ex·trav·a·gant – exceeding the bounds of reason, as actions, demands, opinions, or passions; going beyond what is deserved or justifiable.
rad·i·cal – complete, unqualified, thorough; drastic, excessive, immoderate, violent.
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” 1 John 3:1a
Have you ever thought about God’s love and grace that way? Extravagant. Radical. Well, it is. His matchless love for us “exceeded the bounds of reason” when Christ went to the cross. Do you realize that? Life could have perpetually gone on in a graceless state with the burden of guilt and shame and constant sacrifices, but God in His love and mercy sent His Son, Christ as the ultimate and FINAL sacrifice. His love that poured out as blood that day on our behalf reached far beyond what we deserved. In fact, we deserved the cross. His extravagant love drove Him to take our place. And we became justified before the Father. Extravagant love. Lavished on us. We are children of God.
And then there’s grace. Radical grace. It’s excessive, thorough, and completely able to cover all sin that once separated us from this extravagant Love. It knows no limits. It has no bounds. The only appropriate response to such radical extravagance is praise. Such love and grace must bring us to our knees in gratitude for all that has been given to us. This love and this grace should not only overwhelm every cavity of our hearts but also compel us to change from the inside out. God’s extravagant love and radical grace need to be the motivating factor to live a life of love. The moment we get even a mere glimpse or slight understanding of God’s love for us, how could we not, then in turn be ambassadors of this love and grace to the world around us? This world is hurting and broken, but our innate tendency is to try to fix it with our good intentions and our guilt-driven religious do’s and don’ts. Jesus is the answer – His love and His grace alone can mend the brokenness of this world, and both are alive and well inside of His children. Love and grace.
If we could take a step back from our “works-driven” desire to please God, and return to the posture of embracing His love for us and in turn sharing this love with a world in need, we would see revival. We would experience a revolution. If you have benefited in any way from the extravagant love and radical grace of our God, could you choose today to pass it on? To your barista at Starbucks that messes up your drink order or the bank teller that takes one minute too long for your amount of patience? Could you extend this love and grace that you’ve so tremendously benefited from to your neighbor that doesn’t always share the same level of respect for boundaries or your boss who frustrates you by their leadership? Could you and I change the world by being agents of this extravagant love and radical grace? Most certainly we could, and we must. Begin today to offer the only remedy to a world that is lost in sin, devastated by brokenness, and blind to the One who saves – Jesus is the answer. He IS extravagant love. He IS radical grace. And He lives in you.