LAVISH… What Does It Mean?

For many years I have been intrigued by the word lavish. It is not a word that is widely used, yet it has a beautiful meaning.

As an adjective it means: sumptuously rich, elaborate, or luxurious.
As a verb it means: bestow something in generous or extravagant quantities

I even found the meaning of the word as it relates to the Bible on www.definitions.net
Verb: To expend or bestow with profusion; to use with prodigality; to squander
Adjective: Superabundant; excessive

In I John 3:1 the apostle John writes “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
-NIV

Say it out loud with me right now… “LAVISH”
Doesn’t it rather gush out? It is a bit of a messy word when spoken, producing a lot of spit between the “v” and the “ish”.

And that is exactly what it should do, because these definitions could be translated “to gush” and in the verse, “to gush with LOVE”.

Doesn’t that give new meaning to the way in which God has loved us? It is excessive, extravagant, even to the point of squandering it on us because oft-times we don’t appreciate the level and depth of this love He gushes on us.

I find it interesting that the words “prodigality” and “squander” are used in the definition, considering these are the very words used by Jesus in the parable of the Prodigal Son. The younger son asked for his inheritance early and leaves home where he frivolously squanders away his inheritance on the things in life that do not satisfy nor last. He soon finds himself with nothing and, in desperation, decides to return home to beg his father to allow him to work alongside the other hired servants in order to earn room and board. However, upon returning home his father sees him from “afar off” and comes running to meet him. The son doesn’t even get to his plea to be able to work as a hired hand. As he begins asking for forgiveness, his father refuses anything less than that his son be completely restored to his former place in the family.

The son who lavishly spent everything receives his father’s lavish love upon returning home!

And, that is what the Lord does ongoing for us. He lavishes His love upon us, as children of God. …in generous and extravagant quantities, that are sumptuously and luxuriously rich!

Remember – this word gushes. It continuously spills out completely covering what it gushes onto. That is us, you and me. We are soaked in the love God lavishes upon us!

What a beautiful word indeed. LAVISH!