Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

A Gift from God

Ephesians 2:8

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—

RayBlogToday is my birthday – I turn 58 today.  I can’t believe I’m as old as I am.  My oldest daughter was out with us Friday night for dinner and thought I was in my young 50’s – she even called me old!  It seems just like yesterday that I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior (46 years this August).  It seems just like yesterday I was in High School (40 year reunion this spring).  It seems just like yesterday that I entered the ministry (36 years this summer).  It seems just like yesterday I was married (33 years this August).  It seems just like yesterday that our first child was born (30 later this month).  It seems just like yesterday that – well – you get the picture.

Now that we have run through a review of my past – let’s write something about the gifts we receive when we have a birthday or some other special occasion.  This year I left nothing to chance when it comes to my birthday presents.  When the Baltimore Ravens won the AFC Championship I bought a hat to remember it by!  When they won the Super Bowl I bought a hat to remember it by!  I also bought a jersey – the jersey of the highest paid player in the NFL as of today when he signs his contract – Joe Flacco.  So my daughters only need to chip in for the hats and my mother and others can buy me the jersey.  I won’t be taking these gifts back to exchange! Can you remember a special gift you received for a birthday or other special occasion?  I remember my first new bike at Christmas – I got a red one and my sister got a blue one.

3crossesSo today’s verse is about a gift – given by Jesus – so you know it has to be a good one!  Let’s look at it in partial context.  Ephesians 2:1-10 – 1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

For 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.  This is what a gift is really all about – something we haven’t merited – something we didn’t buy for ourselves or even pick out for someone else to buy.  I’ve often said the greatest gift ever given was when the Father gave us His Son at Christmas – but the gift Christ – His Son – gave us on the cross is part of that gift at Christmas.  Jesus came to buy this gift for us – the unmerited gift – Salvation.

Of the many dates I listed above – the one that means the most to me is the one that happened 46 years ago this August – the day I received the best gift ever – my Salvation!  Have you received this gift yet?  If not – I urge you to do so – even right now!  Simply acknowledge that without Jesus you would be lost in your sin – and ask Him to come into your heart – into your life – and to be your Lord and Savior.  He is waiting to give you a gift He has already paid for – once and for all for all who would seek His face and desire His grace.

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

March 4, 2013 - Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Lenten Thought, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. A very Happy Birthday to you, Pastor Ray!

    Like

    Comment by Em | March 4, 2013 | Reply

    • Thank you!

      Like

      Comment by raymcdonald | March 4, 2013 | Reply


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