When you look at the word extravagant it seems to have some positive and negative connotations. Let’s start with the definition and see what we can find:
With extravagant being an adjective, it probably depends on the noun. Can you think of times when extravagant is a positive vs negative meaning or connotation based on the situation? Can you think of times when extravagant has had a positive vs negative meaning based on the person? Can you think of times when extravagant has had a positive vs negative meaning because of the thing it was describing?
Consider extravagant givers and what that speaks to when it comes to generosity. Consider extravagant love and what that speaks to the overflow of love. Consider extravagant goodness and how that speaks to the overflow of goodness.
Have you ever been extravagant? Has it had a positive or negative outcome or experience? Does it want you love live more extravagantly?
MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:
‘Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men! Let them exalt Him also in the assembly of the people, And praise Him in the company of the elders.’Psalms 107:31-32
POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
- God is good!
- God’s intentions are good!
- God’s intentions towards us are for our benefit!
- God’s actions are to accomplish these good intentions!
- Do you believe that God is good?
- Do you believe that God’s intentions are good?
- Do you believe that God’s actions towards us are for our benefit?
- Do you believe it enough that it impacts the way you choose to live your life?
- Is your belief and understanding of good limited or is it able to be extravagant?
- Is your belief and understanding of God’s goodness impacting the way you are living your life?
- Is your belief and understanding of God’s goodness impacting your life today?
- What is the scope of good? What is the scope of goodness? Have you put a cap or limit on it?
- Has your scoping of good impacted or limited the wisdom you are able to receive?
- Has your scoping of good impacted or limited the vitality of your spiritual life?
- Have you scoped good to mean or be equivalent to pleasant?
- Are you able to see something as good even when it is or hasn’t been pleasant?
- I know for me 2020 wasn’t pleasant for a large portion of it but as I reflected on 2020, in hindsight it was good.
- What if we considered goodness from God’s perspective which is limitless!
- What if we considered goodness of God as limitless!
- God’s goodness wants our faith to grow strong, and just like our body, we need to work it out with resistance and weights to get stronger and hence we need to face resistance and weights for our faith to grow too!
- God’s goodness will stretch us so that our faith can grow strong!
- God’s goodness will test us so that our faith can grow strong!
- God’s goodness will help us to realize how much we need Him in the midst of various circumstances!
- God’s goodness is revealed in both the good times as well as through the tough and trying times!
- God’s goodness is revealed in how He is willing to coach us to get the most of our us like a coach who trains up his team to get the best out of his players!
- God’s goodness is revealed in how He is willing to coach us to get the most out of us based on who we are and how we learn and best respond in order to get the most out of us be it through pushing us harder, encouraging us to press on and press in, or in some cases testing us by pushing us to our limits!
- For us to grow in faith and to be able to realize the extravagance of God’s goodness, it requires that life be more than just pleasant!
- For us to mature beyond infancy in our faith requires God’s goodness to push us and stretch us and encourage us through this life!
- God not only wants to build up our faith but also to mature it!
- To mature we have to make it through the infancy to the adolescence and then into adulthood!
- This is true both in the physical and spiritual worlds!
- Are you seeing God’s extravagant goodness in everything yet?
- Are you still growing and maturing and starting to see God’s goodness more and more through each phase?
- Let’s be ready and willing to respond to our life coach who is God!
DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
- How have you thought of God’s goodness up to this point in your life?
- How does it help you to think of God as a coach whose task is to test you and stretch you so that you learn and depend on Him?
QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
“Before any man can be considered as a member of civil society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe. And to the same Divine Author of every good and perfect gift [James 1:17] we are indebted for all those privileges and advantages, religious as well as civil, which are so richly enjoyed in this favored land.”— James Madison
Today’s reading from Tanakh:
- Ezekiel 34(sefaria.org)
- The word of the LORD came to me:
- O mortal, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel. Prophesy, and say to them: To the shepherds: Thus said the Lord GOD: Ah, you shepherds of Israel, who have been tending yourselves! Is it not the flock that the shepherds ought to tend?
- You partake of the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, and you slaughter the fatlings; but you do not tend the flock.
- You have not sustained the weak, healed the sick, or bandaged the injured; you have not brought back the strayed, or looked for the lost; but you have driven them with harsh rigor,
- and they have been scattered for want of anyone to tend them; scattered, they have become prey for every wild beast.
- My sheep stray through all the mountains and over every lofty hill; My flock is scattered all over the face of the earth, with none to take thought of them and none to seek them.
- Hear then, O shepherds, the word of the LORD!
- As I live—declares the Lord GOD: Because My flock has been a spoil—My flock has been a prey for all the wild beasts, for want of anyone to tend them since My shepherds have not taken thought of My flock, for the shepherds tended themselves instead of tending the flock—
- hear indeed, O shepherds, the word of the LORD:
- Thus said the Lord GOD: I am going to deal with the shepherds! I will demand a reckoning of them for My flock, and I will dismiss them from tending the flock. The shepherds shall not tend themselves any more; for I will rescue My flock from their mouths, and it shall not be their prey.
- For thus said the Lord GOD: Here am I! I am going to take thought for My flock and I will seek them out.
- As a shepherd seeks out his flock when some [animals] in his flock have gotten separated, so I will seek out My flock, I will rescue them from all the places to which they were scattered on a day of cloud and gloom.
- I will take them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them to their own land, and will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses and in all the settled portions of the land.
- I will feed them in good grazing land, and the lofty hills of Israel shall be their pasture. There, in the hills of Israel, they shall lie down in a good pasture and shall feed on rich grazing land.
- I Myself will graze My flock, and I Myself will let them lie down—declares the Lord GOD.
- I will look for the lost, and I will bring back the strayed; I will bandage the injured, and I will sustain the weak; and the fat and healthy ones I will destroy. I will tend them rightly.
- And as for you, My flock, thus said the Lord GOD: I am going to judge between one animal and another. To the rams and the bucks:
- Is it not enough for you to graze on choice grazing ground, but you must also trample with your feet what is left from your grazing? And is it not enough for you to drink clear water, but you must also muddy with your feet what is left?
- And must My flock graze on what your feet have trampled and drink what your feet have muddied?
- Assuredly, thus said the Lord GOD to them: Here am I, I am going to decide between the stout animals and the lean.
- Because you pushed with flank and shoulder against the feeble ones and butted them with your horns until you scattered them abroad,
- I will rescue My flock and they shall no longer be a spoil. I will decide between one animal and another.
- Then I will appoint a single shepherd over them to tend them—My servant David. He shall tend them, he shall be a shepherd to them.
- I the LORD will be their God, and My servant David shall be a ruler among them—I the LORD have spoken.
- And I will grant them a covenant of friendship. I will banish vicious beasts from their land, and they shall live secure in the wasteland, they shall even sleep in the woodland.
- I will make these and the environs of My hill a blessing: I will send down the rain in its season, rains that bring blessing.
- The trees of the field shall yield their fruit and the land shall yield its produce. [My people] shall continue secure on its own soil. They shall know that I am the LORD when I break the bars of their yoke and rescue them from those who enslave them.
- They shall no longer be a spoil for the nations, and the beasts of the earth shall not devour them; they shall dwell secure and untroubled.
- I shall establish for them a planting of renown; they shall no more be carried off by famine, and they shall not have to bear again the taunts of the nations.
- They shall know that I the LORD their God am with them and they, the House of Israel, are My people—declares the Lord GOD.
- For you, My flock, flock that I tend, are men; and I am your God—declares the Lord GOD.
- Ezekiel 35(sefaria.org)
- Ezekiel 36(sefaria.org)
So where are you at? How are you choosing to live? Are you ready to receive the grace of God into your life? Are you ready to live your life in a way that will glorify God? Are you ready to live your life in a way that exemplifies God’s extravagant goodness? Are you ready to hear from God today? Are you ready to turn to God today? Let’s pray:
Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?
Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?