Saturday, February 19, 2011

This Is Crazy Love

"This Is Crazy Love"
By Zach Wood
1 John 4:9-10
This is how God showed his love among us:  He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.  This is love:  not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
Usually when you hear of people doing crazy things, it involves jaw-dropping and eye-opening actions that bring high risk and some type of endangerment to their lives.  I have seen many crazy things in life and have heard people say some crazy things.  This world is full of surprises when it comes to crazy acts and crazy things that are said.  

I have honestly never though about God when I hear the word "crazy".  I have never really associated that word with anything God has done.  It just has never come to mind.  However, after recently having picked up the book "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan, I have thought about that word in a whole different way.  And since I have been reading the above passage, God's Love has a new perspective in my mind and heart now.  

How do you feel that God, the Creator of the Heavens and the Universe, came to this earth as a human being and gave His life on a Cross for you?  Do you really take the time to stop and just ponder this act of Love?  The more I ponder it, the more it does not make sense to me now.  This is an act of Love I cannot wrap my mind around.  I cannot comprehend its full meaning.  I cannot make sense of it at all.  I cannot analyze it.  It it not logical.  It is unexplainable.

Can you make sense of it?  Can you fully comprehend what He did for you?  If not, then good!  This is all a part of His Crazy Love!  This is an insane act of Love that the Creator of this world did for you and for me.  We are so imperfect and so selfish.  However, God loved us so very much that He paved a way for us to come back to Him through Jesus Christ.  That is Crazy Love alright!  He chose to die for us, even though many refuse to follow Him.  

Love is not about us loving Him, it is truly about what He did for us.  Read the passage again.  Love is not that we loved Him, but that He came here to earth and gave up His life so that you and I would not have to pay the punishment for our sins.  For the first time in a long time, it blows me away that my Lord and Savior did that for me?  

I pray that this devotional makes you just stop and think about His awesome sacrifice.  I hope that you will see His Love in a whole new way.  I encourage you to read the book I suggested.  It will show you just how crazy God's Love is for us.  With a love this crazy being given to us, wouldn't we want to give that kind of love back to Him?  Shouldn't we be totally sold out for Him no matter what comes our way?  I think so.  God stopped at nothing to give us life through Christ.  We should stop at nothing to love Him and serve Him in return.  

This is Crazy Love.  Not that we loved Him, but that He loved us enough to come and die for us. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

We Must Love With Our Actions

"We Must Love With Our Actions"
By Zach Wood
1 John 3:16-18
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.  And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.  If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?  Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

Each day I live, I try to fulfill several constant roles.  I strive to be a devoted servant, husband, and father.  I try hard to be a devoted servant in the areas of ministry service I am committed to.  I strive to be a devoted husband to my beautiful wife to show her I love and appreciate her.  I strive to be a devoted father to my two girls and show them I love them and want to spend time with them.

However, what if.......I never showed up to any ministry activities?  What if.....I never gave my wife a hug or kiss or spent any time with her and expected her to feel appreciated and loved?  What if......I never told my girls I am proud of them, love them or spent any time with them?  If I failed to do any of these things, I would not be thought of very highly by others, my wife or my kids.  I need to tell and show those around me that they are important and prove that to them by doing things that would show my devotion.  I cannot just say that I am devoted without following through with actions.

As I have pondered this thought the past few days, I am constantly thinking of my relationship with God and whether or not I truly show the gratitude and appreciation back to Him that He deserves.  I can say that I love Him and tell others I am devoted to Him, but if my actions do not back those words up, those words are useless and worthless.  If I love those around me and am devoted, I will do my best to show actions that prove my love.  Without these actions, I am showing nothing. 

Am I devoted to sharing what I have and helping those around me who are in need?  Am I showing the Love of Christ by meeting the needs of those who are in need?  Am I loving others the way God has commanded me to?  Am I sacrificing what I have in order to bless someone whose need is greater than mine? 

Verse 16 is powerful.  We know what love is when we look at Jesus Christ.  That is a Love that is beyond comprehension.  We can never fully understand His Love.  We can never wrap our minds around His Love.  That is truly Love: Jesus Christ laying down His life for us.  Wow!  That is powerful!  How can we possibly look at the sacrificial Love Jesus Christ had and has for us and not have the desire to love and meet the needs of others? 

If we are to truly show God's Love, we must have actions that prove and show our love.  Whether that is love shown to our friends, love shown to our spouses, love shown to our kids, love shown to our parents, love shown to our church family or love shown to those who do not know Christ. 

When loving with your actions seems too difficult, just remember the sacrifice Jesus Christ made for you and for me.