience the fullness of His love in our lives.
Like Mary, let us give our all to God. Like Abraham, let our lives be like perfume too... diffusing scents of God's love to other people and leaving a trace of our presence wherever we go so that God's name may be glorified.
"Do you know that nothing you do in this life will ever matter unless it is about loving God and loving the people He has made?" - Francis Chan
Do we love God because what He had done for us or do we love God just the way He is? Mary chose to give it all to Jesus even before Jesus died on the cross for her sins.