Regardless of who you felt should have won the latest Super Bowl between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers a great story of generosity and kindness has surfaced. It has to do with quarterback Peyton Manning and practice player rookie Jordan Taylor. It started as Manning was out due to foot injury and needed someone to throw to, to work though his rehab. Taylor seemed eager for the opportunity, but it went way beyond as Peyton asked more and more of Jordan. Manning told USA Today Sports, in an interview on February 2, 2016 that he did not think he could have gotten through his rehab without Taylor. Taylor’s willingness to give of himself was a great help and blessing to Manning. Some sports writers are giving partial credit for Denver’s win to Taylor’s willingness to give as he did.
Jordan Taylor’s generous actions are not the whole story. Peyton Manning also chose to bring in some generous love though a unique action. As the team was heading to the Super Bowl, Jordan was invited to be Manning’s warm-up guy. However, Jordan did not have the tradition business suit to travel with the team. Knowing Manning was close to the same size, Jordan ask Manning if he could borrow one on Peyton’s old suits. Here is where the generous love comes in. Peyton did not loan Jordan a suit, Peyton connected Jordan with his personal tailor and set Jordan up with a nice suit and even a couple of extra shirts and ties. That’s generous love! Manning did not have to be so kind, but selflessly chose to love generously.
Far beyond the actions of a couple of football payers is the generous love of Jesus. Jesus cared about people and sought to communicate God’s love and help them.
Matthew 9:35-36 35 And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. 36 When He saw the crowds, He had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
The ‘gospel of the kingdom’ is the message of help and salvation from the corrosive effects of sin. It is the message that Jesus provides for what sin has taken away. Sin has separated us from God.
Isaiah 59:2 but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.
Yet to those who choose to embrace faith in Jesus, that He died to be the atoning sacrifice for our sin (1 John 4:9-10) that separation is closed.
John 1:12 But to all who did receive Him (Jesus), who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God
That’s the message of the Gospel. It is the good news of Jesus’ generous love. It is a love that selflessly gives.
Not only did Jesus express His generous love by dying on a cross for our sin, but He also loved those He came in contact with. In Matthew 8:1-3 Jesus reaches out and puts His hand on a leper (people avoided and certainly would not touch a person stricken with this disease) to show kindness and heal them. In Matthew 15:32-39 Jesus cares about the daily needs of people and their hunger and miraculously feeds them. In Luke 7:11-17 Jesus noticed the anguish of a mother whose son has just died, Jesus feels for her and raises this son from the dead! That’s generous love. It’s noticing others needs and seeking to not just barely meet the need, but lavish on some extra.
Jesus’ challenge to all of us is clear…
John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.
We are to love generously. Why not try, even today. Pick someone and find a way to love generously. Not expecting anything in return, just selfless generous love.
Church is a great place to learn about Jesus’ love and to be encourage to love like Jesus. If you are not connected to a church, we would like to invite you to Cypress Church or one of our branch churches. Our website has all the information you would need. www.cypresschurch.net. We would love for you to join us.
Seeking to join you in generously loving others,