For it is by Grace

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God…” Ephesians 2:8

The envelope was unmarked and addressed to me. I hesitated to open it, thinking it was probably junk mail or some unwarranted solicitation. It nearly went into the trash pile without a second glance.

But, something told me to go ahead and peek inside. When I did, I was amazed. It contained a touching note and a check for a significant amount. Anonymously. The person’s note spoke of being blessed. God had used something in my writing to touch her intimately. She knew of struggles my family was facing and wanted to help. Somehow, she found my address and acted upon that nudging...

...I was overwhelmed.

She gave a gift. A gift I could not repay or even personally thank her for giving. A gift I simply had to receive.

As I think about Christmas, it’s easy to get caught up in all the mayhem of the season. Presents, decorating, baking, parties, cards, shopping and everything else. It seems everywhere we turn there are distractions the world is throwing at us. But the best gift is the one we cannot give. The one we don’t deserve. The one we can’t repay. The one we simply receive.

Jesus.

He chose to come to be the Way. Without Him, we have no hope. Without Him, or future is dark. But, if we choose to accept and receive His gift of salvation, we are secure. There is hope.

Every year about this time, I try to steal away and relax with Him. Even if it’s just for an hour or so, stepping out of the hustle and bustle of the commercialized Christmas activities keeps me focused on the true meaning: His unbelievable gift of salvation for all eternity. His choice to humble himself to a life of poverty and scorn, only to die a death He didn’t deserve and pay the price for all sins past, present and future. In order that we might spend all of eternity with Him...

...He loves us that much!

No store gift could ever compare.

And, He knows that there is nothing I say or do could earn His gift. I simply have to receive. Lay down my pride, my fears, my doubts, my control and anything else that my hands might be grasping on to hold. Empty them, so that I might receive the best gift ever.

Jesus.