This week it was my friend’s birthday. This friend’s birthday is a little extra special because her birthday happens to fall on my birthday!
To celebrate her birthday, I put together a little gift and took it to her. She thoroughly enjoyed the gift and the experience left me happy inside knowing she had loved the gift.
This whole idea on gifts and birthdays got me thinking about this Bible verse(s):
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast." Ephesians 2:8-9
When I gave my friend her gift, she immediately asked me if it was ok if she opened it there in the moment. When I thought later about the conversation, I thought, “Sure! It’s your gift; you can do what you want with it!” That is when I heard God say, “It is the same with me and my gift of salvation.”
When we receive salvation we have the opportunity to either “open” it up, discover all that God has in store for us, and enjoy all the goodness God wants to offer us, or we can leave our salvation “in the box and wrappings”, never knowing or discovering all God has in store for us (Ephesians 5:1-2).
Your free gift of salvation was heavily paid and bought for by Jesus Christ. Do not let His death and resurrection for you be in vain.
If we want to “open up” our free gift of salvation, we need to make Jesus Lord and Master of our lives. We need to allow God to change and shape us into who He has called and created us to be. We need to be in the Scriptures learning about God and what kind of life He wants us to live. We need to be in prayer and worship fighting for our brothers and sisters in Christ and for those yet to join us in our journey to Heaven (1 Peter 2:1-3). We need to be bearing fruit and loving and serving those around us to ultimately bring them into the Kingdom of God. Our salvation is supposed to be “worked out” – not a gift once received with excitement and anticipation, but now only “left on a shelf” never to see the light of day again (Ephesians 5:8-17, 1 Peter 2:4-10).
One more thing to keep in mind is you only get one gift with one life. You do not get a re-do! What you do with your time, energy, and days does matter and will have eternal impact, whether you want it to or not. What you do here on earth matters. This world is only preparation for the next. You were saved for a reason and God did not save you to “sit on the sidelines” (as my church says). Jesus saved you so you could play the “game” and ultimately bring others into the Kingdom of Heaven (Ephesians 2:19-22).
This free gift we receive is only the beginning; do not just receive the gift of salvation, but open it up and see what God has in store for you.
"For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10
Real good! Nice reminder.
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