“It’s like I’m drinking from a fire hose!” Ever heard someone say that? I did just this last week as I talked to a friend about how it was going as she was training for a new job. Ever said that yourself? I have. Numerous times. But pause and think about it and what a great word-picture it paints. Imagine someone drinking out of a fire hose? Nozzle to mouth. Hydrant turned on full. No way you can take it all in . . . but it just keeps coming. That’s the image that came to mind this morning as I started in on Ephesians in my reading plan and came across these words from Paul . . .
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 making known to us the mystery of His will, according to His purpose, which He set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in Him, things in heaven and things on earth. (Ephesians 1:7-10 ESV)
I only read the first fourteen verses of Ephesians this morning. Looks like I colored every word. Thoughts concerning Christ . . . truths about God the Father . . . gems about the nature of our salvation . . . calls for praise . . . demonstrations of blessing. Tons of stuff to noodle on in just these few verses. It’s like drinking from a fire hose! But what grabbed this morning . . . the hose that got hooked up and turned on . . . is the fire hose connected to the riches of God’s grace.
Paul says that in Christ we have redemption through His blood. That, because of the finished work of the cross, we can know the forgiveness of our trespasses — past, present, and future. And all this is “according to the riches of His grace, which we lavished on us.”
Savor that word for a moment . . . lavished! The word doesn’t find it’s way into my vocabulary very often. Evidently I’m either not talking about grace as much as I should be or talking about it the way I should be. If I did, “lavished” would be a pretty common part of my speech.
Merriam-Webster defines it like this: “expending or bestowing profusely; expended or produced in abundance; marked by profusion or excess.” Come to think of it I don’t use the word profusely much either. My handy-dandy online Greek lexicon says the original word as the idea of “to abound” or “overflow.” Strong’s puts it this way, “superabound.” When’s the last time I talked about God’s favor and used the word “superabound?”
Such is the degree to which God has, and continues to, pour out His grace. From the abundance and wealth of grace that is found in the very nature of God — a storehouse without measure — grace flows profusely. The floodgates are opened to all who believe and unmerited favor superabounds and the tide overwhelms us. But far from drowning in an ocean of grace, it’s when we fully allow it to submerge us . . . when, rather than seeking by our own effort to keep our head above the great tide, we dive down deep and open our mouths wide, . . . that we come fully alive. Drinking from living waters sourced from the Rock and realized through the Spirit.
A lack of living in God’s grace is not because the fire hose has run empty, but because we have become distracted from hooking ourselves up to it and drinking from it.
Oh that we might believe that God’s grace has been lavished upon us. That we might avail ourselves, day in and day out, of the superabounding flow of steadfast love . . . believing that the blood of Christ cleanses us from all sins . . . that the Spirit of Christ can lead us through every difficulty . . . that the love of Christ is sufficient in our failures.
Praise God for grace . . . for superabounding . . . abundantly expended . . . lavishly overflowing grace. All because . . . and only because . . . we are in Him!
To God be the glory!