There is an old hymn that we sing from time to time that says “Jesus paid it all. All to him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain…he washed it white as snow.” I am struck by just how much Jesus was willing to give. Here is a sampling borrowed in part from Robert Coleman’s book The Master Plan of Evangelism (a great little book on Jesus’ model of evangelism):
- John 15:15 – Jesus made known to his followers all God has made known to him
- John 17:8, 14 – Jesus gave us the words God had given him
- John 16:33 – Jesus gives us peace
- John 17:13 – Jesus gives us joy
- John 17:22 – Jesus gave his followers the same glory God had given him
- Matt 28:29 – Jesus promises his presence
- Mark 10:45 – Jesus gave them/us his life as a ransom for our sin
- John 17:18-19 – Jesus gave them/us sanctification
- John 14:16 – Jesus would leave but would send his Counselor/Holy Spirit to guide them and be with them forever.
Jesus gave himself away. Could it be that Jesus, knowing he was leaving the world, was imparting to his followers everything he had to offer in order to help them do the work they were being called to do (See Eph 2:10)? Like our Savior, we are called to give in return:
- Matt 10:8 – freely give as you have received
- John 13:34-35 – love one another as Jesus loved them
- John 17:23 – Through that love of others, the world will know that we are from Christ.
We cannot be “lone ranger” Christians in this. We need to fill others and be filled ourselves. We need to give and receive. We need to fulfill the “one another’s” to each other and receive them from each other in order to have a balanced life in Christ.
Why is it often hard to find that balance…some people seem to receive all the time and others seem to be the eternal givers?
What makes that unsustainable?