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How Far God’s Love Goes

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How Far God’s Love Goes

Each year, during Holy Week, I try to sit down and watch “The Passion of the Christ”.  It is something that isn’t easy to do because it is such a real and raw film depicting all that Jesus went through on our behalf.  Every year it is a sobering reminder of how far God’s love goes for each one of us. It reminds me that God has gone to great lengths to demonstrate his love for the world. 

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

The vastness of this reality is sometimes too much to bear and as I sit and ponder how far God’s love goes, I find that I am both grateful and challenged by this reality.  

I am grateful because Jesus was willing to be the instrument of God’s love extended to the world. But not just for the world but for me!  I am struck by how personal this is. In all of my brokenness and sin God’s love came for me in Jesus. I can’t help but have a posture of gratefulness when I realize that Jesus lived out the words he shared with his disciples.

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” -John 15:13  

But, as I continue to reflect on how far God’s love goes, I also find myself challenged.  I am challenged because I am called to follow Jesus’ example and also be an instrument of God’s love extended to the world.

“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:  

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” – Philippians 2:5-8

This is a challenging scripture.  Am I to have the same mindset as Christ and become a servant to others? Even if something has to die in me?  Whoa! In his book, Irresistible, author and Pastor Andy Stanley asks a question that has stuck with me. It is a question I am asking during this Holy Week as I reflect on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.  

The question is:

What does love require of me?

For Jesus loved required the ultimate sacrifice, his life, for which I am grateful but what sacrifice am I required to make in love for the sake of others?  Often, we know the answer to the question and it is not an easy one.  

As I spend time in silence and solitude with God this week, I am sitting with these two realities:  gratefulness for Jesus’ sacrifice and a challenge of what love requires of me. My hope and prayer for you is that you, too, would sit with these two realities and let God speak to you about them.

A really practical way to engage these realities is to put them on a post-it note and stick it on your refrigerator or mirror. Then, each time you see the note, ponder the questions as we make our way towards Easter.

Post-It Note Pondering:

  1. Gratefulness for God’s love through Jesus’ sacrifice.
  2. What does love require of me?
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