This week we’ll spend time simply stirring up our affections for God. God has designed us to see him, to know his character and to let the truth of his goodness lead us into deeper relationship with him. Augustine wrote, “Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee.” In seeing God for who he is, our hearts are naturally stirred to find rest in his goodness. May your heart be stirred at the revelation of God’s wonderful character.
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.” Ephesians 1:7
Arms of Grace | Bryan & Katie Torwalt
Grace is one of the most astounding and life-transforming aspects of God’s character. From the beginning of time God has chosen to lavish grace upon us instead of wrath. Time and time again, we’ve turned our backs on him. And time and time again he demonstrates the depth of his desire for us through the giving of his boundless grace. In his grace we are afforded a life not only apart from his wrath, but lived in the glory of relationship with our Creator through the redemption of Jesus.
Ephesians 1:7 says, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.” Let’s look at a few of these ideas today and let them stir our affections for God. Allow God to speak through his word to the places of your heart where the grace of God hasn’t been given the opportunity to abound yet.
Paul says that in Jesus we have “redemption through his blood.” Have you thought about the nature of your redemption at length before? Colossians 1:19-22 says, “For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him.” Such is the grace of your heavenly Father that there is not a single thing between you and him. You, who at one time stood apart from God, have been brought into the family of God, redeemed by the blood of Jesus.
Not only have you been redeemed once and for all, but you are forgiven both now and forever. Paul writes that we as believers have “the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.” Where in your life do you need forgiveness today? What do you feel is separating you from unveiled relationship with your heavenly Father? When you confess your sins, God offers you his forgiveness for anything you have done. “According to the riches of his grace,” which was made perfectly evident in the death of Jesus, you are being offered forgiveness. If God would send his Son to die in order to have restored relationship with you, you better believe he will forgive any trespass that seems to stand in your way now.
God doesn’t operate the way the world does. He doesn’t make you pay the penalty for your own sin. Instead, he offers perfect grace. In story after story in Scripture God turns the systems of the world on their head through the concept of grace. In the story of the prodigal son, the father allowed the son to dishonor him, set aside his rightful punishment, and threw a huge party for his wayward child returned home. He didn’t wait. He didn’t make him work for his redemption. He immediately offered him forgiveness freely in grace. God offers you the same today. Don’t attempt to pay for your own sin by separating yourself from the fullness of relationship with God. Jesus paid the only price necessary by his own death. Live in light of God’s grace. Offer your heart to God freely. Let him work out redemption in every area of your life that you might more fully experience the wonderful relationship you have available to you with God.
1. Take time to reflect on the amazing grace of God.
“He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant forever. Holy and awesome is his name!” Psalm 111:9
2. Talk to God about any area of your life you feel separated from him through sin or a lack of understanding. Where in your life do you not feel grace? What part of your thinking is dominated by condemnation or negativity?
3. Ask God for forgiveness and understanding of his grace in those areas of your life. Receive the freedom that comes from his presence and forgiveness.
God works tirelessly to lead you into the fullness of relationship with him because he loves you. You are his child. He knows everything about you; he’s created you, and he loves spending time with you. May your affections be stirred towards him today. May you know and experience his love in mighty and transformative ways. May you spend your day in God’s presence, changed and empowered by the reality of his boundless grace.
Extended Reading: Ephesians 1