Most of us enjoy getting gifts from family and friends. We look forward to birthdays and anniversaries with a sense of anticipation of what we might receive. For me, it is not the gift itself that makes me feel special. Being in someone thoughts and being remembered is the part that fills my heart with joy. Gifts make each of us feel special.
Gifts come in many shapes and sizes. Some come wrapped in pretty paper with shiny bows. Some come in brightly colored bags with crinkly tissue paper stuffed inside. Excitement fills our souls as we rip and dig to uncover the treasure hidden within the pretty wrapping. All too soon, the thrill of the moment fades. The gift finds its way to a shelve and is soon forgotten, no matter how beautiful.
Ephesians 2:8 ‘For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— ‘ (NIV)
Sometimes, I think our faith is like one of these unique gifts. When we first receive Christ, we joyfully dig into the gift of His words, the Bible. We read to uncover God’s secret to living a fulfilling life. A thrill drives us to keep digging for the next nugget God has hidden for us to find. After some time, the excitement fades. The Bible soon sits on a shelf and collects dust.
Recently, as I spoke at a women’s conference, I used Ephesians 2:8 as one of the scripture reference. The verse tells us that the Grace we receive from Christ at our salvation is a gift from God. The verse struck a chord with the women and me. We began to explore the idea of the gift of Grace. Once home, I researched the definition of Grace. The dictionary reveals – (in Christian belief) the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings. Those words are worth rereading. Grace is the unmerited favor of God. Nothing I do can earn this Grace; it is a gift.
God’s Grace covers our sins. God’s Grace forgives all our wrongdoings. God’s Grace provides for our daily needs. God’s Grace allows us to come to the throne with prayers. God’s Grace gives us an eternal home with Him in heaven. The more I ponder this gift of Grace, the more I come to realize, this is the greatest gift any of us could ever receive. The gift of Grace is a gift I need to learn more about every day of my life and not something to stick on the shelf to be forgotten.
Romans 5:8 ‘But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. ‘ (NIV)