From The Heart

Publish date: 06/21/1998

Foundation scripture: Ephesians 2:1-11  (KJV)

1And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wath, even as others. 4But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Once we were dead in our sins, but God, who is rich in mercy and who loves us with His great love has quickened us together with Jesus Christ. Quicken – means to make alive. We were dead to God and alive to sin – now, with Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are dead to sin and alive unto God! Verse 4, in the Amplified Bible, says that His love for us is great, wonderful and intense. We are saved by grace so that in the ages to come He might clearly demonstrate the immeasurable, limitless, surpassing riches of His free grace (unmerited favor) in His kindness and goodness of heart toward us (Amplified – verse 7).

We are not just saved by grace, so that we can barely make it into heaven. Being saved by grace is only the doorway into all the wonderful things that God has for us. Through the ages to come, throughout all eternity, forever and ever, our Heavenly Father will be expressing to us the riches – the exceeding, immeasurable, limitless, surpassing riches – of His wonderful, unmerited, undeserved, free grace and favor as He reveals and extends to us, His goodness and His kindness.  

We cannot even begin to comprehend, with our limited mental abilities as people, the love that our Father has for us. We cannot comprehend the riches of His grace and favor and goodness and kindness. Many people do not believe that God loves them and wants to bless them, but even those who do believe it, have a hard time grasping the unlimitedness of God’s love and grace toward them. We feel that we are not worthy, and so we accept only little tidbits at a time of His love and grace and favor, but it has absolutely nothing to do with being worthy, and everything to do with how He feels about us.

He wants to show us His favor and He wants to bless us – not because of any worthiness on our part, but simply because that is the nature of the love of God. He loves the undeserving - He showers blessings on the undeserving. God blesses us because of His nature and in spite of ours. It makes no difference how we feel about it - it is so anyway. If you can even begin to understand free grace and unmerited favor, you will realize what a slap it is in God’s face for men to think that they should, or even could, earn His favor.

It is impossible to pay this debt we owe to God. The debt was paid in the blood of Jesus – far too high a price for us to earn, even over a lifetime. The best we can do is realize the price has been paid and humbly and sincerely and wholeheartedly receive our free gift, knowing that we will never be able to repay it. Realizing the extent of God’s love and blessing – even though completely undeserved – causes us to want to serve Him, to love Him and obey Him. He paid so high a price – the very least we can do is give Him everything we are and everything we have as He continues to pour out on us and show us His love and His kindness throughout all eternity and the ages to come.

Romans 2:4  (KJV)
4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?