Yes we read this yesterday and yes we'll be reading it tomorrow. :)
Ephesians 2:4 "But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."
We were dead but He was rich. So rich that nothing could stop Him. The wages of sin is death so He paid the wages in His Son and when He rose we rose with Him. His victory is our victory. He paid everything, we pay nothing. He did nothing wrong yet we go free.
From the beginning this has been a war over His character and we're so obsessed with ourselves that we often miss that. Look at the language here. God is going to take us (has already actually) into the heavenly places and demonstrate to the universe for the ages to come how rich in mercy He really is.
In the garden Satan, through the medium of a serpent, smeared His character. He lead Eve to believe that God was withholding better things from her. This was a direct attack on His character. That has been the issue all along. Trust and love are based on character evaluation. We trust people and love people based on our assessment of their character.
God's character has been so misrepresented and so misunderstood for so long that without Jesus we never would have had a chance of seeing Him. Paul admits that even with seeing Jesus we only comprehend "through a glass dimly".
Human experience reinforced by bad religion has taught us that we get what we deserve and we gain what we earn. In business this is true but heaven is not for sale. Neither is love. If a person's love can be bought it isn't love. God is love and He desires nothing more or less than for us to discover how rich and deep and wide and high His love is and then to respond by giving our love back to Him.
You may think "I have no love to give. I'm not sure I am even capable of love" and you may be right, but watch this:
One day at the temple Jesus and His 12 were standing around as worshippers deposited their offerings into the treasury box. A poor woman came and deposited literally almost nothing. It was a pittance. If a person was being paid to count the money it would cost more to have her offering counted and recorded than she gave. Jesus turns and says "She has given more than anyone else."
"Excuse me?! Are you feeling ok Jesus?"
Now watch this. When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was He quoted Deuteronomy: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength."
Do you see it? Jesus went on to explain that the woman gave the most because she gave all she had. The 12 looked at the amount, Jesus looked at the ALL. You don't have to have a whole heart to love God with. Life may have shredded your heart and stomped on your soul and left you feeling like you have nothing to offer and nothing to give. Give it to Him. That is all He wants. He wants all no matter how tiny your all may be.
Man looks at the outside. God just wants your heart. Dare to gaze into His rich mercy and dare to trust His love.