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Love Lavishly

Throughout early February, it seems as if the topic of love is in the air. As I've been thinking about it, I am reminded that

I have been blessed to have many powerful examples in my life. My life has been full of people who inspire me, challenge me, and cause me to say, “I want to be just like them.”

Yet, these are not the only examples that have left a lasting impression. I’ve also known people who caused me to cringe thinking, “Dear Jesus that is not the woman I want to be.”

One of the greatest qualities the second examples possessed was selfishness---an unwillingness to give or a purposeful intent to give the absolute bare minimum required. Whether it was their work, their wealth, their emotions, or their love, they were determined that no one would gain the advantage on them. Fear of loss or failure kept them bound, always looking out for themselves.

Recently, I was thinking about one such example when I was reminded of the parable in Matthew 25:14-30.

“It’s also like a man going off on an extended trip. He called his servants together and delegated responsibilities.

To one he gave five thousand dollars, to another two thousand, to a third one thousand, depending on their abilities. Then he left.

Right off, the first servant went to work and doubled his master’s investment. The second did the same. But the man with the single thousand dug a hole and carefully buried his master’s money.

“After a long absence, the master of those three servants came back and settled up with them.

The one given five thousand dollars showed him how he had doubled his investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’

“The servant with the two thousand showed how he also had doubled his master’s investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’

“The servant given one thousand said, ‘Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent.’

“The master was furious. ‘That’s a terrible way to live! It’s criminal to live cautiously like that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least? The least you could have done would have been to invest the sum with the bankers, where at least I would have gotten a little interest.

“‘Take the thousand and give it to the one who risked the most. And get rid of this “play-it-safe” who won’t go out on a limb. Throw him out into utter darkness.’

Here we see the example of three men---two who threw themselves into their task producing an incredible reward and one who did the absolute least he could do. His fear, his laziness, and selfishness caused him to freeze, do nothing, and preserve the little he had.

In the end, what he’d held onto so tightly, caused him to lose everything.

What a sad testimony of a life----yet it stands as an example and a challenge to us all.

As I pondered this Scripture early one morning, I prayed:

“This is not who I want to be.

Instead, I want to be a woman who loves lavishly….a woman who loves Jesus so much that she works hard, she takes the risk, she gives more than is asked….

she gives in abundance.

I don’t want to live my life in fear….

...fear of loss, fear of giving too much, fear of failing and looking foolish….., I want to be a woman who gives everything for Jesus and His kingdom because my heart is overflowing with love for Him.

I want to love lavishly…

I want to give lavishly

…I want to be an example of a woman who wholeheartedly follows Jesus whenever, wherever, doing whatever He asks.

I want to take the leap of faith following Him knowing that nothing given to Jesus is ever wasted.

This is the example I want to follow---those who love lavishly.

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