photo © 2007 Jed Scattergood | more info (via: Wylio)
“He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us. In all wisdom and insight …” Ephesians 1:5-8, NASB.
We tend to see the message of grace, of mercy and forgiveness, as stemming from a holy and vengeful God whose thirst for retributive justice must be satisfied. Since it deals with our sin, we see the heart of the gospel as a laser-like focus at our shame, and a way to appease God’s ever-present wrath and anger at us. Our conscience constantly bears witness that no matter how far along we go in our transformation, there always seems to be something more that is the object of the holy gaze of God’s indignant attention.
However, in actual fact, the message stems from the heart of a prodigal father, a father who does all things from a kind intention. He gave us redemption through Christ’s blood, He rescued us from our own determination and inbred destructiveness, because of kind intention. Look at how Paul talks about the Father’s grace! It is glorious. It is praiseworthy. It is not withheld, it is freely bestowed. Grace is something which is a treasure, bestowed from the storehouse of His riches. Grace is considered something which He lavishes upon us! These are all things which point to a prodigal Father, a Father who loves and gives prodigiously. When we come to Him, when we pray to Him, when we ask Him for mercy or provision or comfort or wisdom or help, we can expect it to be given lavishly and with kind intent, because He is only wrathful because His kindness and lavish grace is hindered by disbelief. His intent is kindness and lavish grace, all the time!