Extravagant Love–Extravagant Grace
Pay it forward
When Trevor McKinney a 12 year old starts school, his social studies teacher played by Kevin Spacey gives the class an assignment to devise and put into action a plan that will change the world for the better.
Trevor’s plan is a charitable program based on the networking of good deeds. He calls his plan “pay it forward“, which means the recipient of a good deed does a good deed for three others rather than paying the good deed back.
However, it needs to be a major good deed that the recipient cannot complete themselves.
Trevor does a good deed for three people, asking each of them to “pay the good deed forward” by doing good deeds for three other people, and so on, building up a whole network of good deeds.
His first good deed is to let a homeless man named Jerry live in his garage, and Jerry pays the good deed forward by doing car repairs for Trevor’s mother.
Trevor’s efforts appear to fail when Jerry relapses into drug addiction, but Jerry pays his debt forward later by talking to a suicidal woman, who is about to jump off the bridge.
PAY IT FORWARD started with an objective to devise and put into action a plan that will change the world for the better….
In this movie the attitude of people changed, broken relationships were renewed families transformed, communities experienced a metamorphosis, and society a revolution in goodness the lives of individuals were irrevocably turned around.
One could easily say this was a trailer for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, except that the assignment Jesus received and took on as his lifetime objective was an eternal plan – a divinely inspired goal to establish the Kingdom of God here on earth through the lives of those who would believe in Him.
A Kingdom that included healing, miracles and an outpouring of Love and Grace- Amazing Love and Amazing Grace.
Love and Grace lived out by Jesus in the lessons he taught, the miracles and healings performed and through the words he spoke,and by His touch – all reflecting the heart of a man motivated by Love and Grace.
An Extravagant Love – An Extravagant Grace
We read of extravagant Love and Extravagant grace in Luke 7:36-50 when Jesus was Anointed by a Sinful Woman
When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.
Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”
“Tell me, teacher,” he said.
“Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[a] and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”
“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
Wow!! Your sins are forgiven… her unspoken plea for forgiveness acted out by her weeping at Jesus’ feet exposing her heart, pain and shame to the Son of God did not go unnoticed by the Messiah. He saw her heart, felt her pain…and in the midst of condemnation by others, offered her grace; and knowing that she had acted out her Love for Him without fear of what others would say or fear of the cost to herself –offered her Extravagant Grace in return for her extravagant Love.
It is this example of extravagant love and extravagant grace that will transform our lives, our community and society.
What will your love offering to God be in response to His grace in your life?
We need to carry in our hearts and live out Extravagant Grace – Extravagant Love. when we do, we will see Gods version of Pay it forward in our lives.
Ps Philip Stoneman.