In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight.

- Ephesians 1:7-8 ESV


holding nothing back

This passage could easily be one that most of us skip over because most of us already know what it says. We already know that through Jesus' death, we have been redeemed. We know that there is nothing in ourselves that gave us that redemption, but only the grace that God shows. We know that it is only by God's grace that we can be in relationship with Him. Verse 8 has a word that also gets glanced over too. Lavished. It says that God lavished the riches of His grace on us when he died for us. Jesus didn't hold a single thing back on the cross when he died. He took every bit of our past, present, and future that we couldn't carry ourselves.

The cool part about Jesus "lavishing the riches of His grace", is that it didn't stop on the cross. Here you are, over 2,000 years after that happened, and God is still desiring just as much to give more of his grace to you. One of the simplest explanations of grace that I have heard is that it is you receive something from God that you either don't deserve, or more importantly, can't do yourself. God's grace in your life is most likely seen in the areas where you are lacking something, and you need something to happen. You need something to change. God is just as willing to meet with you and give you what you need now as he was to the people he walked this Earth with 2,000 years ago.

grace leads into action

The funny thing about grace is that it often leads us to action. God's grace opens the door for us to live changed. God's grace gives us what we need in the moment, whatever circumstance. As we have a need, God meets our need so that we can then live empowered by Him. Here you are, about a month into your college experience. You are getting an idea of what is going to be fun, what is going to be challenging, what is going to be not fun, and even what you think is going to be impossible. 

a practical step

Take a few minutes to think about areas of your life where you think having God's favor would change something. It can be for something as simple as a difficult class, but try to think of situations where you really just don't know what to do. Situations that aren't ideal at all. When you have a few things in your head, tell God how you feel about those circumstances. Simply invite God into the situation and ask Him to give you what you need. God delights in meeting you where you are at, especially when you ask Him.

To end, you can pray this:

God, thank you that I can trust you with my life now because of what you already did for me in the past. Thank you that you are the same God throughout time and despite circumstances. I am going to need you to show up in my life throughout this year, and I ask you to give me what I need in every circumstance. Thank you for your love. Amen.

- Nick