Thursday, December 15, 2016
I suppose that a few of you are wondering what Christmas gifts you will give to certain people in your life this year, but I was thinking today of one particular gift some people we know would like to receive this Christmas. Some may not even think about it as being a gift, but it is. I am referring to the gift of forgiveness. Perhaps very few people will receive it, but I bet you that those who do will cherish it more that those expensive gifts people buy at Christmas.
Do you remember when you first understood that God had forgiven you? Because people are people, there will always be those who think that some needed more forgiveness than others, or that there are some who didn’t deserve to be forgiven in the first place. Thank God it is He who decides and not people. The truth is that we are all sinners. I always feel slightly uncomfortable around Christians who declare that they were never really that bad before they came to Christ. Even the Apostle Paul, whom God greatly used in the propagation of the gospel, confessed that he was the “chief of sinners” before his encounter with Christ. He said it this way:“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” (1 Timothy 1:15)
I can’t speak for everybody but I know that when I understood that God had forgiven me, I was amazed, extremely grateful, and greatly relieved. And I would not be surprised if many of you felt the same. With that in mind, why can’t many more feel that way when they are forgiven? How many gifts people give can have that same effect? This Christmas, perhaps you may emphasize God’s gift of forgiveness to those around you that, for whatever reason, have never experienced it. Remind them that just like Christ and His salvation, that is God’s gift to them. One more thing: I sense that it is very possible that none of you have to consider giving that gift. But if it is you that needs to forgive someone in your life, even if it is someone no longer living, why don’t you give them the gift of forgiveness? We all get happy and blessed when we sense that one of our gifts was greatly appreciated and very well received. Well, the gift of forgiveness does that and much more.
God’s word for today: (Psalm 32:1) “Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.”