You’ve gotten the cue before and so have I. The lights dim. The spotlight hits the center of the stage and we hear someone intone – “Let’s give it up for … Someone.”
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GIVE IT UP. These words are often addressed to crowds at an event, and follow an introduction of some well-known celebrity.
“Hey everyone, here is so-and-so. He or she had done this, that and the other. Here they come to center stage, so GIVE IT UP!” Uproarious applause, cheers and shouts of welcome are intended to follow.
The truth is that our applause may make someone feel appreciated or even be an expression of love, but we’ve not “given up” anything of true value. Our gift costs us nothing more than a momentary effort. NOT SO what Jesus gave up for you.
Since we’re sitting here a week into Lent, and people often talk about what they will “give up” during this season, I found myself thinking about some things Jesus gave up.
Jesus chose to give up heaven to come to earth. Talk about a tough missionary assignment!
Jesus chose to give up His life so He could demonstrate His love. It is an incredible demonstration of committed love that costs the giver all He has to give.
Today’s verse says WE KNOW WHAT REAL LOVE IS BECAUSE JESUS GAVE UP HIS LIFE FOR US
Then He says, “As the Father sent Me, now I send you.”
The Father sent Jesus with His power, His passion and His purity. Jesus sends us just as the Father sent Him.
We have His Holy Spirit within us, enabling us to live and give, empowering us to bring the very power of God into situation where it is desperately needed.
He has promised to give us the desires of our hearts, if we will just ask. God will fill us with His passions and cause us to love what He loves if we open ourselves to Him. He gives us His passion so we can employ His power.
He has exchanged our sin for His righteousness. We have been given the righteousness of God. What higher place of purity could we possess?
And we – the ones empowered, impassioned and purified – are encouraged to give what we have been given.
“As the Father sent Me, now I send you.” Jesus sends us to give up all we have in order to win all we can to the kingdom that accepts all who will come.
Those few letters encompass the totality of creation. He gave all to show us how real His love is. And now He invites us to show the world how real OUR love is.
What a gift! What a challenge!