I know that we are now nearing the end of February 2021, but something that remains on my mind and in my heart, is a word that I read back on December 2 – ‘Willingness’.
I was gifted a book prior to Christmas called, ‘Come Let Us Adore Him’, by Paul David Tripp. It is a daily advent devotional (but you could read it at any time of the year). December 2 starts with these words…
‘Jesus knew He had to come not just to preach the gospel of sacrifice, but also be that sacrifice, yet He was perfectly willing.’
In the devotion that follows, the author speaks of how we are often unwilling to do what God says, particularly if it doesn’t make sense to us. Often unwilling to inconvenience ourselves for the needs of others. Unwilling to wait. Unwilling to be open and honest. Unwilling to hear the loving rebuke of another. Unwilling to admit when we are wrong.
When you next read the life of Jesus in the gospel, ask yourself after each line you read – what did Jesus willingly do for me? You will find a holy saviour who willingly leaves heaven and enters a world of brokenness, in a circumstance that was far from ideal. You’ll find a saviour who willingly suffers the hardships of this fallen world; a saviour who willingly abides by the law; was willing to do all that the Father wanted, despite mistreatment and misunderstanding; He was willingly to serve those that were to serve Him; a saviour who was willing to be rejected and to endure injustice; willing to comfort those in need; willing to care for those on the fringes/outcasts; willing to share the message of God, no matter what the cost; willing to die – for you and for me. Paul Tripp clearly identifies that the whole redemptive story of God hinges on one thing – the Eternal Willingness of Jesus.
He concludes by saying that Jesus was willing before the beginning of time; willing throughout His earthly time and is still willing today. Willing to love; to forgive, willing to call those that seek Him as saviour. Willing to be patient as we work out our salvation through sanctification. Willing to teach us through His Word; to protect us from evil around us; to comfort; willing to meet our daily needs; to hear our prayers; to remain faithful to us, even when we are not to Him. Jesus is the Willing saviour for we who are unwilling sinners.
One of the things that I have written up on our family blackboard (for those that have been to the Maharaj house, they’ll know about it), is ‘What does Love require of me?’.
It’s a simple question and it can prompt us to reconsider and recorrect our course throughout the day. But rather than simply seeking out things to do out of love as a response, I am seeking to remember Jesus’ willingness. To allow His willingness to help me change my attitude and my motivation, so that I not only ask ‘what does love require of me?’, but also ‘what motivates me to do it?’. It is Jesus’ eternal willingness. May Jesus’ willingness keep inspiring & motivating to live each day for Him and to serve Him and His people, through His love.