Wednesday, November 24, 2010
The Gift of Salvation
This Friday many people will once again enter the frenzy of materialism and validate spending time and money on what they see as expressions of love. Many will be unpleasant and impatient as they purchase these tokens of love (if a $2,000 big screen TV or mounds of presents under the tree can be seen as a token). Many will leave their children on one of the rare days they could spend together--without the distractions of work, school, sports practices and music lessons--to shop for presents to give in the name of a folk hero named Santa Claus. Many will stress the family finances to "buy memories" for their kids.
Lest one think I am setting myself up as better than that, I myself have played this game, even, one Christmas, receiving a "token" of love in the form of a motorcycle from my husband. So I personally understand and have not been exempt from over-the-top, present-focused, Santa-obsessed Christmas gift giving (I no longer have the motorcycle).
As my husband and I grow in our faith, our idea of giving gifts in the name of love has changed dramatically because our understanding of what love is has changed dramatically. Until we understood and became the recipients of God's love for us through Jesus, we had no clue as to what a real gift is or what real love is. We had no understanding of the meaning and purpose of Christmas (lest people reading this think I'm saying that God only loves some people--NO--God loves all of us. But not all people accept that love. They reject it and in rebellion go their own way, not being able to experience the love of God because they've chosen not to.)
So as I ponder my gift-giving this year, I'm thinking about the greatest gift I ever received--Salvation and New Life in Jesus Christ--and I'm trying to find resources God can use to bring that gift to others. The following message by Pastor Alistair Begg is one of the gifts some of the people in my life will be receiving this Christmas, along with my prayers that God will bless their hearts, minds and souls with the desire to know Him through His Son Jesus Christ.
You can listen to the message here:
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23