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 with all wisdom and understanding.
— Ephesians 1:7–8
A man sat waiting for his new doctor to make his way through the file that contained his very extensive medical history. After the doctor had finished reading all 17 pages, he looked at the patient and said, “Well, the good news is you look a lot better in person than you do on paper!”
Aren’t you glad that, in the shadow of the cross, we look good to our heavenly Father? Because of what Jesus did for us on the cross, our God sees us as better than we are on our own. The fact sheet of our lives suggests that we are in trouble. But he sees us as forgiven. He sees us as children of his. He sees us as redeemed.
But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ, even when we were dead in transgressions.
— Ephesians 2:4–5
That is the good news of the gospel. That should excite us. But there often seems to be a disconnect somewhere. We have been saved by the great work of God on our behalf. But instead of living in perfect peace, we feel like a big mess and our lives are less than victorious Sometimes even as Christians, we feel limited by our weaknesses and mistakes instead of continuing to focus on the strength and grace of our savior. Note the language of Ephesians. God LAVISHED his grace upon us. God is RICH in mercy. God doesn’t have a little economy-sized jar of mercy and grace that he uses. He has an unlimited supply. And if you are a child of his, he has given you all of the grace and mercy that you will ever need.
Let’s decide to focus less on ourselves this week. We cannot save ourselves. Let’s fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
— Psalm 100:1, 4