In my previous post I quoted some verses from Ephesians 2. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about them since, although my thoughts have moved in another direction – God’s word is packed with goodness! And it’s not that I’ve learnt something new, but it has hit me with fresh impact, so here are some thoughts on the kindness of God towards us:
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions…And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-7
These are truly incredible verses!
Paul explains to the Ephesian Christians and to us that 1) our merciful God loves us with a great love. (He loved us even when we were “dead” in our sin)
2) Because of his love he has rescued us from sin and death through Jesus’ sacrifice in our place,
3) We have been raised and seated with Christ in heaven (spiritually for now, but one day physically too!)
4) The reason for this is so that “in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us”
It’s easy to miss that last part amidst all the other amazing things that Paul says, but it is an incredible truth.
Most people whether Christians or not, know that Jesus came to die on a cross for sinful people. But how often do we reflect on his motivations and feelings in doing so?
We’re grateful, and amazed at such a painful, generous sacrifice. But perhaps we sometimes think that God’s forgiveness is him hauling us out of trouble because he is merciful and good, but that he views us as trouble makers whom he cares for semi- reluctantly. ‘We’re more trouble than we’re worth, but what’s a loving God to do but keep on loving us?‘
But this verse explodes that theory.
“ the incomparable riches of his grace”
The Besotted Bridegroom
God’s purpose? Not a grudging one-time rescue, but an enthusiastic resolve and determination to love you and I, and keep on showing his kindness to us for the rest of eternity!! He can’t wait to show us greater depths of his love in Christ Jesus, like a bridegroom who looks past the wedding to a lifetime of finding new ways to love his bride.
This is not a reluctant love, or an abstract, theoretical, ‘textbook’ love. This is real, sacrificial, passionate, unfailingly kind love.
Please don’t misunderstand me, we are not at the centre of the universe as we like to imagine. He is! God is not like us, and first and foremost he glorifies himself. Nevertheless this is a biblical picture of how he feels about us. It is even more wonderful a truth when we consider how ‘other’ God is, how far above us in every way, and how undeserving we are!
The Blushing Bride
The more I consider this, the more I feel like the blushing bride that scripture says I am! (Is 62.5, Rev 19.7) His love for us is so undeserved!
Perhaps I seem ‘spiritual’ writing this blog, but trust me that the depths of my heart show my great need of Jesus Christ every single day. To hear that this good and holy God loves me and wants to show unfailing kindness to me, gives me confidence to draw near to him. How can I help but respond to this kind of undeserved, freely given, frankly declared love?
We are blessed people with an eternally loving God, I hope you’ll join me in rejoicing in his love.