Lavish Extravagance

lavishAs you prepare your shopping list in anticipation of the bargains you’ll find this Black Friday, did you see the ad for 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 we can find for our 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.

“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).

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!

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About Ava Pennington

Ava Pennington is thoroughly enjoying her second career as an author, teacher, and speaker. She moved from New York to Florida, leaving a twenty-year corporate career as a Human Resources executive. But don’t call her retired! She now teaches a weekly, interdenominational Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) class of 300+ women from September through May. Of course, Ava writes. She has written for organizations such as Focus on the Family, Christianity Today, and Haven Ministries. She has also been published in 25 anthologies, including nineteen Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Her newest book, Daily Reflections on the Names of God: A Devotional, is published by Revell Books and endorsed by Kay Arthur, founder of Precepts International. Ava has also co-authored two children’s picture books, Do You Love Me More? and Will I See You Today? If you’re looking for a speaker, she delights in challenging audiences with relevant, enjoyable presentations. For more information, please visit


Lavish Extravagance — 2 Comments

  1. I love the word lavish, too. Another great verse: 1 John 3:1: “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”
    I volunteered at a CPC for a year as a client advocate. I’ve never felt so used by God as when I sat in those counseling rooms talking with women at a huge crossroad in their lives. They do wonderful work.

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