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April 8, 2016

Beauty Begins: Extravagant Love

by Chris Shook and Megan Shook Alpha

 “… And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.” Colossians 3:14 (MSG)

Last, but definitely not least, Colossians tells us to put on the beautiful garment of love, the quality that, like a diamond, has so many facets.  The most beautiful Christlike characteristic we can reflect to others is love.  Love is that classic, timeless, and beautiful fashion statement that holds the power to change everything.  Jesus constantly demonstrated extravagant love that shocked the prideful and brought beauty to the broken all around Him.

We see the same extravagant love displayed from a woman who opened a very expensive jar of perfume, probably her most valuable possession in the world, and she poured it out on Jesus feet as she wept tears of repentance and kissed His feet. Luke records the story in His gospel.

“When a certain immoral woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume. Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them.” Luke 7:37-38 (NLT) 

She was accused of being wasteful.  She was accused of being extravagant.  Yes, she was extravagant, but she experienced extravagant forgiveness.  She experienced extravagant emotional healing. She experienced extravagant love and peace!

I am convinced more and more that the only way to build rich and deep relationships is with extravagance. If I’m going to connect on a deep level with my kids, it will take extravagant effort. I have to get into their lives.  It takes extravagant creativity and energy and effort, and sometimes I settle for ignorance and arrogance.  A relationship that lasts a lifetime requires extravagant forgiveness because imperfect people are going to hurt each other, and those wounds need more than a band-aid. Building and maintaining deep relationships demands extravagant commitment, extravagant intentionality, extravagant energy, extravagant creativity, extravagant forgiveness, extravagant love, and extravagant effort.

I’m not talking about extravagance on the outside. I’m talking about extravagance from the heart, the deepest part of who we are. The “immoral woman” in this story extravagantly poured out her heart before Jesus Christ. The expensive perfume was just a symbol of her heart, which was so precious and valuable.  Her tears mingled with the perfume and created the most beautiful fragrance of all – the fragrance of a beautiful heart.

Do you have a beautiful heart?  This woman had a broken heart, but she poured her heart out before Christ, and He made it beautiful. Pour your heart out before Christ, and let Him fill you with the beauty of His extravagant love for you.

Today, make the intentional choice to wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

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