There’s a little pile of treasures on the corner of my dresser. A necklace made from pony beads and string. A shiny rock. A scrawled picture of two stick figures holding hands. “It’s you and me, Mommy.” All of them are gifts from a little boy still young enough to think Mommy is the center of the universe. When he crawls into my lap and pushes aside my knitting because “I need to give you a kiss, Mommy,” it sometimes tastes a little bittersweet. I know there’s a day coming when he won’t lavish his affection so freely.
There’s something I love about the word “lavish.” Maybe it’s the way it rolls off your tongue. It means “to bestow something in generous or extravagant quantities.” It conjures up images for me of dinner tables lit by candlelight, gifts piled beneath the Christmas tree, and the way the sun glints off an engagement ring. We give lavishly when we want to shower someone with our affection, when the gift could never match the size of what’s in our hearts. It reminds me of God’s lavish grace.
Paul opens his letter to the Ephesians with a doxology: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ” (1:3). Every spiritual blessing. Every blessing. God is a lavish giver who holds nothing back. He lavishes his grace on us.
What are those blessings?
- He chose us. Before the creation of the world God chose us “to be holy and blameless in his sight.” Colossians tells us that the Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world. Before God said “let there be light” he knew what was coming. He saw the serpent, the woman, the fruit. He saw the sorrow and the pain. He saw our sin. He saw the cross. And he chose us anyway.
- He predestined us to adoption as sons and daughters of God. You have a destiny chosen by God: to be his child. It’s no small thing to be the child of the Almighty. He wasn’t content to make us servants. He made us sons. We share in his authority, power, and purpose. Our name and identity come from God: we are his.
- He redeemed us. Redemption means bought back, purchased from slavery. God redeemed us from our slavery to sin. The price was Christ’s blood. Though we submitted to sin and allowed it to become master over us, God reclaimed us for his own. And he didn’t do it stingily—no he lavished his grace upon us (Ephesians 1:8)
God’s generosity to us is not dependent on our worth, but on his grace. He gives to us lavishly because he is a generous God. What can we do but respond to him with praise?
How are you thankful for God’s lavish grace?