Friday, August 29, 2008

What richness!

I was still chuckling at the whole-hearted enthusiasm my kids have for cooking. If something is good, you should use a lot of it! So after appreciative sniffs of vanilla and cinnamon, they added a generous amount to our “crumpets”. That was still in my mind while reading again the first part of Ephesians, and it struck me how closely they were imitating our Father.

1:3—“…who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing…”

1:6—“to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us…”

1:7-8—“…forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us…”

1:18-19—“…the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us…”

The next verses describe how all-encompassing is Christ’s power, present and future, over all things, “the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”

2:4—“But God, being rich in mercy because of His great love with which He loved us…”

2:7—“…that He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us…”

Nearly every verse comes back to remind us of the lavish generosity and richness of God’s love, which doesn’t hold anything back. One of my favorite passages in the Bible is in the next chapter:

“ For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened in the inner man; so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.”

Now that is amazing, if we really stop and think about it. If like me, you are tempted to doubt, he goes on in the next verse:

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”

There is so much in these verses. Don’t just gulp them down. Go back and savor them throughout the day. Maybe over tea and crumpets.

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