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Extravagant Love

Dear Church,

As I stand before you week after week my goal in preaching, leading the service, meeting with you one on one, even in living life is to point you to Jesus. Yet, I am consistently reminded of my own weakness and frailty, my sinful humanity. I am reminded that you do not need a great pastor but a great Savior. My job, my goal, and my privilege in life and in death is to point you to Jesus Christ. This means that I must continually die to self and live for Christ. In order to do this it means that I need to continually go before God, reverently opening up the Word of God and asking the Holy Spirit to teach me, to convict me, to fill me up so that I would overflow with God’s truth and His compassion for others. I continually ask God to convict me of sin and point me to our Savior. I must pursue our Savior daily in order to be refreshed, challenged and prepared for the daily toil of life. Time with God in His Word and in prayer is so important not only to a pastor but to everyone who is a follower of Christ.

A few weeks ago as I was spending time with God, I came across an excerpt from a Puritan that challenged me and helped me understand the extravagant love Christ has for me and for you.

Christ’s love made Him willing to suffer for us. He suffered all the misery that our sin deserved. He who caused the vast fabric of heaven and earth to start out of nothing, King of kings and Lord of lords, was content to take upon Him the form of a servant. He was willing to be accounted as ‘a worm, and not a man, scorned by mankind and despised of the people’ (Psalm 22:6-7). He who was the object of eternal praises was, out of love for us, reviled and slandered as a drunkard, a glutton, a blasphemer, and a mad-man. He in whose presence was fullness of joy, was for the love of us, willing to become ‘a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.’ This love made God willing to be made a curse, to be sold as a slave, and the Lord of life to die a base, accursed, and cruel death. There was no sorrow like your sorrow, no love like your love. Was it not enough, dearest Savior, that you were willing to pray, and sigh, and weep for us perishing wretches? Will you also bleed and die for us? Was it not enough that you were hated, slandered, blasphemed, buffeted, but you were also scourged, nailed, wounded, and crucified? Was it not enough to feel the cruelty of man? Would you also undergo the wrath of God? Was it not enough to die once, but to also taste the second death and suffer the pains of death in body and soul? O the transcendent love of Christ! Heaven and earth are astonished at it. What tongue can express it? What heart can conceive it? The tongues, the thoughts of men and angels are far below it. O the height and depth and breadth and length of the love of Christ! Our thoughts are swallowed up in this depth, and there we must be content till glory shall enable us to have no other employment but to praise, admire and adore this love of Christ.

As we travel through this season of Lent, and we set our eyes on the horrific but marvelous day that is Good Friday with the hope of Easter brilliantly waiting three days later, I pray that we would understand the great ‘height and depth and breadth and length’ of Christ’s love for us.

Your brother in Christ,

Richard Brueck

 

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