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The Big Bailout

Ephesians 2:4-5
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved. (NIVUK)

Insolvency and bankruptcy is a terrible thing. Everything you have worked for, for a lifetime, has no value whatsoever. More than that, there is the shame of a sadly deflated image ... everybody knows that you are not what you made out you were. And then there is the practical rearrangements by bailiffs, and that might stretch as far as homelessness. Every year thousands face bankruptcy and try to struggle through with a brave face.

Before we knew Jesus, our spiritual debts were overwhelming, and there was no hope; we were under God's wrath and we could do nothing to save ourselves (Ephesians 2:1-3). But when we heard that God loved us, despite our sin and despite His righteous anger against our sin, that good news gave hope (Colossians 1:5). Our salvation was not just a neat business deal within the Godhead, a creative accounting transfer of our sin onto Jesus, so that we could become His children – He chose to save us because He loved us.

Desperate circumstances demand desperate measures. Jesus personally wrote off all our moral debts to God, by being punished for us on the cross; and that was even before we wanted to be saved (Romans 5:8). Amazing! God then not only forgave us all of our sins as we confessed and repented of them; He also gave us a brand-new life ... like the life He gave to Jesus. That is the meaning of grace: we deserved no help and should have lost everything, but God in Christ Jesus paid for our bailout and gave us eternal life - because He loved us.

In the hard world of the workplace, we rarely think of anybody wanting to be generous to us when we have messed up. But that is what God did, and in a big way. Like the bankrupt rescued at the last minute, we should be overflowing with thanks. Have you ever done that? Do you regularly do that? Thanksgiving is a sacrifice of our pride but a joy to the person who has loved us (Hebrews 13:15). Your salvation has nothing to do with how good you have been or how well you have served the Lord: it has everything to do with His mercy and His grace stimulated by His love. Just try saying, out loud - "Thank You Jesus for saving me, thank You Lord for loving me"! Let that act of obedient thanksgiving become a normal part of your life … not just in church but at home and at work too. If His grace is big why is our thanksgiving so small? And, if anyone does overhear ... you can explain why you are so glad (1 Peter 3:15).

Dear Lord. Your love is amazing; I do not deserve it and cannot repay You. Please forgive me for being so ungrateful, failing to thank You and proudly asserting my good work as though I either can save myself or do not need saving. Help me never to forget Your grace and always to thank You for Your sacrifice motivated by Your love for me personally. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams