Daily Bread – Extravagant Love

Extravagant Love
Daily Bread #12

Read Mark 13:1-11

Questions To Answer:

Who is the most famous person in your family tree?

If you could be famous for anything, what do you want to be famous for?

Why do you think the Chief Priests and Scribes are scheming against Jesus?

What do their plans reveal about their hearts?

What’s the significance of Jesus eating in the house of Simon The Leper?

How would you like to live your entire life being called, _______ the leper?

The perfume used to anoint Jesus is worth a year’s wages for a laborer.
How do you feel about the extravagance of this gift?

Why do you think this story has and will endure for centuries?

What is Judas’ reaction to this gift? What does this reveal about his heart?

Judas is remembered throughout all of history just like the woman in the story. Both reacted to Jesus’ power, authority, and nature. What was different about Judas? Why did he react so harshly?

How do we respond daily to Jesus? (awe, reverence, apathy, disdain?)

If you could be remembered for anything you did in response to Jesus what would you like it to be?

How can you live intentionally into that desire?

A Thought To Ponder:

Here’s a true story worth retelling: It was the Christmas of my fifth-grade year and I can still smell the wet spray paint. After all the presents had been torn into and devoured, my parents informed me that there was one more gift waiting for me in the garage. As I ran through kitchen and burst through the door I saw it standing there with an iniquitous glow, a jet-black BMX racing bike. I had hoped and prayed, but had been too afraid to ask for one – knowing that it was well beyond what my family could afford. “Thanks mom and dad,” I said. “It’s awesome.” “Don’t thank us, thank your brother.” They said. “He’s the one that made it.”

On closer inspection, this was not a GT performer, or Mongoose, or Diamond Back like I had dreamed of. It was a simple handmade, no-name bicycle that had been put together from spare parts. My brother and his best friend had spent the better part of a year scrounging for unused or unwanted pieces from their friends and acquaintances. No usable scrap was turned away. Proudly he proclaimed, “The only thing we actually paid for was the spray paint.”

Over the next four years, I literally rode the wheels of that bike – engaged in a life of high adventure with my neighborhood buddies. Whether we were racing each other, jumping homemade ramps, or trying to invent some new trick, that bike accompanied me on some of my greatest feats and most disastrous failures. I could never say thank you enough to my brother for his gift, but then again, I never had to. Every time I rode it I was proving how much I appreciated it.

The greatest compliment you can give a gift-giver is to wear out their gift. God has blessed us with so many talents. In fact, He has given us everything we need to a life that reflects His great love for us. The best thank-you we can give him is to use those gifts for his glory.

Scriptures To Read:
I find it helpful from time to time to read familiar Bible passages out of different translations. Listen to the following passages for the theme of God’s extravagant love.

2 Corinthians 9:10-11 (The Message)

This most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals is more than extravagant with you. He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God, wealthy in every way, so that you can be generous in every way, producing with us great praise to God.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8, 13 (NKJV)

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Romans 8:37-39 (NLT)

No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

A Prayer For Change:

Lord,

Let us never quit giving You thanks for all the things, big and little, that You provide for us every day.

Some of these things come in the form of other people and today I want to mention some of them by name. These are people You created to reflect Your perfect. They are far from perfect, but they bless me in ways I can’t begin to comprehend or explain.

Would you give me today, Lord, a spirit inside me that points me back to You? A spirit that reminds of all Your qualities.

When I forget to be patient or kind or slow to anger, remind me of how You love me.

Open up the shades of my heart to allow in the light of forgiveness and kindness. This world is so dark, Father, don’t let that darkness seep into my heart.

Help me to see just how rich I am not in the fact that I own things, but that You own me. Through Your power and by Your will direct my steps and teach me how to walk and speak and think. Your thoughts, Lord, not mine.

Remind me that by the power of the cross and the power of the resurrection You make all things new. Remind me that I’m included in “all things.” Make me new and clean.

In Jesus Name…

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