Continuing my post in an open letter to my son.
The first gift God gives is a disturbing gift. It’s one that difficult to accept. It’s the gift of eternal life. You’re going to ask why should something so wonderful be disturbing, I know. It’s disturbing because in order to accept this gift you have to acknowledge that you’re a sinner who needs this gift. Romans 3:22 says, “For there is no distinction: all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Romans 6:23 reminds us that “the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ.” To receive this gift you have to acknowledge that someone died for you and not just anyone but the innocent (Jesus) died for the guilty (you).
This is a truly wonderful gift because though you don’t deserve anything (and in fact you deserved the opposite- punishment- Romans 5:14-16) you receive a free gift, and not just any gift – one that lasts forever. It’s not a plastic toy that will break by the middle of January. It’s not a bike that you’ll ride for 2 years until you grow out of it. It’s not even a gift that might last well into your 30’s. It’s an everlasting gift, an eternal one, that will last forever and affects you every day of your life.
If you’re tempted to think about others getting better gifts, remember this gift. It’s a priceless gift. You could never earn it yourself in 3000 years or repay it to God in 300,000 years. Because it’s an infinite gift (that’s much greater than a google.) Remind yourself of this gift and every other gift is like a little icing on the cake. It’s like getting one Webkinz when you already have 1,000,000. It’s nice in itself but it doesn’t compare to what you already have. That’s why you can be happy when others get different gifts than you do – because He’s given you the greatest, most priceless gift you can imagine already- His Son dying for the penalty you should have paid.
God throws you curveballs with his gifts to help you remember that you’re a sinner and He wants to give you the greatest gift He has. Have you received that gift? If you haven’t, then you are tempted to say “life isn’t fair!” If you have then you realize God gives His greatest gift to everyone who asks. It’s truly an equal opportunity (free for anyone who asks) , equal ability (no one can get it for themselves), and equal reward (everyone has eternal life) gift.
(Stay tuned for the 2nd gift)