Kristin Reeg – Free?! Did somebody say free? I do believe “free” is my favorite four letter word. I get so excited when I go somewhere and see a sign that says, “Free.” My eyes begin to enlarge like the Grinch’s heart. Sometimes those free gifts are not anything I want or need, but I take it anyway—after all, it’s FREE! Now my kitchen is full of notepads, pens and mugs from various companies, and my refrigerator is adorned with magnets from every pizza place in the area.
I love giving gifts just as much as I love getting free stuff. I don’t normally wait for Christmas, birthday or other special occasion to give a gift if I know that I have something that will bless a friend. The other day, I gave a friend an unexpected yet very practical gift. She was happy to receive the gift, but she asked me the strangest question: “Would you like me to pay you for this?” I, of course, reminded her it was gift.
Later on, I began to ponder, how often do we ask the same question to God? His Word says, “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” (Ephesians 2:8-9, NIV). How often do we try to pay back a gift that was freely given?
Our God is not Santa Claus. He doesn’t make a list and check it twice to find out if we’ve been naughty or nice. Rather, our God has a Book of Life, and He writes down everyone’s name who accepts His gift of grace through faith. God loves us. He loves us so much that He sent His only Son, which is why we celebrate Christmas to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ.
God doesn’t ask us to earn His love, His mercy, His grace, His peace, His forgiveness or His joy. He gives it to us freely. In the midst of this season, take a moment and remember that gifts are freely given. Too often we get bogged down trying to keep everything equal and fair. In the midst of all our obligations, we often lose sight of the Greatest Gift who later gave His life so that we could live. What makes the Gospel such Good News is that Jesus never asks us to repay the debt we owe Him. Indeed, Jesus is the ultimate free Gift.
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