Saturday, June 20, 2009

Experiencing God’s Presence (Part 4)

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen!” (2 Corinthians 13:14).

Have you ever experienced the Extravagant Love of God?

Webster’s defines extravagant as “exceeding the limits of reason or necessity; lacking in moderation, balance, or restraint; profuse and lavish.” Have you ever encountered God’s Presence in such measure that He blew your doors off with just how much He loves you?

Zephaniah the prophet gave us a glimpse at this extraordinary, extravagant God. “The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing” (Zep 3:17).

Did you know that God wants to overwhelm you with an outpouring of His extravagant love? He wants you to know that even now, despite what you think about yourself, He rejoices over you with joy? He rests in His love for you? He joys over you with singing?

And did you know that the surest way for you to truly experience this extravagance is to spend quality time with real Christians? Hear me carefully – I’m not talking about “church-goers” as much as I’m talking about “Christ-followers.” The two are not always the same.

When you are in the company of a gathering of mere “church-goers” you will be surrounded with legalism, opinion, criticism, judgment and debate. But when you are in the midst of true “Christ-followers” your life will be flooded with extraordinary expressions of God’s extravagant love. You will be supported, believed in, upheld, defended, empowered, and unleashed to pursue God’s highest and best purposes for your life.

In other words, you will experience God’s Presence – and never be the same. God fills our lives with boundless expressions of His extravagant love through the selfless service of fellow-believers who live to honor the name of Jesus, and do so by loving others as though they were Christ Himself.

So look for followers of Jesus where-ever you can find them -- in churches, on the job, in your neighborhood, at the park -- where ever. And when you find them, purposefully cultivate a meanigful friendship together. And you will begin to discover that where two or more are gathered together in His Name -- there He is in your midst!

Step Three tomorrow….

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