“We have redemption in Him through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding” (Ephesians 1:7-8, HCSB).
This year I started a new book project. It’s a project that’s been on my heart for sometime and one that I sensed that God wanted me to begin writing this year.
The subject of the book is Christian discipleship. It’s about spiritual formation through the practice of spiritual disciplines such as prayer, fasting, and Bible study.
Now, what’s ironic about me writing this book is that I’m not a very disciplined disciple. And that’s a concern I expressed to God.
Why would God want me, an undisciplined disciple, to write a book about discipleship?
And while I was questioning God on this issue, I had a couple of other questions: Why would God assign me to be a single parent to two grandchildren when I never really was that good of a parent, even with the help of a wife?
And, why would God even show His favor to me in the first place, someone who is so self-referenced, self-focused, and self-sufficient? Isn’t that a lot of grace for God to give when there are so many other people without these severe spiritual limitations?
Why does God choose us hard cases, the down-and-outers, the unyielding, to become His children?
Here’s the quick and short answer: GOD IS MAGNANIMOUS!
I suppose it would probably be more theologically sound to say, GOD IS MUNIFICENT, but that’s not a word most of us understand.
So, let me explain what I mean about God’s magnanimity.
Have you ever seen a field of wildflowers in full bloom and tried to take it all in? You can’t. There’s too much beauty there for your mind to comprehend.
Jesus, in describing such a field of wildflowers, said that “not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these” (Matthew 6:29, HCSB).
And what about all those fields full of wildflowers that nobody ever sees? What use are they?
Jesus went on to say about this field of wildflowers that God clothes the grass of the field with this beautiful coat of wildflowers, but it is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow (Matthew 6:30).
And what about the universe? Wouldn’t the Earth and the Sun have been sufficient? Okay, then maybe one solar system would have been enough. Or one galaxy.
But no, God created a universe with untold numbers of planets and stars and solar systems and galaxies that is so expansive that we have to talk about its expanse in terms of millions of light years.
What use is it all? Is God wasteful?
God can’t help Himself! He’s magnanimous! He’s munificent!
When God creates, He does so in abundance, generously, lavishly. That’s His nature.
And it’s God’s nature that when He shows mercy, He does so generously, exceedingly generously!
So God finds people like me, the hard cases, the down-and-outers, the unyielding, to lavish His grace upon!
And then it’s God power at work in me: “To Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to [His] power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:20, HCSB).
So how can I write a book on discipleship, be a loving parent to my grandchildren, or even become a child of God?
Because our magnanimous God meets me at the point of my need for Him–my innate need for Someone bigger, greater, and more powerful than my own self to help me tell His story, to be a better parent, a better person!
And the greater our need, the greater is the richness of His grace that He lavishes on us!
God isn’t just God, He’s an awesome God.
God isn’t just great, He’s glorious!
God doesn’t just show mercy, His grace is amazing!
God doesn’t just love us, He sent His only Son!