Overcome by Love
"I will celebrate before the LORD. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes." 2 Samuel 6:21b-22a (NIV)
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw something zip by me. What was that? A minute later, I saw it again. Someone was running up and down the side aisle of the church.
Joyful voices filled the church that Easter Sunday morning as we sang, "What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus,"*
Although I tried to focus on the words of the song, my thoughts were distracted by the runner. I looked inquisitively at the woman next to me, hoping for an explanation.
She whispered an answer to my unspoken question: "He was a drug addict. A couple of months ago he surrendered his life to Christ and is now free from his addiction. He's overcome by love for Jesus!"
About that time an elderly woman and man started to dance with him. They were his grandparents. For years, this couple had steadfastly prayed for their grandson.
Watching this freed man and his joyful grandparents worshipping reminded me of King David returning to Jerusalem. David explodes with love for his Lord. He couldn't contain his awe and gratitude for all God had done for him: winning a huge battle, restoring the ark of the Lord and appointing him king. Coming down the road, everyone could see "King David leaping and dancing before the LORD" (2 Samuel 6:16 NIV).
Stories of people being overcome by love for God are awesome. But there is one example of love that tops them all: the gift of the cross. I know John 3:16 is a familiar verse to most of us and can be easy to skim. But let's read it again with the view of God's love for us.
"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." (NIV)
The young man and his grandparents probably gave up some self-consciousness to display their love for the Lord through dance. In our key verse, we learn that King David admitted he let go of pride to show his love through worship: "I will celebrate before the LORD. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes" (2 Samuel 6:21b-22a). He sacrificed his dignity for the Lord.
And God the Father sacrificed a most precious gift, His Son, Jesus. And Jesus surrendered His very life for us!
Why? They were overcome by love.
As a mama of five daughters, I'm hit hard by the depth of God's love to offer His Son in our place. It seems impossible for me to even think about giving up my children for the sake of someone else. Let alone sacrificing my own life!
Yet out of unfathomable love, God sent Jesus to death on a cross to pay our debt of sin. By this sacrifice, Jesus secured eternal life for those who surrender their lives to Him. That truth makes my heart overcome by love!
When we're overcome by love for God, the way we show that will look different for everyone. For some, it's quietly praising the Lord in their hearts. For others, it is worshipping at the top of their lungs or dancing in the aisles.
However you express your praise to God, take a moment to reflect on all the Lord has done in your life and give thanks for His overcoming love. You may just find your toes tapping and your feet moving!
Lord, thank You for sacrificing everything for me, for sending Your only Son to die on a cross for my sins. Thank You for loving me and offering me eternal life. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond:
Today is Good Friday. As you consider what God has done for you, what can you sacrifice to show your love for Him? Time visiting the lonely? Clothes to give to the less fortunate? Food to share with the hungry? Determine today what you will give and put a plan in place to follow through.
Are you so overcome by God's love that you are willing to tell others about it, even if you're self-conscious?
1 John 4:10, "In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." (ESV)
1 John 3:16a, "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us." (NIV)