EXTRAVAGANT LOVE


Once upon a time men actually laid their overcoats over puddles for women! Why not just walk around the puddle? Why ruin a perfectly good overcoat? It’s certainly not logical. It may even seem foolish! Chivalry... Gallantry... Gentility... Extravagance!

Scripture tells us that husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the Church that He gave himself for her. (Ephesians 5:25) The instruction isn’t logical—it’s extravagant! Big shoes to fill, huh? The Apostle Paul isn’t instructing husbands to literally die for their wives; rather the point is that husbands are to love sacrificially, not logically. They are to “give themselves” daily; to lay aside their self-interests and welfare for that of their wives. Paul is saying in essence: “Husbands, don’t be logical in loving your wife—love her extravagantly, as Christ has loved you.”

I began to think about all of the ways that Jesus Christ has loved the church...and as I pondered that and Paul's lofty instruction, (and prayed for my beloved husband)—I began to meditate on how illogical Christs’ love for us really is!

It simply doesn’t make any more sense that Jesus suffered and died so that He could have us with Him forever, any more than it does for a man to throw his overcoat on a puddle to keep a woman’s dress and shoes dry and clean!

It’s just so extravagant!

I found myself spending a lot of time in John chapter thirteen, where we read about one of the most beautiful vignettes of Christs’ love in all of the gospels (I think so anyway!). Jesus knew his hour had come…the cross was waiting for Him. Torture, humiliation, the full weight of the world's sin laid upon him; separation from His Father, suffering beyond measure. Death was eminent.

The Word tells us that He loved His own, He loved them to the end. Then we read about Jesus doing something very ordinary to those He loved. In fact it was the last thing Jesus did for his disciples, other than pray for them—it was ordinary and yet very extravagant. Jesus washed His disciple’s feet! Jesus wasn’t thinking of himself; attempting to garner support emotionally or even spiritually, even with the cross only hours away! You would think the disciples should have washed Jesus' feet!

Jesus' actions were motivated by extravagant love!

Jesus washed their feet for a couple of reasons as recorded in Scripture; and there are many other excellent points to be made from that same passage. But I’m focusing on just how extravagant this simple, lowly, dirty, and smelly, act was for Jesus to perform!

And the disciples didn’t get it—it didn’t make sense; it wasn’t logical! "You don't understand what I'm doing to you now but later you will."

Jesus could have simply told His disciples about foot washing. "Hey, I want you guys to do this thing called foot washing. It will revolutionize the way you serve Me and others!" No. Jesus actually washed feet! Not so the disciples could return the favor, but so that they would really know to how wash one another's feet.

Ponder the beating Jesus endured…ponder the crucifixion… . Yes, that’s extravagant love! But also ponder the lowly, maybe overlooked actions of extravagant love exhibited by Jesus washing men’s dirty and smelly feet. It’s not logical—but it is extravagant!

So often we look for the big opportunity while the "real" opportuity, which may seem insignificant or lowly, is right in front of our faces to love extravagantly!

Yes, the supreme example of extravagant love is the cross. But so is the foot washing! It reminds me that ordinary duties, ordinary opportunities, daily, give me the chance to love on those that God brings into my life, extravagantly!

It doesn’t make sense—it’s not logical! It's simply extravagant love!

Look for your opportunity to love someone extravagantly today! It could just change their life, and your's too!

Blessings,

Christi


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