20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. And the life that I now live in my body, I live by faith, indeed, by the faithfulness of God’s Son, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I don’t ignore the grace of God, because if we become righteous through the Law, then Christ died for no purpose.
I heard someone mention Christmas the other day. The thought of searching for Christmas gifts made me wince. There’s always such craziness around gift giving that I find it unnerving. It is often about counting out and counting on gifts given. Perhaps humanistically we just feel so compelled to give a gift in return when someone offers one to us. Perhaps we just want to find that perfect gift that shows our love.
In our walk with God, sometimes counting our gifts even gets compared to counting on or earning our salvation. When I catch myself doing this, I know I am scorekeeping. Even in the name of Jesus, scorekeeping for my salvation is counting out my good works or good gifts I think I’ve made.
Yet the measure of God’s gift of grace is not about scorekeeping. God’s love for us is complete and all encompassing. No matter how hard we try, the measure of any of our acts of love can never be made equal! We cannot do enough, love enough or suffer long enough to ever come close to the sacrifice that God made through the gift of Jesus Christ. God’s love is the ultimate and everlasting gift that keeps on giving and living through us. So the power of Christ is the gift that lives on shared through us for the world!
By Barbara Carlson
For Pondering & Prayer
We must know that because of God’s grace, we no longer need to keep score. So the most we can do is to live out our lives as Christ’s body. We can live our best lives knowing that we do so in Christ’s name and by his example. We will not be perfect, but this is how Christ will continue to be alive as a gift to the world.
Prayer: Precious Lord, the gift of your love is beyond our measure. We know that we cannot do enough or love enough in comparison to your gift of Jesus. We are so grateful that we want to go on to continue to live and become all that you would have us to be. Help us to love the world by sharing the gift of your Son, so that all who see us will know your love and grace. Amen.