By Steve Troxel
Did you see it? You may have missed it…but it was there. Don’t feel bad; most people overlook this one, but there is still time. Today, before the new year gets here, before all the decorations are put away, before all the other gifts are set aside, open it!
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The gift of God. Why do so many people miss His gift? One reason might be the rather ordinary wrapping; “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him” (Isaiah 53:2). And you can’t get less majestic than the way He was born; “He made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness” (Philippians 2:7). Yes, such a great gift in such common wrapping could easily be missed. But perhaps there is something else, something in the very makeup of our nature which keeps us from opening His gift.
A prince does not have a problem accepting a gift meant for a prince. And a common person does not have a problem accepting a gift which is common. But a common person can be quite uncomfortable accepting a gift meant for a prince. We know what is inside the gift – eternal life! A gift meant for a prince. And deep down we know we are so very common, so unworthy! This gift is too great, too much above what we feel we deserve. This gift makes us feel uncomfortable: “If we accept the gift will we then feel a debt? How could we ever repay such a debt? Maybe it’s best to ignore it and just leave it wrapped under the tree.”
I suppose we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves. This is a natural reaction to such a gift. Ever since the gift was first made available, people have felt unworthy and refused to open or even give it much notice. They would rather try to somehow work and feel deserving; “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). The gift cannot be earned, and working does not make us more deserving.
Jesus Christ came in ordinary wrapping. He died for the forgiveness of our sin. Why? So we could be given the greatest gift of all, the gift of eternal life! Let’s not let another day go by without receiving His gift. Sure we might feel uncomfortable. Sure we might feel a debt we can never repay. But His gift is given in love and is worth it all. Let’s honestly examine what is keeping us away. Let’s humbly recognize our need; and in the quiet of our heart, let’s be sure to receive the last unopened gift.
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries