Ephesians 1:8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight
Out of the abundance of all that He has (which is everything), God lavishes upon us His blessings. He’s a loving Father who cares for His children and wants to bless them. And He does it in all wisdom and insight.
That means that even though the all-knowing God who lives outside of time and knows everything before it happens has knowledge of our sins and disobedience, He chooses to bless us anyway. A better word than “chooses” is “chose,” because before He even created the world He had already chosen how to bless you.
He knew the choices you’d make and the sins you’d commit against Him, and still He chose to love you and bless you, to redeem you and forgive you. If that’s not grace, then what is? If that’s not worth your thanks, then what is?
Ephesians 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,
The thing about the gifts of God is that they’re free. Completely and totally free. Our Father wants us to know that there’s nothing we could ever do to earn His redemption, His forgiveness, His deliverance, or His love. They’re free — for us.
There was a price for all of these blessings and we’d do well to remember that because it causes us to give thanks constantly. When we remember that our redemption was purchased by the blood of Christ, shed on the cross in our place, we can’t help but thank God for His grace. It’s a natural response to being given so much.
The cost of our freedom was expensive for the Son of God. He had to suffer and even die in order for us to be reconciled back to God. But the beautiful thing about it all is that He wasn’t forced to do it. He willingly gave His life for all of us and He’d do it all over again if He had to. But he doesn’t. It is finished, once and for all. It’d done. Paid for in full.
We mustn’t pass over the phrase “according to the riches of His grace” as though ti was not an important part of this passage. It may seem like just an ending to the statement, but in this lies one of the most important things we can understand about God. He’s not limited in how much He has to give. He has all things under His control. He has every blessing to give. He has everything we could ever need. And He offers to us from that abundance. We can trust in Him to deliver on His promises because He lacks nothing.
What do you need right now that you’re trusting God for? He’s able to deliver.
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Every single one of us has sinned. We’re all guilty before a perfect God and have no chance at perfection. We’re tainted from birth. That’s the truth. If it were the end of the truth, it would be a very sad existence that we lead. But, thankfully, there’s more to it.
Yes, we’re sinful. Yes, we’re unable to live up to a holy God’s standards and we’re headed toward death and destruction as a result. But there’s a hero to this story. There’s a Redeemer who sets us free from the condemnation that’s owed to us. We have been forgiven if we’ve put our trust in Christ Jesus.
But why do so many of us still live like we’re under that condemnation? Sometimes we’re our own worst enemies, piling on tons of guilt that isn’t ours to bear. Worse yet, some of us do so in the name of God, thinking it’s actually Him that’s given us this sentence to be carried out. But the Bible is clear, there is no more condemnation for us if we’re in Christ. We’re free from that bondage. If we’re living under self-imposed condemnation, it’s time to let it go and exchange it for the joy God wants us to have in Him.
Who is to condemn us? If it’s not from God and He’s the all-powerful, eternal Creator and Ruler of all things, then who can possibly do this to us and be in the right? No one. Trust in the Lord and freedom is yours. Condemnation is a thing of the past. Live like it.
Matthew 18:21-22 Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.
The truth about forgiveness is that it can be really hard. Sometimes it requires that we keep forgiving the same people and the same hurtful acts over and over again. Anyone with kids want to give an amen?!
Forgiveness requires humbling ourselves. It’s a sacrifice on our part to keep forgiving, but it’s what God wants to see us do. He taught this lesson to Peter and the disciples in the parable told in Matthew 18:21-35. To forgive is to obey God. Look no further than Mark 11:25-26, Colossians 3:13, and Ephesians 4:32 to see this truth. Did you see what was said there? You MUST forgive.
Forgiveness might be hard, but it’s also freeing. Unforgiveness locks us up in a prison of our own making like the servant in the parable. Forgiving restores fellowship with others and with God. When we’ve really experienced being forgiven it’s easier to appreciate it and we’re more driven to forgive others because we know how it feels to be free in that way. To forgive frees both parties involved.
Sometimes, though, we might forget how much we’ve been forgiven and we need to be reminded. All that Christ has done for us to redeem us and restore us to a relationship with God is a beautiful reminder of how much He loves us and how much we should love others. God became a man and lived a perfect, sinless human life and died a painful and humiliating death on a cross to take on our sins and the punishment we deserved. Not only that, He credited us with His righteousness and then rose from the dead three days after His death to go and mediate on our behalf to the Father. Yes, we’ve been forgiven beyond what we can even imagine. The least we can do is forgive others.
This devotional is derived from a sermon message by Matthew J. Cochran. To hear the sermon, follow this link to matthewjcochran.com.