God wasn’t stingy with His grace. We shouldn’t be stingy with ours.
IT’S WORTH CONSIDERING
In Ephesians 1:7-8 Paul tells us of “the riches of God’s grace which He lavished upon us.” Without getting into the larger message he is conveying, let’s look at the marvelous truth that resides in this brief passage. It’s easy to gloss over so much of Scripture and miss the treasure it holds. A word study of “riches’ and “lavished” unlocks the treasure chest.
“Riches” connotes not only extreme value, but an abundance. This describes the grace He showered on us. How much grace did He provide? The answer lies in the word “lavished.” It means over and above, to furnish one richly so that the recipient has abundance, to superabound. It means that God’s grace was manifested to us in superabundance. It was supersized! It is exemplified in what a friend of mine calls the “Baskin Robbins effect.” The delicious ice cream is both deeply packed in the cone and oozing over the sides. That’s the way God has served up His grace to us.
We see this principle in both accounts when Jesus fed the multitudes. In one case there were seven full baskets left over. In the other account, twelve. When the word “lavished” is used in the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Old Testament), it means to have more than enough. There’s definitely a pattern here. God is not stingy with His grace.
AS I SEE IT
This raises an interesting question. Why would God give us more than we need? We know that He never wastes anything. He is precise and perfect in all His dealings. So why give us more than we can use?
It doesn’t take long to come up with the answer. It fits perfectly with everything that Jesus taught. God purposefully supersized His grace to us so that we would share our excess with others. He expects us to be as free with this excess as He was with us. He wants us to be people of grace, showing the same forgiveness to others that He showed to us. This is how He wants His children to be recognized-as people of grace. This is the primary way we are to stand out in a culture that is anything but grace-filled.
It’s like a summer vegetable garden. A healthy garden will produce way more that you can eat. Distributing the excess among friends brings great satisfaction. Why is it so hard to do the same with grace? God has given us everything we need to be a dispenser of grace. Now it’s up to us.
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE