“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages He might show the incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” - Ephesians 2:6-7
Who or what do you cherish? What do you hold most dear? Is it your spouse, children, career, heirlooms passed down for generations, or memories made with loved ones who have left this earth? Is it your health, retirement account, a ministry you’ve poured your life into, or your education? What do you cherish most?
If the answer is anything other than Jesus Christ, your affections are misplaced. Please know that I do not make this statement flippantly…it is a hard truth to accept, even for me. I fiercely love my family, and I have given all of my heart to my years in ministry for the sake of the Gospel. But if I cherish the gifts instead of the Giver of the gifts, my worship is misdirected.
So how do we ensure that we cherish Christ above all else? We must remember that it was when we were dead in our sins that Christ saved us. We must remember that at that time, we were separated from Christ, strangers to the promises, having no hope without God in the world (Ephesians 2:12). If we forget our need for a Savior, we will not cherish Him. Remembering is essential to cherishing.
As is typical in God’s Word, the merciful warning to cherish is followed by a merciful promise for those who cherish in verse 7. For those who trust Christ, God promises in the coming ages to “…show the incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” God has settled it: He has made it His purpose to be gracious to those who are in Christ. And just to make sure we understand what “grace” means, he added the phrase, “expressed in kindness to us.”
Think about this question: If there was one person in the whole universe whom you could choose to receive kindness from – and the benefits of that kindness – who would it be? Wouldn’t it be God? Who else’s kindness has no limits? Who else’s goodness never runs out? Notice Paul used the word, “riches” to make clear the kindness of God. And then to help us even more, he used the word, “incomparable.”
How rich is God? Immeasurably. How long is, “in the coming ages?” Eternally forever. How many ages are coming? Innumerable. Why did Paul say it this way, "in the coming ages?” Because that is how long it will take God to run out of new ways to show His kindness to His children.
How can we cherish anything above Him? He is a great God of countless wonders. He raises the dead to life. He sets prisoners free. And He will spend eternity lavishing the riches of His kindness on those who trust in His Son.
Father, please forgive me for cherishing anything else above You. Help me to always remember who and where I was without Your Son. Thank You for Your boundless and extravagant kindness to me. In Jesus’ name, amen.