There is a special little verse, in the only book of the Bible with no chapters…Jude.
Jude 22…There is some of you having compassion therefore making a difference.
Let me invite you to learn to extend your goodness. You say Darrell, what do you mean by that? The easiest way to do that is to look around you…. find a need and fill it. Compassion working in you by the Holy Spirit will cause you to extend. I was amazed at how many different ways as believers we can “extend” ourselves, our ministry, our faith and our goodness. I am going to list the definition I found online and show you an example of Christ working in us, through us and with us to “extend” His goodness that Christ might be glorified in our lives.
ex·tend (ek-st nd )
1. To open or straighten something out; unbend: In Luke 3 we read where Isaiah prophesied that Jesus would make the crooked roads become straight, and the rough ways smooth. It is God which “extended” salvation to all mankind through Jesus and straightened out what sin had made crooked. When we “ extend” ourselves in compassion to share Christ with others, that opens the door that Christ may come into their hearts and their lives can be made straight by the Blood of the Lamb.
2. To spread something out to its greater or fullest length: This fits perfectly with Ephesians 3:17 where we read that Christ will make his home in our hearts, and God’s love will keep us strong. Paul wishes for us to understand how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is for us is. Paul tells us God will “extend” the love of Jesus to all who believe, but even as we experience the love of Christ, and it will complete us, it is even too great for us to understand it all.
3. To exert oneself vigorously or to full capacity: We can step out in faith and “extend” ourselves to meet the needs of those around us. Or maybe God is looking for you to be a David and slay a Goliath that is standing in the way of the Body of Christ. Look to be that David and let God use you to your fullest capacity as Philippians 4:13 declares that you can do all things through Christ which strengthens you.
4. To enlarge the area, scope, or expand in size or area the influence of. Jesus tells us in both in Matthew Chapters 16 and 18 that whatever we bind here on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever we loose here on earth will be loosed in heaven. We read that when we gather together in His name, and believe upon his name, we can “extend” our area of influence in Christ Jesus to reach and affect not only all of earth but also all of heaven. Those things we declare in unity shall “extend “and be recognized and also have the same cause and effect in Heaven as they do here on earth.
5. To offer: To make available; provide: I guess of all the definitions for extend this has to be my favorite. It was God the Father that offered up His Son Jesus and made Him available as a sacrifice for my sin that provided for my salvation. We read in John 3:16
“For God so loved the world that he gave (offered and made available) his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save (provide salvation for all mankind) the world through him”.
We see that the love of God the Father has been extended to us by the gift of His Son Jesus. We see the love of our Lord as His arms were extended and nailed to the cross as forgiveness for our sins.
Slow down and take the time in your life on a daily basis to extend to others the love of Christ as God has extended it to you.
Do something for you neighbor, offer to mow their lawn, or help them paint a fence. There are many senior citizens that need help with transportation to buy groceries and other type of errands. Needs…..they are everywhere you look. God gives us the opportunity to extend His love by extending ourselves to a world where the message and effect of the cross can and will change lives. And by changing lives, that means our lives are changed as well as the Spirit of God works in and through us as we become an extension of Jesus Christ to the world.
Extending yourself and your time is the compassion that is spoken of in Jude 22, a compassion that makes a difference in the world. That compassion working in us by the Spirit of God is the difference that the world needs. We are the one that have been called of God as extensions of Christ and His mercy to spread that goodness to a world that is suffering and in need of the salvation the is so freely extended by God through Christ Jesus to all mankind.
To me personally, extend means to reach out more than I normally would. It means to go out of my way to help someone. It means to help someone I hardly know move their office or give a helping hand in kindness where I don’t have to. To me it means to offer myself, my time, my love, concern and goodness in a situation where the only person that will know is me and the receiver. To me that is to extend. We see them every day, an elderly woman carrying groceries, someone changing a flat tire, a man hungry on the street, a person crying in sorrow, the list goes on and on.
There are so many needs around us if we actually took the time to look and find the time to try and start filling those needs there would not be enough hours in our day to do so. So let Christ be alive in you extending your heart in compassion, therefore making a difference.
Is everything in your life not where you want it to be? Do you want more? Do you want more emotionally, physically, financially and spiritually? The key is simply to extend yourself as Christ commanded you as a servant, as He himself was, and is a servant. Learn how to share the Lord’s goodness and compassion with others. Let Christ set your boundaries, and expand your territory.
Matthew 25:21 The master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’