Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Lavish Lifestyles of God's Rich and Not So Famous

Do you ever think about the word lavish? It's ok if you immediately thought to yourself, "No! Who thinks of lavish?" Well, I do, or should I say, it's a word that has rattled around in my head since I first came across it in the Bible. It seemed an odd word to be used in the Bible.

I used to think of the word "lavish" in relation to extreme wealth. A television show that was on when I was a teenager was "The Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" and it was known for showing the lavish homes, cars, and vacations the rich and famous could afford. Materialistic wealth is one thing, spiritual wealth is in fact entirely different and that's what I find so peculiar about this word lavish being used in the Bible of all places.

As I am often compelled to do, I had to look the word up. So bear with me here for a minute, if this bores you, scroll down, I promise I'm going to make a point.

First, the English definition of Lavish according to Merriam-Webster 2012.

lavish - Adjective
1. expending or bestowing profusely
2a: expended or produced in abundance
b: marked by profusion or excess

Origin: Middle English laves, lavage, probably from Middle French lavasse, lavache downpour of rain, from laver to wash.

First use: 15th century

Synonyms: amply, bounteously, bountifully, freehandedly, freeheartedly, generously, liberally, openhandedly, unstintingly (not restricting or holding back

Antonyms: stingily, ungenerously, penny-pinching, frugality

lavish - transitive verb

to expend or bestow with profusion*
First use: 1542
Synonyms: heap, rain, pour, shower
Antonyms: conserve

There are only six places in the NIV (New International Version) Bible where the word lavished is used. Four places in the Old Testament and two places in the New Testament. Interestingly, one English word is translated for SIX different Hebrew and Greek words, but I'm curious about only one for now.

Ephesians 1:7-8 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.

Lavished here is translated from the Greek word perisseuo - to have abundance, more than enough, overflow

God's grace is LAVISHED on us. It is (down)poured on us, heaped on us, it is abundant, plentiful, bounteous, liberally given to us. There is no sin too big for God to hold back his love from us. We are His. When He lavishes something on someone He loves he's not just giving you one thing, forgiveness of sins or the riches of his grace, he lavishes ALL wisdom and understanding along with it.

His Grace is really too big for words to describe, for songs to be sung about, for hearts to reflect on. His love for us is abundant. He is not a penny-pincher when it comes to sharing. He is not frugal nor is he stingy. He is generous, He is liberal in his sharing. He pours on us, like a downpour of rain...

his love

and mercy

and freedom

and grace

and hope

and wisdom

and understanding

and love

and joy

and contentment

and forgiveness

and restoration

He pours it all down on His child. He will never run out of His love for you. He never runs low on His patience for you when you just don't seem to get it, when you get caught in the same vicious cycle you've been trying to free yourself from. He can free you!

You are His child. He is the One who gives all, and gives abundantly. Even in the rough stuff, the dark places, you are being drenched with his blessings. Even when you don't feel it or see it or have forgotten it, He is still pouring it on. That's what's getting you through the day. That's what is putting one foot in front of the other when you don't think you can go through one more bad thing.

His abundance is being poured on you when you're tired, when you're weak, when you're thirsty, when you don't know how the bills are going to be paid, or what the medical tests will find, or you wonder, "will my child EVER be normal?!"

Know this:

Lavishly...you are loved.

Lavishly...you are forgiven.

Lavishly....you are free from sin.



Lavishly...You are His.





*I had to look up a couple words from the definition (I'm a word freak, I know!)

expend: to make use of for a specific purpose

bestow: to put to use, to put in a particular or appropriate place, to convey as a gift usually used with on or upon

perfusion: to pour over



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