December 25, 2010

The best gift I ever received...

The best gift I ever received was one my parents had told me all about ahead of time.  From the time I was born they went on and on to me about it.  My older brother had heard all about it from them too, and had received the same gift two years before me.  It was something that each of my parents had received when they were young, my father at age seven and my mother at age nine, so they knew just what it was like to get it and had enjoyed it all the years of their life.  It was for that reason that they could go into such detail describing this special gift to me.  They never failed to tell me that it was the most wonderful thing there ever was.
The only problem was that they couldn’t give it to me.  They could tell me all about it, but it wasn’t going to be coming from them.  I couldn’t inherit theirs, and my big brother couldn’t give me his as a hand-me down.  I had to get my own from the only One who could give it to me.

And so at the age of five, I finally understood that though I was a sinner from birth like everyone else, and though I had done nothing to deserve the gift of eternal life, the Lord Jesus Christ was offering it to me freely.  I had heard this gift described all of my little life, but was finally receiving it simply through faith.  I believed He was sinless, that He died on the cross in my place and rose again, and that through faith in Him I would be forgiven of my sins and would live forever with Him.  I gratefully received it.  It was a gift that didn’t just have eternal value, though that would be more than enough.    When I sin, He continues to forgive me, and He teaches me things from His Word that help me change my ways and follow Him more closely.  By receiving the gift of salvation from the Lord I became His child, and have been safe in His care through every circumstance of life ever since.
Of our seven children, three died too young to understand they were sinners who needed a Savior, and in His mercy, the Lord brought them to Himself because He is just and righteous and loving.  Of the four here with us, three have already chosen for themselves to receive the precious gift He offers.  We continue to pray for our daughter Audra; although she hasn’t trusted in Him yet, she is listening with great interest as we all describe this gift to her and tell her how to receive it for herself.
It truly is the most wonderful thing there ever was, and is the very reason for our existence.  I’m so grateful to have it.

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