Paul writes, God “is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding” (Ephesians 1:7-8 NLT). Other versions say, “the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us” (NIV).
A while ago, I saw a map showing the land that God originally promised to Abraham in Genesis, “So the Lord made a covenant with Abram that day and said, ‘I have given this land to your descendants, all the way from the border of Egypt to the great Euphrates River’” (Genesis 15:18).
“… the border of Egypt to the great Euphrates River” is a huge area, especially when you compare it to the much smaller area that Joshua divided up between the 12 tribes which we read about in the book of Joshua (chapters 13-21).
God planned for the Israelites to spread out and eventually possess all the land that he promised Abraham, but it never happened. In fact, they didn’t even fully possess all the land that Joshua assigned to them.
God promised so much, and they possessed so little. In a spiritual sense, it’s still true today. God promises much and we possess little. God isn’t stingy with his grace but lavish. But do we experience and live in all the grace God provides?
We had an old pastor who use to say, “God wants to bless us more than we want to be blessed.” God wants to give us his grace lavishly. The problem with God’s willingness to bless us, is we know we don’t deserve it, so we feel unworthy and exposed. We’d rather toughen up and act like we don’t need God. Or we’d rather God blessed us just a little bit, enough so that we can live easy lives, but not so much that it makes us feel uncomfortable.
The problem is that’s not how God works.
Jesus’ first miracle was to turn six jars, each containing about 25 gallons of water, into wine. That was an enormous quantity. And not just ordinary wine, but the best (John 2:10). The quantity and quality of the wine speak of God’s abundant provision. Peter has a similar experience. One day Jesus says to him: “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish” (Luke 5:4). The resulting catch is so large, it nearly sinks two boats (5:7). Another time Jesus feeds 5,000 people with five barley loaves and two fish. We read that they picked up the pieces and filled twelve baskets with the leftovers (John 6:13). Again, God provided more than enough.
Supposing, God gave us more than we asked for?
Often when we pray, we have limited outcomes in mind. We have expectations of how God ought to solve our difficulties and meet our needs. We would rather God solve our problems quickly and quietly, but what if God wants to do more? Or something entirely different to our expectations? Are we open to that?
When we’re prepared to trust the outcome to God, not knowing what he will do, we open the way for his abundant provision. Let’s be grateful recipients of God’s grace and kindness that he provides for us through the death of His Son. Let’s receive all the grace he offers us so we can live without condemnation and free to be the people God wants us to be.
As we think about the death and resurrection of Jesus, let’s be thankful for God’s lavish provision of grace. Let’s open our hearts and receive from him.
Thank you Lord, for your lavish provision of grace. You provide abundant grace, not just enough grace, or just enough mercy, or just enough forgiveness but you provide abundantly, lavishly, extravagantly. You provide more than enough and we are grateful.
Thank you for the bread – a small reminder of an enormous truth. You loved us and died for us.
Thank you for the cup – a small reminder of your vast supply of mercy and grace.
Thank you Lord, for all you’ve done for us and continue to do. Help us to be open to your plans for our future.
In Jesus’ Name,
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