“I was sought by those who did not ask for Me; I was found by those who did not seek Me. I said, ‘Here I am, here I am,’ To a nation that was not called by My name. (Isaiah 65:1)
Every now and then, it’s good to step back and consider God’s measureless grace. Christianity has been around for a long time, and it’s easy to overlook the fact that the gentiles were not the first to receive God’s love and attention. We readily forget that we are ‘grafted in’ and that for thousands of years, were essentially excluded from sharing the grace and blessings of being God’s people – a nation called by His name. Yet even the Jews share the reality that it was grace and grace alone that brought them to God. None of us, whether Jew or gentile, can be called by His name unless He has first granted the privilege. We cannot draw near unless He first reaches out to us.
The measureless grace of God is eternal.
From the very foundations of the creation of the world, God desired fellowship and worship from mankind. He still does, and He always will – not because we ‘deserve’ it but because He desires it. The truth is that we are special to God, not because of who and what we are, but because of what He was willing to pay. To understand the measureless grace of God, we must grasp the truth that even before man was created, God knew that he would turn away from Him. He had foreknowledge – which is very different from foreordained.
God did not intend that man reject Him. That was man’s doing, helped along by Satan. God created man for intimacy, so that we could know Him and love Him and live for His glory. But God knew, before man was even created, what he would choose. Yet He went ahead and created humanity anyway, fully prepared that free will would draw us away from relationship with Him. That’s the first evidence of His measureless grace. That same grace still operates in the world today, and it will remain faithful for eternity.
The dynamic nature of God’s measureless grace.
If something is ‘measureless,’ it is, by its very nature, indefinable. We cannot limit it to human comprehension. But we can catch a glimpse of the vast I AM in the grace He extends to us, and what we see is measureless grace that is dynamic. It’s active. It acts, rather than hanging back. A very good example is His coming into the garden when He knew very well that Adam and Eve had sinned. Because we know God had foreknowledge, we know that He knew it would happen, when and how it would happen, and that from that moment, mankind would withdraw from intimacy and hide from Him.
Yet His measureless grace was dynamic and active. It didn’t stay in the throne room and summon Adam to answer for his transgressions. God came down into the garden and sought Adam out. That is the poignant moment where we hear the desire of the father’s heart. Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9). With that cry, God revealed the ministry of Christ who would come to earth to seek those who were lost.
The way His measureless grace operates.
Because it’s dynamic, the measureless grace of God is constantly seeking, drawing, reaching out, and calling to lost mankind. This is the relevance of today’s verse. In each phrase, it defines both grace and our condition. What it tells us about ourselves is that we did not seek Him. We didn’t cry out to Him. The only reason that we have relationship with Him today is because He came looking for us. For God, it’s personal. It’s so important that He did it Himself. He didn’t delegate or rely on anyone to do it for Him.
That is the relevance of the cross. In Jesus, God Himself supplied everything we need to be restored, even though our hearts were set against Him through sin. If He hadn’t first reached out through saving grace, and if He hadn’t called to each and every heart, we would be as far from God as any other non-believer. It is the work of grace that we hear, repent, and are restored. Everything that happens in our journey back to intimacy with God is wholly and utterly dependent on His measureless grace.
God’s measureless grace does not wait for us to reach out.
What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? (Psalm 8:4). This puts us very firmly in our place. When we consider the I AM of God, His glory and majesty and power, we can only be humbled by His measureless grace. It’s one thing for us to understand grace through our own salvation and restoration to intimate relationship with Him. It’s quite another when we take a step back and realise that His grace is available for all – even those who reject Him. If we question this, consider Christ’s prayer on the cross for those who crucified Him.
It’s easy to grow complacent or comfortable, to assume that we’re somehow ‘different’ or ‘special’ because we’re saved. But the truth is that if God had not extended His measureless grace, if He had not actively come to find us, we would most likely still be unsaved and doomed for eternity. If He had waited around for us to seek Him, to call on Him, to desire Him, we would never know the blessing of being called by His name.
Our response to measureless grace.
Humility and surrender can be the only response. In the face of measureless grace – a grace that leaves nothing to chance, that seeks us out, draws us in, and provides everything we need for restoration – we can only humble ourselves before Him in thanksgiving and worship. We can also respond ‘in kind’ with the same ‘all or nothing’ approach Jesus revealed. That the almighty God of the universe still reaches out to those mired in sin and rebellion is testimony to measureless, dynamic, active power of His eternal grace.
Thank You, Lord, that You didn’t stand back and leave us to our choices. Help us to remember that our salvation and relationship with You is a gift of your measureless grace. Empower us, Lord, to right response, to humility, surrender, thanksgiving, and worship so that our lives give You glory and reveal Your eternal grace to the world.