The Greatest Gift
For the wages of sin is death, but the [bountiful] free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Amplified Bible)
Oh how I love presents! I especially like a well wrapped present with a pretty bow. Pretty presents make me think the package must contain something extra special since the giver went to some much trouble to wrap it well. I can't wait to see what's inside! For me, it's not so much the present in the box, but it's knowing how much care and consideration the gift giver put into selecting the present. For the same reason, I love to give presents that are wrapped in pretty packaging, and contain a gift that shows how much I love and appreciate the gift recipient. (Yes, I do have a Hallmark Gold Crown preferred card. ;-). I love to make special people feel special, loved and appreciated, as I know many of you do also. When you feel loved, you want to share love. And, the love I feel, is the love of Christ and an appreciation of the special gift He is to each and every one of us - direct from God!
Early in my walk with Christ, I did think of Him as the perfect gift within a perfectly wrapped package. I was hesitant to pull the strings of the bow for fear of what was inside. I mean, the Creator of the universe, sent Him as a special gift to each one of us and this gift is eternal salvation - not just for this hour, not just for today, or this week, or even this year, but eternal salvation. That's an awesome gift! I was fearful of what I would find when I pulled the strings of that bow, and the price that gift would cost me. If I unwrapped that present, would I be filled with disappointment, condemnation, fear, loathing or judgment? That does not sound like such a wonderful gift at all. But, the gift of God through Christ Jesus doesn't contain these negative emotions. And, if you beleive the gift of eternal salvation comes with these negative emotions, you are being misled purposely -- so you won't receive the gift of eternal salvation.
John 3:18: He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe in Him is condemned already . . . (New King James Version (NKJV)
As I began to seek out God, pulling on the ribbons to control how much He was able to shine forth from the box I was confortable keeping Him in, I became more and more curious. It seemed the more I tugged on the strings, the more my heart began to feel His love. It was a love like no other earthly love, so fulfilling and complete! I became so curious about the full contents of the box, that I wanted to tear off the bow and open the box . . but, He guided my footsteps and helped me to draw close to Him at the perfect pace - so I was ready to experience each new facet of His character and love for me in a way that was meaningful, healing and permanent.
But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, That I may declare all Your works. (New King James Version)
As my relationship with Christ grows, I continually examine my relationship with Him and the things that are of God working in my life. So, instead of wanting to just tear off the bow and see what's in the box, it is my hearts desire to carefully pull on the ribbon slowly, so I can fully understand what He is working out in and through me. While Christ is an awesome gift, He is a gift to be savored and enjoyed slowly and completely. I will be looking forward to the day when I have learned my life's lessons and Heaven is my destination. But, in the meantime, I am going to savor the experiences and learn to enjoy each day and each new lesson with an open heart. Examining my heart and learning more about the character of God is an awesome experience. If you have not given your life to Jesus Christ, we invite you to consider giving your life over to Him by praying this simple prayer.
Some of us grew up (or still attend) churches where we learned that we are sinners who are worthy of condemnation and guilt. Jesus Christ came and took that sin away, and He didn't just take it away to leave you feeling guilty, unworthy or unloved. He completely absolved you of your sin and seeks to have a relationship with you that is based on love, forgiveness and redemption! So, consider giving Him an opportunity to shine forth in your life. Pull on that ribbon slowly and deliberately as you learn to let Him love you as only He can.
I love those who love me, And those who seek me diligently will find me. (New King James version)
Have a Blessed & Fruitful Day,
Living Water Home Spa Shop
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