The Giving Tree (3 of 5) by Kerry Shook

This content is part of a series.

The Giving Tree (3 of 5)
Series: Killing Karma – Replacing a Life of Guilt with a Life of Grace
Pastor Kerry Shook

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“And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” Ephesians 3:18-19 (NLT)

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” 1 John 3:16 (NIV)

“As the time approached for Him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.” Luke 9:51 (NIV)

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One of my wife's, Chris’, favorite books to read to our kids when they were little was The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, and this is one of my favorite books for Chris to read me as well.

It says: Once there was a tree, and she loved a little boy, and every day the boy would come, and he would gather her leaves and make them into crowns and play king of the forest. He would climb up her trunk and when he was tired, he would sleep in her shade, and the boy loved the tree very much, and the tree was happy.

The Giving Tree really encapsulates what real love is because love always involves giving. For love to really be love, you've got to give it away. And real love reminds me of the real giving tree, the cross of Christ.

And we're in this series that I'm calling Killing Karma because karma is a universal law and it says this: You get what you deserve in life, that you reap whatever you sow, that whatever actions you put out in the present come back to affect your future. And because we've all sown sinful actions, no one’s perfect. We've all sinned. Karma rightfully says that we deserve future punishment, but 2000 years ago Christ killed karma on the real giving tree, the cross. And He instituted a higher law, the law of grace. So now we don't get what we deserve. We don’t get the punishment we deserve, and we get what we could never earn or deserve. We get Heaven one day. We get purpose and meaning and joy and fulfillment, total forgiveness. That's His grace.
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