The Gift

Lanita Perez 

"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

My friend Carol is the best gift giver ever! When we talk she listens carefully to my interests and desires in a way that is so subtle. She watches the hearts of all the people she loves and also the ones that she only knows as acquaintances. I think her gift of giving is extraordinary. Whenever I receive a gift from her it’s as if she knows me better than I know myself.

She invited me to a women’s retreat one fall several years ago which was truly a gift in itself. I enjoyed meeting the ladies and the messages taught were reassuring. We had some down time in the late afternoon so some of us ladies went into town to do some shopping. As we browsed jewelry and trinkets from store to store we laughed and genuinely had a good time making purchases. Some of the items we picked up for purchase were discussed among ourselves to help us decide if it was a good buy or not.

The retreat was in October and I still thought about it from time to time. I enjoyed the fellowship with the women and I often thought about the fun we had. My birthday came in August of the next year and as always my friend Carol had a gift for me. Receiving a gift is always exciting and to think that it’s not really deserving and you get it anyway is awesome. However, to my surprise the gift I received from her was one of the items we looked at and talked about when went shopping that weekend on the women’s retreat. How thoughtful of Carol to remember the plaque with an inscribed quote on it about friendship. The thought of knowing she held it in her possession as long as she did and thought of me blew me away. Every gift from her is a similar experience of thoughtfulness and careful planning. She has blessed me with her gift of giving and I have witnessed her bless others in the same way. She always says, “I saw this and I thought of you”.

God is a better gift giver than my friend Carol, although she is very good at it. God knows us better than we know ourselves. In fact, God knew us before anyone else did. He offers us the free gift of eternal life and we do not deserve it. Yet He offers us this amazing gift because of who He is.

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."  Romans 3:23

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."  Romans 6:23

Have you received the free gift of eternal life from a God that loves you and knows you better than you know yourself? Jesus suffered for the unrighteous to be righteousness for us. Have you spent time in prayer and thanked God for His perfect gift? And do you invite others to receive His gift? God’s gift of salvation is the gift that changes our lives and the way we spend eternity?

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