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Friday, August 12, 2011

The extravagance of God

 22-24God's loyal love couldn't have run out,
   his merciful love couldn't have dried up.
They're created new every morning.
   How great your faithfulness!
I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over).
   He's all I've got left.
(Lamentations 3:22-24)

As I was listening to my usual radio station on the way to work the other day, I heard the announcer say that we need to learn to express the extravagance of God.  It made me think a little on the many ways God has expressed his extravagance in my life and do a little inventory of how I was expressing that in my speech, thoughts, and actions.  As you might imagine, my inventory of expressing his extravagance fell far short of what he has lavished on me in my life!  I began to recognize mercies in my life that have been extended repeatedly without any real change in my actions!  Now that is extravagance on his part!

God's mercies are "unrestrained" - another word for extravagant!  They extend the bounds of reason!  There is no end to them - what we deserve or would be considered to be "reasonable" in our estimation - he goes way beyond!  Thank goodness he does!  If God gave up on us the first couple of times we returned to old habits, reverted back to old patterns he had convicted of us many times before, we'd be a total mess!

The extravagance of God - our writer is referring to this in the passage above.  He points to the fact that God's love just doesn't dry up - it is like a spring flowing forth - its source not fully seen, but its refreshment fully enjoyed.  His merciful touches are a constant source of refreshment to our souls.  He uplifts us time and time again - not because he has to - but because he loves to!

The greatest hope we have is to found right at his feet.  There is no greater opportunity to experience the extravagance of our God than when we fall at his feet in humble admission of our sin and penitent surrender of our will to the leading of his.  This is the thing that moves God's heart like no other - the yielded will.  Into that life he lavishes his unfailing mercies - new every morning. 

It is not quite dawn as I am typing these words.  I will take for granted today that the sun will rise as it always has - coming gradually over the Eastern horizon, settling high into the sky by midday, and then dropping gracefully behind the mountains on the West without my even noticing the awesomeness of the movement of the sun.  That is kind of how we treat God sometimes - just taking for granted that he will always be there, is passing through our lives moment by moment, all the while without us being cognizant of the fact that in his passing he has extended his mercies.

When we truly begin to see the extravagance of our God, we look for ways to begin to express that extravagance in our lives.  That delights the heart of God.  Reflecting his extravagance is just one way we become light in the dark, a guide to the blind, and a haven of compassion to the hurting.  Isn't it time that we begin to truly "experience" the extravagance of our God?  In the passing of time, his mercies are there, new every morning - learn to recognize them well and reflect them faithfully!