May 7 – In what way is God rich?

May 7, 2022 Randy Bushey

~by Randy Bushey

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ …in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:4,5,7).

Most of us would define prosperity as possessing an abundance of finances or valuable possessions.

But, when considering God’s wealth, how would you measure it??

As Creator, He owns what He has made. That’s why the Lord asserts as recorded by the psalmist, for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10).

His portfolio of capital is immeasurably extensive; His resources never-ending; His wealth infinite.

But, if we searched the Scripture for the specific treasure that He would claim as among His greatest, the Bible says in Ephesians 2 that God is rich in mercy and speaks of the incomparable riches of his grace.

In English, those 2 words – mercy and grace – have slightly different meanings as we’ve discussed before in this blog. However, in the Bible – in both the Old Testament and the New – the 2 words appear almost interchangeably.

And each is sometimes replaced with synonymous terms like His favour or lovingkindness.

Why does God do anything that He chooses to undertake?

Theologian Lewis Sperry Chafer (died 1952) says that grace was the “supreme motive which actuated God in the creation, preservation and consummation of the universe”.

But beyond creation, the Scripture demonstrates that the fullest expression of God’s mercy and grace, favour and lovingkindness is expressed in the life, ministry and cross of Christ.

I suspect that we don’t appreciate God’s mercy and grace as we might simply because we don’t recognize the heinousness of our sin as we should.

The Bible characterizes sin as pollution, defacement, and desecration. Sin renders ugly what was once beautiful. Sin is reflected in weakness and impotence; in hypocrisy and duplicity.

However, the grace of God as evidenced in the cross of Christ provides the opportunity needed for each of us – the chance at a new, transformative start.

The required response to embrace eternal salvation and abundant life is the response of repentant faith in the Lord Jesus and His cross.

Who He is. What He’s done.

The consequence is this: the Ultimate Judge of time and eternity declares me not to be broken and ugly, weak and hypocritical, sinful and degenerate.

Rather He declares me to be forgiven, liberated, redeemed, and whole. He chooses to see in me the righteousness of His Son. God declares it to be so.

When conducting a funeral, one of the challenges is to find a hymn that the assembled group might all know. And there is one fail-safe, fall-back selection with which everyone is familiar and can sing: Amazing Grace.

The words of former slave-trader turned Christ-follower John Newton are simple, but profound.

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found; was blind, but now I see.

Takeaway: how can the concept and its application to our lives be expressed any better than how the Holy Spirit directed Paul’s pen to write?

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ …in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:4,5,7).