God’s Lavish Love is NOT a Zero-sum Game

Recently Roman was interviewed by the principal of the new school he is attending this year. When the principal asked him what he knew and thought about Jesus, his response started with, “Well, I know that he is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent, which means he’s basically sovereign over everything.” He went on to ¬†address God’s sovereignty, the sinful condition of our world, our own need to believe on Jesus and accept his death as the penalty for our sins, why suffering exists in the world, how God is good and always has a good plan, and the responsibility of every Christian to seek ways to invite other people to believe on Jesus. It was not only thorough, but expressive, deep, well-developed, and surprisingly insightful. I sat there in awe, and thought, “Where did he get all of this? It’s all true and exactly what I want him to know. But I didn’t teach him this, did I?” Then God whispered to me, “My Spirit in you taught him this. My Spirit in Him grew his understanding. My Spirit in his dad, his grandparents, his teachers…my Spirit taught him.” Once again I’m struck by the exponential power of God released all around us when we walk in obedience to him! God’s lavish love grows in us as we allow him to flow through us to invite others into that love.

I have to admit that I often forget that God doesn’t operate from a zero-sum platform. In other words, there isn’t a limited amount of Him or his goodness to go around. His lavish love will never be used up, by you or me or anyone else. It’s not like sharing Him with others ever depletes my supply; it can only increase it! Instead of losing out or sacrificing, I am gaining exponentially when I share the love and power of God with someone else. And what’s even more amazing, the little I pour out grows in the lives of those who receive it!

God is into growth, exponential growth, powerful, rippling, amazing growth. But it starts with one little seed. Jesus told his disciples that faith like a mustard seed would move a mountain. He was expressing the exact opposite of the zero-sum game. In a zero-sum game, exactly what you give out is received by someone else, and when it’s all out, it’s all out. What one person takes diminishes what the other person has. But with God, one tiny mustard seed grows and expands and impacts. What one gives is multiplied, what one receives is multiplied. No good thing ever runs out. That is the kingdom! That is the hope of eternity. That is the God-sum platform of Christianity. What He does in us grows, flourishes produces fruit 30, 60 and 100-fold. ¬†When we bless others, we are blessed. And when we receive a blessing from others, they are blessed. The generous, lavish heart of the Father never tires of growing in us a greater understanding of him, a greater desire to share him, and a greater hunger for more!

When I think of Roman’s answer, I am humbled. Because I see that God has taken what he did in and through me, and is using it to bless me over and over and over again…exponentially, extravagantly, eternally.

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