Thursday, December 10, 2015

Consider the Cost

 God loved the world this way: 
He gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him 
will not die but will have eternal life. 
God sent his Son into the world, 
not to condemn the world, but to save the world.
John 3:16-17 (GW)

We all know this verse by heart, but I wanted to present it to you as clearly and plainly as I could. So I scoured several translations looking for just the right wording. I think this begins with the punch - "God loved the world this way..." 

How great is love that it would sacrifice it's own? 

Many years ago I was given one of my most memorable gifts. My baby girl (not really, but probably the only one I'll ever have), was in the Houston Ballet's performance of The Nutcracker. I had the honor of picking her up many nights after weeknight performances when her parents were out. We made some pretty special memories during that time.

For Christmas that year, her folks gave me two tickets (great seats) to see the performance live. I had never been before and I was thrilled! I was in a hard season financially and this was a luxury I never could've afforded and up until that point, was deeply sorry I had to miss since my kiddo was in the ballet.

As I considered which of my friends to invite, I began to struggle inwardly with this decision. I truly had nothing to give in the way of gifts that year, and gifts are one of my love languages. I give well and I love to get. I think long and hard about what to give others because I want to give others something that will truly bless them. So making this decision was not an easy one.

After finally deciding on which friend to invite, I continued to wrestle for a few days over offering the actual invitation. I picked out the perfect friend. He knew my kiddo and her family. We were always hanging out together anyway and we lived right around the corner from each other. However, this is the thought that kept tripping up my mind.

"How can I give him something which costs me nothing?"

That question still trips me up to this day, but not about the gifts I give to others. The Holy Spirit set me up with that one, and rightfully so. 

I can be prone to haphazardly giving myself to things that I know would honor the Lord - my attitude about certain things, going the extra mile when just good enough seems okay, things like that and much more... Yet why would I give the Lord something which costs me so little, and sometimes costs me nothing? Isn't he worth my best at all times? Shouldn't sacrifice be the norm for my life?

The gift of his Son, God gave to me is more than extravagant. It's priceless. Yet, without hesitation, knowing every wrong I'd ever commit, the Father saw me as worthy of such a gift. I just can't even... That kind of love provokes me to give well, to serve with all I have and to love harder because he is worthy of no less.