A friend related the story of a young woman who will soon be the first person in her family to ever purchase a home. Ever. My friend wants to join in the celebration and is purchasing a new washer and dryer for the new homeowner. How generous!
In a world of often selfish actions, her generosity reminded me of Christ’s words, “it is more blessed to give than to receive. (Acts 20:29).” Her gift is without attachments or requirements She just wants to give and I think she has grasped to true value of generosity.
Yet, even in the Christmas season how many gifts come with strings attached? How many of us are taught at home or at work and in society that what we receive is relative to our performance?
What if God approached us with His greatest Gift based on our performance?
Romans 5:8 tells us that God showed His love for us while we were still stuck in our sinful place by having Christ die for us. Our best performance doesn’t come close to God’s standard but still, Isaiah reminded us that the “son is given”.
The Free Gift
Read these words from Romans 5: 15-17. Notice a phrase?
But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. If, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
What is Paul’s point? Three verses and five times the same phrase is repeated.
Do we deserve this free gift on our own merit? Nope, it’s not even close. So as you give and open presents over the next day or so, remember the free gift available to all of us!