LAVISH… What Does It Mean?

For many years I have been intrigued by the word lavish. It is not a word that is widely used, yet it has a beautiful meaning.

As an adjective it means: sumptuously rich, elaborate, or luxurious.
As a verb it means: bestow something in generous or extravagant quantities

I even found the meaning of the word as it relates to the Bible on www.definitions.net
Verb: To expend or bestow with profusion; to use with prodigality; to squander
Adjective: Superabundant; excessive

In I John 3:1 the apostle John writes “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
-NIV

Say it out loud with me right now… “LAVISH”
Doesn’t it rather gush out? It is a bit of a messy word when spoken, producing a lot of spit between the “v” and the “ish”.

And that is exactly what it should do, because these definitions could be translated “to gush” and in the verse, “to gush with LOVE”.

Doesn’t that give new meaning to the way in which God has loved us? It is excessive, extravagant, even to the point of squandering it on us because oft-times we don’t appreciate the level and depth of this love He gushes on us.

I find it interesting that the words “prodigality” and “squander” are used in the definition, considering these are the very words used by Jesus in the parable of the Prodigal Son. The younger son asked for his inheritance early and leaves home where he frivolously squanders away his inheritance on the things in life that do not satisfy nor last. He soon finds himself with nothing and, in desperation, decides to return home to beg his father to allow him to work alongside the other hired servants in order to earn room and board. However, upon returning home his father sees him from “afar off” and comes running to meet him. The son doesn’t even get to his plea to be able to work as a hired hand. As he begins asking for forgiveness, his father refuses anything less than that his son be completely restored to his former place in the family.

The son who lavishly spent everything receives his father’s lavish love upon returning home!

And, that is what the Lord does ongoing for us. He lavishes His love upon us, as children of God. …in generous and extravagant quantities, that are sumptuously and luxuriously rich!

Remember – this word gushes. It continuously spills out completely covering what it gushes onto. That is us, you and me. We are soaked in the love God lavishes upon us!

What a beautiful word indeed. LAVISH!

Aglow and Burning with the Spirit

Romans 12:11 “Never lag in zeal and in earnest endeavor; be aglow and burning with the Spirit, serving the Lord.” Amplified Version

Yesterday I picked up my Bible and began reading the twelth chapter of Romans.  When I got to this verse, I found myself touched and energized by these words.  It was a Monday morning and I knew it was going to be not only a busy day, but a busy week.  Yet these words blocked all responsiblities and duties from my mind for a few moments.  I think that recent events in America made these words jump off the page at me like never before.

Like I said, it was the beginning of a busy day – and week, so I haven’t gotten to spend anymore time meditating on this verse.  That is why I thought I would do that with you in this post.

Asburning-heart a visual learner, I found this photo a great example of what being “aglow and burning with the Spirit” would look like if I could see it in the visible world.  Fire is fierce and powerful, mesmorizing and beautiful as it licks up the oxygen that fuels it.  When combining the two and giving it a spiritual meaning, it becomes a picture of fiercely standing for Biblical truth while serving the Lord in beautiful love.  The two cannot be separated if my zeal and earnest endeavor is to be effective.

Never “lag” brings to mind one exerting energy, wearing out and slowing down.  Earnest endeavors are those that require ALL of me.  All my heart, soul, mind and strength.  The challenge Pauls give me is to not only never lag in my earnest endeavor of sharing and showing Jehovah God – but to get brighter, hotter and more on fire as I serve the Lord.  What an incredible challenge – and one that I can never do in my own strength.

As I ponder the meaning of this short verse, I am rocked by its impact on me.  My understanding of my own frailness is overwhelmed by the the incredible ability of my Lord Jesus Christ.  “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.”  That is the old King James version of the verse.  Most modern translations use “who” instead of “which”.  I am not going to debate whether one is more right than the other – however, it is quite obvious that the phrase “I can do all things through Christ” means it is He who strengthens me.  To think of the verse using “which” instead of “who” points me to the fact that because I can do all things through Christ then I am strengthened in my weakness because I understand it is all about Jesus and NOT ME!

Holy Spirit – I pray – be aglow and burning in me as I serve the Lord in Your strength.   Then I will never lag in zeal and earnest endeavor fiercely standing in truth and love.

“What Cancer Cannot Do” – a poem

I want to share a poem with you that I have repeated many times over the last twenty years.  The author is unknown, but you can tell he/she deeply understood the subject matter.  Before sharing the poem with you, I want to share how I came to first read it.

In January of 1995, just five months following my cancer diagnosis, my husband’s paternal grandparents sent this poem to me in a get-well card.  At the time they were in their late eighties.  Grandma lost both her mother and father to cancer when she was just thirteen!  They had watched their friends and family struggle with cancer over the years.  However, my battle seemed to hit them both very hard.  They had given money faithfully to a well-known cancer organization from the time they were married in 1920 in hope of seeing a cure for cancer.  Having their grandson’s wife diagnosed with cancer seventy-five years later was almost more than they could bear.  I believe the list of what cancer can’t do brought much hope to them and they wanted to share that hope with me.

Now, it is my turn to share that hope with each of you!

“What Cancer Cannot Do”
Cancer is so limited…
It cannot cripple love,
It cannot shatter hope,
It cannot corrode faith,
It cannot destroy peace,
It cannot kill friendship,
It cannot suppress memories,
It cannot silence courage,
It cannot invade the soul,
It cannot steal eternal life,
It cannot conquer the Spirit.

If that doesn’t give you cause to shout for joy and cry tears of gladness – nothing will.

I am so thankful that ever one of these things is true – but, the one that I like more than all the rest is the fact that cancer CANNOT steal my eternal LIFE.  I have been cancer free for nearly 20 years now, but if I had died then…or, if I were to recur and still die of it eventually – my eternal life is not in jeopardy.

John 3:16 says it all.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everylasting life.” – NKJV

We are born and we die.  Those are the only two things we all experience!  If you are dealing with cancer right now, or have someone you love who is…share this poem with them.  I feel confident it will make the journey easier.  But if you need the confidence to know that you have a future in heaven spending eternity with God, I invite you to read the entire book of John.  You can also go to my website: http://www.bridges2beauty.net and fill out a contact form to chat with me and/or pray with me.