Accepting the Gift of Everlasting Life: Romans 6:23

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 6:23

Duke Farms is a park that covers 2,700 acres in Hillsborough, NJ. Visitors can rent a bicycle and helmet for the princely sum of $5.00. Volunteers adjust the bike for each rider, and the cyclists are free to wander over 18 miles of paths that weave and loop through the park.

All for $5.00.

Once upon a time, the bikes were free. But the guests were ungrateful: They abused the bikes, lost the helmets, and left the equipment scattered around the park.

Today people pay for the privilege, and they treat the bikes better.

Appreciating a Gift

We need a grateful spirit in order to properly accept a gift. We honor the giver by showing respect for the gift. We shouldn’t act like the visitors who mistreated the bikes at Duke Farms.

Accepting a Gift

But it takes more than appreciation to accept a gift gracefully. Even people who have a grateful spirit may have a hard time accepting a gift. Our pride makes it hard to receive. We are stuck thinking about:

  • A need to reciprocate: “I’ll get you something, too.”
  • A need to be in control: “I don’t know what to say.”
  • A need to be recognized: Silently thinking: ‘I want to be the giver.’

Our pride can prevent us from graciously accepting a gift. Sometimes we just can’t get over ourselves.

God’s Gift

Eternal life is the greatest gift of all, and Jesus Christ is the greatest giver of all. Because of our sins we deserve death: spiritual death and eternal separation from God. (Isaiah 59:2: “Your sins have hidden His face.”)

Deep down we know we are guilty before God. This guilt collides with our pride, and makes us confused and angry.

So our natural response makes us are dumbfounded by the grace of God. “Why would Jesus save us? What does it cost? What does it mean?”

We feel:

  • A need to reciprocate: “God did me a favor so I owe Him something.”
  • A need to be in control: “God gave me a handout so I feel ashamed and humiliated.”
  • A need to be recognized: “God gave me an award so I must deserve it.”

Once again, our pride gets in the way

A Simple Thank You

The gracious way to accept a gift is to turn the attention back to the giver. “Thank you. That was thoughtful of you.”

Let’s start right now, in prayer…

Lord we thank You for the gift of eternal life. You looked beyond our pride and You saw our need. You gave us what we could never get on our own. You gave us what we needed most. 

You are kind, loving, and gracious. Thank you! 

You paid our debt. Thank you!

You gave us life everlasting. Thank you!

Please accept our thanks in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Photo Credit
 Mountains clouds

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