by Michael Smith
GOD GIVES US THE PERFECT GIFT
|There are few children who don't look forward to their birthday
or Christmas if they know they are going to receive gifts from their
parents. Usually the present is eagerly opened and delighted
in - at least for a few hours! God the Father also delights to
give His children gifts, and long before we took our first breath
our Creator revealed Himself to be the great giver of life itself
. And when He gives us our husband or wife,
our children, our food and clothes, shelter, friends, laughter,
sleep, and the deepest desires of our heart, He shows us that no-one
can give us better gifts than He.
The most precious and perfect gift He has ever given us is that of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who came to live amongst us two thousand years ago and died on the cruel cross of Calvary in the place we should have been, in order to forgive us our sins, win salvation for us, make us a member of His family, and take us to be with Him throughout eternity. God clearly predicted in the Scriptures that He would come to earth in the Person of the Messiah to bring us back into a relationship with Himself, which had been broken when our first parents rebelled and turned away from Him, and His wonderful gift of eternal life is freely available to all; for every person from every nation on the earth. But God has also given mankind the gift of free will, which is the choice to accept His gift of salvation or reject it, because love must be given freely and voluntarily if it is to be real and meaningful, so we have to want to receive it. Even the thief on the cross next to Jesus was promised paradise when he cried out to the Lord on his 'death bed', but there was no such comfort given to the other thief who had no desire to repent or receive salvation, and so he died in his sin separated from God for eternity.
The Lord longs to shower upon us His gifts of forgiveness for our sins, acceptance and adoption into the family of heaven, eternal life, and the great peace of mind that comes from knowing we are saved. We cannot earn these things by our own merits or by trying to live a 'good life' or by working hard. Ephesians 2:8-9 and Titus 3:5-7 make it very clear to us that we can only receive them by faith in God's mercy, by trusting in His shed blood on the cross, and by resting in His promise to us.
For all God's wonderful blessings, undeserved by us, our hearts should be full of praise, gratitude, and love for Him today and always.
 Psalm 139:13-16.
© Michael Smith 2013