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By Ava Pennington—

As you shopped for bargains this Black Friday, did you see the diamond-studded Superlative Luxury T-shirt, priced at $400,000? How about a sport coat made of vicuña wool for $22,000? Would a pearl watch valued at $61,500 be a better gift than a Timex? If those items are too expensive for your budget, did you consider a Saint Laurent dress for $13,090 or a pair of Christian Louboutin peep toe pumps priced at $3,695 for your next Christmas party?

Yup. actual items, factual prices.

I hate to sound like a curmudgeon, but really? This is the best use some people can find for their money?

It brings tears to my eyes when I hear about such extravagant expenditures while remembering the needs of ministries such as food pantries, crisis pregnancy centers, and homeless shelters.

I’m probably feeling just a bit more sensitive about this today. I recently attended a fundraising dinner for our local crisis pregnancy center. Through careful stewardship, I’ve watched the director multiply her limited resources in ways that remind me of Jesus’ feeding of the five thousand.

But there’s one more extravagant expenditure that brings tears to my eyes. It’s the extravagance exhibited by our heavenly Father when He lavished His grace on every believer who trusts Jesus Christ for redemption from the penalty, power, and presence of sin.

I love that word. Lavish. It can be used as an adjective or a verb. When an item is lavish, it is elaborate and luxurious. When I lavish something on you, I am generously giving in large amounts.

I’m glad the apostle Paul described God’s grace as lavish. It’s the perfect description for how God responds to us—at the cost of the life of His Son, He is extravagantly generous to those who don’t deserve it. Yup, lavish is the right word!

“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” (Ephesians 1:7-8).





© 2010 Martin Alan Grivjack PhotographyMartin Alan Grivjack PhotographyAva Pennington is a writer, Bible teacher, and speaker. Her newest book, Daily Reflections on the Names of God: A Devotional, is endorsed by Precepts founder Kay Arthur. Additionally, Ava is co-author of Faith Basics for Kids. The first two books in the series are Do You Love Me More? and Will I See You Today? She has also written numerous articles for magazines such as Today’s Christian WomanPower for Living, and Called.

In addition to her writing, Ava also teaches a weekly, Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) class of 175+ women. She is a passionate speaker and teacher, and delights in challenging audiences with the truth of God’s word in relevant, enjoyable presentations. Ava and Russ have been married for 35 years and live in southeast Florida.

For more information, visit her at www.AvaWrites.com

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