God's Great Gift Isn't Traditionally Wrapped
“Out of sheer generosity God put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ. He sacrificed Jesus on the altar of the world to clear that world of sin” (Romans 3:24-25 The Message).
The greatest gift ever given wasn’t bought in a store. No cash exchanged hands. It wasn’t even traditionally wrapped—instead, this gift was wrapped in swaddling clothes and placed in a manger.
Yet it cost the Giver everything.
The Bible says God sent his Son to Earth as the greatest gift ever. He came to die and make you right with God. Romans 3:24-25 says, “Out of sheer generosity God put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ. He sacrificed Jesus on the altar of the world to clear that world of sin” (The Message).
So why did Jesus have to die? Let’s go back to the basics.
- Nobody’s perfect. I’ve never met a single person who is perfect, and neither have you. I don’t measure up to my own expectations, much less God’s perfect standard—and neither do you. We’ve all blown it. The Bible says, “All of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory” (Romans 3:23 CEV).
- God is just. God wants to be fair. When somebody breaks a law, there must be a penalty for it. When you break man’s laws, you pay man’s penalty. When you break God’s laws, you pay God’s penalties. The Bible says, “The payment for sin is death” (Romans 6:23 NCV).
- Jesus paid the price for our sin. The Bible says, “God took the sinless Christ and poured into him our sins. Then, in exchange, he poured God’s goodness into us” (2 Corinthians 5:21 TLB). Jesus took on my sin and your sin and all the sin that has ever been committed. That’s the Good News, the Gospel. Jesus paid the price you could never pay.
- Accept God’s free gift. God offers us the free gift of salvation because Jesus took upon himself our sin—but it’s a gift we must choose to receive. The Bible says, “To all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12 NIV).
If you haven’t accepted God’s free gift of salvation, I pray you will make that decision today. It’s one thing to understand the basics of how to have a relationship with Jesus. It’s another to accept the gift.
And if you’ve already made that decision, I pray you share the Good News of Jesus with someone who needs to hear it.
Talk It Over
Outside of your salvation, what’s the most memorable gift you’ve ever received?
Why is it hard to accept a free, extravagant gift?
What person can you tell this week about God’s free gift of salvation?
Have you trusted Jesus for your salvation?
The Bible says we can only get to heaven by trusting in God through his Son, Jesus Christ. And we don’t have to earn God’s love or work our way into heaven. The Bible says, “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV).
If you haven’t trusted in Jesus and committed to following him, why wait any longer? If you’re ready to step across that line and make a decision to believe in Jesus Christ and follow him, pray this prayer:
“Dear Jesus, you have promised that if I believe in you, everything I’ve ever done wrong will be forgiven, I will learn the purpose of my life, and you will accept me into your eternal home in heaven one day.
“I confess my sin, and I believe that you are my Savior. You have promised that if I confess my sin and trust you, I will be saved. I trust you when you say that salvation comes by grace, through faith, and not by anything I do. I receive you into my life as my Lord. Today I’m turning over every part of my life to your management. You have the right to call the shots in my life.
“Jesus, I want to relax in your love. Thank you that I don’t have to earn it or work for it. I want to use the rest of my life to serve you instead of serving myself. I humbly commit my life to you and ask you to save me and accept me into your family. In your name I pray. Amen.”
If you just prayed to accept Jesus, please email me at Rick@PastorRick.com and let me know about it. I’d like to send you some free materials to help you start your journey with Jesus.
This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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