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THE POWER OF LOVE

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Here in Seattle we have been hit with a heavy snow fall this week. It resulted in a snow-day for my five kids. They love it.

As we struggled to dig a path for our cars to leave the driveway it struck me that trying to get rid of snow is like trying to get rid of our moral shortcomings. You can put a lot of effort into shoveling, blowing or plowing. But at the end of the day you actually are not REMOVING the snow at all you are just REPOSITIONING it.

Your efforts do not achieve elimination, just relocation.

One of our favorite places to visit in the winter is Snoqualmie, WA nestled in the Cascade mountains just an hour outside of Seattle. The roads there are often piled over six feet high with “relocated” snow.


Now to be sure, new fallen snow is beautiful, pure and quiet but our moral shortcoming are the opposite; ugly, twisted, blaring. To get rid of them we try self-improvement regimens; a new diet, visiting a gym, seeing a counselor, joining a church.

For me this January the shortcoming I was fighting was pride. So I have been trying hard to be humble. In the end though, all my trying is just like me in my driveway with my shovel. It does not actually get rid of the shortcomings in my character. It just shuffles them around to other areas.

What I really need, and what you really need, is something more powerful, something that will actually melt that snow. Do you know what I’m talking about? Yeah you guessed it- the SUN.

A warm sunny day can do more than a thousand hours shoveling.
The Bible teaches that the miracle cure for our moral shortcomings is not more shoveling. It is not more effort and work on our part.

The miracle cure is the warm radiating heat that comes from the love and grace of God. That love and grace was on full display when the SON of God came and died and rose again. His love is the warmth we all need to remove our moral shortcomings. It is warmer than the 4th of July in Miami.

When we bask in the warmth of God’s grace extended to us in Christ our moral shortcomings are not just moved around to new places, they are literally dissolved, transformed, evaporated. As John said about Jesus – “behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” That is Jesus’ glorious gift to you and to me. To take away our sin the way the sun takes away the snow.

Are you anxious? Go to Jesus. Are you self-sufficient and proud? Go to Jesus. Are you purposeless and bored? Go to Jesus.

His love is a heat lamp warm enough to thaw even the most frozen heart.



In the book of Revelation we get a glimpse of the New Jerusalem where God’s forgiven people will live with him forever. Revelation 21:23 say “The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.”

Let’s stop striving to improve ourselves or to remove our imperfections. Instead let’s bask in the hot love of God until he transforms us from the inside out. We don’t have to wait til eternity we can start today.

 

Posted by Rich McCaskill with

Thoughts from John 12

 

John 12 – Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was from, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him) , said “Why was the ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor? He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”

Are you a giver or a taker? A worshiper like Mary, or a thief like Judas?

Worship is about recognizing the worth of someone else. She had valuable perfume. It was worth a year’s pay. How much would that be for you? Do the math. Imagine giving something that expensive over to Jesus.

Mary could see that “in him was life and that life was the light of men” (John 1:4)

Can we see it?

Our world is full of people places and things that promise to give us life. But at the end of the day they are really only a temporary fix. They may make you happy for a moment, but it does not last. Eventually they will disappoint and you will start looking around for something else.

Jesus is different and Mary gets it. Jesus alone gives life abundant (John 10:10). Judas cannot see it, even though it is staring him in the face. He was looking to money, possessions, and physical comforts to give him life and it turned him into a stingy thief. Mary on the other hand was filled with selfless gratitude.

In Jesus is life and this is what drew people to him. It caused Mary to spend a year’s pay on him.

She did not know at the time what Jesus would have to spend in order to give her abundant life. But we know.

His life was poured out for us just like Mary’s perfume was poured out for him.

Can you see it?

 When you see how much he loved you, it changes your heart from stinginess to selflessness.  The question changes from Judas' question-"Why would you spend so much on Jesus?" To Mary's question, “Jesus, why would you spend so much on me?”

What will your response be to him today?

What if you gave him your reputation and began sharing your faith more freely? What if you gave him your money and surrendered a year’s pay? What if you gave him your home and began inviting neighbors and co-workers over for meals?

Whatever we give to him, we will never surpass what he has already given for us, he is more than worth it.

Posted by Rich McCaskill with

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