Lavish Love.

I am overwhelmed with joy in the LORD my God, for He has dressed me in garments of salvation. He has draped me in a robe of His righteousness!

(Isaiah 61:10)

Isaiah couldn’t believe it. He had been clothed in God’s righteousness. It didn’t depend on him anymore. God had done it for Him. God had clothed him. God had dressed him. God had adorned Him with His beauty and majesty. A beauty and majesty that can only come from God.

That is why we can’t do it ourselves.

Anything we do ‘right’ is like filthy rags compared to what God has given us, the beauty and majesty He has clothed us with.

This is why GRACE is amazing!

It doesn’t depend on us anymore.

Let’s all breathe out a collective Phew!

Nothing we do can add to our righteousness.

None of our good works can make us worthy of salvation.

Nothing we do can earn our way into Heaven.

Nothing we do can earn His love.

Nothing we do can even lose His love.

He loves us because of who He is, not because of who we are… thank God!

When Jesus said ‘It is finished!’ He meant ‘It is Finished!’

It is finished!

No wonder Paul couldn’t stop banging on about ‘grace’ in his letters.

Let’s look at the opening of Ephesians:

In love He predestined us to be adopted as His children… to the praise of his glorious grace which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In Him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us…

Ephesians 1:3-8

I LOVE this.

lavished on us.

Lavished!

The image I get is of a dog, so pleased to see you that He’s licking your face all over with his tongue, wagging his tail, excited beyond comprehension, just to see you, just that you are there.

Dogs love us anyway, regardless of what we do.

God loves us just because we are here, with Him, regardless of what we have done or do.

He simply loves us.

So why the need for the cross?

Somehow, supernaturally, God consumed all human sin, the sins of the whole world, into Christ’s bloody, beaten, tortured body – and then destroyed it through His death.

Christ had to die – to kill our sin.

Our sin, all of it, died with Christ.

But then He rose again with a new glorified body – free of sin, holy, perfect and beautiful !

And one day we will also have new bodies and we will all share His glory – we will all be perfect and beautiful.

The miracle is – because of Christ’s death – that is how God sees us already.

If only we could see ourselves and each other the same way!

I’ve been listening to the Bruno Mars song recently ‘Just the Way You Are.’

It’s as if God is singing directly to me.

God loves you just the way you are.

Because of the cross God sees no sin in our lives and sees the amazing us, the original us, the us He created – the perfect, pure and holy us.

He sees us as we really are.

He sees our true selves.

He sees us as

…a glorious church…without blemish, pure and holy.

(Ephesians 5:27)

That is the power of the cross.

Have a great Sunday.

Here endeth the lesson!

Steve Edwards

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