God's Riches at Christ's Expense

February 23, 2017

Imagine a lottery that has a jackpot of One Nonillion Dollars. (What's a nonillion? Glad you asked! A Nonillion is a 1 followed  30 zeros. This is so big, you could pay off the U.S. National Debt 10 times and STILL have billions of dollars left over!)

But to win this lottery, you have to buy a lottery ticket with a price tag of One Trillion dollars. Hearing that, you laugh. You couldn't even afford a ticket if it was a "mere" million dollars. Not even Bill Gates, the world's richest man, could afford a ticket at that price.

But imagine that Mr. Gates calls up a few of his friends (who happen to make up the Top 10 of the world's richest people), and they all decide to liquidate their assets, cash everything in, to enter this lottery. They are able to purchase a ticket, and because they are the only ones able to afford the ticket price, they are guaranteed the win.

But then they do the unthinkable. They take their nonillion dollar winnings, and give it all to you!

That is Grace.

The Ultimate Lottery

We are in a series here on the blog about The Riverwood Way. This week, we come to "...leads with Grace." And like the above scenario, this is exactly what God has done for us through Christ.

Jesus paid the ultimate price. He gave everything. He cashed in his life. But doing so allowed Him to purchase you from sin. But not only are you given spiritual freedom and forgiveness, you are also given God's riches.

Ephesians 1:3 says it this way:
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,"

In other words, if you follow Jesus, you are spiritually rich! You have far more than a nonillion worth of spiritual dollars in your spiritual bank account. It can't be counted. You have EVERY spiritual blessing.

This is grace. Grace is getting what you don't deserve. Grace is being made spiritually alive and spiritually rich when you couldn't do anything yourself to make yourself alive or wealthy.

Or, to make grace an acronym, G.R.A.C.E. is God's Riches (given to you) At Christ's Expense.

Grace in Everyday Life

Here's how this mind blowing truth should affect the rest of your todays. Because God has given you such extravagant grace, you should lead with grace toward others. It means giving grace to your spouse when he or she doesn't follow through on his or her promise. It means giving your kids grace when they act like kids. It means giving your co-workers grace when they stand around gossiping.

But it also means giving grace to...

  • the person clothed in rags,
  • or the guy who thinks he deserves something because he's wearing a suit,
  • or the lady who cut you off in traffic,
  • or the guy with a different skin pigment than you,
  • or the mom who yelled at her kid in Walmart,
  • or the "friend" who posted inflammatory comments on Facebook.

This kind of grace doesn't mean we just let everything pass and affirm every decision others make (God gives me grace, and yet there is much I do that doesn't honor and please Him). But in our Twitter world, we are often so quick to judge.

If there is human DNA inside of a person, they are made in the image of God. And if God can give us grace despite our own sin and imperfections, then we can give grace to other image bearers as well.

So today, lead with grace. Because you've won the spiritual lottery and have plenty of grace to share!

Erin Bird Lead Pastor - Riverwood Church

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Riverwood Church, Waverly Iowa

We are on a mission to help people love like Jesus loved and live like Jesus lived.

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