Extravagance In Faith

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I hope I never hear it again. I hope I never say it again. I hope we can make this phrase totally disappear from the life of our church. You’ve probably heard it…..

“Oh, is that really necessary?”

Often, it is said in response to some lavish action on the part of some one or group. Perhaps an elaborate art exhibit is on the worship stage for a festive season of the year. Or the worship band puts together an intricate musical offering, maybe even loudly. Or someone shares a testimony, and sheds a public tear or three.

“Well now, that’s not really necessary is it?” becomes a response, often, of people uncomfortable with what was laid out there; code language, of sorts, for “I didn’t like that.” Or, as in – couldn’t we just do without that? Avoid that? Not bother?

Necessary?
Do without?
Well, I suppose.

God is not some celestial “snob” who demands only gourmet worship, and first class presentations. Simple can work very, very well when offered to our Heavenly Father. A little, offered with a sincere heart, is an infinite treasure to our Lord. (Mark 12:41-44)

But can we go too far in worship?

2 Samuel 6:16-23 describes how David was worshipping God with everything he had; laying it all right out there as the ark of God was brought into the city. His wife despised him. And told him off. To which he responded, “Baby, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” (thank you, Randy Bachman)

How can we ever go too far in our worship, in our love, in our expressions of devotion, in our joy, in our service to the Father from whom ALL blessing flow; the Saviour who gave ALL in order to win our release from sin & death; the Spirit whose heavenly counsel and presence is the first-fruits of Eternal Life and is ALWAYS with us?

Is it necessary? No, the Christian life can be remarkably simple, basic.

But is it ever too lavish, too much? We cannot out give, out love, out serve, out bless our God!

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I suspect that people who are uncomfortable with extravagant displays of faith in and love for God are lukewarm in their relationship with Him or even just plain cold.  No one who's in love with the Lord would even think to ask, "Was that necessary?"  Unless they're Scrooge 2.0, they would probably not think twice about getting a bouquet of red roses for the love of their lives on Valentine's Day, so why not buy roses for God if you love Him that much?  That would be the modern-day equivalent of Mary's pouring the contents of a jar of pure nard over Jesus' feet and wiping off the excess with her hair.