Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Today’s Topic: The Most I Can Do
Today’s Text: Isaiah 66:12a (NIV) For this is what the LORD says: “I will extend peace to her like a river, and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream;
Oh the joys of grandparenting. Last night we had the privilege of having two of our grandsons for a sleepover. Their arrival at our home was an instant boost. Their eyes gush with love and admiration, and it melts my heart. Their playfulness re-energizes me, even though I’m already old enough to be outrun by a three-year old…almost.
They arrived late, so it was off to bed right away. They were both tired and fast asleep within minutes. The oldest one rose at 6:40 am and we took some time to talk on the couch while grandma and his brother slept a little longer. When grandma got up and got dressed, it was my turn to go shower and shave and prepare for a day of ministry. I was a little sad that I wouldn’t be there to spend more time with them, but grandma has a great plan for their day.
When I finished dressing I started to make the bed, knowing that grandma was busy with the boys in the kitchen. There was an instant flash of the flesh that said I was too busy to make the bed and I should get going to work. I quelled that thought immediately, and continued to get the bedroom in order. Then another thought came to my mind – This is the least I could do for her. I was overwhelmed at that moment with a total distaste for that statement. Why do we say it, and what makes us think that it’s a good thing to only do the least that we could for someone?
I started to think about that statement in relationship to what God does for me. What if He only did the least He could do? As I thought about it I found myself doing a little bit extra straightening of the comforter and pillows on the bed. I looked around the room for anything else that needed to be picked up or put away. As I left the house and move the car seats from my vehicle to my wife’s, I did so with extra care and precision, buckling them firmly in place to protect those precious lives.
I started thinking about what God promises to do for His people in Isaiah 66, and how He would never do the least He could do, but will go beyond what is expected or even deserved. As I read verses 12 through 21 again I saw so much more than the least God could do. I saw Him granting peace and wealth. I saw the people flourishing not just surviving. I saw God extending Himself beyond anything He had ever done before to bring people who had never heard of Him to the place of eternal worship. I saw Him extending grace to “newbies” in the Kingdom by promoting them to positions of priesthood. He did far more than the least He could do.
Then I was reminded of one of my favorite words from the Bible – a word used in 1 John 3:1, where it says, How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. When God loved us it was not with the least love He could give – He LAVISHED His love on us. He could have extended just enough love to forgive us so we could have access to eternal life. But instead He lavished His love on us so that we could be called His children, with full rights of inheritance of all things with His Son Jesus.
I choose to live my life that way. Never again will I intentionally do the least I could do for someone. Never again will I allow my selfish desires to influence the expression of the love of God to others. From this day forward, I want my life to be lived lavishly – not in the materialistic way many choose to bring honor to themselves, but with the heart of a servant Savior who lavished His love on me. I will not settle for doing the least I could do. I will serve them to the full extent of God’s love that was lavished on me.