More from The Red Words. I can’t wait for 2014! The words of Jesus are so life transforming. Live the red words with the least of these today . . .
I wonder what Jonah, the why-do-they-deserve-it guy, would have thought to know he would one day be spoken of by the exceptional who-cares-if-they-deserve-it Christ. (Luke 11:29-32) He let the people know He had come to witness to them just as Jonah had come to Nineveh – only this time the witness was Love in the flesh. The Son of God. Jesus the unorthodox Savior.
He did not speak to the eyes of the blind man . . . He spat into the dirt. He got His hands dirty. With mud made from spit a blind man saw. (John 9)
Jesus was an unorthodox Savior.
Jesus touched the leper and made Him white as snow. No one else would touch the leper. I wonder what that would feel like to have the lack of human touch? To be exiled? Sent away from your village and your loved ones, forced to live among strangers? Jesus NEVER met a stranger. He could have healed the man without touching Him but then He would be like everybody else. Part of the miracle wasn’t just that he was healed – it was that he was touched. (Matthew 8)
Jesus was an unorthodox Savior.
His love was not confined to the easy stuff. It was not reserved for His closest friends alone though He loved His twelve greatly. He was not above sticking His hands in the mud to find something beautiful. He touched the untouchable. He pleaded with God in His final hours . . . “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34) Ironically, He was about to die for the very men who killed Him.
In Matthew 5:45 Jesus elaborates on love – the kind that STRETCHES far outside the lines of a Hallmark card . . .
“For he makes the sun rise upon evil men as well as good, and he sends his rain upon honest and dishonest men alike. For if you love only those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even tax-collectors do that! And if you exchange greetings only with your own circle, are you doing anything exceptional? Even the pagans do that much. No, you are to be perfect, like your Heavenly Father.”
Could we be challenged to love in such a deep shade of red that we love exceptionally? Can we love without exception? It is not easy. It is not easy to love the neighbor who yells at your dog. It is not easy to love the one who shouts. It is not easy to love the woman on the corner, nor the man in the orange suit. It is not easy to love the “least of these”. But weren’t we once one of these?
Sinners saved by grace, (Ephesians 2:8-9) covered in the blood that runs with eternal life, springing up from the pages of the words in red. We once were the exception . . . now we must be the exceptional.
What sets you apart? How can you show exceptional love today?
- Don’t be afraid to minister to the ‘’unclean’’. They make you holy.
- Reach out when no one else will. It is the will of your Father.
- Forgive the unforgivable. Jesus had no problem with it.
- Be exceptional to the exception. You were called to be the colors that run outside the lines.
LIVE THE RED WORDS:
Focus on the love you already have in your life. Thank God for that exceptional love . . . He is the giver of all good things. Give praise for the exceptional by loving an exception today. Give a purposeful kind word to someone today that challenges you to go deeper than the surface.