“…the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us.” Eph 1:7b-8a
What does it mean when Paul writes that God lavished His grace upon us?
The English word lavish has its root in the French word lavasse, downpour of rain and from laver to wash. Imagine yourself standing outside in a downpour on a warm summer afternoon, getting completely soaked by the clean and refreshing rain. We are not talking about a little sprinkle here, but enough rain to fill the thirsty ground with its life-giving nourishment, creating a healthy environment for the plants to grow and thrive.
The Greek word that Paul used was perisseuo: “to exceed a fixed number of measure, to be left over and above a certain number or measure.” It means that there is not only enough—what we need—but more than enough, that the measure is beyond was is needed and that we have such abundance that we have an excess.
Below are verses that use perisseuo:
Matt 14:20 and they all ate and were satisfied. They picked up what was left overof the broken pieces, twelve full baskets.
Luke 15:17 “But when he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger!”
In the first verse, when Jesus feed the multitudes, He not only gave them enough to satisfy the large crowd, His giving was so lavishly abundant that there were 12 baskets left over. In the second passage, the Prodigal Son came to his senses and remembered that in his father’s household, instead of a lack of food, there was more than enough.
The parable often called the Prodigal Son should be called the Prodigal Father, for the word prodigal “implies reckless or wasteful lavishness threatening to lead to early exhaustion of resources.” The loving father was so lavish in his love for his son that first he was willing to give him half of his estate, because he knew that is what it would take to win him back, then to continue to be extravagantly lavish in his generosity when the son returned.
2 Cor 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;
When we are in a difficult situation, will God come through for us? This promise is not only is His grace sufficient, that we will actually have an abundance and have more than we need.
What area are you struggling in, where you are in need of God’s grace? Are you seeing it through the lens of scarcity or abundance?
Strong’s Concordance. https://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/nas/perisseuo.html