See the picture above of the gift being offered? Sometimes others give us gifts. Gifts are usually welcome and appreciated, especially when the gift is something practical, useful and needed. There is always a ‘catch’ however. I know, you are thinking “No, there is no catch. The gift was free.” That may be, but still there is a catch. The gift is not yours until you do something. Oh, it is there with your name on it, but it isn’t really yours until you do a very important thing. You need to reach out and take (receive) it from the one offering it to you. If you never take possession of the gift being offered it is never really yours and never will be.
When gifts are given sometimes we have done something to sort of “earn it” while other times someone just wants to give us a gift out of their kindness and generosity. Occasionally their are “strings attached” with the gifts someone gives. The gift can be revoked … taken back … if we don’t do as the giver of the gift says we must. That doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. Many times gifts are given out of love and caring about one another. That most certainly is the best kind of gift and motive for giving gifts … and with no strings attached.
So far I am talking about gifts that people give to one another. Now if we as sinful people can give gifts out of love for others how much more God Who is love gives to others. You might be thinking … “What are you talking about?” “What has God ever given to me?” Maybe your life is hard and miserable and you question where this loving God is. That is a fair question. Let’s take a look at some simple basics. The ultimate expression of a loving God is demonstrated by the fact that He created us with free will. We are free to think, choose and do whatever we want. He could have created us as robots preprogrammed to do just as He wants us to do. There is no love in that however. Of course, with the free will we have there are also consequences and accountability. It has to be that way. Yes, God loves us dearly. His greatest desire is for each and every one of us to be His friend and have precious fellowship with Him. There exists one major problem though. God is holy and we are sinful. Our sin separates us from Him and prevents any possibility of the relationship He desires to have with us. So what can be done to remedy this? God once again demonstrated His great love for us … “While we were still sinners, Jesus Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). He willingly took upon Himself our sin and suffered an agonizing death on a cruel cross in our place so that our sin can be forgiven (pardoned) and we can become His friend and have the relationship with Him He wants and we need. He did this for us as we could not do anything for ourselves. Now that is love! And it is God’s free gift to us. But just like the gifts people give to one another we have to reach out and take the gift being offered by God. He stands there holding out the gift offering it to us, but we must do our part to receive it. God tells us that the wages of our sin is eternal damnation and separation from Him … in hell fire. We must choose. We can’t be neutral. If we don’t choose to accept the free gift of salvation in Jesus Christ then we reject God in our lives and will face His judgement for our sin. The question is … “What will you do with Jesus? Someday your heart will be asking … What will Jesus do with me?” God has already answered that question. We read in John 3:18 … “Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the Name of the only Son of God. ” And Romans 6:23 … “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” And John 3:36 … “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him”. And there are many many other scriptures which clearly tell us the fate of rejecting the salvation offered to us. Yes, salvation is freely offered and God paid the price. He stands there offering the gift to us. God’s kindness is meant to lead us to repentance. “How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?” Hebrews 2:3. Lastly, procrastination is a very dangerous thing. We have no assurance of our next breath and heartbeat. If we die in our sin our fate is sealed. “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God”. Hebrews 10:31 God is love, but He is also holy and just. He must and will judge sin. Rejecting the gift being offered is our choice … remember we have free will. But if we ignore and reject it God tells us that Jesus is going to return to earth to pour out God’s wrath on those who do not know God and have not obeyed the gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ. See Second Thessalonians 1:8. You will be in big trouble without the Lord Jesus Christ. I invite you to accept His free gift of salvation while you can. Don’t put it off. If you hear His voice (His bidding/invitation) do not harden your heart. You may never have another opportunity. God really does love you. He is seeking you out.
If you want to receive the free gift He offers you all you have to do is talk to Him. Eloquent words are not needed. He is looking at the sincerity of your heart. God requires acknowledgement of sin and our recognition that we are lost and hell bound and in need of salvation. He further requires us to repent … to desire to stop sinning and turn to Him for His help to do so. He also requires us to believe in Him … that He (Jesus) is the One Who died for us and paid the penalty for us. We must place total faith in this truth that He alone is our salvation and hope. We need to invite and accept Jesus into our heart and life and ask Him to forgive us and cleanse us from our unrighteousness. In receiving Him we receive His righteousness that we are then acceptable to a holy God. Lastly upon being saved we need to find a bible believing church and grow in the things of God and His Word (the bible) and serve Him with all of our heart. The important thing is that we are in God’s will for our lives and that will always line up with His written word, the bible.