You are saved by God’s grace because of your faith. This salvation is God’s gift. It’s not something you possessed. It’s not something you did that you can be proud of (Ephesians 2:8-9 Common English Bible).
I know, I know. Today is Halloween and here I am talking about Christmas and gifts and such. It would be the easy thing to do if I were just to sit back and wait for Thanksgiving to arrive and then when I see Santa pass by on the Thanksgiving day parade to run out and buy, buy, buy. I could do that but then I probably wouldn’t put much thought into what I was giving to the people I say I care about so much.
This year I have been thinking. I’ve actually been thinking for a couple of months now. What can I do for this person who is so important to me? What gift can I give that communicates just what this person means to me.
Most of the time I we don’t think about a gift in terms of what someone deserves unless we are talking about a Divine gift, a gift like God’s grace. Then we always couch it in terms of something that is undeserved. Most all of us recognize there are no gifts we receive from God that we can truly say we deserve.
As I have been thinking about Christmas gifts for my friends and family the thought occurred to me, there are no gifts I receive from others that I truly deserve. When I receive a gift from someone, whether it be God or one of my friends, the gift given is, at least in part, giving of themselves. What have I ever done to “deserve” a part of another person, much less a part of God.
God gives me the free gift of grace. It is completely undeserved. I may be a faithful disciple, but because I a human I have also fallen well short of what God wants me to be. No matter what I do, there will always be people who are more deserving than me. Yet, the same is also true for them. We humans always, always, always fall short.
But, God loves us anyway and God gives us the free, undeserved gift of grace. Salvation through faith Paul calls it in our lesson above. Without grace I have no salvation. Without grace I have nothing. Without grace I am nothing.
And, it isn’t about who I am or what I have. Without the grace of God nothing else matters. But, the good news is, because of salvation through faith, I do have something, though it isn’t really mine. It belongs to God. That free gift of grace does say I am something and that I am important. I am something and I am important because God says I am. God says I am worth this gift, but it isn’t from my own doing, but from God’s doing.
Whether we believe or not, we are nothing without grace. We become something with grace because that grace brings us salvation, but only if we believe. And, it isn’t from our doing, it isn’t from anything we are or hope to be. It comes by the free, undeserved gift of God’s grace. And, that means, the only way I can brag is to say, “I couldn’t do it for myself but look what God did for me.”
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Grace and Peace,
Copyright 2016, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved