I am feeling the weight of this gift, and if you are a pray-er, please keep myself and my family in your prayers. I desire to do it all well, and God constantly reminds me that without Him I can do nothing. So, eeping along I trust Jesus for the next step of this journey. I truly love it!
If you still haven't gotten a copy of ExtraOrdinary, I thought I would give you a sneak peak at one of the days so you can get a look at how it is laid out:
Week 2, Day 5 (an excerpt)
Love As I Have Loved
Today we are going to wrap up our time with John. We have watched him follow Christ from the Sea of Galilee to Jerusalem. This is the moment he follows him to the cross as Jesus breathes his last.
Read John 19:25-27
Powerful. I just read those three verses 9 times. I can almost feel the weight of the air the witnesses heaved as they watched their son, nephew, and best friend brutally tortured and hung high in the air for all to see.
Powerless. It’s how I feel right now as I want to hold Mary, Jesus’ mother, and tell her the glory of the third day. And dear John. The most loyal friend. The one whom we should all strive to be. Where is he? Right there with them. Not sleeping this time. Not looking away from the anguish. But barely hanging on at the foot of the cross as he helplessly waits for the inevitable.
Jesus words were probably a bit breathy and barely there, but he managed to address both Mary and John. What did he say to them?
2. Where did Mary live from that time on?
The love that Jesus had for his mother and John are evident in this scene. His thoughts are still on those he felt responsibility for. Again, his humanity and deity collide in this moment as the God of the world painfully suffered in the flesh and empathized with the two who had a large piece of his human heart.
Friend, you were on his heart too. Just as he took on the responsibility for Mary and John who had captured his human heart, you were there when He took on the world as only the Creator of your soul could do.
Can you see yourself in his eyes as he closes them for the last time before his final breath?
Take a moment and let this sink in.
Jesus did not endure the anguish in the garden and death on the cross for you and I to walk around namby-pamby. God didn’t create you with unique gifting and talents so that you can either bury them or parade them for your own glory. His plan is so much bigger!
Death on a cross does not equal ordinary living. He is so much greater than that! He deserves so much more from you than your lackadaisical choices.
3. How are you feeling right now? Does this make you uneasy, irritated, or energized?
John understood this. He followed Jesus from the moment he left the family business to the last moment on the cross. He followed him all the days of his life dedicating his last years to writing several books in the New Testament. His proclamation of the miracle working God that he loved still changes lives today. His words are still seen at just about every televised sporting event.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
This ordinary guy achieved extraordinary feats as he woke up every morning and said yes to the Savior. He didn’t take special classes or have a degree in friendship. He studied love. More than studying, he lived it.
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:12-13