“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17, NKJV).

A very wise woman, my mother, once told me, “If someone wants to give you a gift, let them.” She did not say this from greed, for she was generous by nature and delighted in giving gifts. She understood that giving blessed the giver as much or more than the one receiving the gift. I have remembered her advice and have reluctantly accepted a gift when I knew the person had little money to spend. I understood that would give them joy and bless them as well.

Some people feel gifts must match dollar for dollar. You spent this on me, so any gift from me must be that. True gifts come from the heart; it’s not a contest about who spends what.

There is someone I’ve never been able to out give, and that is the Lord. Nothing I have to offer Him will ever match what He has given me. Psalm 68:19 says that He “daily loadeth us with benefits.” The truly wonderful thing is He does not expect my meager offering to compare with His gifts. He gives from love, and all He desires in return is my love and devotion.

Romans 6:23 states, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” As we look at the first part of this verse, we realize that death, eternal death, comes as the result of sin. At the end of this natural life, if we have chosen sin, the Paymaster will hand us the wages we earned. Eternal life, on the other hand, is not earned. It only comes as a gift from God. We receive eternal life because of God’s grace, not because we do deserve it. Nowhere does Scripture say that “the wages of righteousness are eternal life.” We can never become “good enough” through our own efforts. Grace is never a mixture of God’s mercifulness and our human effort. It is all the work of God. It is a gift.

Mom was right. If someone offers you a gift, especially a gift of such magnitude as life eternal—take it! It is the best gift you will ever receive, and it comes in the beautiful wrappings of grace.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the marvelous gift of grace and salvation You have given me. I can do nothing to earn eternal life, but I don’t have to worry. You are giving it to me as a beautiful gift, and I will spend eternity with You.

 

Devotion by Mary Loudermilk

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