by Rob Dunne
The night was truly silent as I walked down the hallway toward the living room. Tiny particles of dust danced from my eyelashes and fell lightly down my rosy cheeks. Confusion quickly set in when confronted with a seemingly impenetrable fortress. Layer upon layer of sticky plastic encased the Louvre doors like a butterfly going through metamorphosis.
Behind the doors, I pictured dozens of multi-colored boxes cascading beyond the daintily skirted tree. Who devised this fiendish plot to separate me from the frenzied joy I longed for? Was this the work of elves or had a band of marauding pirates blockaded themselves behind the doors? No, this was simply a pre-emptive measure to keep three miniature tornadoes from wreaking havoc on an otherwise Rockwellian scene.
Fortunately, Father God has devised no such plan to keep us from the heavenly gifts He freely offers us. First, there is the gift of His love. Since God is love, He offers us Himself. How I wish the world would fully comprehend the depths of His love. God the Father sacrificed His only begotten Son Jesus to redeem mankind. Can you imagine giving up your most prized possession to win the heart of an indifferent person? I can’t.
Second, He offers us the gift of grace. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Santa Claus maintains a naughty and nice list to determine who is rewarded with presents. God is not concerned with your good deeds. Rather, the gift of grace is free to everyone who believes by faith that Jesus is God’s Son.
Third, when we believe that Jesus died for our sins and surrender our lives to Him, God adopts us. To this day, I am still trying to wrap my mind around this one. By law, an adopted child is treated the same as a biological child. When the inheritance comes, your share is the same as biological child’s share. God also blesses us with brand new identities. He restores the pristine image we once shared with Him prior to the fall of Adam and Eve. God re-writes our DNA, demonstrating to the world that we belong to Him. The world can “see” Jesus inside of us. Amazing!
Let us remember in this New Year, to praise God for His eternal gifts of His love, grace and adoption that far outshine those temporal Christmas gifts we just opened a few short days ago.