In Christ I am – Lavished by God’s Grace

This month, as we are leading up to the Good Friday and Easter Sunday, we are taking some time to reflect who we are IN CHRIST. If you want to read a little bit about how God blesses us with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, you can read about that here.

Today, I am writing about something we talk a lot about in church, but I’m not sure we really believe it’s for us – well, at least not after salvation that is. That is GRACE. I think most of you, if I asked, would say that you can’t earn your salvation, that it was Christ’s work on the cross that paid your sin debt, that there is no way you could work or earn your way to heaven (and if you do think you have to earn your way to heaven, please read this).

The thing is though, AFTER our salvation, we start acting like if we are only good enough, God will love us more. That if we do too many bad things or mess up too often, we will run out of God’s grace. Like it is somehow finite. Limited.

I’m hoping that after today, you can let go of that idea. In Ephesians 1:8,9, it says, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us.”

crosses  silhouette with theold paper  as background

You’ll notice that it says “we have” – not we had or we got, but we have. What do we have? We have redemption, forgiveness and His grace. And we don’t have just enough grace to save us. Nope – God lavishes grace on us out of His riches.

Since I am a word nerd, I looked up the word riches and lavish in the Greek. The word riches is the Greek word ploutos which means “fullness, abundance, plenitude” and it is out of the root that mean full or be filled. Lavished is the Greek word perisseuo and it means “left over and above a certain amount.”

This verse gives us a picture of God’s grace that is overflowing and plentiful – it’s not something He passes out in stingy little servings. We can never run through all of God’s grace. We will never get to the bottom of the grace barrel.

Grace always seems a little too good to be true. I mean, sure, God loves us enough to save us from hell, but lavish us with grace? Doesn’t that kind of grace only belong to people who sell everything they own and go to Africa, or the pastor or some extra spiritual like that?

The Good News is that we not only get salvation, we get a new identity, and that identity comes with some pretty awesome perks – one of the best of which is lavish grace.

You are God’s precious child. Even if you come to Him and you have a smudge of mud on your face and your hands are grimy from digging in the dirt, He sees the beloved child underneath all that. No matter what you do or don’t do, He is always waiting for you with His arms open wide.

It’s because His grace never runs out that you can always run to Him. – Tweet This!

Blessings, Rosanne

p.s. A great read on the topic of grace is Can I Get a Do-Over? by Elizabeth Ward. Btw, when I recommend books on here, it’s because I’ve read them and liked them myself. 🙂

p.s.s. Today, I’m linking up with Holley Coffee for Your Heart 150Gerth – don’t forget to visit her site for more posts that will encourage your heart!

In Christ I am

Last Wednesday was the beginning of the Lenten season. I was not raised in a denomination that celebrates Lent, but as I’ve done various articles, I see the benefit of focused attention on the weeks leading up to Jesus’ death and glorious resurrection.

Traditionally, or at least how I’ve always seen it, Lent is about giving up something, but this month, I want to focus on what being IN CHRIST really means.

This is something God has been teaching me lately -who I am in Him. Not who I am because of what I do, but who I am because of what HE did FOR me.

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(You can receive this word art as a free downloadable printable when you sign up to follow Divine Ordinary!)

So many time I get caught up in what I do – not who I truly am. How would you describe yourself? Do you define yourself by the roles you fulfill in your life – things like mom, wife, daughter, or church volunteer? When we identify ourselves by what we do rather than who we are, we miss out on all that God has created us to be.

I’ve been doing a study in Ephesians on spiritual warfare and as I read the first chapter of Ephesians, I was overcome by all that God says I am. In Ephesians 1:3, it says, that we are “blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.”

This is one of the first things Paul writes about who the Ephesians are IN CHRIST. I think it is significant that it comes so early in the book because this is a book that talks a lot about spiritual warfare and how to defeat out enemy.

We can’t defeat the enemy when we don’t know who we are. Tweet This!

This morning I was drinking my morning coffee and scrolling through Facebook when I came across a post that stopped me mid-sip. You can find the story online at the Washington Times.

The story is about 33 North Korean believers that were going to be executed by Kim Jong this morning for the crime of starting underground churches. He accused them of trying to take over the government as an excuse to execute them.

Later, as I sat in church, I looked around and tried to imagine what it would be like for 33 people in the pews around me being taken away and killed – just because they love Jesus and told people about Him. I don’t have that fear. We may complain about policies in the U.S. these days, but I can read my Bible without fear. I can share Christ with out fear. I can have a blog that shares how to know Jesus, and I do not worry that someone is going to break down my door in the middle of the night and drag me away or kill my family because of it.

I was thinking about this series I am writing, about the fact that we are given EVERY spiritual blessing in heavenly places. Not some or a few – but every one. And yet, I often live like a spiritual pauper – not like someone who has every spiritual blessing.

Those 33 Christians really got this. It wasn’t a nice idea – it was a foundational truth that gave them the courage to give their all for Christ. If the story is correct, those 33 Christians were welcomed by Jesus this morning. They got to hear Him say, “Well done, my good and faithful servants.”

As we sang Chris Tomlin’s song “I Will Rise,” I couldn’t stop myself from crying. The words seemed so appropriate for what was happening a world away – words that those precious 33 truly believed.

Do you believe you are who God says you are? I’d love to hear about it! 🙂

Blessings, Rosanne

I Will Rise
There’s a peace I’ve come to know
Though my heart and flesh may fail
There’s an anchor for my soul
I can say, it is well

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagle’s wings
Before my God, fall on my knees
And rise, I will rise

There’s a day that’s drawing near
When this darkness breaks to light
And the shadows disappear
And my faith shall be my eyes

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagle’s wings
Before my God, fall on my knees
And rise, I will rise

And I hear the voice of many angels sing
Worthy is the Lamb
And I hear the cry of every longing heart
Worthy is the Lamb

And I hear the voice of many angels sing
Worthy is the Lamb
And I hear the cry of every longing heart
Worthy is the Lamb
(You are worthy, You are worthy)
Worthy is the Lamb

I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagle’s wings
Before my God, fall on my knees
And rise, I will rise, I will rise

By Chris Tomlin

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