For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)
When you think of children and presents, what come to mind? Excitement, tearing of paper and gleeful laughter, of course! Why? Because children. love. presents. And the idea of a having a stash that is yours all yours just for you to open (oh my goodness!) is just so exciting that a child trying to contain that excitement conjures up images of a pack of puppies trying to sit for a treat. Yeah. Pretty much impossible. Children are awesome because they are so happy for the gift, so excited to get it and play with it and enjoy it. I mean, how often does one see a child open a gift that’s been at the top of her want list, look at it, then solemnly hand it back and say, I don’t deserve this. I haven’t earned it. Um, like…never.
This, though, is exactly how Christians often react to gifts from their heavenly Father. God loves to give His children gifts. He just does. And we, in turn, often receive it with this idea that we have to earn it. Like forgiveness of sins, for example. We hear that it’s free for the asking, but our self tells that we have to volunteer more, give more, be nicer, pray so many times, or clean up our act in order to deserve it and keep it. But, get this…if you earn something, it’s no longer a gift. And Ephesians 2:8-9 says salvation can’t be earned! So, if you want it, you’re going to have to receive it. And you might as well enjoy it. Be like a child and bask in it, relish it, wag your tail with delight! You have been forgiven by God for no other reason than you asked and He said yes!
What other gifts does God give freely? See James 1:5, Hebrews 4:16, and Lamentation 3:22-23 for a few.
How do you respond to the gifts God gives you?
Father, thank you. Just…thank you. And forgive me for having such low expectations of what you can do and how much you want to bless me. Teach me to receive with joyful anticipation and gratitude whatever you want to give, for you really are the best gift giver ever.