Tuesday, February 28, 2012

"His Loss, Our Gain"

    We often reference the truth that "God loveth a cheerful giver" because He is Himself a cheerful giver (II Corinthians 9:7).
    Scripture frequently depicts the delight our Heavenly Father finds in providing for the needs of His creation.
      "How excellent is Thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of Thy house; and Thou shalt make them drink of the river of Thy pleasures" (Psalm 36:7-8).
      "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?" (Matthew 7:11).
      "It is your Father's good pleasure to give to you the kingdom" (Luke 12:32).
      "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit, which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior" (Titus 3:5-6).
    We must view our Lord according to this perspective of lavish generosity and the loving graciousness that motivates His giving.  We must also recognize that the entirety of God's provision comes to us through the Lord Jesus Christ.  That is, the person and work of the Lord Jesus on our behalf comprises the means by which God supplies for everything in our lives. 
     "But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19). 
     This fact illuminates a blessed but solemn truth, namely, that God's supply comes to us by way of great sacrifice, the sacrifice of His beloved Son.  Indeed, Christ's loss and our gain are directly proportional.  "For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich" (II Corinthians 8:9).
    Had the Lamb of God not been purposed to suffer and die for us in space/time history, and had He not actually done so, the human race would have been consigned to the wrath of God immediately after Adam's sin.  Thankfully, the Lord Jesus was "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world," and the Lamb slain 2,000 years ago on the cross of Calvary (Revelation 13:8).  Thus, God has worked according to His mercy throughout history to provide for humanity's needs, and in so doing, to draw us unto the saving grace that meets our deepest void.  "He giveth to all life and breath and all things" (Acts 17:25).  All supply, therefore, flows from the horror of Calvary's sacrifice, and the bloody loss that made provision for our eternal gain. 
    In this context, the truth that God delights in providing for us takes on new and solemn meaning.  Our Heavenly Father does not and cannot give merely from the sentiment of His heart.  No, the suffering of His Son was required for every breath and every thing He will ever bestow upon us.  That which is free to us cost our Lord far more than we will ever know or even imagine.  And yet He remains the most cheerful of givers to us.  How can this be?  Only one word begins to answer the question, and it provides only a glimpse upon a reality that eternity will never fully reveal.  The word, of course, is love.  We are so infinitely and everlastingly cherished by God that providing for us fills His heart with delight despite the suffering and death of Christ whereby such provision was made possible.  He loves us that much, and He will always love us that much.  Surely my writing and your reading must end at this point, as we bow head and heart to wonder and worship.
"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."
(Hebrews 12:2)

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