Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Gift of Salvation

Salvation is a gift not a bargain. A bargain is when you pay less than full price for a wanted or needed item. But you still pay. A gift is free to you. It usually costs the giver something. Our salvation cost heaven much. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.” (2 Cor. 8:9) But to us, it is free. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23; see also 3:24; 5:15-17)

The right response to a gift is to say, “Thank you” or otherwise commonly known as the “magic words.” I remember coming to church as a child and frequently coming to one man who was our “candy man” (seems every congregation has such a person) and he’d ask us to say those “magic words.” But not only do children need to say “Thank you” for candy, I need to express gratitude for God’s gift. One gospel preacher wrote, “You can either try to achieve a life or you can receive a life. One makes you upset that it’s not good enough, and other makes you grateful for what you’ve been given.”

Gratitude is not a set of circumstances but a condition of the heart. The story is told about a man name Jack Hinton, who was on a short-term mission trip. He was leading worship at a leper colony on the island of Tobago. There was time for one more song, so he asked if anyone had a request. A woman who had been facing away from the pulpit turned around. “It was the most hideous face I had ever seen,” Hinton said. “The woman’s nose and ears were entirely gone. The disease had destroyed her lips as well.”

She lifted a fingerless hand to the air and asked, “Can we sing Count Your Many Blessings?” Overcome with emotion, Hinton left the service. He was followed by a missionary team member who said, “Jack, I guess you’ll never be able to sing that song again.” “Yes I will,” he replied, “but I’ll never sing it the same away.” Have you received the gift of God? Are you saying the “magic words?” “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Cor. 9:15)

God bless,


No comments: