Romans 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
I am really bad at buying the appropriate Christmas gift. I feel safer giving a prepaid gift card. It might be a Starbuck’s card, or a Lowe’s card, maybe even Petsmart. The idea being they can get whatever they want with the card.
Now that isn’t the only way to give. I had to enter a gas station because the self-service computers were down and I had to pay with cash. When I entered a friend was at the counter frustrated because she had no cash and was out of gas. I reached in my wallet and gave her twenty dollars. I did not lend it to her, I gave it to her. I did that because that is who I am.
The next week her husband approached me and tried to pay me back for the gift I gave. “I’ll be in debt to no man.” I tried explaining to him that gifts do not have to be paid for, they are free. “Well I owe you for the kindness.” No, he didn’t. In offering to pay for the gift, he devalued the offering.
One gift cannot be bought, your salvation. Jesus prepaid the cost for all mankind. He bought it all with His life. He offers it freely to all who will accept it. Is pride standing in your way of accepting that free gift because you will not be indebted to any man? Others have accepted it, what makes you any different?
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Did you come up a little short this week? Here take this prepaid salvation card and use it.
Job 32:8 But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.
I was playing chess on line this morning when a memory came back of that pivotal moment when my whole attitude about the game changed. I was visiting the UT chess club. I came in late and all the young men were matched up and I had no one to play. So I watched for a time, pondering some openings I had just studied that afternoon.
One of the better players came in late having just returned from a tournament in Dallas where he had placed well and was going to show off his wins. Not wanting to interrupt play he thought he would challenge this old man. As we began to play I could see that his line of play fell into one of the games I had studied that afternoon and I saw how I could beat him, and I did.
He became enraged at his loss. Here he had come to show off and I humiliated him. Me a nobody. In that moment I knew what it was that I liked about chess. It wasn’t about the win, or my opponent. Most games are played out of memory or intellect but there are times when inspiration comes. A thing set aside from self where clarity is seen and knowing is not a part of intellect or memory. It is those rare moments when you touch something bigger than self.
The very same thing happens in the spirit when God inspires His children. That comes from a place set apart from self and special to that moment. Those moments can only be experienced when we are walking with God and seeking His will. There is nothing as satisfying as those moments when God uses us to serve His will. Do you want to experience that for yourself?
1 Thessalonians 4:1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.
How we ought to walk is right there in the bible. God’s instruction manual.