Anyone that really knows me, knows this—I LOVE love, I crave words of affirmation, and I am a girl who ADORES gifts. You wanna send me flowers or Sprinkles cupcakes? Oh man, I’m smiling from ear to ear. Papadeaux gift card? That’s right up my alley. You don’t even have to spend an arm and a leg on me either. Body spray, journals, pens, a $5.00 DVD…I love me some gifts! But really, what person doesn’t?? (If you are the slim few who hate getting gifts, I fear that maybe you’ve just had some really sucky gifts given to you in life..lol).
Seriously though, my heart is just happy when I think back on the great gifts I’ve been given over the years. But do you know what’s the best gift someone can give you?
An unexpected one!
You cannot tell me that when someone sends you some cash in the mail out of the blue or leaves a little happy on your desk at work that your day is not made just a tad bit brighter. Even the Grinch who stole Christmas had his heart grow bigger from getting a gift he just didn’t expect.
Imagine my surprise when I was reading through Ephesians and realized that out of all the unexpected gifts I’ve gotten, for some reason, I never fully grasped the greatest gift I received was from God Himself.
Ephesians 2:8 (NLT)
8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.
You mean to tell me that God unexpectedly gave me this gift that I can’t even put a value on because it’s so priceless? I didn’t have to work for it, pay for it, or haggle with God to get it. And when I take inventory of all my great and amazing gifts, I realized that this should be the gift that I am most thankful for…but I’m not.
If I were, I wouldn’t be so at ease to do things that I know God ain’t pleased with. If I really REALLY got that incredible scripture in my heart, wouldn’t I live differently? Wouldn’t I think twice before picking up that alcohol or gossiping about that person, or coveting what anyone else has that I don’t?? It’s not enough for me to recognize that I got this great gift. Because you know the worst and most offensive thing you could do to the person who gives you a gift? Not appreciate it, not say thank you. Imagine just how God feels when I or anyone else looks at what He gave us and then disregards it. He doesn’t deserve that. He deserves more. He deserves thanks. He deserves praise. He deserves our hearts. He deserves free reign in our lives.
My mom loves this song called Holy Water by We the Kingdom & Tasha Cobbs Leonard. I had heard it briefly before and it didn’t really hit me, but listening to it again and again, this song really is so beautiful, and these lyrics mimic my heart—
I don’t wanna abuse Your grace
God, I need it every day
It’s the only thing that ever really
Makes me wanna change
Every single day, I wake up and you wake up to the gift of God’s grace. We didn’t have to do a thing for it, but Jesus did. He bled and died for us to get this gift and yes, He rose, but the suffering and the agony He had to endure on the cross and even before the cross….man, why would I not say thank you? Why would I not want to change? Why would I not just beg God to take my life and mold it in whatever way He wants? This gift is so great. Just receive it.
God, You are amazing. Just thinking of Your goodness brings tears to my eyes. I’ve been through some tough stuff, and I’ve had some tear-filled nights, but You always bring me through and put things into perspective. You are the keeper of my heart, the hope I need to get me through each day, and I don’t deserve You, I really don’t. But You’re so good that even though Your love is undeserved, You give it to me freely. Help me to change. Help me to love. Help me to be a light to whoever I come in contact with. Shape my heart into how You want it. Have Your way. Thank You, thank You, thank You for your gift to me and to this world. I love you so much God. May I embrace the gift of Your grace now and always.