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The Lavishness of God's Generosity

Ephesians 1:7-8
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, (NIVUK)

In the days of slavery, it was possible to make a payment to buy freedom for the slave. Jesus did that for us when He died. He bought us back (redeemed us) from our slavery to sin and Satan (John 8:34), not with money but His own blood (1 Peter 1:18-19). That is the core of the Gospel - that people who submit themselves to their Saviour are completely forgiven, freed from the weight of all their sins, adopted into His family and given an inheritance in God's kingdom (Ephesians 1:5). But, what an expense to Jesus, to do that for all of us! It just shows how rich God's love is (Psalm 145:8).

God never does anything in a stingy way. When He forgives us, He does so lavishly. That is not the careless generosity of someone who is too rich to notice. 1 John 3:1 says, "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" That is grace – God's free gift at His own expense to rescue us from our bondage to decay and place us, one day, in a new creation which is perfect in every way (Romans 8:21). The traumatic economic memories of global toxic debt and the ‘credit crunch', give us a brilliant illustration of the grace of Christ. It was not just God stepping in to offer temporary help until we can look after our own resources properly. The divine 'bail out' of morally bankrupt people was made freely, generously and lavishly without any clawback later: that is God's grace.

All of God's abundant giving is done with astonishing wisdom. He knew that without His help we would have hell and no hope. In His wisdom He could not just excuse our wilful rebellion, justice had to be done. So, in order to redeem us, He paid the price in His own blood. You see, He fully understood our predicament and also knew how much He loved us: He knew the cost to the Godhead, but His extreme expenditure was the wisest investment heaven could ever make. Our sin did not take God by surprise, because we know that the Salvation plan was formulated, and spoken in heaven, even before the world was made and sin ripped apart the first creation (Ephesians 1:4-6).

God's lavish generosity in paying our debt and welcoming us into His family is the grace-laden, love-soaked heart of the gospel. Take a moment to let it sink in to your heart. Bathe in this truth, allow it to permeate every part of your thoughts and emotions. Let it place problems and troubles into the perspective as God sees them. As we embrace His lavish love, daring to receive it as His free gift of grace, unworthy as we are, we need to praise Him (Ephesians 1:6; Hebrews 13:15). Then we need to let other people know where their own personal toxic debt can be relieved (www.crosscheck.org.uk).

Prayer 
Dear Lord. How kind You are! How generous You have been towards me, even while I was helpless and hopeless because of my sinful nature. Help me to show my gratitude to You in my prayer, praise and proclamation of your lavish grace. For Christ's sake. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams

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