Repost from July 27th, 2013:
“He predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace, with which He has blessed us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight.” (Ephesians 1:5-8)
The Bible uses adoption language all over the place. The apostle Paul used it ALOT. Here Paul, inspired by the Spirit, says that because of God’s predetermined love and Christ’s bloody sacrifice, we sinful humans are adopted into the God’s forever family. What do we have? Not just grace – GLORIOUS grace. Not just riches of grace – but riches that He has LAVISHED on us. We do have a very liberal God – liberal in the sense of showering His children with love and grace and mercy and joy and hope and life. By no work of our own – God adopted us and has blessed us in His Son AND lavished on us His rich grace. To put it plainly: by faith in the finished work of Christ, we have MORE than we will ever need – now and forever.
I got a small taste of this yesterday.
Birtukan, with no work of her own, stood with us before the U.S. Embassy and we were handed her birth certificate and will be issued her passport later today.
She came back with us to our guesthouse and – until she finally dozed off to sleep – went through every possible toy, article of clothing, hair product, backpack, snack, and computer device she could get her hands on. Our stuff had become her stuff.
The very FIRST thing she wanted to do when she got to our room? Take off her orphan clothing (pictured above) and put on a new outfit (pictured to the right) – complete with
socks, shoes, undies, shirt, pants, skirt, jacket, and hair thingies (I don’t know what you call them).
She very joyfully and aggressively found what was now hers and immediately made them her own.
Is that not EXACTLY what the Lord wants from us? Remove our old clothes and put on the beautiful ones He has provided (Colossians 3:12ff)? Joyfully and aggressively take what is ours ‘in Christ’ and make them our own as true family members?
Yesterday afternoon and evening was an earthly picture of a beautiful heavenly reality. Birtukan had done nothing to earn our favor and love and gifts. Yet we gladly want her to have everything we have to give her. It was so much fun to see her enjoy discovering what was hers because she was a Pearson! That’s the definition of grace.
Do you know that God has lavished on you grace according to HIS riches? You can’t earn it. That would not be grace. But you CAN receive it, by faith. So go ahead. Take what is yours because of Christ.
Had Birti not enjoyed the afternoon with us, delighting in her ‘new stuff’ and ‘new life’, it would have robbed Katie and I of so much joy.
Have you been guilty of robbing God joy by your refusal to receive the riches of His grace?