The forgiven and formerly sinful woman of the city risks everything to come into the Pharisees house and then cleans Jesus’ feet with her hair and tears, anoints Jesus’ feet with expensive perfumer, and kisses Jesus’ feet to show her great love. Her love is extravagant and dangerous … it’s crazy love! But her risk-taking and her extravagant giving show her great love to Jesus for being forgiven (Luke 7:36-50). Her actions remind us that the heart of loving — and knowing we are loved — is giving. We are most like God when we show crazy love … when we give extravagantly. And when we do, like the woman, we enter a life blessed by Jesus with true shalom — grace and peace, wholeness and joy, life lived to the full!
The most famous verse in the Bible is John 3:16 and you probably know the next word that follows this quote: “For God so loved the world that He …”
And what is that word? Yep, you got it. The word is “GAVE.” Yes, we are most like God when we give and show crazy love!
We are entering the season of giving. We are reminded that we have so much for which we can be thankful (Thanksgiving) and we are reminded of the gift God gave us (Christmas). So let’s open up our hearts … and schedules … and pocket books … and practice some crazy love!
And speaking of Crazy Love, here’s a powerful little video segment from Francis Chan!
And where should we give? Ah, that’s easy.
To your church. I know that’s what I’m doing this week, because right now our church has …
- Giving Tree (Christmas gifts for mentally challenged and disadvantaged children and adults)
- Harvest Missions (funding mission works and mission trips for next year)
- Food Offering (for a local Christian pantry ministry)
- Sock and Underwear Offering (for Love and Care ministry to the homeless)
Not sure about your church, but I bet it has some places you can be generous and these kinds of things are worthy of gifts!
In addition, I would point you to a couple of other things that are especially close to my heart: