It’s the first thing I see when I enter my office every morning.  Even in the darkness of the room where just a sliver of light peeks through the blinds, the black wooden letters spelling “GRACE” are clearly visible on the wall above my window.

I remember the day this word became so precious to me, too long ago to count the years, but the memory remains vivid.

There I stood in the university check-in line for registration and dorm assignment.  As I completed each station, the final hurdle of paying the bill awaited and I was anxious.  I didn’t know how much it was going to cost or the initial amount due, but without loans or assistance, there was little hope I would have enough to pay for one semester let alone 4 years.

And then an incredible thing happened.

As I approached the clerk, my fear and anxiety were met with extraordinary grace.  Instead of receiving an unpayable invoice, I received a statement with “Paid in Full” stamped across the top.

Someone marked “anonymous” heard of my difficult situation and my strong desire as a new believer to attend a Christian university.  For reasons I will never understand, they chose me.  They chose me to pay for not just one semester, but all 4 years.  They could have stopped there, but they didn’t. The lavishing continued with money above and beyond to pay for all of my books and fees in their entirety.

In an instant, my future changed!

What a picture of lavishing grace this has been for me through the years.  What a splendid image of redemption.  A debt owed that could not be paid was paid in full, above and beyond. With no expectation of anything in return.

This is the truth of Paul’s message in Ephesians 1:7-12.  That God chose each and every one of us, and in choosing us, He also chose to pay the highest price for us…for a debt we could never pay.  Not the clearance price, not the sale price, and not the bare minimum.  He chose to pay the highest price. He chose to lavish us with such extraordinary, unfathomable love and grace.

The head-scratching kind that blows logic out of the water. The extravagant kind that leaves a soul overflowing in gratitude and changes a life forever.  The unimaginable kind that asks for nothing in return.

The life-changing kind, so that we might live now and forever…

redeemed by His extraordinary grace, to live out our lives for the praise of His glory!