Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Blog # 209 Gift of Salvation

Blog # 209 Gift of Salvation What a joy it would be for a poor man to win a fortune in a lucky drawing through no more effort on his part than to enter the drawing, fill in the blank, and send in his name. If we reflect upon this experience of the poor man who becomes a grand prize winner we can see a parallel between ourselves and the good news of salvation. The Bible tells us we cannot by our own merits or good works earn the gift of salvation. The good news of salvation is a gift from God. Grace is free, an expression of love, which by definition is free, rather than a reward which is rooted in an obligation rather than freedom on the part of the one responsible for giving the reward. Even when we were in sin God loved us and called us to Himself in Christ Jesus. So indeed we are in a position similar to that of a poor person winning a valuable gift. Salvation is offered freely by God because He loves us in Jesus. In order to win, there is one thing necessary on the part of the poor person. He or she must enter the drawing. So we, even though salvation is a free gift and cannot be earned by the greatest among us, from the least to the greates we must believe in order to be saved. We must accept the gift of salvation, make it our own, join with Jesus as members of His Body, branches on the Vine. Think again of a poor man who won three hundred thousand dollars. What a difference this would make in his life! Can you imagine him living the same way as when he was poor? If so, it might as well have been that he didn't win the prize at all. So it is with our gift of salvation. Without the gift of salvation we are indeed poor, growing older by the hour with death our greatest enemy approaching ever closer, looming large against all else we may have accomplished in the short span of our human life on earth, telling us for sure the bad news that with no hope beyond the grave there is no lasting hope. But the good news comes that Jesus lives. He has conquered death, in our name as well as in His. The Father loves us with the same love with which He loves Jesus. We share by faith the victory of Jesus over death. We are given, a gift of the Father's love, the gift of eternal salvation. As the poor man who won the fortune, so we who have received the gift of eternal salvation through faith in Jesus find our whole lives changed by this fact. We are now united with Jesus in our prayers and praise of God our loving Father. In Jesus we live in obediance to the Father's will. In this we are enriched with the riches of His wisdom and His goodness. As we recall and reflect upon what Jesus does for us in the here and now of our everyday lives, may we be filled with the joy that comes with faith in the good news of Jesus. Our lives are different because of Him. Because of the strength and wisdom He shares we can pray, talking to God our Father. We can promise with confidence to be kind to one another, strengthened by His love which we share. We can live as brothers and sisters in the vision Jesus taught and have peace. Thank You, Lord!

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